Saturday, March 5, 2011

Camera testing, the press conference, Berandal and sometimes this happens...

                    If you haven't already seen MERANTAU, please don't read the section
BERANDAL as it contains some spoilers for the finale of the film.

Late updates seem to be becoming something of a regular feature on this blog but as we are now 9 days away from DAY ONE of the production things are naturally getting more and more hectic.

Anyway, here's the latest blog during which I'll cover what we've been up to the past week. 


Prior to shooting it's customary to conduct a day or two for a camera test. This is basically an opportunity for the crew to work together, figure out the best work flow for all departments while testing specific make up effects, camera rigging, lighting setups and sound recording. We conducted a lot of tests during the day we spent in the studio from squibs tests, controlled explosions to a claustrophobic set that allowed us to try out some rigging enabling the camera to track and turn 180 degrees in a wall less than 1m wide.

The test highlighted a lot of pitfalls (essential for us prior to production as we still have time to fix any issues) but also gave us confirmation as a lot of our more experimental ideas were executed without a hitch.

Once Matt is less busy and has time to update his blog he will go into a lot more detail regarding the camera test and rigging we plan to use on the film. For now here's some snaps I took while I should have been busy working.

Lighting setup at the studio.
The Panasonic AF-100 setup with Nanoflash recorder and Bartec follow focus
set up on the fig rig – this is fucking heavy we are unlikely to use this setup for
the film we’re now looking at some shoulder mount setups.
Preparing for a birds eye view shot.
One of our more claustrophobic locations.
Tegar Satrya (as Bowo) after a spot of bother.


Earlier this week we held a press conference to announce the production of THE RAID at FX Mall. It was a good turn out and the press seemed very enthusiastic and supportive of us as we detailed our 2nd film.

The Raid team.
As we have already announced the cast for the film at the press con, here finally, is the full list of actors and actresses that will feature in THE RAID....

      THE RAID

Iko Uwais- Rama
Joe Taslim- Jaka
Donny Alamsyah- Andi
Pierre Gruno- Wahyu
Ray Sahetapy- Tama
Yayan Ruhian- Mad Dog
Tegar Satrya- Bowo
Iang Darmawan- Gofar
Eka Rahmadia- Dagu
Verdi Solaiman- Budi
Fikha Effendi- Isa
R. Iman Aji- Ari
Henky Solaiman- Bapak

Our thanks go out to the press that turned up and continue to support us since Merantau, we're still a relatively new production house in Indonesia and we're very grateful for the way they have welcomed us. We talked about the production and the differences between Merantau and The Raid (stuff I've already bored you guys with in the first 3 blogs so I won't re-iterate).... We also spoke about our plans for release, and "hint hint" a possible special advanced screening right here in Indonesia towards the end of 2011, way before our planned release in January 2012. So fans, keep your eyes peeled once I get confirmation I'll be sure to announce it here.


Naturally, a lot of questions since we announced THE RAID at the press conference revolved around BERANDAL and why it has been delayed. Outside of the fact that the project had grown in scope and various scheduling issues preventing us from being able to cement a production date, there have been developments in the project since. 

While developing THE RAID in script form I started to toy around with the idea of creating a link between it and BERANDAL. And now I can announce that BERANDAL will actually serve as a sequel to THE RAID providing a continuation for Iko Uwais' character Rama. While some would see this news as a spoiler (i.e. his character doesn't die) I feel that if I killed off his character again so soon after MERANTAU I'd be one almighty fucking hack bereft of ways to finish a film. 

So there you go, spoiler.... Iko survives and lives to fight another day.

In BERANDAL we plan to explore the criminal world and introduce more side characters while creating a franchise for IKO UWAIS, but not one in which his character stays the same throughout. Our plan is to show a growth in each film as experiences begin to shape and mutate his personality for better and for worse.




Q. Do you plan on doing another one-shot fight scene? (from Kelly)
A. We don’t have plans to do a one-shot fight scene in THE RAID, the choreography design has to fit a shot like that. My focus has always been to showcase the complexity of the choreography and the guys have been pretty intricate with their fighting style on this one so every time I do try to do a single shot scene it doesn’t capture the choreography to its fullest. So unfortunately we won’t have a single shot fight sequence this time round, but we do have some uninterrupted long takes that are going to piss off my DoP immensely ☺

Q. I'm excited about the first person pov (but also glad you're not sacrificing the clear fight scenes). Any chance we'll get a preview of it? (From Kris)
A. For the POV shots we’ve done limited testing and aren’t planning to use it that often, only a small fraction of shots will be done using this system. We will see how it works once we shoot the fight sequences during production, I doubt I will preview it to be honest as I want to keep as much of the film fresh and unknown as possible. You won’t be getting an almost 3min trailer this time round… that was overkill on MERANTAU. This time we’re going leaner with our trailer enough to tease without spoiling what’s to come.

Q. In recent days there are news that make me worried. As you know, government apply new tax for foreign movie. I wish this movie in Indonesia will not be considered as foreign movie nor have difficulty to be played in Indonesia cinemas. (From Kunderemp)
A. Not to worry, everything about THE RAID is an Indonesian production. Fully financed here, production company, staff etc. The only thing bule about it is me, the DoP and our fantastic Exec Producers at XYZ FILMS. So for sure the film classifies as Indonesian.

Q. Do you have any plans to shoot in 3D, like a fight scene?
(From Rezcinema)
A. Besides the obvious budget issues personally, I don’t really like 3D. I can’t watch a film in 3D for longer than 10mins before I start to get a headache so the thought of spending months editing a film in 3D is just too much. Also, I genuinely wouldn’t know what to do with the medium besides throwing shit at the audience. I don’t really see how it would benefit a film like this. The talk is about complete immersion in the world of a film – but I don’t feel immersed in a 3D world, cos its not truly 3D its just layers with extra depth.

Other far more talented filmmakers than me can run with 3D technology, I’m happy to stick with 2D. 

Q. Will there be a "bloody" hot looking guy? A guy that will be covered in blood? (From Puspitasari)
A. There will be blood. Broken bones. And chaos.

Okay that's it for now, more next week as Day One approaches ever faster, please keep your questions coming in...