Thursday, June 28, 2007

Taiko - An Upcoming Malaysian Made Movie

Throughout my career in advertising, I’ve been involved in producing many TV commercials and even one reality show – Olay Aspirasiku. We ran 2 seasons on TV3 in 2005 and 2006.

The cost of TVC production 10 years ago ran into the millions of Ringgit. These days, some clients only give an average budget of RM100,000. That’s about 10% of what we used to have. Of course some rare clients give us about RM300,000 to work with. But then there are those who expect a brilliantly shot TVC for under RM100,000! For those not from the ad industry, the typical commercial you see on TV takes about 3 months to produce. That’s a lot of time and work for something which lasts just 30 seconds.

Nevertheless, we have many talented directors and producers here in Malaysia who make miracles from tiny budgets. I’ve seen what they can do and it astounds me every time.

I have not been involved in producing a movie but have always been a supporter of Malaysian made movies, specifically the ones with good storylines. I ensure I either watch it in the cinema or buy a certified original copy of the DVD. It’s hard work, budgets are low and so are profit margins. They deserve to generate some sales for their hard work.

A producer I work with when shooting a Rejoice TVC and Olay TVC with Siti Nurhaliza last year, is now involved in shooting a new movie. Daniel Wee of Montecom Films is in the midst of pre production of Tai Ko, a movie about 2 childhood friends who grow up to be on the opposite sides of the law. It stars M Nasir, Eman Manan, Jalaludin Hassan and Chermaine Poo just to name a few of the cast. It's schedule to hit the cinemas in March 2008.

I’ve been following his blog and it made me realize just how tough movie production in Malaysia is. We don’t have the multi million dollar budgets like in Hollywood. We're no where close to Bollywood or Hong Kong. Yet everyone strives to produce the best quality possibly from the limited budget by the ingenuity and resources of the cast and crew.

Daniel, I’m hoping and praying that everything goes well for you and the movie. I hope that talks with sponsors go well so that you and the crew can breathe a little easier and be able to concentrate more on the actual production rather than worrying there’s not enough money.

Crossing fingers, toes and eyes!

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