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Lights, Camera, Occupation: The Not-So-Sacred Path To Filmhood
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Lights, Camera, Occupation: The Not-So-Sacred Path To Filmhood

by Zim AhmadiMarch 12, 2017

Many of us have dreamed of making it on the big screen at some point in our lives – whether as an A-list star or an award-winning film director. But soon, societal and parental expectations set in and we end up yearning from afar, watching our favourite stars on the red carpet and following them on social media. But it doesn’t always have to end like that.

They don’t call it the film ‘industry’ for no reason. Like any other industry, it requires a multitude of skills and personalities – some on-screen and some behind the scenes – all equally important to have on set to ensure that films are successfully made and released.

When it comes to filmmaking, some people believe that actions speak louder than words. That’s exactly what Warren Harrison will be talking about in an upcoming Study UK seminar called Thinking Cinematically: It’s Time For Show and Don’t Tell. Warren is the Associate Dean of School of Design, Culture, and the Arts, Teesside University with a background in TV production where he has worked on BAFTA- and RTS-winning programmes. (If you want some movie and retail vouchers for attending this event, pre-register now at this page!)

To read our interview with Warren, click here.

Beyond learning about cinematic concepts, it’s also important to understand what the path looks like for someone interested in the industry. For your benefit, we’ve asked a few professionals to share their experiences. If they can make it,  you can too!


Tuan Faisal (Producer)

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Tuan Faisal

Background and Profession

I studied electronics in MMU and worked as a communication engineer for 4 years in TM before pursuing a Master’s degree in Business IT (The University of Manchester). I continued serving my bond in TM as a 2nd level call centre manager for corporate and service engineering (Malaysian Research Network, Ministry of Higher Education) for another 6 years before I decided to co-found Playground Productions.

The interest in the creative industry started back during my university years, where I co -founded T@MU (a theatre club in MMU). The interest grew even while I was working as an engineer, where I was already producing independent theatre shows.

Since then, I have taken the role Managing Director & Producer in Playground, producing films, TV dramas, branded content, and also managing events. Of late, since the expansion of Playground, I play a more managerial role as an executive producer.

Ah yes, I sometimes act too, as a hobby.

Being in the creative industry is also a means of contributing to the society. I’d like to think that the stories we tell can give an impact (even if it is a small nudge) to the people around us. – Tuan Faisal

Why the film industry?

I’d like to think of myself as a part of the creative industry, rather than being limited to just film as a medium.

Right from day one after graduation, I knew that I wanted to open up my own business entity. I have always been interested in the creative industry. Ever since I started dabbling in performing arts, I’ve mostly landed production roles. After 10 years of performing arts, it was just a natural progression from stage to screen. Performing arts in Malaysia is still at its infancy and most theatre companies function more as a society, than a business. The original idea was to set up Playground to make money (via TV dramas, films, commercials) to then fund our passion.

Being in the creative industry is also a means of contributing to the society. I’d like to think that the stories we tell can give an impact (even if it is a small nudge) to the people around us.

Any advice for people interested in the same career?

Know your stuff & craft and always work on improvement. Be humble and do good. Have common sense & empathy (you’ll be surprised at how lacking it is at the moment!).


Iedil Putra (Actor)

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Iedil Putra, in Interchange

 

Iedil Putra is a renowned actor in the industry and has acted in movies such as Interchange, Terbaik Dari Langit, Hanyut and most recently J Revolusi (which is still out in the cinemas now!)

Background and Profession

I have been a stage/TV/film actor for the past 20 years. I started my performing arts career as a member of Tunas Budaya, a children’s cultural group where I was exposed to traditional performing arts and modern theatre.

Why the film industry?

It was a natural progression as an actor to be in films. I believe film can somehow be a tool to not just entertain but to educate. And I love it!

Advice for aspiring actors?

Start early. Get a formal education in the arts, read and don’t be afraid to try and be different. Enjoy what you do and have fun along the way.


Jordan Chiam (Director of Photography)

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Jordan Chiam

Background and Profession

I studied Graphic Design at Malaysia Institute of Art. I’m now a director of photography mostly for TV commercials. And I worked on in 2 feature films, namely Interchange and Terbaik di Langit.

Why the film industry?

The reason why I chose to enter film industry is because being a member of a production crew is kinda cool. And you don’t have to sit in the office all the time!

Any advice you can give to the those who are interested to enter the industry?

Teamwork is very important in film making. You can’t do everything yourself. Hence, that should translate into your work ethic.


If you’re keen to learn more about approaches in cinematrography, don’t forget to save the date: Saturday 18 March, 1:30-2:15pm at KL Convention Centre, Hall 5, Seminar Room 2. For more details about the seminar, click here.

To find out more about the Study UK exhibition and the seminar, head on to https://www.facebook.com/pg/BritishCouncilMalaysia/events

About The Author
Profile photo of Zim Ahmadi
Zim Ahmadi
Head writer for Daily Seni. Eats surreal for breakfast.

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