Prologue Day 0: 0400
Why the fuck am I awake at this time?
That time before the first light where everything is quiet, roads are clear is the perfect time to reflect on the strange decisions you make in life, including getting the first flight to Kuching for the start of what would be a really freaking long shoot.
What people don’t really realise about a shoot, be it video or photo is that even before the cameras start rolling and the flashes start flashing, there is a load of work that goes into making sure it doesn’t look like shit and even then, things never go exactly to plan.
Day 1 quickly turned into Day 0, scheduling being a little thrown off with the Hari Raya Haji holiday meaning every one of the 7 locations had to be done in a single day of shoot, that and unbeknownst to us, our DoP was nursing a bad case of dengue.
Day 1: 0800: Kuching Town
Of all places, the first shot of the shoot came from a little traditional Chinese Medicine store in Kuching town. Model Vanizha completely slayed in the Complete Meal Bowling Shirt and Reversible Bucket hat and we brought the traffic to a standstill with Kuchingites wondering what on earth was being shot by this rag-tag bunch of creatives in the middle of town. 1000: Sarawak Cultural Village
I don’t know why, but its so much fucking hotter in Sarawak than in the Peninsular. Pulling up to the Sarawak cultural village for the next few locations, this was as Sarawakian as it got. Fun fact: initially we wanted to go to a different Longhouse but it was a Bidayuh longhouse and we had an Iban extra in mind so that would totally not fly, so we ended up in the SCV where there was every longhouse albeit pretty crowded with tourists.
Being a Sarawak boy myself, it was a good way to learn more about the culture; Did you know besides longhouses, there are also tallhouses? Kudos to Silas, rocking the bow tie bomber in that heat.
The only time when this crew was absolutely silent was during crew meals. After our first proper meal of the day, we headed to the location where the iconic opening scene was shot. The red walls were on the side of a famous Chinese temple in Kuching. You’d think by then the heat would subside but Van Air Con was still our best friend. No permits here, just smiles and asking nicely got us a fun walking sequence and some awesome photos.
*CUT! Move On!*
1655: Darul Hana Bridge
The problem with killing a location is that it gives you a gap to a time-sensitive location like the Darul Hana Bridge. We were about 1.5 hours away from sundown and thankfully we had time for some R&R which some of us took more seriously than others (bear in mind again, Sam our DoP was having dengue masked by the shit load of Panadol he was taking). This was the perfect time to sample the famous Apom ice cream and just take in the beautiful Sunset.
Then, it was showtime. I don’t know how many takes we did, it was a hell of a blur that didn’t allow us time for playback as we were amidst a sea of people walking the bridge but this was one of my favourite shots of the entire shoot.
*Ok good take, let’s move on and get ice cream*
This was a half truth. The next location was indeed an ice cream spot, but for the sexy neon lights that kids are all wet for right now. Granted, our producer Jun did buy us all ice cream but we were all glued to the directors monitor seeing how putting things in slow motion really did make ANYTHING look that much cooler.
Remember how I said the last shot was one of my favourites? This one was even better.
2100: Petaling Street, Sarawak Style
If life could be described as a fuel tank, I was at the - - - stage of my KM remaining display, pretty much resigned to knowing I’d have to be pushing the car at some point. The last location of the day was a Sarawakian version of Petaling street, a stone throw away from the ice cream spot. Kudos to the producer who made sure each journey was never too long and hence downtime never long enough to sleep.
*OK NOW RUN!!! POLICE IS CHASING*
I wish there was that drama at the shoot but this was how Carol the director got the crew to run like the wind 12 hours into a shoot.
2248: Top Spot
Tired, sweaty and content we settled in for another quiet time reflecting on the day gone by. We saw parts of Kuching I didn’t realise existed but the final edit was still nowhere close to materialized in anyone’s mind. We did 7 locations with 2 models in a day, that was one heck of a shoot day 1 but what lay ahead was the KL Leg: 9 locations with 5 more models and 30 extras in a single day.
This look behind the scenes of the PMC x KFC Video shoot is contributed by Lucas Lau @notlucahs - Photographer for the Sarawak leg of the shoot