The 2012 BMW Shorties is the sixth installation of Malaysia’s most prestigious and longest running short film competition in the country. This year saw a total of 91 entry submissions by a pool of super talented filmmakers. And as the grand finale/deciding day for the BMW Shorties looms around the corner, our friends from BMW Group Malaysia gave us the golden opportunity to speak to one of the top 10 finalists.
Introducing, Rebecca and Arthur, the duo who are responsible for their video, “Crossroads”. We spent a little time with them in our office just last week when they came by for a little chat. Let’s find out what went on behind the making of the short film:
So, tell us, what was the big idea behind “Crossroads” and what made you decide to send it in for the 2013 BMW Shorties?
Rebecca: “Last year, we were also nominated for something that was just our collaboration and not exactly something that we did together like we did for ‘Crossroads’. We were nominated for a lot of things last year but we decided to do it a little differently this year. ‘Crossroads’ is very character-driven.”
Arthur: “So this year, we tried a different approach. The previous one was more experimental whereas ‘Crossroads” is more narrative. It’s something that’s more approachable for people but still has a little bit of our original style. And that’s why we have so many actors.”
We noticed the actors too! What was the process like when you were casting for “Crossroads”?
Rebecca: “For me, it was easy because I knew exactly what I wanted. It was easy for us..”
Arthur: “The script was actually written with our friends in mind. Certain characters were really befitting for each individual that we cast. It was as if it was made for them.”
Rebecca: “But we did change the script on the spot a few times because of the locations and the change of resources.”
Arthur: “That’s true. We shot across six different days and because some of the members of the cast were working, they couldn’t make those days so we had to change things around a bit and adjust our times to theirs.”
How different is the end product from the original story line?
Arthur: “It’s different in the sense that..some visuals and directions did definitely change. But the core of the story, the message that we wanted to deliver is still there.”
Rebecca: “The entire production was funded by family and friends. We definitely had limitations to a certain level in terms of the things that we could acquire for the shoot such as equipment and locations. In a way, of course we would’ve loved to achieve exactly what we had in the original story line but because we had to off and on again shift things around, it wasn’t entirely possible. The core of the story, however, we did retain.”
Alright. Here’s our burning question – how did you guys come up with the story line? It’s pretty interesting!
Arthur: “Was it when we had porridge or..no, wait. It was at McDonald’s first!”
Rebecca: “Arthur came up with the initial idea when we were at McDonald’s. It was really quiet at midnight and we were talking about robbery cases. Then we were both like, hey let’s do a story on this! So we both went home and worked on our individual stories, but when we met up again over porridge, our story lines were completely different. One was more about self-reflection whereas the other one, Arthur’s, was very ‘Babel’-ish. So over porridge, we finalized the shoot board.”
Arthur: “And then the pre-production was done at a random mamak! You know, we nailed things down as we progressed. As we were shooting, we were doing the pre-production at the same time. In fact, we would go into post-production right after we shot our scenes and then we would discuss our next shoot. Because of the limitations of our resources, our pre-production and post-production was done all at the same time.”
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Right. Because in production, there are times when you just need to be resourceful and work with what you have. Aside from clashing schedules, what was the biggest challenge that you faced during the entire production of “Crossroads”?
Arthur: “For me, it’s the crew. We didn’t really have a proper crew so basically, we had to do everything. Like, first, I started off writing the script. Then I had to go in there and direct, and be the cameraman all at the same time. And when we’re done, I’ll be the one editing. After which, I’ll hand the file over to Rebecca so that she can do the music composition. While she’s doing the music composition, I’ll be doing the colouring. During production, Rebecca will be doing the producing, handling the talents, make up, sound recording..everything was managed by just the both of us!”
Last question and this one is super important, okay? If you were to win the 2013 BMW Shorties, what would you do with the RM75,000 grant?
Rebecca & Arthur: “Hmm..”
Rebecca: “If it was me in particular, I would really love to work on certain scripts that we have. Right now, there is one that we really want to work on. It’s in..black and white. We’ve had it for awhile but we never got around to working on it.”
Arthur: “More importantly, what we’d really like to achieve is to create our own voice and we hope that would inspire other filmmakers out there to do their own thing, to show their own individual personalities.”
Aww. That’s such a sweet note to end this interview on! Thank you Rebecca and Arthur for taking time to speak to us. And we’ll definitely see you at the 2012 BMW Shorties awards night 20th December 2012 (Thurday)!
For more information on the 2012 BMW Shorties Top 10 finalists, hit this up.