IT came out of nowhere.
Lalu is an experiment by New York and Kuala Lumpur-based sound designer Ion Furjanic. Shot over three days, three years ago in the beautiful landscape of Kuala Pilah, the short film arrives after a year of post-production under KIX and Seeing Eye Films.
The premiere took place on 1 June 2016 in Uppercase, Bangsar. Among those who showed up were artists, street wear photographers, scenesters, creative people from all disciplines, and models showing some love for their homegirl Deanna.
Audiences waited with sheer excitement to have a look at Furjanic’s project. Even technical hiccups were greeted with a snowballing roar of love, which climaxed with an explosion of applause as the credits rolled.
Starring Pekin Ibrahim, Iedil Putra, Ismail Jamaludin and introducing Deanna Ibrahim, Lalu is about three friends who go on a trip but come across something that distorts their experience.
Reservoirs and noodle bowls
Ion, in his signature fedora, proceeded with a presentation on his process in making his directorial debut a reality.
His idea was born at a reservoir in his hometown — quite similar to the one in Kuala Pilah. People were throwing something into the dam which triggered his curiosity and suspicion.
“The effects took a long, long time because it’s totally insane,” explained Ion at the premiere. “It took a year to do the editing; no real rush. I’ll make something how I want to make it.”
Likening the film to an omelette, he also divulged that he needed to refrain from overdoing the film and adding “too much sauce”.
Ion showed a very special picture to everyone in attendance: the city of Kuala Lumpur in a noodle bowl. He then explained he met a lot of amazing people and he didn’t want KL folks to only keep to themselves. Instead, they should work and try experimenting with different things together. This had the crowd of creatives booming in agreement, thus ending his speech.
What about the men in the film?
Actor Pekin meanwhile expressed his enthusiasm and satisfaction in working on the project. With Ion’s background in music, he revealed that shooting was a different experience — acting in the film required him to take note of rhythm which played during the process.
“Nak jatuhkan barang pun ada beat. Jadi muzik,” intrigued Pekin.
Pekin had just returned from a tough shoot in Tawau, producing his first feature documentary about Borneo which should be out next year. It’s also his second time working with Iedil; he played brother to Iedil’s character in 2014 road telefilm Migrasi.
Iedil however was absent for the premiere as he was in Indonesia for his wedding with Indonesian actress Prisia Nasution.
And the gorgeous ladies?
Model Deanna Ibrahim stated she had no preparation for the 48-hour shoot, and had to leave for London immediately after it ended. As a full-time model and aspiring actress, she was encouraged by Ion, who simply told her to “just be herself” as she shared much in common with the character.
Furthermore, Seeing Eye Films has just completed their upcoming Dark Triptych, adapted from Buku Fixi’s KL Noir series. Savages, out on the 1 July, will also be starring Deanna as well as names like Pekin, Syafie Naswip, Bront Palarae and Sharifah Amani.
Resident producer at Apparat Films, Nandita Solomon — who also produced Dain Said’s highly-anticipated Interchange — produced Lalu after hearing Ion’s concept.
“As a director you need to be brave, and Ion is brave.”
The night ended with joyful camaraderie and Ion’s helpful advice echoing in the minds of attendees.
“You can’t wait for people to give you money, you can’t wait for the perfect script,” he spoke with fervor, “you can’t wait for any of that stuff. Especially now with the internet, you can film with your phone and if you have a decent phone which shoots in HD, you can make a film.”
The 8-minute short will appear online on 6 June 2016. We’ll remind you once it’s out, but don’t forget to catch the mindblowing trailer in case you missed it.
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