“Our name is the derivative of Roger Corman known as the king of B-movies having produced over 400 films though we are not affiliated with the icon whatsoever,” says Kuman Pictures‘ in an excerpt from their manifesto which was prided over social media to best describe their work and future endeavors. Kuman means germ in Malay however, the reason behind the naming of the production was not bacterial but it is to represent the scale of what the house will be producing; movies that are around the micro budget of RM 500,000 to avoid asking for funding and investment from government sources.
Their vision on the concept and theme of movies they will be producing is parallel to that of Hollywood’s Blumhouse Productions (behind horrors like Insidious and Get Out) and their plan is to focus on not only paying their actors and crew but to also provide them with royalties from the movie’s income much like author’s royalties from books sold which is an evident distinction of the house from other productions. This is a refreshing take on ensuring that the people behind a movie are paid accurately and well especially when the film is put on screen or even aired on TV again and again.
Why horror? “Because we like the genre,” said Amir Muhammad at the press launch of Kuman Pictures where the founder of the cult favourite Fixi publications insisted that the production is not only creating movies based on those novels. With the rise of local films debuting in foreign and international film festivals, Amir Muhammad ensured that they would set a release date for the local cinemas before movies by Kuman Pictures would be featured in these festivals because, “The main focus is for Malaysian audiences”.
Kuman Pictures is already setting up to release three movies in 2019 with Two Sisters (in Mandarin) directed by James Lee, Roh (in the Malaysian language) by Emir Ezwan and Ghost Hotel (in Tamil) under the direction of MS Prem Nath. The house isn’t limiting their scope to making movies but also supporting those made by other studios like the now screening Langsuir (read our review here) by sponsoring an outing to watch the romance-horror in order to encourage audiences’ exposure to local films. The inception stage of Kuman Pictures seem promising and one is allowed to be skeptical though an opportunity for another platform to feature local movies is always welcoming especially after the buzz of so many great ones so far this year i.e. Dukun and One Two Jaga.
Images are by Transhallow.