Production Talk : 'Crumbs' by Al Bajet - 48 Hour Film Project, Singapore 2009

In May 2009, the 48 Hour Film Project is a wild and sleepless weekend in which a team make a movie—write, shoot, edit and score it—in just 48 hours.

Each team were given:
  • A specific genre

  • Prop : Scissors

  • Character: Amy/Andy Yeo, Journalist

  • Line of dialogue: Is it supposed to look like that?
This year, the Singapore Malay Film Society sent in 2 teams to take part in the 48 Hour Film Project. One of the teams was 'Al Bajet', where team member Shamsydar gave Sindie a peep into 'Behind the Scenes' pictures and shared her journey with the team during this 48 hours.

Li: How did the team manage to get everything organized within the short period of time (eg; planning, location/actor selections, etc)?
Shamsydar: It is part of the Singapore Malay Film Society's (SMFS) objective to be provide a one stop portal for filming logistics and talent, so we did have a list of potential actors. Prior to the competition date, we had a meeting to discuss what kind of approach we wanted for our short film, regardless of the elements given. We delegated jobscopes which saved us a lot of time because once we were given the elements, we went straight for the story and plot.

Our story would not have pulled through if not for the team. We were so excited to make the film cause it was the first we were all working together. So naturally we put our heads together to make the best film we could afford to make!

Li: What was you/your team's best experience?
Shamsydar: As for myself, I got excited working with so many people - the total cast and crew was 12 people. My past two short films were pretty much solo projects that I begged people to join me. Being the assistant director for the first time, I knew that the decision lies not with me but the entire crew. I didn't get so worked up because I had a lot of second opinions.

I loved working with Shahrezza, our Director of Photography, because he had his vision, and I had my vision of the film. He usually does action thrillers while I prefer dramas and arts house films. When the three of us, Suffian Zain, Shahrezza and I put our ideas together, it worked like magic.

As for the team, we had fun working with our DIY dolly track. We took turns sitting on it! Haha. But on the serious note, we bonded like family over the 48 hours. Imagine shooting from 9am till 3am - we were tired, sleepy
and pretty much drunk on adrenaline.

Li: What were some of the things learnt during this film's journey?
The best lesson? Many heads are better than one! We had so much fun thinking of a plot that will make the audience want more. We started off with one of life's greatest mystery, as I mentioned in my blog and then proceeded to writing the entire script for Crumbs.

I learnt a thing or two about
shooting the right camera angles even if it takes a long time. Film directors tend to be perfectionists so it doesn't matter if we planned to shoot for two hours but end up five hours on set, because details are important. And also, that was the first time I experienced a dolly track, a DIY one that is. It may be fun but the speed of the dolly has to be perfect - not too fast and not too slow.
Li: What was the greatest challenge & how did the team over come it?
Shamsydar: There wasn't any great challenge per se, but I must admit, shooting outdoors when we were losing daylight was scary. We had to split the team so that one half can head to ‘Cinegear’ to get lights and the other to set up on location. While shooting at the cafe in Simpang Bedok, we had to ensure the lighting and and equipments were not disrupting. It was quite frustrating because there were two kids who kept coming into frame as they thought we were shooting for television. Li: How would you summarise the overall production itself and yourself/team's experience?
It was certainly an experience not to be forgotten. Though we submitted the film late and did not qualify for the finals, we'll be back for next year's 48HFP cause enjoying each other's company and making a film together with the SMFS family is something I'd do again. :)
A Sindie's written review of the film is found here
For a better insight of their journey through
Shamsydar's eyes during their 48Hrs, can be found on her blog
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