Production Talk - 'Chicken' by Charmaine Oon

What is a chicken? What is a CHICKEN??!


What on earth set you on this idea for 'Chicken'!?
What are you trying to achieve in 'Chicken'?

Why not the chicken? We bake, steam, fry, mince, and process chickens on a daily basis; laugh at it on cartoon channels; refer to it derogatorily in our metaphors. The chicken’s image has been exploited, caricatured and mythologized; re-created under consumerist terms.

I was also intrigued by wikipedia and its dense network of links – how its the first stop for a cursory view on things, yet scoffed at if you quote it in school work; how its so random but coherent at the same time. And mind maps! my teachers were big on them. So ‘Chicken’ is an educational video of some sorts, a filmic representation of wikipedia.

We thought that the eclectic nature of mind maps can be translated to the film through the dense collage of images. The visual collage of different formats (textures)/ environments seem to condense different time and multiple realities into a single space. We begun to explore the possibility of imbuing the film with a sense of self consciousness. Perhaps the different processes that the images undergo mirror our own interpretation and understanding chickens.

I understand that it uses a lot of stock footage, tell us more about the process and costs involved in getting these footages?

We used a lot of things. Some of them came through googling for footage whose rights have been relinquished. We were also kindly supported by AVA and they had a repository of chicken ‘artefacts’.

Who is that woman in the film? (eating kaka) She is so funny

She is Jeannie’s (the producer) mom!

Do share any interesting anecdotes in the process of making this film (where did u buy your kaka snack by the way?)

I will tell Shoe (the production designer) that you bought her nifty .psd skills! After several fruitless attempts to locate kaka, we called the company up and realised that they've stopped producing it.
We shot in a chicken farm in Malaysia and we have an awesome funny video of Jeannie trying to catch a chicken. This is the end frame of the clip - victorious Jeannie Never realised how warm a chicken is.

You have a natural sense of humour, would you consider doing something more like a narrative comedy?

We didn't set out to make a funny film.. Perhaps, if comedy is not an end in itself.
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