Production Talk on 'Rubbers' with Han Yew Kwang and Lau Chee Nien

RUBBERS is a heartwarming comedy for adults that injects humorous condom use in three parts: an elderly couple’s marriage rekindled; a single lady’s seduction of a hunky plumber; the punishment of a selfish playboy.

Screened at the Singapore International Film Festival in December last year, this quirky comedy injects magical realism, laughs and lust in its 83 minutes of content. Audiences should look out for fine local actors such as Yeo Yann Yann, who is said to be playing out her most suggestive role as yet. The film will officially arrive in theaters on 30 April.

Photo credit: 18g pictures

Rubbers is directed and written by Han Yew Kwang, who has directed numerous comedy features like Unarmed Combat18 Grams of Love and When Hainan Meets Teochew. Chee Nien, the producer, has been a long-term collaborator and has helped produce many of Yew Kwang's films.

We speak with director Han Yew Kwang and producer Lau Chee Nien on the making of Rubbers.

Photo credit: 18g pictures

Were there any difficulties which you met during casting?

We initially wanted to use new faces that were willing to try things out and go topless on screen. However, we realized that they lacked acting experience and comic timing which was important to the film. Thus, I ended up working with my longtime onscreen collaborators.  They did have some reservation on baring it all onscreen and doing sexy stuff in the beginning, but we managed to work things with the cast eventually.

Could you share with us about some challenges that you met with in making Rubbers?

The challenge for me was to make the cast as comfortable as possible on set for their performance depended a lot on their comfort level with the team and the environment. Another challenge my team and I had was the securing of film locations. During the scouting of film locations, many shop owners and landlords would not agree for their premise to be used upon hearing of the film’s theme. 

Were there any interesting experiences you/& your team had during the shooting of Rubbers?

We didn't plan for the full naked shot of Alaric’s back. However, during the last day of the shoot, I requested him to do the shot as I saw that he was enjoying himself on set. He promptly agreed and we immediately cleared the set for the shoot.

Photo credit: Dean Sam

Photo Credit: Dean Sam

How long did you take to make Rubbers?

We took about fifteen days to shoot all three stories over a period of nine months. We shot the first story in early July 2013, the second story in the second half of July 2013 and the last story in February 2014.

You raised US$9,102 from Indiegogo, did you manage to get any other sponsorship for Rubbers?

Durex sponsored us with their condoms. The other sponsorships (secured before our campaign on indiegogo) are found in Rubbers’ opening and end credits.

Would you share with us three bits of trivia about Rubbers that you would like SINdie readers to know?

·         More than half of the cast were actually production crew members of the shoot and some were profession crew members who didn't work on our set but cameoed for us. 

·         One of the guys who masturbated in one of the scenes in our film is actually almost doing the real thing... (Who is the one? It is for you to find out!)

·         The plot of the old couple’s short is based on a true story (of Catherine Sng, who played the wife role, when she was younger).

Photo credit: 18g pictures
Photo credit: 18g pictures
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