Mission Impossible: Getting Our Names on the Big Screen

One thing I am always proud of is the way that IACT students learn things. Being a 2nd year Mass Communication student, my projects are always with real clients. However, this one was a memorable and different one – we had our names on the cinema’s screen!
During my previous semester, one of my favorite subjects was Marketing Management. Ms. Denise, our lecturer kicked off the battle of brains among the students when we were assigned the final project. The students stood a chance to suggest marketing strategies to a real client – Projek57. Projek57 is a social enterprise which sells quality Malaysian T-shirts which profits are channeled towards empowering single mothers and underprivileged youth programs. Through few months of hard work, my friends and I were selected as the winning team.

10th August 2016: Mission Impossible
During our semester break in August, we were rewarded with a scrumptious meal, some Projek57 merchandises, and the most precious gift was the unforgettable working experience with them. We were given a golden chance to produce a 60-seconds-long cinema advertisement for Projek57. While most of our classmates flew off for vacation, we did not get to rest yet. Well, we had a brilliant semester break – a more productive one. In the span of 13 days, we had to be fast paced to complete our task. At first, it looked nearly impossible. We were eager to seize this chance, as this chance could have been picked up by any experienced production team in the industry. We knew it would be great for our portfolio and increase our exposure and knowledge. To be frank, we were terrified at first; it seemed impossible for this group of young kids to deal with a legit project. It could never come true without a great team, as teamwork was the key to success. We started off by distributed roles based on our strengths.

15th August 2016: Brainstorm, Meet-up, Idea pitching
Projek57 gave us the full freedom to use the 60 seconds screen time. After rounds of brainstorming sessions, we met Projek57 at their office in KL to pitch our idea. Our director cum scriptwriter, Amanda proposed an idea – to bring back the childlike mentality of all races playing together without prejudice and hatred. It would be an interview style video to talk about unity. We will then add some filler shots of them playing childhood games for the nostalgic mood. Projek57 approved our idea and has suggested us some contacts for the interview.

16th August 2016: Pre-production planning
Projek57 loved our idea and we could move to the next phase; Props, Casting, Location scouting, and preparations of equipment. Our casting manager, Yee Yond had a sweet time sending emails to the cast of “Ola Bola” and Malaysian Youtubers like “The Salad Show”. Our location manager, Jean strolled a few parks to get a suitable location for the childhood games. Director of Photography (DOP), Cheyenne met our lovely Video Production lecturer, Mr. Tuah who was willing to borrow shooting equipment. Bernice went to all the ‘kedai runcit’ (local convenience stores) nearby to collect props needed for childhood games such as old school erasers, homemade rubber skipping rope, bubbles and tin cans.

One interesting process during the pre-production phase was decorating our set in the college’s broadcast studio. After it is set, we had tonnes of fun fooling around in front of the camera for a trial shooting. Everything was in place for shooting, all thanks to our producer Fishy who planned and monitor the progress. Also, the director oversees every element and ensures it fits the theme.

19th August 2016: Production
As you all can see, this team is an all-girl production team, except me. As a guy, I couldn’t understand why they were freaking out like fangirls when they see the Ola Bola cast at first. Well, in fact, the group of three from “Ola Bola” were outgoing, passionate, charming people. They were indeed true brothers just as the line in the movie: “Kita menang sama-sama, kita kalah sama-sama.” (Literally means: we will be together no matter ups and downs). They were lively during the interview and brought us much laughter to the studio! They talked about integrity that we all shall hold as Malaysians. In simpler words, it means we have no differences and it is possible to be close friends regardless of race or skin color. Through the differences of culture, we get to learn more about diverse customs and languages.

The Salad Show a duo of supportive and matured thinking young men. They were generous to share their views and even shared with us how they started off their Youtube channel. Due to culture differences between Caleb and Jiven, they were able to produce creative content that the Malaysian public resonates with. Caleb also said compatibility between friends has nothing to do with race. As long as people respect one another, Malaysians will live in harmony.

21st August 2016: Post-production
*Trumpet sound effect* Yes! It’s my time to show off some skills! (Just kidding) In this project, I was the post-production manager. My roles include studying and trimming video footages, composing an original background music, audio editing, and conversion for cinema. It takes a few days for me to keep revising the cut to fulfill my director and the client’s requirements – See, videos are not easily made! I was enjoying the process although it takes a lot of patience.

The message of the video was to spread hope to the nation. It also inspired me to write a short piece of piano score named “Movement of Hope” for the background music, which gives the nostalgic feel to it. After the video is approved, I had to send the video to a local movie distribution company for conversion into Cinema playable format. During the process, communication is the key to achieving mutual understanding. I had to change my lifestyle where Facebook no longer be my first check when I wake up – emails are more important now! I was able to apply what I have learned in classes when getting in touch with the companies. The video was successfully converted all set for the screening!
30th August 2016: Cinema Ad Screening
It was the day where we harvest our effort. The cinema ad was played before the re-screening of “Ola Bola” and uploaded on GSC’s Facebook page as well. The moment when we saw our names on the big screen, all the sleepless nights became nothing. Tears swelled in my eyes – our hard work has paid off! Why? It was not just an ordinary cinema ad, it was in support a meaningful cause.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
Nelson Mandela

At times, we doubted our limits and how far we could go. Only you can believe in the power of believing, you could accomplish things that you never imagined. I believe this is the first time my name will appear on the big screen and hopefully much more to come in the future!
Catch the snippet of Ola Bola via GSC’s Facebook Page HERE: