Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Quick Tips: My Personal Experience As A First Time Actor

Rice Wine

Rolling... ready.. and.. action! Cut! One more! Safety shot! Sorry one more. Lights on, lights off! Smoke! Jump! Good take! 

This is a story of Rice Wine, directed by my dear friend VMin for submission of an international film contest.

Group photo with the crews.

The heavyweight scene was more challenging than I could have ever imagined. 

Both Xavier and Mynn were experienced actor and actress, relaxing and playing with their phones I thought they could not be more bothered with the wildest act in my life. It's different, I was hungry for more, I watched their every move so I could learn. 

I admitted I was bothered and nervous about the crying scene and expecting everyone to look awkwardly at me and it turned out to be unexpectedly smooth. It was just me and the camera, everyone else seemingly not concentrating on my screams. 

Pamela, Kua and Pei Tyng were as ready as ever after a few earlier NGs I was all prepared for my blockbuster act. 

Mom asked me that night what were going through my mind, many asked too, I wouldn't tell I was imagining the worst scene of my life losing my loved ones.

"Once it started you can't stop right?", Mynn spoke to me after that. Tears won't stop I was still catching my breath.

Mynn Lee and her charming smiley face, behind her, Xavier.

Imagining the worst, while paying careful attention to commands from god knows who it went like, "Some more, some more, scream, yell and utter something, more, more, don't stop", all translated and registered as keep going Andrew, don't stop here just keep going. Every "some more" I sunk myself deeper, and deeper into my darkest zone. 

I kept going, I fell inevitably towards my back, screaming out of my lung and crying breathlessly I felt I wasn't acting anymore, I was just sinking and choking in tears in my own little world, darkness closing down on me, I was shutting myself down and giving every bit I had nothing left in me when I heard the word "Cut, good take!".

Crying like a baby needing for my mom, flashes of images of faces of my dad. I was devastated, the world was spinning crazily, I sat down emotionlessly with tears and getting ready for the next repeat take.

Then the second take, had words with Ching Li after that day, she told me the two shots easily took an hour. It wasn't hard to imagine, but I lost time there. I literally had no idea about how long it had passed. 

VMin, Eva and Ah Weng the videographer came up to me with encouraging words about how well I did. I gave no response, I thought they understood, I was trying to recover soonest possible. 

Eva was very encouraging too, she helped VMin to every bit. She was always behind the director screen giving her inputs quietly to her husband, carefully and not to sound too authoritatively reminding the focusing husband cum director about small little things he might have missed. 

His eyes never moved away from the screen, he might not be approvingly about every word that came out from her wife's mouth but he always received it full heartedly. It's the sweetest thing to see. 

I felt safer and regained myself slowly as I saw Pamela walking to me. She gave me a comfort recognizing hug, I forgot what happened next, I smiled and said, "Nothing else can stop me now, I felt I'm stronger.". For a person who doesn't cry, he's weak.

Pamela, my "Kai Ma" and I.
Getting used to my thick eye brows?
I like it with my glasses on. What do you think?

Xavier was really the drama king, he was such an entertainer in his blood, Mynn was a stable and steady lady, unpredictable sometimes too I must say, haha. Both were superb I learnt a lot from them. Ching Li, who came with the sister Mynn on the first day of shooting, was pretty cute. We became friend after that. 

The wait was always long for the setup, lighting was an art, directions were always clear on what to expect not just to the actors but between the crews too. Communication was utmost important, the director was constantly talking to the videographer and the actors to be sure he was getting what he wanted.

When you are bored and have done everything elses, camwhoring is something fun and keeping us awake.

The rest were now becoming part of my history, it's the greatest experience I ever had. 

It's almost 2am, second day at second scene for night shoot, Xavier started again, dancing in every random directions. At the end, just when I started getting used to my make up it's all over now. I liked my make up :)

It's different to look through the screen than to watch Xavier act from a side.

To Ah Weng, my name was Gou Lou (tall guy), Xavier was Ah X, and Mynn was Leng Lui (pretty girl), it's really fun to involve in acting. 

We left around 5.30am in the morning, crews stayed to pack up, then, it's showering and zZ.

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