A group of Liger students and I spend three weeks of our summer break, 14th of July until 4th of August, to work attend an opportunity at Battambang. We collaborate mainly with the crews from Human Resources and students from Phare Ponleu Selpak. Our goal is to successfully produce a feature film: a full one-to-six-hour movie or a documentary. While working at Battambang, each person in the team had a different role: interviewer, musician, an audio person, cameraman, director, etc., depending on what each person suit in best. A group of Liger students had worked with them before to create a music video in the previous project. It turns out so well that they’re back again to work with our group on another huge project as mentioned. Though, we still need to decide on what we’ll be doing in the upcoming September.
Instead of getting straight into work, we took classes with some staffs from Human resources on techniques in creating films. There were also some students from Phare Ponleu Selpak joining us as well. In class, we sometimes spend hours and hours analyzing pictures and films. And sometimes, we also have various, fun activities like doing a re-creation of La Strada, taking pictures of the unimportant, taking pictures of different hand motions, etc. I personally really enjoy doing the re-creation of La Strada, one of the films we had discussed in class, and this activity requires a strong collaboration and communication skills. Basically, we try to film another version of that one-minute scene and try to match the film perfectly in every second of the shot. I find it pretty difficult to get it right because one of our shot is a really long scene, if we mess up with a part, we need to redo it all over again. We were also having some problems with the phone camera as well because it started too low battery and we can’t just get it right which is really frustrating. At the end of the day, we completed the task and the film we took actually turn out to be really good.
After spending some weeks learning in class, we decided to get started with working on filming the Phare Ponleu Selpak (PPS) students. My role was to interview this time I like it because I’m not as skilled with the camera and those other jobs. I asked questions in various interviews with different people and it was really cool to hear very unique stories from a lot of people I met during this role I got.
During one of the project at Battambang, I was chosen to be the director of an interview with two dancers from PPS. It was really difficult for me to do my role that well at first because I’ve never been a director before. Being a director is as hard as learning to ride on two horses at a time. I really want to make sure each shot will turn out well: background should be perfect, the audio should be perfect, camera angle should be perfect, the light should be perfect, and the interviewees know what they’re doing. In general, it was just a really difficult role, but with support from friends and the crews, I was able to complete the tasks and move onto another project which was also directing, but this time, taking really cool shots with the circus performers.
That project was one of the biggest projects we did in that three weeks. Before the shooting start, I and my other four mates had discussed together and agreed on three shots we think are the best. We need to make sure all of the circus performers understand each shot clearly and that our cameraman also understands what we want each shot to look like. It was a really long. We re-shoot each shot at least twice because we want it to turn out as perfect as possible. And with good performers like PPS circus group and one of the Cameraman from Human Resources, everything turns out to really good that everyone on the team was really proud of.
We end the three-weeks project by hosting an exhibition, showing all of the products from what we had done in that whole busy weeks. There were printed photos of animals, hand motions, and beautiful art pieces by PPS students. There were also performances like singing and small circus shows that mostly prepared by the musician team as well. It was very fun and we glad a lot of people had joined us that day.
It was really worth spending my three weeks working day and night at Battambang because it really helps me discover that I do have potentials in filming. I always afraid to work in this kind of project because I’ve never been filming before. But getting to join this project make me realize that I actually really enjoy filming and directing films. We don’t have to have only passions; you can love many things at a time. I strongly believe that everyone has the potential to do anything they wanted to. You gotta believe in yourself and bring yourself to do it or else you will never the ability you have.
[A lot of pictures and videos won’t be able to be shown in this post yet due to the fact that this project is for someone’s business.]