How to look like a cool documentary filmmaker

I found a picture of myself in front of a line of riot police taken by my brother at the Sunway anti-toll hike protest in January 2007. I was filming for my ‘I May Be Malaysian, But I Carry A Big Stick’ documentary film (yeah… it’s been 2 years since I started working on the film).

This is a picture of one of my favourite documentary filmmakers, Sean Langan, who happens to be filming in front of a line of riot police too (in Argentina, I think). Somehow… he can pull off that ‘cool’ look way better than I can!

Here’s my video of the Sunway demonstration (I first posted it online on 8 January 2007). After the general elections last month, the guy who increased the toll rate is gone and some of the participants of the demonstration are now members of parliament! Wooo! This is the first time I’m working so long on a film and it’s pretty cool because you get to see things evolve and change.

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Want me to be your mentor?

Have you heard of APOSTROPHE? Its a yearly art project organised and sponsored by DiGi. Its been going on for two years now (the first focused on literature while the second was on photography). This year is the third installment and it will focus on filmmaking. I’ve been asked to be one of the mentors (the others are Azharr Rudin, Woo Ming Jin, Tan Chui Mui and Mussadique Suleiman). There was an article in The Star recently which you can read.

Recognising how my blog has such a massive cult following, the organisers kindly asked me if I could help promote the project. And being the humble superstar celebrity that I am, I obliged.

Basically, its a competition where all you need to do is to produce a film between 90sec and 160sec based on the theme ‘makan’. Winners will win prizes and a trip to some obscure country, I think. Just go visit the website at Apostrophegallery.com for more information. Once there, you’ll also get to see the works of the mentors which were done specifically for the project.

I cheated though… I cut out a short scene from my film ‘I’m Muslim Too!’ which I thought fit the ‘makan’ theme and could stand alone. The video above is of the original scene from my film. For the purpose of the Apostrophe project, I did make a slight adjustment (I’m not that much of a cheat!). So if you want to watch that version, check out the website, yeah?

(The 2008 General Election heat is still pretty intense. I have so much documented on video which would be great to release online right now, but I think I should hold on as the main purpose is to complete the feature length film, ‘I May Be Malaysian, But I Carry A Big Stick’, and not to have a newsflash blog. Woo!! Suspense wohh!!! Can’t wait for the film huh? Well… there’s still a little bit of shooting to do and then editing. So just hang on.)

Rock & Roll YB!

Jeff Ooi knows how to win the hearts and minds of his constituency. When other candidates spew out speeches, he rocks out with a guitar! This is during the DAP rally on the 6th of March 2008 which saw more than 60,000 people showing up. Pak Lah could only pull in 6,000.

I May Be Malaysian, But I Carry A Big Stick‘ is going to be a tough film to complete. I’ve been following Jeff around since January 2007 (check out my entries since the first day). Tons of footage to go through. And I still need to shoot more!

Quote of the year!

Barisan Nasional = Opposition

And the winner is…

The day started out fine and sunny. Unfortunately, I got up to a late start. The bed and air-con was just too comfortable! By the time I headed out it was late afternoon, and the heavy rain threatened to drown everyone.

You would think it would stop people from heading out to vote. Heck, even my camera started acting up and decided to go all foggy on me! But the people kept on coming in droves.

After the polls were closed, first stop was the Gerakan operations centre. Things looked grim. Every time a result was called in, it was a huge margin for the opposition. After a few hours, they just stopped counting.

Things were different in the DAP camp. Hugely different!

DAP won all the seats they contested. 19 state seats and 7 parliamentary seats. The new Penang state government consisting of DAP and PKR gave their first press conference to a horde of media representatives.

And what about Jeff Ooi? Salam sejahtera YB!

As for the rest of the country… PAS retains Kelantan and captures Kedah. DAP-PKR-PAS capture Perak. PKR settles down in Selangor. Big loss for Barisan National. Finally, some democracy!

(Videos to come very soon. And for more of the low-down, Oon has it here.)

Mob the YB!

Today (Friday) is the last day of campaigning and everyone will go to the polls tomorrow. Jeff Ooi had to make 2 final stops. The first was in Bagan where he campaigned for Lim Guan Eng. The second was in his own constituency of Jelutong.

The crowd was massive!

It’s too bad that the mainstream media won’t be reporting on it. But let me tell you, citizen journalism is at its peak. Isn’t it wonderful how accessibility is democratising the media?

Karpal Singh, the former Tiger of Jelutong (who is currently contesting for the Bukit Gelugor parliamentary seat), endorses Jeff, the new Tiger of Jelutong.

Jeff can really work the crowd even without a guitar.

The crowd went crazy over him just like how people would go crazy over Hollywood celebrities! They actually mobbed him. I have never seen anything like this in Malaysian politics. Not even with Anwar Ibrahim! This would all make for a good film, don’t you think?

All photos by me this time. It’s really tough juggling between my video camera and my still camera. Damn I’m good!

(Check out more pics and details at Oon’s)

In Penang with the Opposition

I’m in Penang. Reason… to follow Jeff Ooi as he campaigns and contests for the Jelutong parliamentary seat this general election (remember my long term film project ‘I May Be Malaysian, But I Carry A Big Stick‘?).

The big ceramah by the Opposition last night at Han Chiang High School saw more than 50,000 people showing up… apparently the biggest in history. The crowd was almost as wild as a crowd at a Foo Fighters concert (almost lah!)… thanks to Jeff’s Dave Grohl impersonation.

Pictures here are courtesy of Oon Yeoh. I’m traveling with him and you can view his pics and read his take on the evening here. I’ll have my still camera with me today so I hope to be updating more tonight. Videos will come later, of course.

Digital Democracy Forum

(UPDATED ON 11 OCT 2007)

Here’s the video of the small gathering at Blog House in Damansara Heights a day before the forum.


I hope none of you have forgotten my (extremely) long term film project ‘I May Be Malaysian, But I Carry A Big Stick‘. Well, in relation to this, All Blogs (National Alliance of Bloggers) organised a forum on Digital Democracy with David Sasaki of Global Voices Online as the main speaker. Other’s included Jeff Ooi, Rocky and Datuk A. Kadir Jasin. It was held on 3rd October 2007 at KLGCC, Kuala Lumpur. I was there to document the event on video. Check it out yo!

BUM 2007

So I attended the Bloggers United Malaysia Gathering 2007 (BUM2007) last Saturday. After such a long break from the ‘I May Be Malaysian, But I Carry A Big Stick’ film project (due to work that actually pays the bills and feeds the stomach!), this event was just what I needed to get the momentum going again. I also have to mention… the roast lamb was excellent! Thanks Howsy and gang for inviting me.

(Apologies for the less than satisfactory audio. My mic was acting up. Should have paid more attention. So much for wanting to be a pro!)

Back full steam!

I have not forgotten the ‘I May Be Malaysian, But I Carry A Big Stick’ film project. It’s just that my recent work schedule made it difficult for me to focus on it fully. Now that my ‘Impian Illyana’ shoot is over, I’m back full steam! So watch out for more updates.

It seems that the topic is getting quite a fair bit of attention. Al-Jazeera International’s 101 East focused on the Jeff Ooi and Rocky case in one of it’s episodes (first broadcast on Thursday, 3rd May, 10:30pm – ASTRO20). If you missed it, you can still catch it on these dates:

- May 4 (Friday) at 1.30 pm
- May 5 (Saturday) at 3.30 pm and 9.30 pm
- May 6 (Sunday) at 4.30 pm
- May 7 (Monday) at 10.30 am
- May 8 (Tuesday) at 11.00 am
- May 9 (Wednesday) at 9.30 am and 3.00 pm
- May 10 (Thursday) at 8.30 am

‘I May Be Malaysian, But I Carry A Big Stick’ 2

Yesterday was Rocky’s court hearing. Read more about it at Rocky’s Bru, Screenshots and Blogger’s United.

If you like the video, please feel free to embed it into your site or blog by getting the code here.

‘I May Be Malaysian, But I Carry A Big Stick’

I have started a new film project called ‘I May Be Malaysian, But I Carry A Big Stick’ (which is actually the title of a short film I did in 2003). It will be a documentary about New Media and it’s role in the democratisation of Malaysia. The main subject is blogger Jeff Ooi. I talked to Jeff about this project end of last year and he agreed. And now… his court case. Read more about the case here:

For those of you who are wondering about ‘The Look-East Project’, it’s coming along in editing. Will keep you guys posted.

Anti-Toll Demonstration

If you would like to read more about the toll issue or to see photos of the demonstration, you can do so at Jeff Ooi’s. Excuse me for now as I have to go and reload my Touch ‘n’ Go card.


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