Saturday, 14 June 2008


Here are some animal thoughts on a Saturday night.

I've used a lot of animals in my films. I like animals a lot, dogs the most (though I have rarely put them in my films, if ever), also fish. In my first "real" short film, Mina in Perfection (MVA Gold Award Winner!) my animal of choice was a goldfish. There is a scene in the film, towards the end, where the fish appears to be floating in the fishbowl- dead. But instead of killing the fish, my prop guy fashioned a "dead fish" out of black gaffer's tape (the goldfish was black). It totally fooled everyone, and the fish survived the shoot- I returned it to the pet shop afterwards.

I've used TWO of my cats, Snowy and Buffy, in several of my films. Snowy starred in Love for Dogs, my first short in Malaysia. Buffy was in a couple of film, if I'm not mistaken, including Cinta Tiga Segi (a tv movie). Snowy, however, is no longer with us. She disappeared one night (no she did not run away), and we suspect a pack of wild dogs attacked and killed her. Buffy is still chilling with us. I like Buffy. She's cool. I named her after the Sarah Michelle Gellar character of course, but Buffy doesn't kick butt. she's chilled and laid back. And she doesn't whine like other cats.

And then there's Popi, my rabbit. I was not a big rabbit fan until I got married to my first wife, Tomoko. She loves rabbits. She draws them in her diary. Anyway, long story short, we got a rabbit. We went to a pet store, the lady said, this is a female rabbit, and we took her home. We named her Popi cause Tomoko had a rabbit called Roppi back home. Anyway, Popi is really cool. She's kinda like a cat, except she poops every 3-4 minutes. Popi is also in Cinta Tiga Segi. Then when we mixed Popi with another female rabbit, we discovered Popi was a MALE rabbit. Now Popi resides with us in the apartment. He's as cool as a rabbit can get.

Other animals that have not been so lucky: My beloved flowerhorn fish, Butachan, seen in Cinta Tiga Segi, succumbed to some weird disease a few weeks after the shoot, and... died a horrible and painful death. The diseased wiped out my entire fish collection in my apartment!! DO not confused Butachan with the OTHER flowerhorn fish in THE ELEPHANT AND THE SEA, who is now 2.5 years old and still kicking it in my 4ft tank (in my parent's house).

Here is a picture of my dog OSCAR. I named him not for the Oscar statuette, but after a type of my favorite fish, the Oscar fish, which is tri colored and looks like Oscar if it were a dog. the Oscar fish originates from the Amazon, and they are one of the most responsive fish you'll ever see. You can teach them tricks! Anyway I'm not making sense. but Oscar THE DOG is the COOLEST dog in the world, and one day I will put him in my film. Oscar has got one helluva story to tell: One day last September, Oscar was kidnapped by some immigrants, and after a long and heartbreaking search, and posting a BIG reward for information on his whereabouts, we recovered Oscar via a ransom exchange. The whole drama played out like a real kidnapping scenario; I got a call, negotiated a price, was told to wait at a meeting point, then brought to a hillside location, and made the exchange. That's the short version. This all would've been very exciting, under normal circumstances, but it really wasn't. I was just so eager to get him back, I would've paid any amount. Anyway he was near death, dehydrated when we got him back, but he's back to normal now!