Monday, 9 June 2008



After a long weekend, where I drove to Ipoh and back (for a wedding), and did not check my email or the internet for more than 24 hours (a record!), here I am in front of my laptop again. To be honest, I am not so "tech savvy", and have relied on the charity of others to help me get anything computer related going (Edmund designed and started this blog, and posted the videos- if it were left to me, this site would still not be up!).

In short, I'm an old school guy who missed the whole computer game/ps2/xbox wave, who dislike cell phones, and prefer to kick back by the beach or go fishing and hang with my dog Oscar than... well, just about anything else. Once I went on a diving trip to perhentian island, and did not use my phone for 6 days. I was in a state of constant bliss. When I travel to festivals I will turn my cell phone off, and voila, I'm free. Now, when my phone rings, I get a slight anxiety attack; who is calling me and what is wrong?

But technology has its uses, like right now, where I can write this and post it up and possibly have more than 2 people read it. That could mean two new friends, or two more tickets! haha... Seriously, Greenlight's intention of releasing the film is merely to let it be seen. We'll be offering ticket prices at cost (or close to it) to students and aspiring filmmakers. We are under no illusion that this release will in any way provide us with positive cash flow (that's a nice way of saying we won't make any money.) This release will make us rich... but only in "heart".

But I'm not complaining. I could be worse off. I could be working an office job. I've been more than fortunate. As I've said, this is a dream come true (though there are other dreams).

Anyway I digress. In this posting, I would like to introduce to you one of my actors in the film:

NG MENG HUI. She plays the leading female role, SU LING, in THE ELEPHANT AND THE SEA, the possible love interest to Yun Ding, BERG LEE'S character in the film.

I found Meng Hui in Tan Chui Mui's film, Love Conquers All, where she had a small role. Her expression and large eyes reminded me of... Vicky Zhou, of Shaolin Soccer fame. Those eyes: they were large and deep and you could dive into them. I didn't know if she had much acting experience, but I thought she was suitable to play a teenage girl in a small town. She had that rawness that I found essential to the role. So we cast her, and I saw no one else.

I generally don't audition very much. I prefer to go on people's recommendation or scout actors on my own. And for Meng Hui's role, we rehearsed only a few times, with berg. Just to get the chemistry right. I read a posting on some yahoo group about this production that "trained the actors specially for the screen, as opposed to the theater", and had "training of an international standard", like that actually means anything... It cracks me up sometimes when I read about how one's "special acting training" is going to make the performance of an actor "superior". Truthfully, 80-90% of it is in the casting. Any good director will tell you that. And you don't need "superior" performances. In fact you don't want the performances to be "superior". You want it to be sublime, and if possible, not a performance at all. And if you cast the right people, your job is done. They do the work for you. This is a very hard lesson to learn, even for me. The urge to cast the wrong person, or the prettier person, is very strong. Sometimes too strong.

Anyway, I like Meng Hui in the film. In a Seoul festival last year, a famous Iranian director saw the film and wanted to cast her in his next film. I was very proud. (For the record, I do not know if anything happened, after I gave him her contact information and an introductory email.)

So I hope you'll like her too. She does a lot of TV work now, and I hope I will have the chance to work with her again.

Btw I have to say these are not great stills of her. You should come watch the movie, to see her real potential. Ok, I'll be posting more stuff later!