A group of entertainment industry veterans share their knowledge in a new training programme.
Aspiring filmmakers who want to gain knowledge on filmmaking without having to give up their day jobs may now be able to do just that.
Casanova Communications – with endorsement from Finas, Screenwriters Guild of Malaysia and Malaysian Film Club – is launching a new programme called Practice Makes Movies Practical Training, to be held at Help University from May 17 to July 27 (weekend nights).
What is perhaps most different about this 14-week programme is that the teachers are not your typical educators – they are folks who have clocked many hours working behind camera on local films and TV series.
The course is broken down to six modules – scriptwriting, acting, directing, cinematography, sound and editing.
Filmmaker Prem Anand Rethinasamy – who has 25 years of experience in the industry – is one such trainer. A director who learned the ropes from the bottom up – “I started on the technical side of filmmaking and observed other directors before taking on the roles of assistant director and director” – Anand believes he and his peers will be able to equip the students to become filmmakers.
The 52-year-old guy is no stranger to teaching the younger generation as he has mentored interns on the sets of shows he worked on.
“Usually, they have a lot of questions, but they also have to learn on the go as the shoot is going on. What I tell them is to watch the monitor and when I am able, I will explain things to them, so it’s not restricted to one particular schedule,” said Anand who has worked on films such as Momok and Momok 2.
According to Anand, one of the most important elements to becoming a filmmaker is to have a group of friends who are able to tackle different aspects of making a film.
“At the end of the training, we would've taught the students about the filmmaking process, and they would have a group of friends with a similar passion that they can work together with in future projects.”
He added that he still makes himself available to friends who would call him out of the blue to help them shoot something. “The new generation have technology and avenues open to them, things we didn’t have. So, to have like-minded friends who don’t mind spending time to make a film is very important.”
There is also matter of budget and local censorship issues that come into play when making a movie. “I can teach them to crash a car into a tree without making a mark on the car. There are ways to show violence without making it too obvious. These are all things that we can impart to the students,” Anand added.
Other trainers include actor Razif Hashim, scriptwriter Ismail Ahmad, producer Joyce Lee, film editor Isazaly Isa and composer Peter Wong. There is also a special guest from Hollywood – Brian L. Tan, an independent filmmaker who has worked as a VFX production coordinator on studio features such as Tron Legacy and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
Cassandra Shan of Casanova Communications, who came up with idea of Practice Makes Movies Practical Training, said that the firm is still in the midst of sorting out the 30 candidates who’d be included in the training.
She said: “We are looking for individuals who are passionate about filmmaking, who aren’t afraid to voice their opinions and have visions. Once we have identified them, we will have a chat with each one and find out their goals before deciding on the final 30.”
> For more information on the course, log on to www.PracticeMakesMovies.com.