The Countdown

In The Countdown, I summarised the events that happened in one week into one day. So it is basically a compilation of miscellaneous clips I shot in one week. It is interesting to see the diversity of our culture in a short period of time. We don't have to look far for displays of cultural diversity because we actually live it.
Long story short, The Countdown is a semi-fictional account of what I saw 24 hours before Malaysia's Independence Day.

I just wish I whipped out my camera more often but scary lah, you know, the video camera being new and all..

Enjoy the video!


Today Malaysia turns 52. I can already hear fire crackers outside. I don't feel anything. I can't force myself to feel happy, because I'm not. I'm too selfish to think about the sentiments revolving today. Because I'm too preoccupied thinking about myself and what I do. I don't believe in nationalism. Nationalism breeds hatred and rivalry. Just look at ASEAN. Try and compare ASEAN with EURO. What a world of difference!
I'm frustrated with myself today. I feel alone today. Today I feel untalented, undignified and underrated. I'm frustrated with the direction I'm going. I am somehow going to where I'm supposed to go but it's all just too slow. I'm too slow. I'm nearing a quarter of a decade and I haven't achieve anything substantial. The world is spinning wildly. Clubbers are swallowing ectasy pills. Rural folks are chewing paan. I'm sitting here blogging about how unhappy I feel about myself today. Of all days. Today.
I'm still very much caged. I locked myself up. I looked outside and see the wonders of the world whizzing by and I can only watch. The key is in front of me but I won't budge. This is how I feel right now.
Go ahead, enjoy Merdeka Day. I will be right behind you right after I resolve this emotional dilemma.

Right To Dream

This is the first of 3 videos I made while I'm in Penang and Alor Setar. This video is a one minute video for Unicef for its Children's Right Convention. I really hope I get a shot of winning because if I do, the video will be previewed around the globe.

Imagine the number of people I can educate and enlighten about children's rights!

Make sure you watch the video and comment/critisize so I can further improve in making effective videos in the future.


Short Entry: Making Unicef's Campaign Ad

I interviewed 5 kids today.

It was fun.

I like kids.

Tomorrow I will be going to interview more kids.


Stay tune for the Unicef video I'm currently making. It'll be really cool. And fun.


I'm off to Penang to shoot a breast cancer short film and one third of "Vidai". Thanks to MushroomHoneyDew, I'll be also be making two campaign ads.
I was also summoned to attend Prem's wedding. Prem is the son of my childhood nanny Auntie Saras. Indian wedding cuisine, making film and lots of sun. I think my trip to Penang is more of a vacation than anything else!
It has been a long time since I last rode a bus so I decided to take the risk of getting killed on the highway (remember last year's massacre?) Nothing much changed. The RM9 surcharge is still charged to all tickets even though the petroleum price is back to normal last year. Bus operators make a cool RM9 off every passenger and no one complained. Well, I did. 5 times. Puduraya is still Wild Wild West. Crazy ulat trying to entice naive looking ah chais like me with catcalls.
But it'll take a human tragedy to get authorities off their comfy seats. I can imagine the headline already: "Ibu dan lapan anak tersadai di Puduraya kerana tidak mampu membeli tiket bas ke kampung" and there'll be a smaller header: "Kementerian Pengangkutan kesal operator bus tidak menghentikan surcaj bas"

Pantun Puasa

Sempena puasa esok, Afiq mengarang 10 rangkap pantun:

Elok-elok orang tengok iklan,
Tiba-tiba ada orang tua duduk manja,
Ingatkan Bapa Kepenatan,
Rupanya penyimpan mohor diraja.

Kamera zoom dekat muka dia,
Dengan konfiden Tan Sri bersuara,
Satu rumah senyap seketika,
Sebelum satu dunia huru hara.

Jangan sekali berputus asa,
Semangat berapi jangan dipadam,
Esok dah nak mula puasa,
Hari ini kenalah balas dendam.

Niat puasa kenalah sah,
Jangan ada puasa lepas yang tak bayar,
Selalu nak suruh mandi punyalah susah,
Tapi hari pertama macam amfibia.

Makan sahur pagi-pagi,
Sebelum imsak dah celik,
Petang-petang gosok gigi,
Kumur air tak ludah balik.

Hari kedua dah okay sikit,
Tengah hari masih segar,
Petang ada la sikit sakit,
Nak dekat maghrib terketar-ketar.

Bulan Ramadhan bulan mulia,
Amalan bersabar haruslah dipupuk,
Orang dewasa hendaklah mengajar belia,
Bukan bergaduh nak bubur lambuk.

Remaja lelaki memang gatal,
Batal puasa atas sebab lain,
Iman dan taqwa haruslah kental,
Takpun potong je streamyx line.

Pertengahan bulan puasa memang perit,
Tapi rukun ketiga harus diakur,
Budak perempuan paling hipokrit,
Bila kantoi je alasan universal: uzur.

Mr. Zoran tidak puas hati,
Sebab pantun tidak punyai ragam,
Penulis menjawab dengan suka hati,
Orang yang tak puasa takkan faham.

Orang ramai dipersilakan membalas mana-mana rangkap pantun yang dipaparkan.

Bulan Ramadhan Dah Dekat...

I watched the Shrimp Stix TV commercial recently and was immediately smitten by their promotional product. So we went to KFC and ordered 3 Shrimp Stix combo. It looked appetizing and had that "Sure Kenyang" factor.
This is what they show in their print ads of their new promotional Shrimp Stix. Notice how the Shrimp Stixs are bigger than the fried chickens. And look at the shrimp sticking out of one of the Stix.
But this is what you really get:

It was truly a WTF moment. KFC, berdosa tau tipu orang macam ni!

Bulan Ramadhan dah dekat...

The Murderous Intent

Do you ever wanted to kill someone? I do. All the time.

When a makcik is taking her time with the ATM, I grab an imaginary revolver and shoot her on the head. When I'm driving on the middle lane and suddenly a Mazda RX8 tailgate me and glare me with its high beam, I take an imaginary plunge, pull my brakes and take on Mr. Mazda to his last second of reckoning. When a kid is making noises in a restaurant where a plate of food costs a bomb, I take out my imaginary kunai and throw it right on his forehead.

But I only feel like killing when listening to Vivaldi. Antonio Vivaldi must have written his murderous tunes while watching over the genius of Mozart.

I'm using Vivaldi's to depict the hatred of a breadseller when he has to encounter 3 strange idiosyncratic Indonesian maids everyday for the rest of his life.

Thirst Trailer

If you can only see me squirming like a guy high on drugs after watching Thirst's trailer.

Writing Vidai

Vidai is the title of the short film I'm making for a Tamil channel on Astro. Vidai means seed.
It's about a seed given by a dying old man to his four children. Before blowing his last breath, he told his children that the seed will show four people the meaning of true happiness.
After his death, the eldest dug a hold and planted the seed thinking that it will grow into a fruit tree and produce fruits for him, his siblings and their families... but the seed had other plans.
The seed will show the true meaning of happiness to an angry breadseller, two lovers who have never met each other, a kid who never won a game of marble and a graduate who is desperate for a job.
I notice how all tamil movies made in Malaysia are long winded family dramas or violent confrontational flicks so I decided to go against the tide and make a funny and comical short film. The cast will be very Malaysian. There will be chinese, indian and malay playing crucial roles and speaking tamil.
This is by far the oddest short film I've ever intend to make not because it's in tamil but because it's a simple and happy short film. (I won't kill anyone!)
Any ideas to develop this short film is very much appreciated but I can't give away the plot. That you have to wait and see for yourself!

MTV WorldStage

WorldStage was fun but tiring. My ankles were crackling dry as I shifted my body load from foot to foot. But who am I to complain? I got to meet Hoobastank and All American Reject in person at conference rooms and got to see them perform live at the mosh pit. It wasn't that kind of mosh pit though. When it gets too jumpy, I can take a step back and take a breather.

The people in the mosh pit were mostly children of the rich and famous so they were not about to lose control. Even the really wacky ones have their perm to take care from the bustling crowd.
It was a lot of fun. I just thought they should've provided chairs for people with future athiritis like me.

Khutbah Jumaat Should:

Be more interesting. I know the khutbah is to remind the muslim community but it doesn't have to boring and daft. Who would take whatever the Khatib say seriously if it's so boring?
Be informative. Why always talk about heaven and hell, sins and deeds? Talk about ways to conserve energy, how to rejuvenate muslim communities, how to eat in an Islamic manner. You know, stuff that's useful to everyone.
Be constantly peppered with smiles. Why is it that the Khatib is alway angry or sad. Is it because Islam is an angry and sad religion?
Be interactive. I know it's not a forum but it is permissable to ask questions to the Khatib if something presented by the Khatib is vague.
Be entertaining a bit. A bit lah. No, the Khatib don't have to pose like Lady Gaga! (reference joke) but he can tell some jokes to make sure everyone's awake.
Be thought provoking. It should challenge the negativity revolving Islam in the community and not condone it. There are too many khutbahs that hightlights urbanites and their wretched ways. Be more localised, more specific, more insightful.
Prepare alternatives for local folks to practice Islam fully. Don't condemn. Give alternatives.
Stop using kids to collect donation. This is CHILD ABUSE. I repeat, CHILD ABUSE.
Not talk negatively about tomorrow's concert (MTV WorldStage)
(note: Guys the Gaga competition is still on until midnight tonight to send them in quickly.)

Afiqsays World Stage Challenge Winner: Yasmine Tran!

Congratulation Yasmine, you won yourself TWO GOLD MTV WORLDSTAGE ASIA TICKETS brought to you by Celcom's X-PAX!

Now you have to give me an sms or a call: 016 - 289 9681 so I can tell you when and where I'll give the tickets on Saturday.

Fair and Lovely

I think it's strange that a lot of skin product advertisments portray dark skinned women as ugly and unattractive. It is as if to imply that women can only be considered beautiful if they are fair. What a load of crap!
Not only are these advertisments politically incorrect, it can also be deemed as offensive by people with concentrated melanin content. In the United States, advertisments that implies this negative reference of black people are prohibited but not in Malaysia. In Malaysia, we still believe that white is good and pure, black is bad and evil.
This belief, that the skin tone is parallel to a woman's self worth is not only demeaning to dark skinned women but to women in general. I just think it's sad that people still buy into this state of mind.
We're living in the 21st century people! Barrack Obama, Condi Rice, Maya Angelou, Will Smith, Oprah. Get into the programme people! Black is the result of human evolution. Black is beautiful. Black is sexy. Black is full. Black is not the opposite of white. Black is the absence of white.

Ideas Anyone?

I'm currently thinking of a story for a Tamil short film competition. I know it's a tad weird for me to join a tamil competition but there's nothing in the rulebook that says that only Indians are allowed to enter.
I'm thinking of using non-indian characters who speaks tamil fluently.
Now I just need a good story! Think Afiq think...
I'm desperately in need of good ideas right now.
Ideas anyone?

Afiq's Light Bulb Moment

I wanted to be modest but Ibster told me I should post it up. I just think it's a bit ill-positioned.

But I'm grateful nonetheless.

Jerneh Short Film Competition

My 50 seconds ad on CFL was shorlisted so I was invited to attend Jerneh Short Film Competition Award giving ceremony. I seriously (seriously!) didn't anticipate to be shortlisted because unlike last year, I was to compete with broadcasting and multimedia students. I really (really!) thought that I was out of their league.

Do I have to tell you again about the various species of butteflies in my stomach because I feel that way all the time during award giving events. If I feel particularly happy and perky, I will dwell in my Kafka nest and make myself depress because it's never a good thing to feel confident during award ceremonies.

Long story short, I won lah. I got first prize and won myself a crystal trophy, RM 3000 and a video camera. Here are some pictures of me socializing with fellow contestants.

And the highlight of the day was lunch! The popiah was positively delectable.

Because there was a big ass trophy beside it!

Camera Rolling, On Cue!

Yesterday I went to learn a thing or two about how to shoot a drama. Wait, I'm being modest, I learned a tonne of things. I was at Pullman hotel observing, meddling and asking questions. Some of the crew were in a rush so I had to be careful with my tact and timing. It's a good thing that there were some practical students there. They were more than willing to anwer my queries and helped me an aweful lot.
I was only there to witness the process of filming three scenes which took five hours. There were three things that I focused on:

1. Camera work (panning, zooming)

2. Audio

3. Lighting

It was a Raya special so I wasn't expecting much (you know what I mean laah...) While the technicians worked on the set, actors and extras spent most of their time melangau (doing nothing) and smoking like chimneys. While they were put on make up, the only actress who bothered to do something with her free time with some reading was Cheryl Samad.

The best thing that I experienced is that I had the opportunity to watch the stereotype you guys like to make fun of about malay dramas.

No, it's not the desperate ex-Akademi Fantasia stars trying out their acting skill to compensate for their failures in the music industry. It's not about the cliche restaurant scenes either.
It's the infamous Fresh Orange!
I was tempted like hell to ask the director "What's up with malay dramas and orange juice?" but I refrained. Orang juice is close to their hearts like the thought of winning an Oscar is to mine.
As the scene goes, Dani was trying to mengorat Serena but it seems that Serena was out of his league. Being the desperate charmer that he is, he asked a waitress to bring her a drink (you know like orang putih buying martinis for the chicks they intend to bang)
Guess what did he order... (check out the waitress)
Another orange juice!

Addicted to Park Chan-Wook

It all started when I watched Sympathy of Mr. Vengeance last year. I was so mesmerised by how Park Chan-Wook depicted vengeance. It was artfully done with an abundance of irony. I googled him and realised that he has two more films in his trilogy of Vengeance!

I watched Oldboy early this year and instantly fell in love with Park's style. The most memorable scene in Oldboy is the fighting scene. It was all done in one shot and perfectly depicted resilience and perseverence to perform an atonement.

His third movie of the trilogy was not only brutal but playful and in a sick twisted way, funny.

Brutality in this movie is presented delicately with a wide range of emotions. The emotions depicted grew as the movie progresses. This is apparent when Park used simple colours at first but as the movie progresses, the colours becomes more dark and luscious. I also loved how Park defies the flow of time as if presenting a case with a clear conscience so viewers can have better understanding of the situations rather than to tag along to the emotional ride blindly.
If you're not accustomed to his style, think again. Park is the person behind I'm a Cyborg But That's Okay.
As of today, my idol is Park Chan Wook!

Why Don't We Learn Mandarin and Tamil?

I watched a recent Astro ad for its TV IQ channels and I was pleasantly surprised to see that they showed malay kids who can speak tamil and mandarin.
I think it's a good idea to learn Mandarin or Tamil or Both. If Malaysian indians and chinese refuse to be fully commited in plans for racial intergration, the malays should enforce it by learning their languages.
The way I see it, language is the most powerful and effective barrier of intergration. B. Melayu has been the bridge of communication of all Malaysians for as long as I can remember but native languages are still preferred in households, schools, offices, and the list goes on....
I think all Malaysians should know how to converse in varying degrees of fluency in bahasa, mandarin and tamil. If you think that's hard, bare in mind that most europeans are fluent in at least three languages.
I just think its unfair that chinese and indians has a linguistic advantage over the malays. We cannot force the chinese and indians to forget their native languages but we can force the malays to learn mandarin and tamil.
I think I've to learn to speak both tamil and mandarin!
Starting today!
I was with some friends in a restaurant. One of them told me about a Nescafe scriptwriting

Just Got Me Thinking

Cheryl told me about the reality of poverty in the Klang Valley area. She told me that there are kids who were schooled for three years but are still illiterate.

Which got me thinking... After Babu I want to make a fictional film about two illiterate boys who got into trouble with gang of teenagers. It's an action film.

And about Babu. I'm going to sell Babu online. It will only cost RM5 per DVD/CD. I think its a good idea. I want to start a quiet revolution, so Malaysians can enjoy short films done by fellow Malaysians without having to go pass Finas, BPF etc.