Interview by Elise Shick
Hi Sherwynn, nice to see you again! You are one of the alumni from The 1st Next New Wave Young Filmmakers Workshop in 2015. Please share with us the reason why you joined the workshop and what did you bring back with you after the workshop?
Hello everyone! I'm Sherwynn. The reason I wanted to join the workshop is to enhance, improve and to explore more in the aspect of filmmaking. What I brought back was truly amazing, it was knowledge. Knowledgewasn’t the only thing, but family as well. Friends who had become family within the workshop and till now I’m still in contact with them, working with them as well.
So, what was the most remarkable says the most interesting moment you can recall from the workshop?
Hmmm, I remember applying editing as my discipline but was put in the sound design category. I was first shock as I didn’t have much knowledge in sound but luckily I met Warren Santiago, my sound mentor. He taught me what was important in the fundamentals of sound mixing and designing. How it can bring a new dimension towards the audience and viewers. It was indeed remarkable.
Have you encountered any challenges or hardships over in course of the workshop? Tell us how you resolved them.
For me, the main challenge I’ve encountered was actually time. Post-production in both visuals and audio is a time consuming process. I remember me and my editor didn’t have enough time to complete due to technical difficulties and creative processes. But we manage to resolve them but encouraging each other as a team. After all, filmmaking is a team game.
Wow, good to hear that you've gone through all this! You had your comrades working side by side with you during the workshop. You were also invited as one of the speakers during The 3rd NNW YFW. What do you think about the participants in your batch compared to this year’s participants?
For me, my batch was slightly more on the genre, commercial thinking in the filmmaking aspect and I think that this year’s batch was truly exceptional as I sat in and watch their entry films. They have many great mind thoughts as not just a filmmaker but a storyteller as well.
Do you think that the workshop help you to highlight your individual strength(s) in this field or does it help you more in learning how to give and take some of your strengths while working with other people?
It helps in both ways, it helps to highlight an individual strength and use it in communicating with other filmmakers or teammates. As communication is one of the core directions towards making an artistic product.
And you're selected as one of the filmmakers for the Panasonic #HACTION! Competition. Can you tell us your experience in participating in HACTION! Shot on LUMIX GH5. HACTION! short film competition?
The great thing about filmmaking is that is not like a 9am-5pm job. Every production tend to has its wonderful experience to not leave behind. For me, the experience that could highlight the most throughout the production , we were actually trying to finish the whole short film in such limited time. We only had 8 hours to shoot the entire short film. 45 minutes to hike up the jungle and 5 hours to shoot under the rain while another 45 minutes to hike back down.
Please share with us the process of making ‘Aku Masih Ingat’ for this competition.
We usually follow the process of filmmaking which includes Pre-Production, Production and Post- Production.
For Pre-Production, Story is very important. I was thinking of an idea , I jotted down my idea and make it intoa story. As I didn’t have much time to prep or think of a more structure story, I just thought why not give it a try. I type my script and met up with my college junior, Nazrin who becomes my production designer. I give him my ‘mood & tone’ and colour palate that I was going for and how I want it to look, what elements that could help the cinematographer-example- smoke, water, reflections.
Next, it is the communication with the cinematographer, Shaurin. To be well-verse with the Panasonic GH5, we discuss every shot and how we could finish the whole shoot in one day. We decided to shoot the whole thing in 4K and to frame it properly so that we can manipulate the frame size in post.
For the location recce, I wasn’t able to join for recce due to work, so I sent Nazrin, and Shaun(line producer) to look for suitable location. To find a location that has it’s story and art sense. I was overseeing everything through Whatsapp and decided to go on the location we filmed when I first saw it. There were 4 locations but due to budget and logistic issues we proceed to go with the location at Kemensah Height.
Coming up, we will have our rehearsal session. I met with every cast and crew a day before, we began to discussed on the characteristic and the acting process, due to the limitation of time. Me and my Cinematographer shot a ‘video-board’, its something like a storyboard only its much more better for the limitation of time. We emphasize on what we should do and what we should not.
During the prodution stage, we face various challenges during the shoot, we had nature issues which appears to be the main thread towards the shoot. Luckily for PANASONIC GH5, it was weather proof and we manage to shoot everything in time. There were some changes in story-telling during on set, we have to think creatively on the post-production process due to unforeseen circumstances. But nevertheless, do not be worried to compromise a little bit of the creative process.
Finally, for the Post-Production, the process was quite a rush, I only had 1 week to complete everything from offline, giving my VFX guy to add effects and adding sound effect, giving the sound composer to make his music to enhance it and handing it to a sound mixer to finalize its overall online process. The story change a bit , but we still manage to keep the premise intact.
It is a big challenge for every filmmaker who has already got used to shoot with their own cameras. How much time it took you to get used to the camera Lumix GH5 and to learn about its functions?
To me it is a big challenge as every single moment technology is improving. We can even shoot a film with a phone at the era. It took me at least 1 day to get use to the LUMIX GH5 and to learn it’s functions as I was quite excited holding it.
Is there any particular thing that you would like to pinpoint while using Lumix GH5? How did the camera help you in achieving the effects and voice you wanted to portray in your film ‘Aku Masih Ingat’?
The camera helps me in achieving the style I wanted which is to tell stories visualize in emphasizing a selected moments. Cause of it’s internal 5-axis stabilizer and it’s 4K 50-60p function, I manage to get the effect I wanted and how I wanted to portray it’s visuals in my short film.
Thank you Sherwynn for your sharing your experiences. Wish you all the best in your filmmaking journey!