Although the country is going through Movement Control Order (MCO), it didn’t stop Astro Gempak from creating new content for its audience.
Gempak, in collaboration with Astro Shaw, has come up with a Raya short film titled ‘Gerakan Serunding’ with local actors Shaheizy Sam and Syatilla Melvin as leads.
The film was shot and produced remotely
The most interesting part about the film is that this is the first time shooting and production of a short film have been done virtually, without those involved meeting face to face.
Beginning from pre-production to shooting and post-production, it was all done from a distance.
The production house provided the actors with all the equipment to shoot. Although Shahiezy Sam and Syatilla Melvin shot the film at home, the director played a role in directing and monitoring the whole process to ensure that the story was translated well visually via video calls.
According to the film writer and director, Ezrie Gazali, all shooting activities had to be stopped due to MCO so the team took the initiative and came up with the new idea of asking the actors to also be the shooting crew.
“We sent props and shooting equipment such as cameras, lights and sound system to Sam and Tilla’s house to be used. All the direction and other processes were done through video calls by the director and director of photography.
“Luckily, both the actors are experienced, and this helped us to complete all the shots well and according to schedule,” he said.
Astro Shaw and Nusantara chief and vice president Raja Jastina Raja Arshad said that the short film ‘Gerakan Serunding’ was one of Gempak’s Hari Raya content.
“What’s interesting is that this also marks the changes in the local film industry during a crisis when we did the shooting separately.
“As we know, Malaysia will be celebrating Hari Raya during the COVID-19 pandemic. This movie is very apt as it will be a history in the lives of all Malaysians as we celebrate while social distancing and being discouraged from visiting family across state borders,” she said.
She added that ‘Gerakan Serunding’ reflects the current situation.
“We feel that at a time when we are fasting and celebrating Hari Raya while being separated from our loved ones, there is sweetness to being positive.
"For that, we chose the theme ‘love knows no boundaries’ to give a positive message during a tough time,” Jastina said.
‘Gerakan Serunding’ tells the story of a couple who is observing fasting during MCO, a situation made complicated by Siti’s (Syatilla Melavin) cravings for her mother’s Serunding. To make his wife happy, Ali (Shaheizy Sam) tries to replicate the dish but fails, making his wife sadder.
Ali got an idea outside of the ‘new normal’ in order to get the serunding that will make his wife happy. What is his idea, and will he succeed?
Find out the answer below: