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Potential Culture Issues

Breaking the boundaries

Having to live overseas, I have adapted new culture and habbit, which COULD cause a problem and culture clash. In Memetik Bintang I would like to show some of those problems without being offensive to the people who holds the belief and culture.

Dreaming of Janet scene

What may become issues:

  • exposing too much skin
  • she is caucassian
  • male fantasy (sex object)

How to treat it:

  • Janet is not treated as an object, but as an inspiration

Chasing Janet Scene

What may become issues:

  • returning of apartment key: both living under the same roof

How to treat it:

  • they are not neccessarily living under the same roof
  • both have strong trust on each other
  • shows commitment
  • it’s economical (save a lot of money when sharing living space)

Positive moral value:

Above all, David becomes a better person because of Janet

Video Editing


Edit 01

This scene required one of the character to be masked out in order to dissapear from the scene (note: the image on the top wasn’t the actual technique I used, I have used a different method of masking and stick with that one instead because it look a lot smoother – but I haven’t had the chance to capture the time line to be put here, so instead I put this image here… well.. it’s similar enough.. you get the idea).Dreaming of Janet scene was done with a static camera placed behind David. We recorded about half a minute of David with Janet on site, and another half a minute with only David alone.

Placing the door

The arguement scene was taken at a double door (see light path/diagram for the actual setup). And on Final Cut Pro I masked the two half of the screen and give them a different touch of colour. The original door was quite wobbly, especially when David was banging on the door, therefore I took a portion of the door, and edit it in Photoshop and brought it back to Final Cut Pro to be put on top of the footage (see image).

General Editing (Colour Correction)

Editing 3

Because of the weather, the 1st and 2nd shoot turned up with different colour. Although we tried to manipulate the light on site, it still didn’t come up with a look even close to the original, so most of the colourbrating needed to be done on the editing.

Audio EditingThe Narration

Although some says that someone who put narration on top of a movie is someone who cannot direct, I am willing to argue that it is not true. Narrating is one of the most traditional way of telling a story, and to be able to deliver a good narration, it still needs the ability to direct. The narration in “Memetik Bintang” posed as David’s thoughts. David’s mother tounge is not English, and therefore I want him to think in Indonesian, but I also want audience to hear what he thinks. What is the narration for?

  • Deliver David’s thougths

What the narration is about:

  • brain storming of what he was going to say to Janet
  • a practice of how he was going to say it
  • treassuring the past, regreting what David has done, and promise to the future

Language: Indonesian (English subtitled)

The ambience & soundtrack

Thank you to my good friend for letting me use his music on this project.

Soundtrack by Alexandro E Susilo, title: HaruskahAmbience was taken on site, and also from the

University soundtrack library.

The Subtitle

  • literal translation from the Indonesian spoken narration
  • may not make sense or weird
  • to give audience a clue of how it is said in Indonesian
  • some may not be an exact translation, words with the closest meaning were used

Production Diary #4

7 October 2005

ReshootThis session was to reshoot the footage in the tea garden. In the last shooting I had David sitting by the window with a shadow going across his face.

In this shoot, there’s weather change, but we managed to get footage that shows more of David and eliminate some unwanted shadow.

reshoot 1 reshoot 2

Production Diary #3

24 September 2005

-Massey Design building (tea garden)
-Massey Design building (museum side entrance)Continuing last shoot from tea garden for any missing parts that haven’t been shot. Adding another character (Janet) in a ‘dreamy’ reality with added lighting(s).Janet HaloDay dream in a cafe:
We used 800 watt light behind Janet to give a ‘halo’ as a peacefull and happy presence, dressed in a more pretty/revealing clothing to show that she’s dressed up to be on a date with David, the vision of Janet in this scene is to show how David extracts her from his memories, that she is someone David seek comfort to and she’s perfect… for him. We also used a 300 watt light in front of Janet (by the camera) to give a glow in Janet’s eye. The whole scene is to emphasize Janet as someone David dreams to be with at that moment.Argument LiftArguement scene:
We took many tries to get this scene done. The idea is to have a long shot from level C (by the cafe) down to level A. Camera was moved using a steady cam following one of the characters.Janet and David goes down in a different path. After a brief arguement by the elevator, Janet takes the elevator and David chases her by running down the stairs. Therefore we did two different version (the idea of one long shot might have to be adjusted by cutting in between – just to keep my options open).The first one was the camera follows David running down the stairs and finally meeting with Janet. The camera circles around David and Janet while they have another arguement downstairs, and as soon as Janet walked out after giving back David’s keys, camera follows behind the two characters towards the exit, and cut when Janet slams the door.DaVid pov lift

The second version was similar, only that this time the camera stays in the elevator with Janet, and starts to move when Janet gets out of the elevator, and the rest of the scene is the same as the first version.

Door to door:
In this shot, we used a double door with one door opened for camera placement.

The closed door in this scene act as a symbol of David’s pride. David will not under any circumstances opened the door as it means that he’s throwing his pride away for doing so. He believed that Janet as the girl is the one who’s supposed to come back to him instead of him going back to her. We did 3 version of this scene and the camera stays put no matter what happens between the characters:

1st version:
David is all angry at Janet, banging on the door and blaming everything on Janet and encouraging her to leave if she’s not happy with what she just saw.

2nd version:
David is asking Janet nicely to come back and talk about what just happened. But he has no will to opened the door and come out.

3rd version:
Is a silent statemenet, where both of them wanted to speak but no one will before the other starts talking.

In this scene we used a 800 watt light placed behind the automatic door (by the lecture theatre) to light David, and we used reflection from natural light for Janet. The aim is to give two different atmosphere between David and Janet. The warm lighting is to give out David’s position as the pride/angry character. And the cold/calm lighting is to give out Janet’s position as the one who walks out on David.

Production Diary #2

11 Sept 2005

Cafe location: Tea Garden
Camera used: PD170
Props: 5 tables, flowers, coffee cup, envelope, photo, pen
Starting time (sun coming in the window): 2.15pm


The initial location for this shoot was meant to be at the actual Cafe on Level C, but as you can see from the picture (left), there wasn’t a lot of room to move and not enough natural light. So we moved to the Tea Garden and set up our own cafe.

Shooting was a bit hard that day because of the lack of extras that turned up, but managed to it by helps from other students who happened to be there.

I like the establishing shot that we did although that was an alteration to suit the location. But the Tea Garden provided a better sunlight and also space to work in.

452 TG2 452 TG1

Need 1 or 2 more angle on David when he leaves the table. We couldn’t get it done because the sun started to shift on the other side.Need reshoot on a few things because of shadow position and need more light bounce on the shadows.

Flowers Flowers on table

Production Diary #1

28 Aug 2005

1st Location

Shoot 452 Civic Sq

Location: Civic Square
Camera used: PDX10 – I won’t use this camera for next shoots
Other equipments: dolly track, tripod
Props: ice cream

The sun was in and out this day and it was pretty hard since the ice cream was beginning to melt. Might need a reshoot to make it smoother and to put more variety in the acting.

2nd Location

Location: Humphrey’s house in
Camera used: PDX10
Other equipments: lights (2x), tripod
Props: dining table, coffee cup, cat, flower, book, photo

I think this one goes well and don’t need anymore reshooting.

The Planning

Planning includes all equipment needed for the shoot, camera/lighting path, finding actor/actress, finding the location and of course, the most important part was to find the crew. I was lucky enough to be working with Sam Sheppard who answered to my advert I put on many walls of Design Schools and Film Schools… he’s a great cameraman, and I learnt a lot from him (I think this movie would’ve taken 3 times longer if I do the camera works myself). Thanks Sam :)

After looking at a few locations, I finally settled with MasseyUniversity DesignSchool – museum building as the main site. Not only it’s easy to get into, but they’re quiet in the weekends, so it made it much easier to have a video shoot there. There are a couple of other scenes shot else where, but they weren’t that much of a problem since we didn’t have to stay there as long as we had to for the main scenes.

Lighting path/Camera path diagram

Here’s the diagrams (only some of them) of how the light and props was setup for the shoot, including the camera path. Lots of them are Sam’s idea… which worked well with the concept I have in mind… but since I’m lacking in the technical part, Sam was a great deal of help.

Lightpath 01



Lightpath 04

Beatscript – final version

Here’s the tweaked and hopefully final version of the beatscript… so now I can start planning the shots and setups… hehe…

Beatscriptfin 01 Beatscriptfin 02 Beatscriptfin 03 Beatscript 04 Beatscript 05 Beatscriptfin 06 Beatscriptfin 07

Beatscript – initial version

Here’s my initial proposition of how the frames or shots would be like and also the initial script. It’s rather short for now, but it’ll get me off to a start.

Beatscript 01

Beatscript 02

Beatscript 03

Beatscript 04

Beatscript 05

Beatscript 06