Wednesday, May 23, 2007

TV Drama in Taiping

I was walking home last week, when I saw some activity in the Lake Gardens by our place. The road passing in front of our apartment was closed off by some RELA officers. There was a box truck parked by the side of the road, and a bunch of people milling about. Of course that meant that I had to go and see what was happening.

It was a film crew. In New York, there is nothing unusual about that. Taiping, despite its picturesque location, doesn't see much of the media, unless they are there to do a report on the zoo. I figured it would be cool to see how Malaysians do things.

It was the same as on any other set anywhere else in the world. They had put up a swing set as a background prop. There was a director, a couple of actors (although at first I couldn't tell who they were), the usual crew members, a photographer, and a few curious onlookers. The onlookers didn't seem too curious though. Most of the passersby barely even gave the proceedings a second glance, and the joggers barely broke stride.

The ones who bothered to stop and have a look were some Malays. There were a couple of families and a few people hanging around watching. The families must have been there for a while, as they had a picnic, and the kids were kicking a ball around and doing what kids normally do. Except during filming, when a production assistant made sure they kept still and were quiet.

(The white building visible behind the panel truck is in our apartment complex.)

The two actors were Malays, and they were filming a drama in Bahasa Melayu. When I showed some of my students the pictures, they identified them as Tony Youssof and Siti Shariza. They couldn't tell me much about them, other than Tony Youssof had done a commercial. They didn't know what they were filming, other than some kind of tv drama.

The kids don't get to go out from our campus without special permission from someone in charge. They were a bit disappointed that something like this was happening, and they couldn't get to see it.

It's probably better for the film crew that they weren't around. Otherwise, they would try to get into the middle of every scene, start acting, and want to be "discovered". How do I know this? Because I like to teach by example, and they get plenty of practice being hams in my classes!