Sunday, May 16, 2010

Interview With Indonesian Minister of Finance

Interview with Sri Mulyani, the Indonesian Minister of Finance, was done using Lowel lighting. The lighting available in the guest room of Sri Mulyani's official residence was very bright so it definitely helped to even out the lighting on the subject. We set up the interview with a single chair in the middle of the room, close to the Indonesian flag situated at one of the wall. The concept was to get a full shot of her body language in the hope that this will give more valuable information to the viewers regarding her opinion and answers on certain issues.

Since the announcement of her departure from the cabinet to become the Managing Director of The World Bank on 5th of May 2010, Sri Mulyani had been very quiet to the press. She had refused to elaborate or even to answer questions from the Press on several occasions. She finally agreed to meet with the Press on the 13th of May 2010 on the day she held a farewell party with them.

Eye Witness Style for Contemplative Effect

Rioting in North Jakarta, 14th of April 2010. It started out as a protest against the bulldozing of the area in front of the Mbah Priuk memorial site considered to be sacred by the local people. The people were up in arms after hearing a boy was beaten by the Public Order Officers and taken to a hospital near the site. This footage was taken the night after the riot.

I made the report with an eye witness style to it. The aim was to make it more contemplative instead of just reporting as it was. So, I tried to depict as much chaos and disorder to show the viewers how far a misunderstanding can go when public officers work without caution or sensitivity to the public.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Dalang Cilik - The Little Puppet Masters (part 3)

The final segment of this story was meant to be the climax to the tension build-up from the previous segments. The segment starts with the moment before the announcement of the winners. The jurors were at a critical point at this stage. They found it hard to decide who would be the best. However, Bayu were completely oblivious to all this. He didn't seem to care. He had told his mother that he would like to be apart of the drawing competition, so he did. Danan on the other hand was nowhere to be seen. He only showed close to the announcement of the winners. In the end, it was Bayu who won.

We did this segment by givingthe viewers an insight to the juror's head. We interviewed one of the juror 2 weeks after the festival so that it would allow the subject of our interview to distance himself from the actual event. Sure enough, it was the right decision because there were tensions between the jurors and the festival committee right before the announcement. I believe if we had interviewed the juror too close to the event, we wouldn't be able to get the soundbytes we wanted.

Dalang Cilik - The Little Puppet Masters (part 2)

On the second segment, we introduce another hero in our story. His name is Bayu. He came all the way from North Sumatera. He is the son of a Dalang or puppet master. his family was originally from Java but they migrated to North Sumatera even before he was born. We showcased his performance and showed how far did he amaze the jurors with the help of both his parents. His father played Gamelan dan his mother sang during his perfomance.

We picked Bayu dan Danan as our main characters due to their opposing conditions. Danan has all the resources he needed to become a puppeteer and Bayu is the total opposite. Bayu's ability comes from a much higher purpose than Danan, which is survival. We put these two in contrast to each other so we would be able to put the issue of cultural conservation on the table - especially government's efforts and other organisations involved.

Dalang Cilik - The Little Puppet Masters (part 1)

We started this story of the Little Puppet Masters with the story of Danan. He is the ultimate city boy. He was born and raised in Jakarta. However, he never liked playing computer games or other game consoles. He would rather play Wayang - the Javanese traditional puppet.

In the upcoming Wayang Festival, Danan will come face to face with other young puppeteers. We intentionally covered this story with the festival as the background because we want the main characters to be on a forward momentum due to forces outside of their control. The festival provides a forward momentum as well as a climax to the story. So it would be a perfect setup for this story.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Pasola - The Fight for Reconcilliation

It was tough doing this documentary. We were late in reserving plane tickets to go to Sumba. We didn't get tickets to go to Tambolaka in West Sumba, so we bought tickets to Waingapu in East Sumba instead. This meant that we had to go from East Sumba to West Sumba as soon as we landed. Another problem was that the guide we hired was a native East Sumba which meant that she had no idea to get to where we needed to go to in West Sumba.

The day we arrived in Waingapu, our guide picked us up in the airport with a rented car. First stop was to buy food supplies and then off to see a relative of our guide who had a friend from West Sumba. We met with the friend and asked him to allow us to stay at his parents house in Kodi, the place where they were going to hold the final Pasola. If we missed this than that would mean no footage to be taken home and the production would be a major failure. Thankfully he agreed and we were off to Kodi that same night. We arrived there around eleven o'clock at night. I went straight to bed, but Konde - the videographer - stayed up late.

The next day, everything went as planned. There was a riot at the end of the Pasola but nothing horrible happened except a couple of bruises and the usual blood gush from the head. We got everything we needed by the third day, so we went to Waikabubak to interview a pastor who was well known to be a cultural conservationist. The idea was to give an objective view regarding the Pasola. By the fifth day we went straight home.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

TNI-ku Kini (bagian 3)

The TNI, Indonesian Military Force, has been under scrutiny since the '98 reformation. Change has not been easy. However, they claimed to be fully committed to the reformation agenda. I wrote, produced and narrated this piece for Kompas.com.

TNI-ku Kini (bagian 2)

The TNI, Indonesian Military Force, has been under scrutiny since the '98 reformation. Change has not been easy. However, they claimed to be fully committed to the reformation agenda. I wrote, produced and narrated this piece for Kompas.com.

TNI-ku Kini (bagian 1)

The TNI, Indonesian Military Force, has been under scrutiny since the '98 reformation. Change has not been easy. However, they claimed to be fully committed to the reformation agenda. I wrote, produced and narrated this piece for Kompas.com.

Geliat Nurani Mantan Pejihad (bagian 3)

This is a piece that I did for Kompas.com. It tells the story of 3 generations of ex-muslim radicals.

Geliat Nurani Mantan Pejihad (bagian 2)

This is a piece that I did for Kompas.com. It tells the story of 3 generations of ex-muslim radicals.

Geliat Nurani Mantan Pejihad (bagian 1)

This is a piece that I did for Kompas.com. It tells the story of 3 generations of ex-muslim radicals.

Monday, January 4, 2010

In Memoriam: Abdurrahman Wahid


In 2006, Hollywood churned another comedy by Barry Levinson. Why do I mentioned one of his film at all? Because this is another good example of life imitating art and vice versa...well, at least in the context of the late Abdurrahman Wahid. The title of the movie was 'Man of The Year'. The star was Robin Williams, playing a comedian who mistakenly became the United States President.

I will not bore you with the Hollywood formulated scenario of that movie. But I will tell you a little more about Abdurrahman Wahid. Was he a comedian? The answer is yes. Was he an ex President? Yes! Was he considered to be one of the most, if not the most influential Muslim cleric in Indonesia? Yes! Did he go through a similar predicament as Tom Dobbs, the character that was played by Robin Williams in that movie? If that question is reffering to the short period of time that Dobbs played the role as the President of the United States...well, Gus Dur only manages to stay seated on the President's chair less than half of the five year period. However, Dobbs was not a genius, whereas many people consider Gus Dur to be a great humanitarian and a brilliant thinker.

The image of Abdurrahman Wahid wearing a short pants and a shirt greeting the crowd still is a controversial image. His frank remarks about many issues in Indonesia had bewildered and shocked many people. His unpredictable political decisions had often confused his folowers. There is no grey area with Gus Dur...only total opposites. People who love him and people who don't. He may be a natural comedian, but what he speaks of is no laughing matter. He may be the leader of Nadhatul Ulama, but he is also considered to be the most outspoken pluralist in Indonesia. Believe it or not, he even has 2 birth dates. He was born 4th of Sya'ban, the eigth month in the Islamic calender, 1940. Which means he was born 7th of September 1940. However, he chose to celebrate his birthday on the 4th of August.

Some want him to be given the title of national hero. Me personally, would rather have him as a great comedian. Simply because I don't think he would have liked to become a national hero...because I think he would consider that too much of a fuss. By the way, that was the catch phrase he made popular - "Why make so much fuss?".