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.