Thursday, 31 August 2017

Impromptu photoshoot with young and super talented photographer Nguyễn Bão. He was part of last year's [FEEL] in/out. I instantly loved his work. A great sense of shape, depth, details and colours, and also a genuine connection with what he photographs. On top of that, he's such an adorable boy. I bought one of his photos at the gallery last year.

It's fun to be in front of the camera for a change. I suggested the old building where I filmed scenes from Yet Untitled. We chose an old terrace on the sixth floor, that the older lodgers had turned into a garden.


Sunday, 27 August 2017

As I was filming Sùng A Lùng dancing, I noticed this old man standing by his doorway on the right at the end of the corridor. He had been discreetly watching us the whole time. In between takes, my friend Nam later went to him to apologise for the inconvenience.

"There is no inconvenience at all!!!" he replied. "I really love to watch you. It's so beautiful!"

I was so moved when Nam told me what the old man said. Perhaps this man never had the chance to go to the theatre and see that kind of performance. Perhaps it was the first time he saw anything like this from so close. Sùng was dancing in silence, to no music at all, but the power and ingensitty of his movements were striking. 

Whatever it was, I was happy we could even if unintentionally offer him that moment to the man. That gives me even more hope and determination to keep on doing developing art projects in Vietnam.

Then I realised that the man would be visible in the footage. After I checked what we had filmed I decided that it was fine. It's just a distant and blurry figure in the back.  

I filmed Sùng dancing in various places of the building: the big hallway, the staircases, the small meandering corridors leading from one tiny room to the other. The place had soul. I didn't have to think what I was going to film. It was as if a voice was directing me and guiding my movement. I had rented the camera for a couple of days. "Why didn't you ask me??? We do lots of shooting at my work, I could have got you one!" Nam said.
It was Nam who thought of the building when I told him what I was looking for. Nam has a curious and inquisitive mind and whether in Hanoi or Saigon, he is always happy to bring to his favourite places. I hope he will have the opporutnity to come to Taipei! He took me to the building a few days before to make sure it matched my ideas. It was just perfect! Some friends of his had a little cafe on the seventh floor. That was where I decided to film the scenes.
When we were finished and about to leave, we saw the old ladies who were sitting and chatting together at the entrance.
"So you young folks are done?" 
We nodded with a smile.
"We you shooting a ghost film? Many people come here to film ghost films. There are many ghosts in this building!" one of the ladies said.
So that must have been what I felt during the shooting. I had made sure to pray and ask permission to the spirit of the place to allow me to film. I had learned my lesson well after all these years living in Asia!

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

First day in Saigon and plenty of things to do. I finally had a person to person meeting with Ash - the director of The Third Wife

I could finally watch the final edit of the film with the most of the music. I was so enchanted, elated, happy to see how far we had gone since the month of April. The film is truly beautiful - and what a relief to see how wonderfully the music worked! 

Next step will be the colour correction in New York next month. In October I will be in the sound studio in Bangkok to attend the music & sound mixing. Then the film is be finished! 

Ash, the producer and I couldn't contain our excitement and enthusiasm.

This first film experience is really taking me from one moment of joy to the next. I'm blessed!

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Of course, I didn’t manage to close my eyes, morning flight oblige. Although I didn’t have much to prepare, I still ran here and there, managed to see Lisa and Thomas perform at the Riverside, go to the gym and see Van to hand him the keys of the flat.

Packing shouldn’t have taken long, but I was updating my biography for a project at the same time.

At 3:30 a.m. I considered it silly to sleep, so I started to clean and tidy the house - CD in action, prepare the rooms for two friends who were to stay at my place while I’m away.

Early morning, waiting for the bus, listening to the silence, waiting for the bus and contemplating the beautiful sunrise over the mountains.

I couldn’t believe I was going to be in Saigon in just a few hours.


So I will be in Saigon tomorrow at noon. Ten days in this violently exciting city. It's hard for me to process how fast everything moves in my life at the moment. At least I won't be caught ranting about my life being dull... Hopefully the stay will be a smooth and peaceful one.
I already know I will be seeing Ash and watch the latest cut of The Third Wife, that I will be filming scenes for my very first short film Yet Untitled.