Towards the end of January 2007, i traveled to Phenom Penh, Cambodia to shoot a TV commerical for ANZ (Australian Bank). I had never been to Cambodia before so naturally i was very excited. The camera crew (Camera Assist, Loader, Video split, and gaffer) Directors and producers were all from Thailand. I had heard that Thai crew were world class, so i was looking forward in working with them. I feel i have so much to gain from their experience.
I had to do all my preproduction from my office in Singapore. This was a little difficult, as there was a slight language barrier. I would liaise with the Thai producer, Rungrat, for the camera and lighting and grip equipment we needed, then she would relay that to the Cambodian production house.The first day in Phenom Penh was for recce and pre production meeting. This day was very useful as we could lock down a lot of the things that had been in the air until this point. Next morning, calltime was at 6:30 at the production house, where we could finally check all the lighting and grip equipment.
On the morning of the shoot, i realised we dont have sandbags, polys, silks, diffusion, any clamps, cutters, nets, c stands, and my smallest light was a 2.5k HMI. Just to put things in to context, we are doing a soft, lifestyle commercial with a lot of beauty lighting.
All the camera equipment was flown over with the crew, and was in excellent condition.
So as you can see this was quite a challenge. But a very fun one at that. I learnt a lot on improvising with what we have, and making the best out of a 'not so ideal' situation. I discovered the meaning to the phrase, 'necessity is the mother of all inventions'. After the TC process i was happy with the results.
The most memorable experience was the second day of shoot, where we were shooting a scene on a boat along the Mekong river with the Royal palace in the back ground. That was pretty cool.
The Crew from Thailand was excellent (as expected). They are without a doubt, the best crew i have worked with, and i learnt a lot from them.
We shot with the Arri 3, Eterna 250D 8563.
Directed By Aod Thanatchai Kanjunhom
Produced by Rungrat Namjun