Saturday, 24th July '04
Today has been something of a red-letter day. Kind of pathetic, I guess, but a day in which I’ve realized on of my rather-lame lifetime ambitions and partaken in an illegal, half-crazed activity… and felt absolutely no remorse upon being caught. Ho hum.
Actually, it’s still funny thinking about it… and despite the nagging little voice in my head that just has to keep trying to remind me that I could have gotten sued (thanks, Meishuang) / prosecuted (thanks, Winston) / killed (thanks, random Security Guard) / worse, I’m still feeling absurdly happy about having done so.
So what was this little activity, you might ask. It’s going to come as something of an anti-climax – but oh, (quoting Woonky) the sacrifices I make for my art. *insane grin*
So this little escapade began with Re:pro filming again. Today was the final day I was to be involved in directing the shoot. Whatever leftovers there are, Eva and Nawaz will handle from now on. But before I washed my hands off the whole Martyr Machiavellian business, I just had to see the Rooftop Scene through. Without spoiling the surprise for those whom I intend to show the film to, it will suffice to say that I had to pile my three cast leads, Ross, Mei and Woonky, along with scripter cum visual effects guy Siyuan, my favourite cameraman Winston, and occasionally producer Nawaz onto a tiny rooftop atop a 40-storey condominium. The standing area couldn’t have been more than 40 square metres, and there was no ledge whatsoever. Which meant that if you weren’t paying attention and started backing up, it would take less than a dozen steps to send you plunging to a rather gruesome demise.
We began by crawling our way up a 10-foot ladder to get onto the roof. Once up there, we were pretty conscious about getting caught, but we just NEEDED that rooftop view for the shot. So as I briefed the Winston and the cast about the next shot, we huddled close to the ground like little squatters so that the adjacent blocks' penthouse owners would hopefully not notice us.
And what a shoot it turned out to be. I think we were at an all-time efficiency high… each angle took at maximum three takes – despite the NGs that were prone to occur in response to the sheer weirdness of standing 40 storeys above ground without a permit. Perhaps for the first time, we were actually relaxed (WHAT an irony) and enjoying our work… Winston was jokingly fearful that I would dangle him off the ledge to get some new artistic angle… and we managed to get acrophobic Mei (had to hold her hand and edge her gingerly to the spot) and Winston RIGHT up to the edge to get this terrific angle of her foot hovering above the microscopic cars and people in the carpark below. We wasted loads of Woonky’s eyedrops to have our cast crying… all the while munching on Lay’s seafood potato chips and enjoying the terrific view… wind in the hair and all that. In between takes we took the odd video of a sunset I can only describe as soothingly gentle… Woonky pretending to jump off the roof… us eating yet more chips…
The strangest thing (in hindsight) was that in different takes, Ross and Woonky’s characters had to wear the same set of clothes… which meant that after certain takes the boys would have to strip down to their undies and exchange clothes… while on a windy rooftop essentially in full view of everyone in the country. The funny thing was, that for once, we were so professional and focused, no one thought twice about it. Mei and I just automatically started examining the horizon, and even Woonky restricted himself to couple of jibes about Ross’ poor choice of intimate apparel. *rolls eyes*
But all in all, it was just one of those moments… that you’re doing something so simple and so lame, but you’re both literally and metaphorically on top of the world, as it were.
Just as we were filming one of Ross’ scenes we heard a few urgent-toned, foreign voices from below. One was coming out of a walkie-talkie… so it was like… *cracklestaticcrackle* PENTHOUSE *feedbackcrackle* TEENAGERS ON ROOF *statichiss*. And all of us instinctively ducked except the MoronMagnusMagnified, who just… stood there. We had to hiss at him to get down and then we all just tried to stay low and quiet... but for some reason we were just so pleased with ourselves that we were shooting each other Cheshire Cat grins all the while. It didn’t work though, and the security guard was on to us in a minute. We were then evicted. Argh.
So that was it for the rooftop shenanigans we got up to… it seems that we were spotted by a grumpy female penthouse resident from another block, who insisted that we be removed lest we poison the water supply (the rooftop was really the cement lid of a giant water-tank) / get blown off by the wind / commit suicide. And then we received a lecture about the evils of running up to rooftops without permission and the dire consequences that would be visited unto us. For my part, I really doubted anything else would come of it (or maybe I was still intoxicated by the view)… some of us were pissed off…
And some of us were just worried that the penthouse resident had complained of two almost-naked boys on the water-tank.
[4 photographs developed.]
ARGH i pressed the RESET button instead of submit!!! grrrr. anyway, just a little HELLO! :> how're you? and a question i just realized i don't know the answer to: what are you studying? (and sidetrack: i LOVE watching figure skating on TV! just one of those things that i know i'll never be able to do in my lifetime..)
heya karen! i'm fine... busy but hanging in there... maybe a little short on sleep but generally happy.
i'm doing law in NUS... hey, i dunno what u're studying either!
i swear one day dajie u are gonna end up killed..how can u go pull such a dangerous stunt? but glad u had fun take care and keep in touch babe i'm gonna miss you
hey dajie! i am here safe in sydeny..hurry up update ur blog i miss u very very much!