WhereStoryMatters Blog

Images and Stories by PATJENN FILM

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Two Years In Reflection, 2014 and 2015

AJFCMS for MAClumi bali canggu club AJFC field playingCrazy two years in time, apologies for the absence here. It is not that we have been crazy busy with projects, it is just a matter of juggling time spent in production, on shoots, managing clients’ expectation and delivering finals, while overseeing new spaces and frontiers like working on my personal lifestyle and beauty blog called LUMINNEJ here. Yes, I am a full time screenwriter producer at PATJENN FILM, a boutique production company, but also a relatively busy human being! It can be quite a challenge.

AJFC playerPJF2015 allianz collageteam at kecharaBack to official work, it has been a sporadically exciting years, with pockets of projects, meaningful ones, nonetheless. Of course, we could not have sustained or come this far without the endearing support of our clients (whom truly believe in our strength, which we have come to love and appreciate), our associates (our team who supports us unconditionally, that would be our editors, our production crew and many others who have somewhat become almost like a family to us) and our new producer friend, Ritchie (whom we are in debt to, for his undying work contribution, sacrifices and support, without asking anything in return from us) and those unsung heroes who have become our pillar of strength, family and friends, far and wide.

AJFC red flagWe would love to take the opportunity, for we have stepped into a brand new year, to reflect upon what we have achieved, no matter how small or big they may seem, and to thank everyone who have made this journey a worthwhile one, with us.

Here are some of the highlights from the projects we have had the pleasure to work on for 2014 and 2015. Allianz Junior Football Camp 2014 & 2015 were a great project that brought us to Bali. One of the most memorable moments was my interview with the German renowned football coach.

YPLPJF2015 travel collageYPL01Working on Yen Pao Lai again bought us back to places which we normally would not have had the chance to visit. 2014 also saw a year of a little traveling for Patrick, to USA, China and Hong Kong, that itself had brought us closer to our connections with Hollywood, rekindled and reunited with old associates from LA, and forge new friendships and Ritchie to Germany.

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2015 was a great year, thanks to clients like Tokio Marine, Coke Malaysia, Allianz (once again), Microsoft Malaysia, Milo (Through a post house MFX here) , editing work for CIMB, a meaningful CSR project, Yayasan Chow Kit for Yayasan Malaysia and others.

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Patrick having some fun on set, with actors and crew

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Whatever the projects, one thing is for sure – we are about storytelling and we always strive to give our best to each project and try our very best to have some fun along the way! You can check out some of our work via our youtube channel here.

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Patrick with Masato Harado, Japanese actor director

lumi with team to baliWe look forward to a greater and better 2016 and hope to be able to venture into movie making this new year! Let us work towards that vision in mind, together and have the ride of our life.

Happy New Year 2016! 

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Working With Joe Flizzow The Hip Hop Rapper

joe with pat1We were super excited when Patrick was approached and given the opportunity to direct a music video for the internationally renowned Malaysian hip hop rapper, Joe Flizzow! Joe decided to contribute one of his songs, titled KONGSI for a local Malaysian action drama feature film, Kisah Paling Gengster (directed by Brando Lee). It is a story about an unlikely male nurse (played by the Malaysian famous male actor, Shaheizy Sam), who is down and out in life, but has a stroke of “luck” and is offered to lead a group of gangster simply because he accidentally saves the life of the gang leader. Though he turns down the offer, but is eventually being forced to take up the role, reluctantly. Ever since then, he is being dragged into the world wind of the dark side of the gangsterism and seems to have no turning back!

joe in actionjoe in action2Joe Flizzow came on set on time for the night shoot. The concept was trying to make it look like part of a behind-the-scene shoot on set. Patrick was toying with the idea of playing with loads of smoke and contrasting lighting to create a some sort of dark environment to suit the theme of the song. “Kongsi” is the Malay word equivalent to “gang” in English. He had two sets of change of wardrobe and Joe was cool about what we were trying to do. We really had fun seeing this talented singer/songwriter rap to his song while we tried and capture as much shots as we could.

joe with pat2If you love to know more about the movie, please do check out their official website here, and facebook here. Meanwhile, we leave you with a trailer of the film, Kisah Paling Gengster, hitting our local cinema starting 21st November 2013. Happy viewing. For the Malaysians, please go support the local films! For those of you who like to know more about Joe Flizzow, click here, and Shaheizy Sam, check him out at his Facebook page here. See you at the cinemas!

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Pacific Rim: A Visual Feast

Pacific Rim PR poster1Fiercely captivating in visual style, markedly detailed and stand out in its CG effects, I was quite amazed by how entertained and engaged I was when I finished watching this piece of creative work by director Guillermo del Toro and his team. I could see how much effort and thoughts he has poured into this sci-fi action adventure, to make it not just about the robots  (Jaeger) and the monsters (Kaiju) battling against one another, but also about the human race and the story behind each character. I, personally am never really a big fan of this sort of supposedly very “masculine” hero action flick, but once in a while, Hollywood does surprise me. I love for a fact that Guillermo takes it very seriously to make sure that it looks real and convincing (just look at the textures on the Jaegers and Kaiju), be it the mega huge machines that mankind uses to fight the sea creatures, or the kaiju monsters that have been attacking the earth and terrorizing the world all over, right down to the designs of the whole world and the mechanics of it (check out the the pilot suits, and the helmet design videos below!). It does reminds me of the film Blade Runner in terms of its look and design of the streets of Hong Kong.

Charlie Hunnam as Raleigh Becket

Charlie Hunnam as Raleigh Becket

Rinko Kikuchi as Mako Mori

Rinko Kikuchi as Mako Mori

Idris Elba as the charismatic Stacker Pentecost

Idris Elba as the charismatic Stacker Pentecost

Mana Ashida as the young Mako

Mana Ashida as the young Mako

pacific rim PR jaeger glowing-001pacific rim PR kaiju3-001I thought the cast were well put together. I could relate to their back story and their fight and struggle. The one performance that stood out the most for me, was the little girl, young  Mako (played by the talented Japanese child actor, Mana Ashida). She made the whole terror seem so REAL that I held my breath and felt for her imminent danger just by watching her scenes! Such raw and natural talent. The very one thing I respect how the movie makers in Hollywood work is their professionalism and detailed approach to movie making. Of course, I do understand a lot of it has to do with budgets of a movie. But I do also believe that it has very much to do with how a certain director envisions and takes its creative work close to his/her heart and give the best that one can give. It will all show on the big screen in the end. Like what Guillermo said, “I didn’t want a movie that was technically right, but a movie that felt passion.” I can see what he meant there.

Why movie making is such a fantastic world to be in, is the fact that it is about TEAM work. Everyone (cast, crew, costumes, CGI, production design, music, arts, sound, etc) plays a part in making the film a reality. Whether it will be a box office hit later, that is another matter all together. I absolutely love the music of Pacific Rim, and I love the subtle comedic moments that Guillermo throws in. An absolutely entertaining film.  So, do you have a favourite Jaeger (or Kaiju)? Which one, I wonder? Watch the movies below on the highest resolution possible:)) Pacific Rim Jaegers collage

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Courageously Black

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The colour of COURAGE and RED. Yes, it does take a whole lots of “blood” and sweat to be courageous and relentless in pursuing what you believe creatively is possible, even the rest of the world may think it is unattainable. Love the juxtaposition of sadness, amidst positivity in this video, which we find extremely creative and mesmerizing. A story unfolds. The words are powerful, the dance is fluid, the music is enchantingly heart-wrenching at some points, but nonetheless, after all that is done, the last note is played, the last word is written, you feel a sense of relieve, a feeling of liberation and most of all, a sense of HOPE, knowing that in the vast universe of creative world that you choose to work in (here at wherestorymatters too), and live by, your dreams will eventually see the light of things. It is only a matter of time. We believe most creative people have gone through this phase, but The deepest Black (original post here) can be impermanence, if you choose to. Kudos to My Pretzel Logic for a great piece of writing and Jubafilms for an excellent visual interpretation. More of Neil’s musings and creative writings can be discovered here and the four dynamic filmmakers and artistes at Jubafilms here.

To all our friends who are celebrating the special occasion, SELAMAT HARI RAYA AIDILFITRI from us at wherestorymatters, no matter where you may be, in the world, have a great celebration! 

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Salmon Fishing In The Yemen

salmon fishing1-001Directed by Lasse Hallstrom, written by Simon Beaufoy and Paul Torday, starring Emily Blunt, Ewan McGregor, Kristin Scott Thomas, Amr Waked, Rachel Sterling and Tom Mison.

Hope keeps our faith alive, at times, it is the singular driving force of human struggle. Salmon Fishing In The Yemen brings us to a place where in the beginning, it does not seem impossible, yet, by sheer determination, and faith, the outcome can be magical and uplifting. This film is somewhat a nice representation of how interesting British romantic comedy can be. The comedy is subtle yet captivating, very nonchalant but still right on the spot. The scenery is amazingly refreshing. The cinematography is beautiful to say the least. I absolutely adore the blue tint look to the film. I have come to love Emily Blunt (especially since The Adjustment Bureau. My blog post here) for her natural acting ability. The role of Harriet is a perfect fit for her. As for Ewan McGregor, he does aptly pass off as the no-nonsense and somewhat rigid fish specialist, Dr. Alfred Jones. My pleasant surprise was watching Kristin Scott Thomas as the foul-mouthed press secretary pulling off quite a different sort of performance. My next best character will have to be Sheik Muhammaed (played by Amr Waked) for his vision, his determination and faith in making fly-fishing a sport in a not so fish-friendly environment Yemen. Love his performance and portrayal of the character, most of all, love what his character represents in the entire film. This may sound weird (as I am not a person who easily find things funny), I personally do find the film extremely funny in a wicked way. Surprisingly, it is based on a true story, yet, it is treated in such a different manner that one can somewhat relate to it, on a more personal level. All in all, a great story, well told, in many ways.

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The World of Oblivion

oblivion poster5What if the future is a world that is so surreal yet so familiar at the same time? What if you can trace back the memories that were wiped out of you? A future world that seems promising by Tet, a world where the horizon extends beyond a vast land of emptiness, an emptiness that reflects the hollowness and the utter depth of your mundane human heart, that is a fascinating world of the future created in Oblivion. We absolutely love that imaginary world created by director Joseph Kosinski and his production team. We love the set design, the atmospheric landscape, a future that is somehow familiar and grounded, that’s what we love about a science fiction movie of such. There is a (false) sense of hopelessness, and hope at the same time. We take on this journey with the lead actor, Jack Harper (played by the ever-so-charming-looking Tom Cruise) to self discovery, and realization of a bigger scheme at play. Everything is gradually revealed, and nothing is what it seems in the first place. Those time lapse shots of the sky are amazingly breathtaking! (check out the video below to see how it is done). There are some really cool action sequences and amazing graphics, but ultimately, this is more of a human story at heart. Love this piece of work. Though his futuristic up-in-the-sky-home is pleasing and oozing with awesomeness, one can’t help but feel a little lonely up in the clouds. Will our near future be like this? I personally don’t mind waking up to a beautiful sunrise everyday, and come back to a magical sunset at the end of the day, but I still would love my feet to be planted firm on the ground, somehow. Perhaps, it’s time to make that paradigm shift in mind and let in some fresh new perspectives of how our future could possibly look like, no?

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Stoker

stoker1-001Captivating, intimidating, haunting and stylized, STOKER opened and immediately captured my attention with its mesmerizing editing, voice-over and visual style. I absolutely adore the film for its quiet moments, yet gradually build up to its intensity while peeling away layers and layers of deceits, secrets, mystery, psychotic behaviour and motives. Southern flavour with a touch of Hitchcock’s mystery, the film studies the dark side hidden within a seemingly harmless India (Mia Wasikowska), who has just recently lost her beloved father to an accident, and is struggling to cope with her estranged relationship with her mother (Nicole Kidman). This is further complicated by a sudden arrival of her supposedly long lost Uncle Charlie, (Matthew Goode). The nature of the film is one that is such distinctive in terms of visual style, element of gothic horror, yet so psychologically inclined and eerie in a way that it basically glued me to my seat, wanting to know how eventually the whole story will unfold. The music and sound design are particularly mesmerizing and we love the production design of the film, very atmospheric and it has a certain timeless quality to it. Nicole Kidman plays the role of the mother in such an interesting manner that you can’t help but noticing her more. Of course, the hypnotic character which is the pillar of the story, is still the excellent performance by Mia. Can tell that this OLD BOY film director, Park Chan-wook went to great length in preparing the shots and exactly how he would envision the film to be. Everything is answered in the end. The jigsaw puzzles fit perfectly. Amazing piece of work. One of our favourite films this year.

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Love Has To Be Genuinely Real

LOVE movie collage1LOVE is inexplicably simple and complicated, love is realistic and unrealistic at the same time, , you love it so much that you would hate not to love it. Love can and can’t be explained at times. So, how to then bring forth such a subject through the medium of storytelling? It is a challenge (but aren’t most things are anyways!), but not impossible. Love story is perhaps one of the oldest genres in movie that truly stand the test of time, and sentiment. Love humanizes humanity, love neutralizes misunderstanding. In films, love needs to be elevated to a place where the audience is comfortable with the story, relate to the characters and immersed with their journey of love, trials and tribulations. Love hurts, but ultimately, love should prevail at the end of the film. The audience should walk away feeling lifted, with a sense of hope, even though it is just, for those moments and space within the world of movie magic. We recently watched TOGETHER, a Hong Kong love story, with great line-up of big casts like Donnie Yen, Angelababy and the cute couples, Zhendong Ke and Michelle Chen from the famous Taiwanese big hit, You Are The Apple Of My Eye, but surprisingly, it was quite a let down. What was sacrificed was the story. The style took precedent over the importance of basic storytelling. There were pockets of memorable moments between the characters, but as a whole, it is an uneven film, trying too hard to please. It left me with a BIG hole to fill, on a Valentine’s Day. Not entirely satisfied, my post-Valentine hunt took me to another film I wanted to watch last year, but somehow missed it – LOVE, an ensemble piece of love story, also filled with big stars like Zhao Wei, Mark Zhao, ShuQi, Ethan Juan, Eddie Peng, Ivy Chan, Amber Kuo and Doze Niu (he also directed the film). Now, this film is something else. To begin with, it’s a much more matured way of storytelling, in terms of story structure, characterization, camera work, the cinematography and everything else. Most importantly, it is the chemistry between the characters, how their love stories unfold and are intricately yet gently linked in some ways, with one another, within a story that is well weaved together. Each love story is unique yet extremely memorable (I personally love the couple of ZhaoWei and Mark Zhao, among others). The humour is subtle and natural, it does not feel out of place and forceful. Everything falls right into place. Kudos to the actor-director, Doze Niu. I throughly enjoyed LOVE (click on the LOVE word to watch the trailer on their youtube channel). This is how a love story should be – it makes you cry, smile and walk away HAPPY >_<

Last note: We will leave you with a song from the movie LOVE, sung by Hebe, but originally composed by a Malaysian singer-composer, Aki Huang.

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Les Miserables The Musical Phenomenon

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The perfect combination of great acting, mesmerizing songs and memorable music scores make this film a definitive power house. Every component falls into place – the ultra talented casts, the story, the music, the locales, the cinematography, the agonizing pain and weighing emotions, the patriotism, the fight, everything and beyond. One could hardly watch and not feel moved by it all. The sheer grandness and epic scale of its storytelling, yet it captures in great details each character’s delivery of its emotions (in singing, recorded live on set while shooting), be it happy or otherwise. Love hurts, love lifts, love is forgiveness, love is fighting for what you believe in, every step of the way. No words can describe how you would feel after watching such an enigmatic film.

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Life of Pi

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Directed by the infamous Ang Lee, Life of Pi is a visual feast, but first and foremost, it is a great story telling of belief, hopes, courage, struggle and tribulations of life and the questioning of the existence of a higher power. I was personally enchanted by the opening music and the montage the film opens up with, it already sets the tone and the mood for what will entail. Lee managed to craft a whole new world of adventure (and misadventures) to such absolute wonders that you will fall in love with the visuals presented right in front of you on the big screen, the way how the sky and ocean become one, the magical world of an island which may or may not exist. To me, it almost feel like watching AVATAR (to a certain extend) all over again. It is interesting to see how he casted a first-time-actor, Suraj Sharma to play the lead role of Pi Patel and his natural performance was very much applauded. The visual effects are amazing. The story unfolds in such an elegant manner that you feel you have personally gone on such an incredible journey with Pi to realize much later towards the end that you actually question the whole movie that you have just watched. Well, at least, for me, it felt so. It left me with a big hole in my stomach, aching in a way. I want to believe so much that all there was is real, yet, you can’t anymore, for the way the film ended. Still, a great watch indeed. (thoughts by Jenn)

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