Friday, March 15, 2013

Bako National Park picked as filming location


KUCHING: A Kuala Lumpur-based production company 42nd Pictures Sdn Bhd will be shooting its first feature-length film in Bako National Park here.

Its director Japan-born Yasu Tanaka told the media at a press conference yesterday that the natural environment of Bako National Park, which he visited in 2007, had given him the inspiration to work on this major project.

“We chose Sarawak because we see huge potential for filmmaking here. Sarawak offers a unique and atmospheric location for filming which cannot be found in Japan or elsewhere. I was amazed and inspired during my visit here in 2007,” he said.

Pre-production preparation began a year ago and filming is expected to begin some time in April for a duration of one month.

“However, many will find it difficult to shoot outside because it will incur a larger production budget than usual. But we are giving it a go because we want to do something different,” he added.

Although reluctant to reveal the full synopsis of the film, Yasu hinted that it is a psychological thriller which incorporates elements of mystery, suspense and drama.

“It is about a couple facing midlife crisis,” he said, adding that the main cast would feature notable actors and actresses from Malaysia with only one Japanese actress on board.

The highlight of the film, Yasu further said, would be the river scene and as such, the production team has been studying the tide chart closely to pin point shooting schedules.

Also, Yasu sees this project as a head start to establishing a long-term relationship with Sarawak on developing the film industry and pursuing more filming projects here in the future.

Yasu had been residing in Los Angeles for more than 20 years and worked as a scriptwriter and script analyst in Hollywood and Japan.

Yasu’s wife Malaysian-born Bea Tanaka, who is the producer, said they also aimed to introduce the film to international markets when it is ready for release possibly some time in 2014.

“We want to ensure optimum exposure of the film to local and international audiences. Therefore, we have also considered distributing it in the international market and introducing it in international film festivals,” she said.

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