August 16, 2020

Filming Killer Not Stupid in Taiwan 2020

Hello guys! Welcome to our Orhsome blog!

To be honest, when Director Jack Neo approached me to be a part of this project, I was a little skeptical because it sounded too good to be true. But as I was packing the equipment the day before we flew off to Taiwan, I got really really excited. And if you’re wondering how much equipment we brought, 100kg worth. Our overweight luggage was about $400 extra! (Production paid yay!)

At that point of time, Killer Not Stupid would have been the 3rd movie I shot in a span of 1 year. I really enjoyed being on movie sets and going overseas to shoot one was really a highlight. Till today (2020 as I write this), Killer Not Stupid remains to be one of my favourite shoots. So what did I do in Taiwan? Some photos to show you my time in Taiwan! OMG the claw machines, Janice and I non stop just play everywhere we go. IT IS SO CHEAP, 40cents and it was really easy to win!

Okay serious work now. On this shoot, I was the aerial unit (drone) and also the 3rd unit. If you’re wondering what I do as a 3rd unit, I use small cameras to capture angles that the big cameras aren’t able to capture. Or when there are shots like pyro, explosions, where there’s only 1 take, I plant these cameras around and capture more unique angles that the big cameras can’t. Also, I help the production save time taking some other pickup/establishing shots on my own. It’s actually a lot of fun. Some shots I strapped myself to the back of a van with the back door open. I did this to film a moving car. From a production POV, this helps them save time as big cameras would require a lot of time to setup for such a shot.

But most people’s question would be; can the quality match?

Well it really depends on a lot of factors. Most cameras nowadays (DSLRs) can shoot 4K, but they have started to include cinema camera features like shooting log (flat color profile), higher FPS at higher resolutions (eg. 60-120FPS at 4K), and also retain a lot of color information in the files. Plus, its not every shot that you use these small cameras, so with a good post production team you shouldn’t have a problem matching these shots. Look good on big screen? YES, it still looks good.

So I was pretty happy to meet new people and learn from them. I realised it was pretty useful for me to meet up with the on production colorist and editor in Taiwan during the shoot. I spent quite a bit of time at the first few days reviewing my footage with them and knowing the limitations of my equipment. This helped a lot as I was able to maximise the usage of these cameras while also helping to preserve the quality of the overall film.

Some stuff I shot during the movie:

OH YEAH. My all time favourite shot. This was the first time I shot pyro. I wasn’t sure AT ALL as to what to expect. But when I set my cameras and put the drone in motion in the air, the explosion happened and WOW. I loved it.

BUT. My ground cameras were covered in soot! And I didn’t cover it with plastic which they did for the main cameras. LEARNING POINT!

One other thing I’d like to add; the people there are SOOOO NICE! When I was in town at midnight filming drone shots of a car, the police came and stopped beside me. I was REALLY WORRIED, but in the end they just told me to be careful because they were afraid some CAR

WILL HIT MY DRONE and I’ll lose my drone! They cared about my drone more hahahaha! But it was really nice, cause in Singapore… yeah you prolly can guess… Towards the end, Janice and I went on a road trip and I took along my Inspire 2. So here are some screen grabs:

And Taiwan 101. Okay pardon my language but this shot is a FML. I climbed elephants hill with my drone to get this shot! AND I HAD TO DO IT TWICE BECAUSE FIRST TIME I DID THAT I FORGOT MY PROPELLORS. But during my 2nd climb, the weather was better so… okay la can can. Haha

The movie isn’t showing anywhere now, but here’s the trailer:

Till today, this movie remains to be one of my proudest works. I hope I get a chance like this again!