Who would have imagined that one of the challenges of being a filmmaker was braving an infinite number of leeches in a jungle? Imagine looking down to the ground and seeing tiny tentacles reaching out to you and crawling towards your feet. Occasionally you spot a leech already crawling on your shoe.
Our filmmaker, Ha Anh was in the midst of it all.
What role did you play on this shoot?
Usually my role in RICE is coordinating and organizing the crew. On this time, I took on an equal challenging and interesting position as Wardrobe Assistant. Firstly for this role, we do more than changing clothes! We had to keep the crew moving fast and on time.
For example, if the scene shows a character falling on mud, then we must make sure the dirt spots are consistent in every single shot. When she has too little dirt on her wardrobe you will have to put more like the previous scene and yet not too much…well… basically you must make sure that she changes into the exact wardrobe before getting the dirt on her all over again!
Trust me when I say that you do not want to miss out on anything that may cause the shoot to be delayed.
How many locations did you travel to in this shoot?
The filming was in two locations, Sapa and Xuân Sơn, both in a middle of the jungle with limited access to water and electricity. Imagine if you have to clean your character up for the next scene, you may think that we enough water in the bottle, but then you run out!
That is when our Production Assistant became our saviour. On this shoot, our production assistant had to ride out a couple of miles just to get it. So, one big thing to take into account, there’s no production without a team effort!
Tell us of your experiences on filming in the terrain?
Fun, efficient and challenging.
How was the experience working with the film team from Singapore?
They are incredibly fun when off work but extremely focus and efficient on set. It was quite an eye-opening experience.
So tell me about the leeches.
Once I heard about the leeches, we got more cautious for the crew well-being. We have to prepare pesticide spray, boots and even cover our legs with salt (apparently it is supposed to keep away the leeches).
Unfortunately, we could not cover our main character. As you can see from the film, her wardrobe left her legs and arms exposed, yet she had to keep stumbling onto the ground based on the story. We all know it is never going to be a one-time fall. The saying ‘mind over matter’ is truly not an overstatement in this situation.
Will you do it again?
I’m still too young to say ‘no’ right!
Check out the film: