Today my interview with the film maker Daven R was published in theSun today. Here is the full story:
Headline: The Man In Charge
By Bissme S
A Good film has to have a good story. That is what local cinematographer Daven R. believes. Last year, when he directed his first feature film, CCTV, he applied this principle to his work.
“The main strength of CCTV is the storyline which has a few
interesting twists,” said the 43- year-old Daven.
This suspense thriller with a touch of horror opens in cinemas on July 30. The RM1.5 million movie focuses on a technician, Hariri (played by Aeril Zafrel), who is instructed by his boss to fix a CCTV camera in an old hospital.
While repairing the camera, he accidentally falls, knocking himself out and injuring his head and leg. When he regains consciousness, he finds himself a patient at the hospital.
While recuperating, he meets some creepy patients and begins seeing strange things.The doctor in charge, Dr Muthalib (Hasnol Rahmat), is a mysterious man who runs the hospital with an iron fist.
As time passes, Hariri has difficulty differentiating what is real and what is not. When he decides to investigate these strange happenings in the hospital, a shocking surprise awaits him.
Other members in the cast include Ardel Aryana, Jeff Omar, Dino Pak and Asliza Abdullah.
“The actors did a terrific job with their characters, giving
excellent performances to make their roles believable,” said Daven, who cited Hollywood’s Steven Spielberg and India’s Manirathnam as his favourite directors.
Although CCTV is his first feature film , Daven is not a rookie in the film industry. He made his debut as a cinematographer in 1999 for the critically-acclaimed indie film Bukak Api which focused on sex workers in Kuala Lumpur’s Chow Kit Road.
Since then, he has been a cinematographer for countless local films such as Gong, Susuk, Cun and Adnan Sempit, with a career spanning 15 years. One wonders what took him so long to direct his own film.
Daven said: “Directing a movie is almost like playing God. You decide everything that goes on the set, from the beginning to the end. You decide how a film should be shaped.
“So, I cannot just sit in the director’s chair. I took as much time as I needed to sharpen my skills. The more work I did as a cinematographer, the more knowledge I gained to be a director.”
Daven admits having some regrets directing his first feature film so late in his career.
“Today, you’ll find many young filmmakers directing their first feature film the moment they graduate from school,” he says.
“They are hardly 25, and they have already directed their first feature film!
“Having said that, I must be grateful that I did not abandon my dream to be a filmmaker. It is better late than never.”
His biggest influences came from his dad, a film projectionist.
“My father had a mobile cinema,” said Daven.
“He travelled from one small town to another to screen the films.”
Sometimes, Daven would follow his dad and help him set up the mobile cinema. Seeing the audiences’ reaction to the films inspired him to be a filmmaker.
When asked what is the philosophy behind his direction,
Daven says: “I want to direct movies that touch the emotions and have human values. [Look at] Iranian movies. They have simple plots. But their simple plots have a lot of subtext and deep messages.”
Daven is already in the middle of writing the script for his second feature film. Called Thambi, it will have Tamil and Bahasa Malaysia dialogue. The story focuses on two childhood friends, one Indian, and the other Malay.The Indian boy is forced to leave his village and his best friend to live in a big city. Years later, fate reunites them. This time, they are enemies. The Indian boy has become a gangster while the Malay boy is now a police inspector. If everything goes well, Daven says he will begin shooting Thambi next year.
|the director on the set|