So I hopped in a cab. This post will be partially translated from Malay to English as and when I feel like; cabbie will speak in italics while I will not. Conversation may not be completely, accurately transcribed, and may be shortened by accident.
So… kau dari mana?
I dari Bangsar Shopping Complex.
Oh… kerja ke?
Nolah, I baru tengok show. Itu Harith Iskander kat Actors Studio.
Wahhh itu Harith Iskander ya? Dia boleh buat wang buat show. English market.
Kau tau, dulu I sekolah I buat persembahan. Banyak pementasan. Cikgu pun supportive. Tapi… I keluar, I buat security guard.
Huh kenapa you tak masuk? Kalau you tau, you bagus, you boleh buat.
Oh adalah… I ada cuba jugak. Masa tu ada interview RTM. Buat newscaster. Saya ada pergi. Tapi diorang macam nak… tak nak… nak ke tak nak? So I masa tu baru tujuh belas, I tak tahu apa-apa lagi, tak tau nak pergi mana, tinggal mana, I baru datang KL 1985.
He then goes on to say how he learnt scriptwriting, and knew how to and did everything on the set.
He went on about how Kisah Benar stories lack quality, and how anyone could watch a drama and complain about how it could’ve been so much better. About how Rosyam Nor is just doing it for the money, without the soul. And that he was actually sponsored by an Indian company, using his name to approach big companies.
You tau sekarang punya drama? Bila dia ada scene kenduri. Dulu kan, dia buat atmosphere dia tau. Ada budak lari sini-sana. Ada budak mau kencing. Sekarang kan, dia terus pergi dialog.
I threw in my own tangent:
Look at the colors in Jefri Zain movies! I was watching ASTRO RIA and saw bright vivid nicely post-processed technicolor in Gerak Kilat. Nowadays you see baaad, bad color and horrid, dark brown skin tones. What happened to good post-processing on film? Is digital film making our local productions look horrible?
He was actually quite photogenic. He had the look, even at his age. How old?
Anak saya pun ada kata, “Abah buatlah filem…”
I told him to go and do it, the next time his friends in the scene ask him to. Because he needs to represent. Because he needs to fix what is wrong with local drama.
You’ve got soul, go do it.
You got a chance, go chase it. (A cabbie was once a double-pedalling drummer whose band was about to get its big break.)
He then ended by asking if I had stock options in ASTRO. Yeah, I said. Keep it, he said. He then went on about stocks and went all stock-geek on me.
Sadly, I fear that he was just being lazy about it, like a lot of us. Why aren’t we getting up and doing what is right? Is Afdlin Shauki the only champion in local movies? (Okay, and Yasmin Ahmad too.)
I may not be a pious person; I believe in soul as the passion to do what is right.