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  • Writer's pictureAICREATIVV

Behind-the-Camera of the Filmmaking Process

Updated: Apr 23

Film production newbies Amal and Asyraf share their experiences after joining Filterworks Productions’ location scouting trip for horror-comedy series “Penakut Masih”.


AICREATIVV blog post about the recce trip to Kuching by Filterworks Productions and IAINWITHEYES Studios for horror-comedy series Penakut Masih

Have you ever watched a movie or a show, and wondered, “What did they do to get this shot?”


The film industry has made massive strides in development over the past century. What started as two-second shows created by passing still images over a beam of light is now a major industry, with over 2500 hour-and-a-half-long movies produced every year. And while everyone can enjoy a good movie, for some people, what happens behind the camera can be just as interesting.


For film production newbies Amal Osmera and Asyraf Saharuddin, their curiosity in the ‘making of’ process was recently fulfilled, as they hopped aboard a recce trip to Kuching with Bruneian film production company, Filterworks Productions. The Filterworks crew was recently granted funding from AITI and Progresif Media’s joint initiative program, “Pitch and Produce 4.0”, and - joining forces with Kuching production company, IAINWITHEYES Studios - they began the process of creating their short horror-comedy series, “Penakut Masih”. There, Amal and Asyraf got to see what happens before movies are made.



What is a ‘Recce’?


‘Recce’ (pronounced “wreck-ee”) comes from the French word reconnaissance, which means ‘recognition’ or ‘act of surveying’. In the film industry, it is when the production crew visits and inspects different locations, to determine whether those locations would fulfill the requirements of the movie shots. The directors and producers put their heads together and discuss several aspects, from general things like whether the location meets the vision of the director, to the more specific details like how certain shots in the film will be framed.


A lot of major decisions are made from the information gathered at a recce, which makes it an important and necessary part of the pre-production stage. Amaru, the producer at Filterworks Productions, is familiar with this process, having produced many films in her past. She knows what to look out for, what to anticipate, and even prepares herself to expect the unexpected. However, Amal and Asyraf had never joined a recce before, so there was much to learn and see.


Members of Filterworks Productions and IAINWITHEYES Studios doing a site visit in Kuching for horror-comedy series "Penakut Masih"
The "Penakut Masih" crew looking for the perfect location for their series.

The Camera Never Stops Rolling


Asyraf, an intern at Filterworks Productions and AICREATIVV, is an aspiring videographer and has been using his internship period to learn about the filmmaking process. Unaware of the existence of a recce stage in the first place, he went to Kuching with the Filterworks Productions crew with little to no expectations, tasked with taking behind-the-scenes footage of the trip.


Amaru has told stories of her past film productions, often about the unexpected problems that she encountered and remedied as a producer. She warned the newbies that those mishaps almost always happen, and, again, to expect the unexpected. And she was right: on Day One of film shooting, a printer exploded and shot ink all over the crew and onto their shoes. Now, Asyraf’s white canvas shoes are splattered with purple and green blotches, a unique souvenir that he took home.



Having experienced it firsthand, Asyraf learned one very important thing: anything can happen at any time. And being in charge of capturing the daily occurrences, there is hardly any time to rest. While some parts of the process may be mundane and routine, the spontaneous moments, even though rare, are worth capturing because they can only happen once. As they began shooting the scenes for the series in the next couple of months, Asyraf implemented a few tricks that he learned in Kuching so he could capture more content that truly reflects the intricacies of the filmmaking process.


The Magic Behind Movie-Making


Amal was temporarily filling in the role of assistant producer during the trip, but she was still eager to immerse herself in the process and learn along the way. From the beginning, Amal had to learn many new terminologies that she was not accustomed to, including the different roles in a film crew and what their responsibilities are. But perhaps the most eye-opening thing that she realised from this trip was how film production budgets can go up to such high numbers.


Compared to the large blockbuster film industries like Hollywood or Bollywood, the film industry in Brunei is like a drop of water in the ocean. Yet, small companies like Filterworks Productions and IAINWITHEYES Studios invest so much to reach the high standards of films they yearn to produce. Amal was amazed by the large variety of film equipment that the IAINWITHEYES crew had in their studio, whose total cost could easily go up to thousands of dollars.


But even with so much expensive equipment readily available, Amal realised that the bigger reason behind Filterworks Productions’ and IAINWITHEYES Studios’ abilities to produce amazing films was the time and effort that they spend on them. Every location they visited during the recce required thoughtful discussion and deliberation, down to the details that the public may never really notice in the final cut. High-quality equipment would be left gathering dust without a crew that had the skill and passion to use them to their full potential.


IAINWITHEYES Studios on the set of "Penakut Masih".
Members of IAINWITHEYES Studios skillfully handling an expensive piece of camera equipment.

A Standing Ovation to Filmmakers Everywhere


The recce trip to Kuching for “Penakut Masih” was a first for Amal and Asyraf, but it was enough to show them how important the process is to ensure that production goes smoothly. Witnessing the efforts of the crew, the thought processes behind every decision made, and their perseverance to keep going despite hiccups and hurdles along the way, Amal and Asyraf felt an immense amount of respect for the crew of “Penakut Masih”, and for filmmakers in general. Their dedication to their craft is reflected in the time, money, and energy spent fulfilling their passion.


The “Penakut Masih” production is more than a horror-comedy project; Filterworks Productions and IAINWITHEYES Studios also hope to use this as a platform to raise awareness about the filmmaking process, and the efforts that filmmakers put in to create something that they can be proud of. With the many misconceptions surrounding content creation in Brunei, it’s vital that we as the public open our eyes to what filmmaking really entails, and that we give the film industry the respect and recognition it deserves.


This article only portrays a sliver of the bigger picture. Follow Filterworks Productions and IAINWITHEYES Studios on their journey to bringing “Penakut Masih” to life, and let’s get educated along the way!


And if you want more filmmaking and videography content, find Amaru on our Instagram and TikTok, at @aicreativv!


Members of Filterworks Productions and IAINWITHEYES Studios at a recce trip in Kuching for their horror-comedy series "Penakut Masih"
Filterworks Productions and IAINWITHEYES Studios come together to create movie magic.

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