Cinnamon travelled all the way to Singapore to meet Adrian Teh, the director of "The Wedding Diary".
At a recent press conference held in Singapore to announce the start of principal photography for the Malaysian-Singaporean joint venture; "The Wedding Diary", we met up with Penang-born director Adrian Teh who provided us some insight on the upcoming movie that stars Aniu, Elanne Kwong and Hong Kong superstar, Kara Hui.
No stranger behind the scenes, the director had previously found success by serving as executive producer for the box office hit "Ice Kacang Puppy Love" that starred Aniu, and most recently, the critically acclaimed comedy "Lelio Popo", which was his debut as a big screen director.
His latest product "The Wedding Diary", is expected to be no different, and is already set for a Malaysian and Singaporean release this November.
Interview conducted recently at Peach Garden Sichuan, Miramar Hotel, Singapore.
Hi Adrian! Can you tell us what inspired you to take on a movie that revolves around a wedding?
Well, most people will experience marriage and it's always the rituals that challenge the young couples today. When they think of the rituals and the cost that's involved, it becomes a setback, especially when it comes to the wedding dinner ceremony. It is not for the couple specifically; in fact it's like a show for the guests and it comes along with a lot of preparation trouble. This movie pokes fun at the wedding rituals, as it explores how a couple wants their wedding dinner to be glamorous and perfect, but go through a lot of problems in the process.
As you're exploring the wedding theme, do you think the rituals of a Chinese wedding are important in this day and age?
Yes, it's important and should be preserved. There's a reason why we're doing it, and it terms of modernisation whether we should change our culture to change with our lifestyle is depending on the individual. To me, if I was to get married, I will hold a simple wedding dinner. I actually have a very nice quote in the script, which revolves around this aspect, which I'm not going to share here (laughs), so please watch the movie for it!
Director Adrian Teh with his ensemble of cast in the rom-com "The Wedding Diary".
Is there a reason for casting Aniu along with Elanne?
Apart from being very good friends since "Ice Kacang Puppy Love", after Lim Teck told me the story, I thought of Aniu immediately, because he fits the character and he has a very good humour that will bring the character to life. I had a few options for my leading actress, but I flew to Hong Kong and chose Elanne because she's an up and coming actress and she's also very sweet. In this movie, her character requires some mischievous behaviour and I think she has the look to pull it off.
How did you manage to get Kara Hui onboard?
At first I didn't think of Kara, but then Lim Teck told me that we might be able to get Kara, and I was like "You can? Of course let's go for her!" We then attended the Hong Kong Film Festival and that was the first time I met Kara. Before that I had sent her the script and she had read it, so when we met, I could tell she really liked it and was very supportive. Her shooting duration is approximately for 10 days where she would be flying back and forth from Hong Kong to Penang and Singapore. I thank her for having the trust in me to work on this project.
In your movie that explores the cultures of Singapore and Malaysia, why did you pick Penang as your filming location to represent Malaysia?
Because I'm from Penang (laughs). Apart from the differences between Penang and Singapore, they also have a lot in common. Both are islands and both are modern cities. Penang is very versatile in a sense that it has all the scenes one could find; it has a cityscape, paddy fields, villages and more. So Penang is a very unique place to film at.
What are your hopes for this movie?
Firstly, I would pray that the movie would be successful, and I hope the movie will be able to travel abroad. I think the Malaysian and Singaporean film industry is growing so we should try to bring our movies overseas. We did that with "Ice Kacang Puppy Love", which was the first movie to travel across Asia, China, Hong Kong and Singapore, so hopefully this movie can travel as well.
Thank you Adrian Teh and good luck with the filming!
Catch Adrian Teh's rom-com "The Wedding Diary" when it comes to theatres in Malaysia & Singapore this November!
Cinema Online, 26 April 2011