Director Chiu (far right) signing a "Think Big Big" poster with his all-female cast.
Just in time for Chinese New Year, director Chiu Keng Guan will be releasing his latest movie, "Think Big Big".
Set to open in cinemas this 15 February, the movie tells of a plus-sized girl called Moon, who dreams of becoming an astronaut. She lives a happy, care-free life working as a mascot but her debts soon catch up with her, forcing her to join a weight-loss competition that requires her to share her fitness journey on social media.
Starring in the movie are Miss Astro alums Serene Lim and Vivienne Oon, singer Ruby Yap, Moon Yoong, Joanne Lau, and Keigrey Kam.
This marks the director's maiden attempt at helming a movie with an all-female cast, a move which he admitted was a challenge as he himself was not so informed when it comes to the friendship and habits of the opposite gender.
Cinema Online managed to steal a bit of the busy director's time during the movie's launch at Sunway Pyramid recently and ask him more about "Think Big Big".
The director is fulfilling his dream of going into space with "Think Big Big".
Cinema Online: What is this movie about and what inspired you to make it?
This movie is about dreams, about dieting, about beauty. In the trailer you can see that the movie has a space theme. It is because it's inspired by my own love for space when I was still in school. I used to wish I could go up into space but that didn't happen, so I'm using this movie instead to make my dreams come true.
What was your biggest challenge in filming this movie?
The biggest challenge for me is I've never done a movie featuring an all-female cast. I have no idea what do girls often talk about. What girls eat during meals and all that.
Then why did you decide to focus on an all-female cast this time around?
As a filmmaker, as a creator, I would like to challenge myself and try something different. In the beginning, I did family type of movies, then slowly I changed to brotherhood. Now I think it's time I try to do something different and I have some female friends, their story and their sisterhood are really touching to me. So I thought why not do something related to this?
Moon, a carefree girl who suddenly finds herself thrust into a weight-loss competition, which is also shared on social media.
How did you do your research for this movie?
When you want to make a movie, a script, you need to do a study, so I had to talk to more female friends and ask them about what they gossip about, what they talk about when they have more friends together. So it's something quite interesting.
Your films are always full of uplifting messages, what's the message you intend to deliver with "Think Big Big"?
Do you know this story about a father and son and their donkey? They are taking the donkey to the market to sell it. Along the way people keep telling them how to properly take the donkey. They end up tying the donkey by its legs to a pole and carrying him like that to the market. But in the end they can't sell the donkey because it falls into the river and can't swim to save itself because it is still tied up.
When I read this story, it made me think how I can create my own story that is something along this line. "Think Big Big" is trying to deliver the message that everyone should be himself or herself, and not bother about what others say.
"Think Big Big" is a story of friendship and loving oneself unconditionally.
Which locations did you pick as your filming spots this time and why those locations?
Bukit Pelanduk, Seremban, KL. We set the whole thing in a school but you can't tell that it's in a school. I think that all the locations in Malaysia are beautiful, it depends on how you see it. I chose Bukit Pelanduk because I used to live there, so I wanted to do something for my hometown as well.
Are you directing any other movies at the moment?
Now I'm directing a movie in China, it's about a marathon. It's a big movie so it's taking quite some time for casting and I'm a bit worried because we have to shoot during winter, -30 degrees, very, very cold. We'll be filming after the Chinese New Year.
Another film is an "Ola Bola" type of movie, a whole nation thing spanning across 20 or 30 years, and we're still doing the pre-production for that. That one might be for the year after, only then we will shoot in Malaysia.
Cinema Online, 03 February 2018