RI008 - Romano / Challenge Accepted - 09/2016


updated: 2022-02-13

I was told we were doing an advert for Romano and we were in the process of seperating from Digipost. The interesting thing was instead of asking me or Đông, Rice&Partners invited Peter Aquilina to be the Director. Perhaps we didn’t prove ourselves enough?

Leave it as that and also Peter did an amazing job for Tiger Everest, Andy ask me to take the Production Design role. I said straight away that me alone cannot handle such a big project. The reply I got was the help from Đại and Nguyên.

If anybody have come closed to a film set, you can realise very quickly that this is very silly proposition because the Art Department demands a very practical skillset which is completely different with the technical stuff of camera and post-production. Đại and Nguyên are not carpenters or mechanics. They have no knowledge of electricity and have never paint a wall let a lone build a film set. This is also not their problem either because they didn’t sign up in a Set Production company but at Digipost where they mainly do post-production and Rice where they produce short documentaries. I don’t know what went on but my trust in Andy was a little shaken at this point. More over, to do all this Art Department work, we didn’t even have nail let alone equipment to build a set. I don’t really know why I didn’t question why Rice&Partners didn’t get Lý Bình Sơn who did the Tiger Everest to take this job?

Perhaps it was all because we had half a year sticking together and with a pretty good success; and I also see Rice’s independence as a great news. Instead of denying the role, I didn’t response and poured even more effort and brain power to get the work done. Not done with all this strangness, Any asked me to keep the cost as low as possible even though I have no clue what the budget I was in charge of for the Art Department. This was really my major mistake when I had time to look back.

Nghĩa(Khờ), a friend that I used to play music with at the time had been in the cast for a short by Nghĩa(Xù) and was wondering about the future carrer path. I thought perhaps I might get two birds with one stone if I get this guy to join with some sort of bullshit salary promising experience & exposure. But to be honestly, I had no time to find the right guy either because things happened too fast anyway.

The first scenehas a stage, without a table saw and no woods, I ordered some pallets and cover them with a cheapo carpet with no care of the floor smoothness what so ever. The scene needed music instruments, I brought all my amps and even borrow Khờ’s guitar to get it over with. Next scene, we needed some big motorcycle, I contacted my old street friends, borrowing/renting their trophy bikes for the production. Anyhow I was going to order a board with the word “Thử Vai” but forgot to collect it from the print shop so we improvised on the set.

Khờ’s humble effort from this project got the Assistant Director’s attention and they made connection. Challenge was accepted and done with.

The thing which I was supposed to concern with but at the time I did not care was my own salary. It was still monthly paid - no bonus, no raised and was comparable to an average car driver.



The list is still missing some names because my memory is very limited. Please forgive me. If friends are reading this please contact be so I can add your name.

published: 2016-09-15


/Production Unit/
/Executive Producer/
/Production Design/
/Location Sound/
/Assistant Director/
/Art Department/
/Sound Engineer/