Horror movie "Pusaka", the feature directorial effort of Razaisyam Rashid, scares up RM12 million at the box office and receives a positive reception from the audience.
Now Razaisyam is back with a horror drama series entitled "Sembilan", exclusively for fans of local dramas. The 10-episode drama is a collaborative production between Malaysia and Indonesia, which stars the likes of Beto Kusyairy, Amerul Affendi, Atiqah Hasiholan and Bima Azriel.
According to Razaisyam, "Sembilan" is like a steppingstone for local productions to continue producing great drama series in the future.
For the uninitiated, his previous directing works include helming the movie "CEO", telefilms "Gadis Kosmos" and "Hamba Iblis", and drama "Mandatori". Apart from that, he was also the executive producer and editor for the action movie, "Crossroads: One Two Jaga".
We spoke to Razaisyam at the press conference following the first episode preview of "Sembilan" that was recently held at MBO The Starling Mall, Petaling Jaya.
Read on for our interview with Razaisyam Rashid.
Cinema Online: Can you share with us a bit more about "Sembilan"?
Razaisyam: The whole storyline is fictional. I wanted to focus on regional stories and the clashing of borders and cultures between Sarawak, Malaysia, and Kalimantan, Indonesia. The border between Sarawak and Kalimantan is not much explored. I try to portray it as a border that cannot be entered by outsiders.
How was the experience working with talented local and Indonesian actors?
It was an interesting experience for me because they're all professionals and gave a good performance. Even though I didn't understand their dialects but just by looking at their facial expressions, I knew that they were embodying their characters. So I had no issue working with the main cast.
Directing younger ones like Bima Azriel is, however, a whole new experience for me because I had never directed an actor who listens so well. Throughout the filming, I did not feel like I was directing a child and I treated her like and adult.
What were the challenges you faced while directing the drama?
Honestly, this is heavier for me to direct compared to "Pusaka". I felt like "Pusaka" had no challenges at all but with "Sembilan", it was hard because it really tested my mind. I had to research for the script and storyline properly and that was something challenging for me because our motive was to prove to viewers that we could produce something new. The location also made the filming even more challenging and tiring. Being involved in this project made me like I was doing the filming for five movies at once.
What are the differences between "Pusaka" and "Sembilan"?
If we take a look at the concept and storyline, both works are very different. "Pusaka" focuses more on action and investigation, while the drama "Sembilan" is filled with emotional turmoil. If viewers are interested more in action, they can watch "Pusaka", and if they want a much calmer storyline, they will get that with "Sembilan".
How do you hope the viewers will react to this drama?
Since local audiences often look down on local dramas and are getting tired of romantic dramas, I'm trying to change our industry by bringing something different. We need viewers' support to continue producing a drama like this. If there's no good reception, there's no point for us to continue it because we do our duties based on what viewers want.
So I hope that everyone will give their full support and watch "Sembilan" because it's rare for a local production to produce such work. It is also a steppingstone for local productions to continue making better drama series in the future
What other projects are you working on next?
At the moment, we are working on the sequel to "Pusaka". The script for the sequel is still in the process and filming is expected to begin next year. The production cost for the sequel is also expected to be higher than the first movie. Most likely the same cast will return and we will strive to ensure the "Pusaka" sequel will be better and more suspenseful than the first production.
(Photo source: Razaisyam Rashid's Instagram)
Don't miss out on watching horror series "Sembilan" exclusively through the Astro GO app from this 6 December.