The cast of "Bangunan".
"Bangunan" follows Khir Rahman, Sein Qudsi and Aqasha as the trio investigates a haunted building, infamous for its missing people cases. The movie is presented in a docudrama format, using real footages taken from the building's closed-circuit television (CCTV).
Before the movie opens in cinemas on 5 February, Cinema Online had the chance to talk to the cast at the movie's premiere recently.
Find out which parts of the movie are real and which are not:
"Bangunan" uses real CCTV footages.
Cinema Online: Did the events in the movie really take place? And apart from the last story, are the materials used for the first two stories all real?
Khir: Yes, those CCTV footages from 2010 are real, not set up. The rest we filmed last year. Everything that you see on film, we found them all during research for another film, "Garang". For those who follow my Instagram, you would notice we planned on making "Garang" before. However, in the end we changed our track when we found these stories. So the first two stories are definitely real, and the last story is a reenactment.
Is Mr. Yusran a real professional in the field (as a medium)?
Sein: Yes. I've known Yusran for a long time. Like mentioned in the movie, that patch of white hair on his head has been there since he was 12. Basically, I've used his medium services for many cases. [Jokes] You can call him too if you have any case.
If the building is really haunted, why is it not closed down? And was it easy to get permission to film there?
Khir: We had to sign an agreement not to disclose the building's name and location. Sein accidentally said the name in one of the interview scenes and we had to censor it.
Sein: It wasn't so easy to get the agreement. But if we were to show it all on film, the process will be very long. We decided to just show the important part which is of the hauntings.
Did anything else happen during and after the filming?
Khir: No, we didn't get nightmares, warnings in our sleep or anything like that.
Sein: No other disturbances happened during filming, though some of the footages that we recorded – audio, visual – did get messed up, unusable. Also, Yusran says this premiere is not supposed to happen, the movie is supposed to go straight to cinema on its release day only. But thankfully, everything is going well tonight.
Aqasha: As the sound guy, I could say that there weren't any out-of-the-ordinary sounds on set. It's just that during the filming process, we did experience many things that interfered with the filming. What you see on screen is what we went through. There are some parts of the footages that had problems. We tried to use whatever parts we managed to salvage.
What happened to Khalid [possessed man] after the filming?
Sein: We couldn't contact him after filming. Yusran knows him well so he didn't let us visit Khalid. But this is a normal occurrence for Khalid, he is basically a mediator. He is easily approached by supernatural entities, which is why Yusran works with him.
The possession scene in "Bangunan".
In the third story, why choose to do a reenactment, why not continue with the found footage format of the first two stories even if you'd have to use a story from a different building?
Khir: That last part was more to fulfil the 90-minute quota. As after we did the first two, we noticed that we didn't have enough to make a full movie. So we took a story we think is interesting and made a reenactment of it.
Sein: Yusran advised us to stop filming in the building, so we did. We used whatever we managed to collect for the first two stories.
That ghost depiction in the end, where did you get the imagery from?
Khir: We based it on the storyteller's description and on our own imagination. We don't know how it would really look like as we never met the [mute] girl who really experienced it.
What happens to "Garang" now that "Bangunan" is out?
Khir: We'll put that on hold. It's a good story, a different style from "Bangunan".
What's the strength of "Bangunan" when compared to "Villa Nabila" and "Puaka Balai Gombak"?
Khir: Its strength is it doesn't start from a script. About 80% of the movie is not directed. Though we did plan to co-direct for "Garang" but for this movie, it cannot be said that it is directed by Khir and Sein, because only the last 10-minute was. For the beginning, we did not do any directing. As for these three movies, with its similar genre, to come out at almost the same time, we had no say in that. It wasn't our decision. We're worried, but we heard that "Villa Nabilla" did well, so hopefully the success will be the same for "Bangunan".
Will there be a sequel for this movie?
Khir: If it does well, we'll probably use the money to develop "Garang". Even if we were to make "Bangunan 2", it sort of already deviates from "Bangunan" as the sequel would technically be planned, unlike its predecessor. We want the whole unscripted, unplanned thing to stay as it is.
Cinema Online, 02 February 2015