"Geng: The Adventure Begins" is Malaysia's first CGI animation film | News & Features | Cinema Online
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"Geng: The Adventure Begins" is Malaysia's first CGI animation film

Writer: Ezekiel Lee Zhiang Yang

Managing Director Haji Burhanuddin explaining to Cinema Online about the production
29 Jun - Malaysia will have its own answer to "Shrek" and "The Incredibles" when "Geng: The Adventure Begins" opens nationwide next year. "Geng" is our first feature-length animation movie using computer-generated imagery or CGI.

According to managing director of Les' Copaque Productions, Haji Burhanuddin Md Radzi, the production is a bold move into an untapped market. The movie, which sources most of its technical expertise from students of Multimedia University (MMU), has won a few awards for its trailer at a local short film competition.

Creative Director Mohd Nizam said: "We were in the midst of production and when we found out about the competition, we decided to submit a trailer for the movie as an entry. Who would've known we would win!"

"Geng: The Adventure Begins", or its alternative title, "Geng: Misteri Hantu Durian", is about strange occurrences that scare the residents of Kampong Durian Runtuh. Stories tell of a beast lurking in the forest at night but nobody dares to find out what it is until Badrol and Lim stumble onto the heart of the mystery itself. The two boys, together with their newfound friends, Rajoo the animal whispering boy, Ros the village beauty, and the mischievous twins, Upin and Ipin, embark on a journey of adventure and mystery.

A still from a movie featuring Upin and Ipin
Cinema Online was at the production house to take a sneak peek at the making of the film. "A film like this is not easy to do. Even Pixar's films take three to four years to complete. Imagine the hours of work behind each second of film, which consists of many frames requiring colouring and rendering," explained Haji Burhanuddin. He added that the production is also very expensive (to the tune of RM4 million), and despite support from the government, it should not be undertaken without careful planning and management.

Mohd Nizam continued: "People have approached us when we were at MIP TV, an annual event in France for audio-visual professionals, about their interest in our project. A Latvia-based company had offered to syndicate our movie in their language!"

Scriptwriter Mohd Anas said: "We really hope our efforts will be appreciated by the local crowd because our success starts first at home." It is learnt that merchandising opportunities for the movie are already in negotiation.
L-R: Technical & Production Director Mohd. Safwan, Content Supervisor & Scriptwriter Mohd. Anas, Creative & Marketing Director Mohd. Nizam, Animation Director Mohd. Usamah Zaid and Rendering Supervisor Mohd Zarin Cinema Online felt as if we were in a Pixar studio!
"Geng: The Adventure Begins" a.k.a "Geng: Misteri Hantu Durian" is being planned for nationwide release next year.
Cinema Online, 05 July 2007

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