Sunday, March 16, 2008
Wanna share with you. Two weeks ago, I had film shooting, quite big, I think it was the biggest film shooting I have ever had in Bahrain. I do film or photo shooting at my hotel (a hotel where I work for) at least once a month. Mostly small scale shooting, with 3-4 up to 10 crew. But this time, I handled 30 pax.
The production house (PH) was FilmWorks from Dubai. They were filming in Bahrain on behalf of Bahrain’s Economic Development Board (EDB), the very important, strong and rich board of the Kingdom. This board are currently taking care of the country’s commercial film. They have been preparing everything, from the national tourism master plan, empowerment, implementation, and branding.
EDB approached us to be one of the film locations. They chose our La Bellevue lounge bar, because of the view and the ambience. Other sites were the Bahrain shouq (traditional market), mall, Manama city, Exhibition road, etc. According to Gino, the production coordinator of the filmworks, they like our lounge because it is very suitable for business lunch, the mood is calm and relax, the lighting is dimmed, the service is attentive, and what more…? Hmm…representing gulf hospitality.
The commercial itself talks about Bahrain hospitality, tourism, trade, investment, and economic development. With title “smiling Bahrain”.
It’s pretty funny watching the director, i tell you. He was giving instructions to the model only with words… ”come one… action…. smile, serious… smile… serious again, smile…” (I don’t understand what was he doing, he’s directing or playing, haha…).
The clip captures some Bahrainis who are smiling while doing their routines, kind of depicting people as the main asset, but you know, in the real life, everything’s is lack here, including shortage of human capital. But it’s okay, seems the government recognizes their weaknesses and tries to solve the problem through promoting the people as part of tourism and economic development. That’s smart enough!
There were four models working that day, one was a beautiful girl who was smiling all the time with background of a couple having drinks and a young lady passing by the lounge.
I had to scarify my off day because of this shooting. The most possible day to shoot was Friday and we had to work from 6am to 11am. No worry, as far as I enjoy it, and I think I need this experience, you know, learning by witnessing… lol.
I had to prepare the location, the car park, the catering and of course, permission from by boss. The production house is pretty professional, we had 3 four times meeting before we decide to shoot the location. Just to ensure everything is alright. The day before the shooting, I double checked with other departments, especially with F&B, Housekeeping and Engineering.
I had to wake up early morning, because I had to coordinate with the security to park the crew cars. I woke up 4.30am, got shower and already at the resort at 5.45am, hmm… the weather was just great. At 6am, Saddam and Gino came and inspected the location, just to make sure everything’s in the right spot.
At 6.30am, three big trucks came and other vans headed to Muharraq wing (the hotel’s southern area), the main access to La Perle restaurant, Hawar Ballroom and the La Bellevue Lounge. I asked Hamed, to arrange the cars, especially to locate the silent generator as close as possible to the film location.
There were 30 crew, including one director from the UK, some crew from Dubai, local make up artist, fashion artist, gaffer, cameraman, head of production, lighting from Bahrain and some guys that I don’t know, I know them as only film crew. I saw one guy, Arabic, wearing glass, he was an engineer specialized in camera. He prepare the giant came, in which, according to Gino has 500 frames in one shoot, while normal camre has only 24 frames, can you image that?! It means, this huge camera can run very slow motion.
I suddenly wondering if Indonesia or atleast Bali has a very strong body like EDB. It makes me jealous to know EDB, I covet to have this body in my country. Haha… I must be dreaming…
EDB knows how to manage tourism properly, even professionally. They started through research and auditing the whole stakeholders of tourism, after understanding the importance of tourism for the country. They are very serious managing the sector, the people is aware and ready to welcome tourism. And one thing they really understand but we (Bali, Indonesia tourism authority) don’t , is that managing tourism is not only promoting the beauty of natural and cultural resources, it is more than integrated coordination among stakeholders, consolidation, working together to reach the common and agreed goal. Like pressing one button, linking to all systems…
Promoting the island through films, exhibitions, collaterals, events, arts, ambassadors is not only a matter of tourism, but overall development of a nation. This is an investment to attract investment…