KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 10 — If you have played the game “Where’s Waldo?” as a child, you’d remember the fun involved in trying to spot the bespectacled character in his red-and-white-striped shirt.
Well, come Malaysia Day on September 16 this year, you may try a different version of the game: spot a fellow Malaysian (albeit a well-known one) in a video on YouTube.
Musician Pete Teo, famous for videos like Here in my Home, 15Malaysia and Undilah, is back with a new one called Hari Malaysia.
Timed to commemorate Malaysia’s 50th anniversary, the video sends contemporary Malaysian personalities back to our country’s past.
Using a mix of archive film footage from the 50s and 60s and CGI/visual effects, famous faces including Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, Datin Sofia Jane, Nurul Izzah Anwar, Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, Lim Kit Siang, Tan Sri Tunku Razaleigh Hamzah, Santokh Singh, Sharifah Amani, Jinnyboy, Ben Yong, Datuk David Arumugum, Namewee, Jo Kukathas and Ramli Ibrahim appear during the founding moments of Malaysia’s history.
If you can spot them, that is.
By getting such diverse personalities – some from opposite sides of the political divide – come together and collaborate, Teo has pulled off what seems an incredible feat.
“Many were more than happy to get involved when we called them, schedules permitting of course.
“It wasn’t difficult to convince them simply because my projects have always been less about the politics and more about the message for the general Malaysian society,” he said.
Given a production of this size involving so many people, Teo and his crew faced many challenges including a limited budget as the project was privately funded by donors and supporters of his previous works.
“With the location, we had to find somewhere we could control. Like a studio, but it could not be expensive due to the duration we wanted it for. We settled on a house whose owner gave us permission to set up for the production,” he explained.
“The other big issue was that the dates we had wanted to shoot were just before the elections. This made the schedules of the politicians very busy. Just like Undilah, we had 24 talents that were coming in so scheduling was very difficult to manage. We actually had to lose several people due to their schedules.”
In the end, the entire process took five months to complete. Producer Bahir Yeusuff said, “It actually began in earnest in March this year, with pre-production and research into what footage was available to us and at what cost. Studio Voxel, our VFX guys, also had to research the technicalities of the visual effects that were needed.”
The Hari Malaysia video comes in two versions: one soundtracked by a Malay song entitled Kembara and the other using its English counterpart, Slipstream.
Both songs are written by Teo with Malay lyrics provided by Amran Omar, and sung by artists Asmidar and Melina William respectively. Renowned Japanese violinist Sayaka Katsuki also provides orchestration work for Kembara.
By sharing this destined-to-go-viral video with his fellow Malaysians, Teo hopes to “show that we share one past as a people regardless of differences and have one common destiny.”
Sounds like the best way to celebrate 50 years of Malaysia – together.