University Malaysia- Teaching Film Making Up North




Universiti Malaysia Kelantan campus- impressive collection of 2 storey buildings stretching into the horizon

Universiti Malaysia Kelantan campus- impressive collection of 2 storey buildings stretching into the horizon

The state of Kelantan is located next to the Thai border and home to University Malaysia Kelantan. Its captital, Kota Bahru, was breached by the Japanese invaders on their way to Singapore, back in WWII. Compared to the national capital of Kuala Lumpur, traffic is smooth flowing even during peak hours. Motorists are tolerant and driving in Kelantan is a pleasant experience.

UMK's large auditorium can be seen behind this concrete plaque

UMK's large auditorium can be seen behind this concrete plaque

Our partner and authorised Apple reseller, SwiftTech Asia has set up a film making studio in University Malaysia Kelantan. Some of the equipment UMK purchased includes 2 units of JVC HM 100 full HD video cameras, FinalCut Express, a set of Film Gear professional video lights and Photoflex softbox sets. The most difficult to transport being the mammoth 52″ JVC LCD.

Some of the equipment purchased by the faculty of Creative Technology and Heritage

Some of the equipment purchased by the faculty of Creative Technology and Heritage

Baron flew up north to train the lecturers and tutors on the principles of film making which covered cinematography, film editing and chroma key lighting/removal. The faculty of Creative Technology and Heritage were attentive and asked challenging questions most notably regarding green screen lighting and removal techniques.

“I want Baron to come talk to our students during our open day. We need professionals from the industry to talk to our students.”
Ahamad Tarmizi b. Azizan
Acting Head of Department, Department of Design and Creative Technologies
Faculty of Creative Technologies and Heritage
Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK).

The lights from Film Gear were excellent. When paired with the Photoflex softbox lights, they formed a great team and Baron was able to ‘highlight’ the effect of each light in the 3 point lighting system. The HM 100 video cameras also performed superbly, enabling the capture of the elusive rim lighting. After the staff completed a short videography exercise, footage fromt he HM 100 were brought into Final Cut Express and the green screen was successfully removed. Fine synergy between the lighting, cinematography and editing equipment.

Baron begins film making training to the lecturers and tutors of Universiti Malaysia Kelantan

Baron begins film making training to the lecturers and tutors of Universiti Malaysia Kelantan

Some of our students were police officers. We had a constable, a corporal and a lady sergeant attend our class. Apparently, they doubled up as instructors! Mr. Tarmizi, the acting head of department, listened in on Baron’s lecture made various relevant and challenging questions. A former police officer, Mr. Tarmizi made it clear that, ‘I want Baron to come talk to our students during our open day. We need professionals from the industry to talk to our students’. That was a good day!

SwiftTech Asia's Managing Director, Louis, demonstrates the Boom Mic from Azden

SwiftTech Asia's Managing Director, Louis, demonstrates the Boom Mic from Azden

The night was spent tasting the local Kelantanese dishes. Reputed to serve the best ayam percik , Yati Ayam Percik is a restaurant in the heart of Kota Bahru town. It is said to be the best restaurant for authentic malay (Kelantanese) dishes. There were a host of ‘meaty’ dishes- chicken, fish and beef. It seems vegetables don’t feature much in their cooking. It’s a wonder how so many Kelantan folks are slim!

The class transferring footage into Final Cut Express on the Mac

The class transferring footage into Final Cut Express on the Mac

Here, Friday is a public holiday and Sundays are like Mondays.Mr. Tarmizi said many who visited Kelantan fall in love with the state. It’s easy to see why- the entire town including its outskirts are clean and the people are polite and helpful, always ready with a smile. Contrary to popular impression, Kelantan is actually a moderate islamic state and the various race get along just fine.

Mr. Tarmizi also iterated about the weather. Kelantan takes the brunt of our tropical weather. Come rainy season, the storms make sure it gets flooded all the time. How are they affected by this? They love it, the state declares it a holiday and they all have fun in the ensuing flood!

We'll be back to impart more knowledge and experience warm Kelantan hospitality

We'll be back to impart more knowledge and experience warm Kelantan hospitality

We wish to thank Louis (MD of SwiftTech Asia) for sponsoring our flight and for the beautiful room at The Renaissance Kelantan. Baron claims its the best bed he’s slept on to date, imagine a king size and 6 of the softest, fluffiest pillows that take you to dreamland the moment your head makes contact!

Real estate. The room at Renaissance Kelantan. The 40" LCD TV couldn't fit into the frame.

Real estate. The room at Renaissance Kelantan. The 40" LCD TV couldn't fit into the frame.

This is only part 1 of the film making training. We’ll be back during the rainy season next month… Let’s see if the floods live up their to reputation ;)

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About Baron

Film Director, Certified Steadicam Operator, Authorized Glidecam Trainer, Sony Pro Trainer, Apple Certified Pro (Final Cut Pro), Grass Valley Authorised Trainer (Edius), Part-time Lecturer (Saito College)
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