Love

Fitrah + Luthfi

 

It’s been quite sometime since I shot a wedding. I must thank my lovely clients who trust me to shoot their special day despite being a fresh face in the wedding photography industry. As much as my belief in love is starting to fade away, I love weddings. They give me the little glimmer of hope I need to just to reignite my faith in loving, and being loved. I’ve got a lifetime ahead of me to understand truly what it means to love, anyways. Like everybody else says, I am still very young – perhaps a child even.

Fitrah and Luthfi contacted me about two months prior to their wedding, and I was excited to shoot their wedding because Fitrah kept feeding me with the idea of a film themed wedding. She was a very efficient bride, I must commend on that! When I met the couple two weeks before the wedding, she came prepared with an event programme and people movement chart. I must say, I was very impressed. Now future brides, take a heed from her! Prepare your orang-orang kuat (strong people) for your wedding well!

When they asked for suggestions on the outdoor photo shoot, I only had one place in mind – Tampines Eco Garden. That place, for a brief moment in time, bore a special place in my heart. Bringing my clients there to celebrate the unification of their love meant a lot to me. It meant that I moved on. I no longer crave to remember the memories it once held for me.

That being said, I hope Fitrah and Luthfi have a long lasting marriage ahead. Godspeed.

486818_469781813100931_1896259643_n

922998_469781996434246_1388155042_n

943151_469782023100910_1541302701_n

945249_469782209767558_1141363332_n

960162_469782089767570_424960368_n

 

260267_469782119767567_367210751_n

268989_469782043100908_508437411_n

936261_469782266434219_1456540953_n

960038_469782423100870_1370703371_n

971551_469782523100860_1704533106_n

Standard
A Date Series, Films, Love, Musings

A Date with Patrick J. Adams

I don’t post much here but if you are a friend on Facebook, or following me on Twitter, you would probably know I’m a huge Suits fan. New York, law, witty jokes, dashing actors and actresses, and particularly my kind of lead actor – what there not to love?

Yesterday, I got invited to a private party at the Royal Room Pan Pacific for a chance get up close and (umm, too) personal with Patrick J. Adams, aka Mike Ross. He’s exactly my type of guy – tall, skinny, sharp features and awkward. Yes, awkward. I love awkward guys. Heh.

Enjoy the pictures! Just don’t kill me yet.

Image

First red carpet event for me! Haha of course I’m just a fan girl hogging the red carpet. Not in a position to be there without a free pass lol.

ImageLook at how gorgeous Patrick J Adams is!

ImageStill melting…

ImageAs much as I want Patrick to myself, I must admit Troian and Patrick look really good together.

ImageShe was wearing heels but I bet we’re the same height.

ImageHEHEHEHEHEHHE look at my gushing face!

ImageAsked them to smile for the camera and they gave me this! Hehe

And so with that, my birthday wish came true. Also, I’m thinking that if teaching doesn’t work out, I wouldn’t mind doing Public Relations. So many new friends made yesterday!

Standard
Faith, Love, Musings

Say “I’m Fine, Alhamdulillah.”

I’ve recently signed up for classes titled ‘Lessons from the Big Screen’ with Safinah Institute with Ustaz Mizi Wahid. We’ve had 4 sessions now, although I’ve only attended two because of work commitments. Anyhows, at the end of each lesson, he assigns us some questions to ponder over the next week before we meet again. Last Friday’s session was a bit painful, so I decided I should write my thoughts out. After all, writing will always be my first love.

The class structure is such that we watch a movie that relates to the particular topic Ustaz has chosen, then we have a short discussion about it. Not really to critique the movie but more to absorb what we have learnt from it. So last week, we were watching Everybody’s Fine, featuring Robert De Niro. I knew I fell in love with the film at first scene. You know how artsy-fartsy I can get with my shots and all, and the film was shot exactly the way I would do it. Sigh. I really need to starting writing and making films again… but that shall be for another post.

Basically the story evolves around Frank (Robert De Niro) who is a recently widowed man having lost his wife a few months back just after Christmas. One day, after all his four kids cancelled on him for dinner, he decides to pay them a visit instead of waiting for them to come over to his place. The synopsis from iMDB is as follows:

A widower who realized his only connection to his family was through his wife sets off on an impromptu road trip to reunite with each of his grown children.

Pretty much a shorter version of what I wrote. Damn. I won’t spoil the story for you but I would suggest you watch the film yourselves. It’s emotional, touching and so real. I was crying even we were discussing the film (yeah right Sham you cry during every movie you watch *rolls eyes*).

Ustaz asked us if we are ever really ‘fine’. Challenges and problems will always be a part of being a true believer. We can never run away from problems. In fact, being tested is all part of being Muslim.

“Do the people think that they will be left to say ‘We believe’ and they will not be tried?”

[29:2]

We often hide our problems, some of us using that as an escape. Don’t think about the problem, and it won’t be there. But what is ironic is that we usually hide them from those who are closest to us. We fear for unnecessary concerns or worry from those closest to us. It is necessary, though, to have a confidante, someone to hear you out.

The thing is, our problems and challenges are a sign of love from God. He wants us to remain in faith even through the most turbulent times. In facing and handling the challenge, we earn God’s pleasure (mardhatillah) which is the key to Jannah.

“The greatest reward comes from the greatest trial. When Allah loves a people, He tests them, and whoever accept it gains the pleasure of Allah and whoever complains earns His wrath.”

– Narrated by Tirmizi and Ibnu Majah

We don’t realise it but God gives you the current problem to remove you from eternal sorrow. You know how fitspo blogs say ‘pain in temporary’ when they motivate you to exercise? It’s pretty much the same thing!

“When Allah wills good for His slave, He hastens his punishment in this world, and when He wills bad for His slave, He withholds his sins until he comes with them on the Day of Resurrection.”

– Narrated by Tirmizi and Albanee

How we deal with our problems will reveal our true character, and indeed, God only wants the best for us. The more pressure and problems He puts us through, the better we become. Rihanna sang Bright Like a Diamond, right? So should we! True loss happens when a man faces a trial and he turns away from God.

“Whoever Allah wants good for him, He puts them to test. He puts them through difficulties. Like a diamond or some metal that has to be burnt and then that which is bad from it is removed so that you have that which is the pure diamond or the pure gold or whatever. Put them to tests, trials and difficulties.”

– Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim

So there you have it, some of the takeaways from last week’s lesson. I hope I am disciplined enough to make this a weekly entry so everyone can benefit.

InshaAllah Kheir 🙂

Standard
Faith, Love, Musings

Of Planning for the Future

It just dawned to me that’ll be turning 23 in about 2 months’ time. I’m not in denial, or afraid, rather I’m just surprised at how fast time flew by. I felt my life stopped at 16, because memories of high school seems so fresh in my mind. I guess it’s true when they say college is when time decides to fast forward itself.

I’ve been on full time work since August, and I must say I like the reaps of what I sow. Now that I’m working full time, I think I should make it a point to fulfill the list of things I want to do before 30. Well, I still have seven years in my hands but I can’t be too sure about having time. Work along with my freelance photography job makes “me time” very precious.

In 2010, I made a list of what I want to accomplish by 30. I have to admit, I haven’t done anything except make one out of the five films I’m supposed to make. As such, I’m shooting sort of a short film when I head to Hong Kong next week. If all goes as planned, it’ll be released in February, inshaAllah. I really want to make this film because I need to let go of things I’ve yet to let go of. I sound pathetic, but Adele is my biggest inspiration when my relationship failed. At the end of the day, as much as I am deeply saddened by what happened, I want to move on without any weight on my shoulders and put the past behind me.

As for now, I need to sort out my life and plan how I’m supposed to get into NYU Film school before 30.

Standard
Faith, Love, Musings

A Man of Politics

It’s too early in the morning for a blog update, but I figured I needed to let my frustration out.

When my relationship ended, there were so many questions in my head – mainly why did it have to end. Then I realized it wasn’t him or me that ended it. It was the will of God that saved me from a possibly disastrous relationship. Sure, tears kept rolling down my cheeks and for weeks I kept to myself, holding up strong only when I went out with my friends. Now, my conscious has showed me why it couldn’t work.

We were just too different on so many pages. One of those pages is politics. I’m a student of politics. He shies away from ever talking about politics. Whenever I let out my opinions on Obama, or the local government not doing anything about foreign talent/labour, he would simply curtly smile and nod his head. I could never get an opinion out of him without erupting into a heated argument.

Last night, I watched the US presidential debate between Obama and Romney. I wanted to discuss it so badly with someone, only to resort to twitter and my colleagues for some opinions. The sudden need for an intellectual debate or conversation brought me to realize that I need a man who could tell me what he thinks of a given issue. I cannot be with an Always Yes Man. I need a man who would fight for a cause.

Inasmuch as a man who is pious is luring, I cannot demand a spouse like that when I myself am struggling with my faith. I understand that God has willed for me a man who is compatible and completes me, both emotionally and in my faith. For now, I would be contented with someone who thinks like me, someone who is always a page ahead of me and helping me to catch up.

I won’t go looking for him, but I know he’s out there waiting for the right time to approach me. I need to have patience, and keep myself occupied mentally and physically. I can always rely on Him to keep myself in check emotionally.

Standard
Faith, Love, Musings

My Letter to God

Dear God,

First and foremost, thank you for blessing me with a life so full and enriching with experiences I would never trade for. Wonderful family (though we are kinda apart right now), a terrific group of friends consisting of girlfriends who will always back me up and at the same time kill me, and of course, a lovely boyfriend who keeps my Facebook password so I will not degenerate into a social media psycho.

Secondly, thank you for all that you have given me – the brains, looks (I’m being thankful for my normal looks, not praising myself ah), and a tongue which, alhamdulillah, I have managed to keep in control since being twenty. I cannot thank you enough for giving me the talents I’ve acquired over the years – verily they belong to You and I am merely your vicegerent in this life on earth. My stories, my speeches, my scripts, my film, my writings – they are all Yours.

Gandhi believed in passive non-violence protests, and so did Martin Luther King. I’m pretty sure You know that Gandhi got that from Your Beloved Messenger, Muhammad saw. So I shall follow them as well. The Prophet was once reported saying, “Do not speak unless you can improve the situation.” I spoke earlier before I wrote this. I spoke a few minutes, hours, days, months and years before this. And yes, I know that not all that come from my mouth are good. But the good comes from You, and the bad comes from myself and the Syaitan whom you condemn.

Ya Rabb, one of the person whom I admire most is Yasmin Ahmad. You taking her away may seem unfortunate, but I think it is a blessing. I can only imagine the pain she went through when people who hated her films said very mean things about them. One of the things she taught me while she was still alive was to never go to bed angry. She wrote on her blog that it’s important we forgive every single person who’ve hurt us. There’s no use holding on to grudges.

So God, I want to forgive anyone who has hurt me in the past day or week or month or years. And I would like to apologize if I have hurt anyone in the past day or week or month or years. And yes, this includes my father. You said justice and ‘adl are central to being a Muslim, so I shall leave it to You for justice to be served in an ‘adl manner.

I hope this letter gets through the other letters. I would have sent a registered mail to you by doing a night solat, but I’m kinda having the time of the month. So digital mail is the fastest, I hope.

Till the next letter, give me the strength and the courage so I can go through life without any more hiccups.

Lots of Love,

Shams

Standard
Faith, Films, Love, Musings

The Dilemma of the Dreamer

Without even realising, October has come and passed, leaving us to rejoice in the last two months of the year. 2010 has been too fast for my liking. I guess it’s true when people tell me that once you enter uni life, the clock ticks like there’s no tomorrow.

This semester has been exciting for me. My three-day week on campus has allowed me to spend my time doing things I would rather do other than studying – because seriously, I think I’m starting to get allergic to examinations – but of course, it leaves me guilty of not trying to pull up my grades, though I know I should really be doing that. Nevertheless, modules this semester were interesting, still is I think, and lecturers could not have been more helpful. Sharmee’s Best Lecturer Award of 2010 goes to Prof Edna Lim who heads TS2238/SSA2218: Singapore Film – Performance of Identity. Awesome module, great group mates and the most exciting assignment ever – making our own short film – what more could I ask for?

Apart from school, I’ve been involved in a few productions that I wish I had put more effort in. Limited resources, so I can’t really blame myself, can I? I’m not trained in writing, filmmaking, or even a qualified production assistant, but I’m a keen learner. I have a dream, and inshallah, if all goes well, I’ll be studying to be a filmmaker.

Speaking of dreams, having written a few scripts this year and seeing them in the making, I realised the difficulty in accepting reality when you have a choice of creating the imagined. When we dream or idealise of another world, we tend to want them to come true. But seeing a dream come true through a medium that is artificial, that’s not ideal. As a writer, I’m torn between writing the truth and the constructed imagined. When I write the truth, it would force me to write only based on what I have experience. When I write the imagined, however, I would want to experience it despite knowing that it would never come true.

This is what I call, The Dilemma of the Dreamer.

There is perhaps no solution for this dilemma, but there is a prevention. I faced the dilemma once, so I stopped having high hopes on the people around me so that I know what I imagine will remain an imagination. Or rather, an illusion. I can’t pretend I have a perfect family when I know I don’t; I can’t pretend I’m the most sought-after girl when I know I’m not and I can’t pretend I’m a success when I don’t even know what success means.

For now, I’ll go back to loving myself so I’ll be happy. This one’s for you, RP. Happy Fifth Month together.

Standard
Faith, Love, Musings

The Willow

A lonesome tree
Perched at the crossroads
Against the blue sky
Branches reaching up
Towards the light that shines so bright
Reaching deep into the Earth
Seeking water to quench its thirst.

To the right or to the left?
The Willow asks
Of the Wind
To move forwards or backwards?
The Willow asks
Of the Wind

Directions, I do not know
Intentions, I do know
Wherever I go, my heart follows
Whatever I seek, my heart follows
Said the Wind.

Do not fear
If plunging down makes
Your heart skip a beat
Do not fear if soaring above makes
You forget the world beneath
Do not fear if turning right means
You make a wrong
And do not fear if turning left makes
Your journey even long,
Said the Wind.

The wind went by
The Willow rustled its leaves
Shedding those dried and yellow
The Willow took a breather
And stared at the crossroads once more
I shall not live in this sorrow,
Cause it’ll be a better day tomorrow
In this life I chose
The best, I hope
The worst, I expect
For it is my life,
My happiness.

Reaching deep into the Earth
Seeking water to quench its thirst.
Branches reaching up
Towards the light that shines so bright
Against the blue sky
Perched at the crossroads
A lonesome tree

Standard
Films, Love, Musings, SMFS

SMFS: Purnama 2 Finale (17 October 2009)

A week has passed and so did Purnama 2. From rushing for the completion of my Rikyu essay to spending an hour on make up, the Saturday of 17 October was certainly a night to remember. Apart from the rumours running around like wildfire and failed red carpet glamour, Purnama was a huge success.

The Singapore Malay Film Society (SMFS) team arrived early to set up and prepare the necessary items needed for the night. We had a registration table at the 5th level of The Cathay, complete with flowers courtesy of Liz Fleur, programme booklets, tickets and of course, the pretty ladies of SMFS to serve the guests. Reception went pretty well, I must say. 120 seats were filled up, including the guests SMFS invited. We had the honour of hosting Purnama 2 to the J.A. Halim family, Cikgu Yusnor Ef, judges Lim Yu Beng and Sanif Olek. Even Singapore Director Tan Pin Pin dropped by to watch the screenings!

9328_1148442867530_1121315568_30406151_7374619_n

One of the guests signing the guest book.

9328_1148449667700_1121315568_30406170_6953181_n

Even Mr X-Factor Effandi Mohamed came! Read about Effandi’s adventure as a visual effects artist at Dneg here.

9328_1148460387968_1121315568_30406231_4531487_n

This is not staged, I was genuinely ushering the guests over to the other door.

Watching the films, as usual, gave me chills over my spine – in a good way that is. Everytime I watch a local film production, I say to myself, “Heck this is awesome!” If you were sitting next to me in the cinema, you’d probably notice my mouth drooling over the film. Like literally, because jaw just drops each time I watch something that transfixed my eyes. In Malay terms, my mulut selalu ternganga. I’ll post a review of the films in another entry, because I just have too many things about them. OH and I watched Shingoporu Monogatari for the second time! And I met Hafidz again! Hee hee!

9328_1148467468145_1121315568_30406262_3798767_n

Pretty plaques for the awardees!

9328_1148475548347_1121315568_30406355_4498658_n

Among those present – Lim Yu Beng, Rafaat Hamzah and Cikgu Yusnor Ef

9328_1148475668350_1121315568_30406358_1789656_n

If Amalia Yunus were start a whole new series of children show, I want to be part of it! She’s a really bubbly character and her love for children led her to winning the Most Promising Director Award.

9328_1148475708351_1121315568_30406359_4047573_n

Special Mention Awardees: Ghazi Al-Qudcy (left) and Ezzam Rahman (right). But hey, they’re no stranger to local film screenings man! Read more about them here.

9328_1148486908631_1121315568_30406458_2268164_n

Special Mention Awardee: Hafidz Senor. If you haven’t read my interview with Hafidz, then read it here.

9328_1148486948632_1121315568_30406459_2783332_n

Wan citing his reasons for choosing a Chinese actor to play the part of a Japanese soldier, when at the same time, using English and Australian actors to play the part of British and Australian soldiers respectively.

9328_1148487268640_1121315568_30406466_5413902_n

Yazid aka Farid came down for Purnama 2 as well!

9328_1148586391118_1121315568_30406688_4785187_n

Isnor giving away the token of appreciation to Cikgu Yusnor Ef.

9328_1148590151212_1121315568_30406707_5525048_n

Awardees with Cikgu Yusnor Ef.

9328_1148586751127_1121315568_30406696_2507180_n

A film screening is not complete without a photo-taking session!

For a film festival that is only in its second year run, Purnama 2 is certainly a motivation for us to continue our efforts in bringing back Malay films to the silver screens. Our efforts may be small, but we’ll get to our dreams someday. For now, it is important that we have faith in our community to produce more films, be it short or feature films, so that we can say Malay films in Singapore still exist.

Insyallah.

Standard
Films, Love, Musings, SMFS, Uncategorized

SMFS: KL Trippin’ with the Oldies

Do not be fooled by the title of this post. When I say ‘oldies’, I meant veterans, not the old young people I went with. Last month, a few of us from the Singapore Malay Film Society (SMFS) went on a road trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Our main objective of crossing the Causeway for the weekend was to meet up with the veterans of Studio Jalan Ampas – Dato’ Aziz Sattar and Tan Sri Jins Shamsudin – to find out the 5Ws and 1H of working with the greatest Malay entertainer ever, the late Tan Sri P. Ramlee. We also wanted to know how it was like being in the Singapore film industry in its heyday.

Now I know many of you are mourning over the death of Michael Jackson. I am sad too, but even sadder that I did not get to live in the era P.Ramlee’s music. It seems that talented people leave the world even before they are done with their dream.

Oh well, the good die young, aye?

Anyways, on the first day, the five of us caught up with Anwardi Jamil, and his producer friend, Tom Ali, at Lotus, a 1-mintute walk from our PNB Darby Park Aparment. We talked about the film industry in Malaysia and Singapore, as well as how we can further improve the linkage between the two countries’ film industry. It’s not everyday that you get to meet industry insiders who have done large scale production for television and the big screen – well, at least for me. Since I was with the abang-abang of SMFS, they were not as jakun as I was. Or perhaps they were hiding the jakunness inside.

After lunch with Anwardi Jamil and Tom Ali, we headed back to our apartment for our midday prayers. Anwardi Jamil met us again and drove us to Finas (Perbadanan Kemajuan Filem Nasional Malaysia), the equivelent of Singapore Film Commision (SFC). Over at Finas, we explored the grounds and talked to a few people we met along the way.

pic1

Isnor (Founder) and Suffian (Co-Founder) pointing at P. Ramlee and Jins Shamsudin’s identity cards

One of them is Isazaly Isa, an Apple Certified Trainer who conducts workshops at Finas. He is also an editor by profession. Surprise surprise, this young man is a Singaporean! Perhaps the most significant of his works is for Harman Hassan’s Road to Mecca (2008) as an Executive Producer. Read Isazaly’ Isa’s techie blog here.

pic3

Isazaly Isa showing us around the Soundmix Studio

Bumping into Isazaly at Finas was a blessing. Why do you ask? Because we got a guided tour around the new Dolby Digital Soundmix Studio in Finas! Now for you filmmaking noobs newbies, this is where you the post-production for audio is done! There’s a foley studio – a studio where you get the sound effects done. I really cannnot say what I saw in words because…

I WAS TOO JAKUN AND I HAVE NO IDEA OF HOW THE SYSTEM WORKS!

So I’m a newbie like you too. Bak kata pepatah Tok Isnor kiter, biar pandai, jangan pandai-pandai  (don’t act clever). So I shall leave you guys, my beloved readers, to google ‘foley studio’ and let Wikipedia do the talking, aight?

pic2

FINAS Foley Studio – Art trying to do something

We proceeded back to our apartment to rest and wash up since Anwardi Jamil decided to bring us out for a night of fun after dinner. Being the only girl of the entourage, I was scared for my life was hoping for entertainment that I could enjoy too. And I did enjoy myself!

pic4

All of us with Hasnul and his friend.

We met up with Hasnul Rahmat, another Singaporean who shifted over to the other side of the Causeway to pursue their love for the arts. Since its an open secret, I’ll tell you anyways. I’ve had a crush on this fella since forever, so naturally, I was super excited to meet Hasnul. Thankfully, I’m not one of those who cry and faint upon seeing their celebrity crushes.

pic5

Hasnul and myself

We talked about film, history and film history. It was certainly an eye opener, having a conversation with Hasnul. I may have gotten the rejection letter by NTU Communication Studies, curse you dean of admissions! but I realised I can still do films even as I’m doing History! Pfft! Who needs a degree to do films?

So the night ended early cause we were scheduled to meet Tan Sri Jins Shamsudin at 10am the next morning. I was scared, excited, nervous – feelings all jumbled up together. And thanks to Isnor, who said it was already 9.45am when I woke up at 8am and asked for the time.

pic6

One of the many old film cameras at Tan Sri Jins Shamsudin’s office

We talked for an hour and a half before exploring his storerooms where he had props from old movies, some of them include the old film camera above, as well as props from the movie Ali Setan. It was fun listening to his stories, it felt like listening to a grandfather telling stories of the war.

pic7

Group photo!

pic8

Tan Sri Jins Shamsudin and myself

The same afternoon, we headed back to our apartment cause we scheduled with Dato’ Aziz Sattar  to meet us there. We thought it be good to have the meeting away from the public eyes, but Dato’ thought otherwise. He wanted to eat thosai from Lotus, the 24 hour coffee shop near our apartment, so we headed there instead. The old man told us jokes, some of which reminded me of the Bujang Lapok series he acted with P. Ramlee and S. Shamsudin. A wonderful character to talk to, Dato’ Aziz Sattar is.

pic9

Dato’ Aziz Sattar and his wife

pic10

Group photo again!

So the remnants of our trip was shopping and Carl’s Junior. I totally forgot to eat Subway. Nonetheless, it was a good meal. And of course, we dropped by Pustaka Peringatan P. Ramlee before departure off at Pasar Rakyat. Oh and this was P. Ramlee’s house, by the way.

pic11

Last stop: Pustaka Peringatan P. Ramlee

That’s all from us at the Singapore Malay Film Society! Till we meet on a new adventure again, aye?

Standard