Ocean Vista Films has been tasked by National Geographic Channel to produce its on-air promos for its Earth Day campaign and I have been fortunate enough to direct the shoots.
Earth Day will be celebrated on April 22.
Filming has taken us from Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur, SIngapore and Manila. The team has lined up some of our best celebrity friends and public figures from around Asia to tell us, and you, what they are doing to help save the planet.
We filmed Sir David Tang in his home in Hong Kong and were treated to his amazing art collection. I made the mistake of questioning one of his multi-million dollar paintings, which looked as though someone had taken a great painting and then vandalised it. Oh dear! I received an instant education on the artist and the value of the painting, which was around US$2m. Sir David then treated myself and my crew to 40 minutes of piano playing on his Steinway concert grand piano. The chap really can play and there's nothing like listening to a recital in someone's living room on a grand piano! Oh, and do watch the promos for Sir David's take on saving the planet. As he smoked his every-present stogie, he told me on camera how he hates with a passion excessive packaging and what he'd like to do to businesses that use excessive packaging.
Jimmy Lai, publisher of Apple Daily and Next Magazine, is one of my favourite Hong Kong characters. He always has a smile, is so down to earth, and an incredible business man. When I asked him if he'd allow me to film him for the promos he told me straight up and honestly that he wasn't doing "a damned thing" to help save the planet. "But as a result, I'm prepared to pay pennance publicly and change my ways", he said. So we filmed him in the Apple Daily news office, where he has constructed a mini jungle right there in the middle of the news room. Flowers, trees, birds, fish - all real, all living - right there in the middle of the building. It's amazing to see. Jimmy's eventual answer, which we used on air, was that he would consider using a hybrid car in future.
We also spoke with top models and celebs like Cara G (and thanks to Cara for all her help with the project shoot in Hong Kong and Singapore!), Rosemary Vandenbroucke, Lisa S, Robyn, EcoChic creator Christina Dean, The HK Environment Minister Edward Yau, President of the World Wildlife Fund Markus Shaw, Malaysian singer Atilia, Malaysian actress Ida Nerina, Channel V vjs Dom and Alvie, Jay Cee Fong, former Miss Malaysia Debra Henry, former Miss Singapore Jamie Teo, Singapore tv presenter Nadya Hutagalung, Amazing Race presenter Allan Wu and many, many more.
I love directing shoots like this because it allows me to catch up with great friends for a good cause.
Thanks go to all of my friends who participated and allowed themselves to be filmed, to new friends that we made as a result of the filming and to those who put their heart and soul into the project.
Below are some pictures taken during filming in HK, KL and Sing. as well as the two HK promos.
I'll post the promos from Singapore, KL and Manila once they've been edited.
Now let me ask YOU a question? What are YOU doing to help save the planet?
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