Introducing Clueless? A Pattaya-related short film.
“Did they spill our pints?” Battle of the Actors. Experienced Bangkok-based ones in black shirts and jeans; baldy, useless, novice Pattayans in white shirts and shorts.
From an article I wrote for the September edition of the Pattaya Trader.
As some Pattaya Trader readers will know by now, I recently wrote a short film, called Clueless? for the 9 Filmfest Bangkok Short Film Festival, which will be held in September.
It was quite unusual the way it came about.
Last month I was up in Nong Khai, minding my own business, when I received a call from a Thai film actor, called Sahajak Boonthanakit, who appeared in The Beach, and many other big films shot in Thailand, including Only God Forgives, asking me would I like to write a screenplay for a nine minute film, to be put into the above Festival.
Sahajak and another famous Thai –based actor, who also appeared in Only God Forgives, Byron Bishop, wanted to promote the Bangkok short film festival, and, on the spur of the moment, they had decided to produce a film for it, and they believed that I was ‘The Man’ for the screenplay, for some reason.
There was less than a month to write it, get it filmed, edited, scored and submitted. No pressure then; and there had to be a reference to a “Waterway” in the film, whatever the hell that meant in English.
I thought about it for a nanosecond, and decided I’d do it, even though I’d never written a short film before. I just thought, “What the hell. How often do you get this sort of opportunity?”
Then I wondered where to set it, what the plot could be, and how I could tell an entertaining story in only NINE minutes.
I really don’t want to give away any of the plot, but suffice it to say, living in Pattaya, the idea of a dead body turning up in a rice field in the middle of nowhere immediately presented itself to me.
How to make a comedy out of it was the hard part.
Next, I wondered what kind of strong visual images I could employ.
We shot the film in Nakhon Nayok, and I got the Alien-like Duncan Stearn, who manfully tills the fertile rice paddies of the Pattaya Trader, to appear in it. He’s both as bald as a coot and as mad as a sack of ferrets, and I knew he’d be ideal for the role I had in mind for him.
If one person sees that movie and doesn’t remember the scene between Duncan and I, I’ll, er, eat a bag of long-warehoused Thai rice.
I then decided I had to shave my head for my small role in the film. I have never done that in my life. The day I did it, even the security guards in my condo didn’t recognize me. Unfortunately, when we shot the movie, my sun-sensitive head blistered and wept for three days afterwards.
I only hope people who see the film don’t…..
I’ll keep you informed on our progress in the film festival, good or bad. There have been around 200 films submitted, so we’re not holding our breath, given this is my first screenplay, the director’s directorial debut, the fact that six people in the movie have never acted before, and that the crew were fresh college graduates. The list is endless, but we had fun making it, and we’re happy with how it turned out.
Please check out the Facebook page – (called ‘Clueless Short Film’), where you’ll see many more behind-the-scenes photos, and feel free to “Like” it, as we may need some help in the public voting if we get into the next round.
Our new film, M.I.A. A Greater Evil. Set in the jungles of Laos and Vietnam, the film deals with the possible fate of US servicemen left behind after the US pulled out of the Vietnam War.
See the trailer for our new film, M.I.A. A Greater Evil.
For POWs left behind in Laos, see also:
© Peter Alan Lloyd
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