Something Like A 'Travelogue'

This blog chronicles the journey of the filming of HANYUT by Malaysia's respected, award winning filmmaker, U-Wei bin HajiSaari, through the viewpoint of Dean Sham, an independent filmmaker

The Eastern River

The Eastern River

Friday, March 12, 2010

Everything Has Its Moment

Excerpt from HANYUT's script (English version) 


At a clearing close to the river, Dain's crew loads jungle 
products from the Dayaks/Locals into containers - they are 
buying merchandise - rattan, bamboo & animal skin. 

Nearby, hidden among the bushes, Nina balances on a low 
tree branch and lifts another branch to have a clearer 

Suddenly, two Dayak men in full gear appear right in front 
of her. 

Nina is startled and loses her balance, falling to the 
ground but landing on her feet. 

To her further surprise, she recognizes that one of the men 
is Dain. 

Dain holds a bundle in his hand. He moves forward. 

It's not wise to creep around spying on 
other people. 

I'm not doing anything wrong. 

She turns haughtily but, again, loses her footing. 

And, again, a smile plays around Dain’s lips as he looks at 
   You speak Malay. 

   Who do you think you are? 

He moves forward holding out his hands to help her but she 
gets up, refusing Dain's help, while staring at Dain 

I've been to your house.  I'm Dain 
Maroola, a Sulu from the island of 

I know who you are.  You came to trade 
with my father. 

Yes, with the Master White, Master 
Almayer. And your name is… 

Nina walks majestically away and gets onto her sampan.  She 
starts to paddle home. 

ON THE BANK, Dain laughs out loud, then moves quickly. 


The day that Nina is sexually awakened.

Do you remember yours?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Confessions of a Lover

Excerpt from HANYUT’s Screenplay (English Version), A U-Wei bin HajiSaari film.


Do you know what is waiting for you if
you follow him? You'll be a plaything
and then a scorned slave, a drudge and
a servant, just a flight of fancy for
the man!

Nina raises her hands to stop her father from talking more.

Dain? Is it true?

We see Dain's silhouette.

By god in heaven and earth! That is a
white man's lie. I give my soul to you.
I breathe with your breath, I see with
your eyes, I think with your mind and I
give you my heart forever.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Young Nina

Nabilah Yasmin, auditioning for Young NIna.

Name: Nabilah Yasmin

Formal Training : Yes

Specilaisation : Animal acting

First gig : Stage Play ( as a squirrel)

To vote Nabilah go to .

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Finding NIna

Maya Karin auditioning for Nina. More Casting videos can be found at 

Casting is 65% of directing.
                              -John Frankenheimer, filmmaker

Finding the right person to do the right job, is critical for any type of work.

As far as filmmaking is concern, it could make or break a film.

Finding the right Nina, proves to be a challenging task, a very challenging task.

This girl got the look, but hasn't the soul.

That girl can act but not european enough.

This girl has the look, but cannot really act.

This Nina, is not just vital to the story telling, but vital for the bottom line as well.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Welcome to the Jungle

The production team of Hanyut, 'scourging' the jungle of Kuala Lipis in order to find the perfect location to built the set of the film.

It is no easy task building the set in the jungle, but difficult it may seem, it is of necessity.

It is vital to the story telling, the set is part of the story, a big part of the story.  It will not only give a glimpse of life in the early 19th century Kuala Lipis, but will set the mood, feel, and tone for the film as well.

more video here .

Lord of The River

Sam Hobbs, the production designer is an Australian, but he looks like as if he was born at the Jelai riverside!

Talk about commitment and passion. Not to mention professionalism.

Making film is tough, that much I can tell you!

more photos and videos can be found at .

Where there is a river, there will be boats.

Sam Hobbs (Production Designer) looking for boats and boat builders.

More info, more videos, just go to findingnina  website.