Insider Secrets: Filming “The Incident” On The vivo X60 Pro in Just 2 Days During CMCO

“The Incident”, vivo’s latest short film, shot on the vivo X60 Pro, is not a foreign attempt at film-making for the smartphone brand. Only a year before, “KITA”, its 1st ever short film, was shot on the vivo X50 Pro

In 2021, Director Chong Keat Aun, who worked with vivo to direct the short film wanted to showcase a story which is true to Malaysians during this time and how the pandemic has affected different lives in this season. The award-winning Kedahan filmmaker who earned the Best New Director award at the 57th Golden Horse Awards had spent his days during the pandemic participating in charity work and had encountered many single mothers who were made redundant due to the situation

“I could see how it has impacted them and what’s more, some even lost their loved ones due to the pandemic. That inspired me to share their plight in the form of a movie,” shared Chong during the film screening in front of a socially-distanced live audience recently

“The Incident” is a poignant reminder of how hardships have come to pass during the pandemic and how many are persevering through the light of hope within them. It tells the story of a doting mother who works hard to make ends meet for her son after the untimely demise of her husband due to Covid-19. ““The Incident” serves as a visual reminder of the bleak, unprecedented times that we faced during the pandemic and how it has changed lives. In years to come, when we watch the film, we can look back and see how it has changed us and strengthened our bonds,” added Chong

When vivo had approached Chong to work on a short film project shot on the vivo X60 Pro, the ex-deejay knew that he did not want to take on just any project if it did not resonate with him. In fact, he jokingly mentioned how some parties have approached him to work on a horror film but as it was not something that was in line with his style of filming, he turned down the opportunity

Upon discussing with his Director of Photography, Eric Yeong, Chong sought to bring the filming into motion, no easy feat considering how it was during the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO). Though filming is permitted, strict Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) had to be followed, including sanitisation every 30 minutes and face masks being worn at all times, even when the scenes required the cast and crew to film under punishing weather conditions like under the sun and rain

Even so, Chong took the challenge head on, despite having to work with a significantly reduced workforce of 50% of his usual crew. Getting the show on the road, the crew took on multiple roles and managed to obtain filming permit in one week and the film was shot within 2 days

A Slim, Steady Alternative for Filmmakers

Chong noted how he is used to large, bulky industry-standard equipment and the vivo X60 Pro was a first for him, in terms of filming with a smartphone. It was something he would have never thought of considering prior to the pandemic

“Interestingly enough, I found the experience to be a unique one. In fact, shooting using a smartphone during this time is special and meaningful to me as it made the process more intimate,” said Chong. The vivo X60 Pro, measuring in at just 7.59 mm*, opened doors for filmmakers like Chong to shoot from perspectives that would otherwise have not been possible, especially with large and bulky equipment

For instance, the vivo X60 Pro, at just 177g* could be planted in more obscure places to capture unique angles — even a makeshift drain hole that serves a purpose in capturing a pivotal scene during the climax of the short film

“Usually when we shoot movies, we use big professional camera equipment but the fact that the vivo X60 Pro is so lightweight, it allowed us to go to places we never have before,” said Chong.

Mention the term ‘gimbal stabilizer’ and any creative would shudder. Gimbals, though it lends stability to shots and creates the desired smooth footage, also traditionally weighs in at about 15–20kg and is strapped on to the photographer’s body like a harness.

With the in-built Gimbal Stabilization 2.0 feature of the X60 Pro, Director of Photography, Yeong, noted how it was as simple as just turning on the smartphone, pressing a button and letting the vivo X60 Pro work its magic to stabilize shots on its own. It enables photographers like himself a much lighter set-up without compromising on the visual quality of the footage

“Initially, I was dubious,” admits Chong on how a lightweight, slim device like the vivo X60 Pro would be able to take on the challenge of shooting a short film with the clarity and precision that larger, traditional equipment are known for. “The biggest challenge is that it’s small and I’m more comfortable with large equipment. However, through this experience, I was able to challenge myself and now I can see how a smartphone can achieve what a large camera is able to,” concluded Chong.

To watch the latest creation by Director Chong Keat Aun, “The Incident”, check out vivo Malaysia’s official YouTube Channel & FB Page.

For more information on the new vivo X60 series, visit www.vivo.com/my/

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