*Ed’s Note: Tapau TV has since taken off since this article was written a year ago.
“Bosan sial daripada aku tengok TV baik aku layan YouTube.”
“Sial la music video tu nampak cheap as f*ck”
Excuse the crude Bahasa Malaysia, but these were what went through the frontrunner of IkanPaos Kolektif Ahmad Faris and friends’ heads when they decided to start a production house.
This intense frustration with the current state of the audio-visual arts is what drives Faris to do something within the field he feels passionate about. Sacrificing a lot doing what he believes in, Faris quit his day job in order to focus on IkanPaos full time.
IkanPaos‘ manifesto is to “create, develop and produce contents that are fresh and different, which cater to the youth.” This credo can be seen in their pet project rockumentary TAPAU. Citing Vincent Moon’s La Blogotheque, Sigur Ros’ Hema, MTV Storytellers and other rockumentaries as influences, TAPAU is, in Faris’ own words, about, “capturing these moments where the artists and musicians enjoy their own music at these special spots and open up to share the stories behind it.”
The current team for the project consists of Ahmad, Zul Luey (of LueyMotionLab), and Syafiq Yaacob (of PsyAudio). While they’ve shot a pilot featuring Liyana Fizi and another unedited episode with Yuna, TAPAU is still struggling to get funded.
This is the general problem IkanPaos and other collectives similar to theirs face in the industry – monetary issues. “In Malaysia there is no standard pay for your service. So sometimes you get clients who are willing to pay a good price and then there’s some who are very kiasu and will still try to squeeze as much out of you as possible – you are not only the director but also the producer, cameraman, and editor.” (Ed’s Note – sounds familiar.)
“Some people think ideas, craft and creativity comes out of thin air. What you son or daughter does as a hobby on the weekend, we do for a living. We master our craft and we deserve to get paid for it,” and that’s not the end of it. Faris has had work done without getting paycheques delivered on time by clients; “One month we don’t pay the rent. The car loan. The bills. Haiyah!”
But he remains optimistic, the support from the scene and audience has all been immensely positive. IkanPaos has worked with Hujan, Aizat, Yuna, Liyana Fizi, Oh Chentaku, Khottal, and David Knight, with over 5,000 likes on Facebook and even received props from idol Vincent Moon; IkanPaos has a reason to persevere. It helps that these acts are firmly behind Ahmad’s back.
“Every time we go to see a band play or just hang out they always ask about what’s going on with TAPAU and tell us to not give up and how much they’d want to do the show and see it on TV.”
However support from the scene doesn’t necessarily translate to getting the same from the people who could really make things happen.
“There has always been genuine interest in the show but somehow it’s been all about offers being made but never pulled through, serious interest which ended with un-replied emails. It’s really frustrating how our local TV industry works. It’s been a roller coaster ride but we’re strapped in all the way.”
Just as Faris was inspired by La Blogotheque, he hopes TAPAU can stimulate the minds of other youthful creative peers.
Faris is optimistic of the future, quoting Steve Jobs, he offers this piece of advice; “Stay hungry, stay foolish.”