What do you do?
I work in the media/entertainment industry as a tv production manager. Beside tv shows production of reality and documentary, I also have experience in tv commercials, short movies, and company profiles production. Back when I was a freelance, sometimes I also take commissioned work in the international sporting event as a Media Coordinator - producing video campaign collaterals, managing press, and drafting releases.
What kind of tv shows that you've been working on?
I've worked in tv shows production such as The Extreme Homes, The Bachelor, and The Amazing Race, to name a few - creating content for international channels such as Discovery Channels, National Geographic, History, AETN, AXN, HGTV, Turner Broadcasting. Besides working for on tv shows production I've also worked with brands like Google, Unilever, Canon, Aqua-Danone, and Lego, in creating contents for their marketing and or campaign initiatives. I also work with foundation and bodies like Indonesian Corruption Watch, World Bank - making short films as part of their social campaigns for related issues. I also involved in an award-winning music documentary film called JALANAN, about the life of three street buskers in Jakarta and their takes on life, politics and human beings. You can check the trailer here.
How did you get into film production? Did you go to film school?
I majored in Communication with a focus in Journalism back in university. My interest in film-making started when I joined the audio-visual student community in my 3rd semester in uni. From there I got the opportunities to learn about film-making and the industry, as well as pave my way into the national industry of the business. I did a lot of unpaid work when I started for any production I could get my hands on starting as a runner. On my second year in university after participating in a workshop with some of the biggest names in the Indonesian film industry, I got offered a chance for an internship in a tv commercial production house as a production assistant. From there my career began to grow. I worked part-time whenever I can between my classes and semester break. Not long after that, I was contacted to have an interview for a short-term contract of one of the biggest international tv shows.
You mentioned you were a nomad. Where did you live and how did you live?!
I moved out from my parents' house since I entered uni. After I graduated, I had a bit of dilemma whether to stay in the city where I lived at that time or should I move to Jakarta to pursue my career. Only that I really didn't like the idea of settling down in Jakarta as a lot of job offers coming from there. I was freelancing full time after graduated, so I have more flexibility in term of where I was based. The good thing was a lot of the shooting itself didn't happen in Jakarta, so I always traveling around most of the time. One day, I just decided to not get my own place and lived with my 45-liter carrier bag and one bag pack that contained all the things I need to work. I stayed in one city for a few weeks, then moved on to another one. A few days here, a few months there - depending on where the shoot happening. My living settlement varied from hotels that the production provided, homestays, a friend's couch to a tent and hammock. After 3 years I decided to go back to Bali and get my own place where I proudly get my own coffee cups and a french press! Not long after that, I sold most of my just-bought furniture, sent boxes of books to my parents' house and moved overseas.
Any advice if I want to work in tv? Does it necessary to have a film degree?
I might not be the best person to answer this question. I didn't go to a film school, but a lot of my friends (both from Indonesia and other countries) who work in the industry did. I am not against the idea of enrolling in a film school because of course, you get the chance to learn the things you want to learn presented on your table. Working in the entertainment industry like this might look glamorous and exciting from the outside, but working in tv industry is also tough. There are a lot of hard work and things that you don't see on screen.
I think my advice if you want to work in this field is that you know what you want to be. Whether you want to be a director, producer, production manager, cameraman, gaffer, sound engineer - and focus on it. I met a lot of people in the industry who do what they're doing just because it was the first opportunity that they get after school and they didn't really know what they want to d so they give it a try. There's nothing wrong with trying, but personally, I think it's very important to know what you want to be because each job role requires a different skill set that you need to build.
Knowing what you want to be will give insights what kind of steps that you need to do to grow your career. When you want to change your hat from sound man to cameraman, it's not like you have to get promoted for that, but you have to start all over again to build your credibility and portfolio. Working in a tv industry might sound cool and all. You get to travel, you get to meet people that you never thought of, you get to tell stories that you like and all, but it's not always rainbows and butterflies. There are a lot of hard work and high level of commitment involve in the job itself. It can be tough, but for me, it's not just something that I love to do, but it has become a part of who I am.
Thank you so much for all your questions. You can contact me if you have other questions that you'd like to ask.