menu +

Blog

We will be posting our latest works and moods. Stay tuned!


8 l
Slide on the Edge
11Dec
2018

In summer 2018, The Creatv Company was tasked with facilitating and building the sets for a campaign by Vice Scandinavia for Malibu Rum. Hosted by Nick Jonas, this was an explosive three days event taking place at a beautiful coastal city of Mui Ne, Vietnam, which we won the bid against Mexico, a heavy contender considering their coastal landscape.

Preparation was mainly focused on a series of complex infrastructure constructed entirely from scratch including an oobleck double pool and a beach arena.

But the most daunting task our team had to face was building a water slide on top of a sand dune of a desert.Standing at 100 feet altitude and a 45 degree angle, this is the largest water slide ever been built in Vietnam, and possibly the largest in the world.The challenge here was not simply building a water slide, but raising it on top of the edge of the sand dune next to the ocean. This also called for a great extent in safety measure, especially ensuring the base structure of the slide is secured and rock-solid on the constantly shifting sand.As time was at the essence, our team of nearly one hundred professionals including designers, architects, and laborers, worked tirelessly for two months in the burning sand to execute the massive project.This was another summer highlight in our book as it proves that nothing is ever impossible when you have an a team of rock-stars who not only work hard, but also work smart with every bit of knowledge, experience, and dedication they have.

For more videos of the events, follow the link below to Malibu Rums official channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6W9oC-9-nEV2lnSjTQjFyQ

8 l

It was exhilarating for The Creatv Company when the creators of the Emmy and Golden Globe winning This is Us (“TIU”) contacted The Creatv Company to line produce a two-episode story arc to be filmed in Ho Chi Minh City.

Considered a breakout series when it first premiered in 2016, This Is Us has since gained its place as one of the best modern dramas in recent memory. True to TIU’s storytelling structure, The Creatv Company was tasked with finding the best locations for TIU’s multi-timeline plot with one story line taking place during the Vietnam War while the other unfolds in Present Day Ho Chi Minh City.

Having serviced several war time period projects, notably The Quiet American (2002) and Oriana (2013), we were mentally equipped when we started our scout. However, the last decade has seen rapid progress throughout Ho Chi Minh City, including heavy infrastructure projects – which made it challenging for both period locations!But tackling challenge is nothing new for The Creatv Company, and so off we went, in search of perfection. Ultimately, we found locations untouched by progress; there were dirt roads, stone bridges, rice fields, lotus ponds, banana trees, and bamboo thatch huts. And we were able to highlight modern day Saigon with its tall glass towers, and iconic monuments of the past, despite the massive inner-city transformations. This is Us airs on NBC in the United States and The Creatv Company is based in Ho Chi Minh City, servicing Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos.

 

8 l

Axis Bank and Chrome Pictures India entrusted us to provide location and line production service for a digital effort that will be featured on their official Youtube Channel.

This project marked a second production partnership between The Creatv Company with Chrome Pictures and their creative powerhouse Amit Sharma.  Chrome’s last project was an epic location shoot at Ban Gioc Waterfalls at the Vietnam Northern border, a TVC commissioned by Lowe Mumbai.

This time, was a simple creative that involves a few talents, a boat, and a jungle.

However, it was not a simple request for location.

The clients were not just looking for any ordinary jungle. They wanted a very specific scenery that can be played off as the tigers-roamed Bengali jungle, where the production was originally slated but due to severe drought, the location had to be changed.

Even so, the story still takes place in the Bengali jungle and the mission was to scout for a location that resembles the original location the best way possible. In addition, for better logistics, the location needs to be  close to the city and our base camp.Our location and production managers delivered just that, the mysterious and beautiful Can Gio national park with dense mangrove and secluded waterways, located just outside of the city. Not only that, the location bears an uncanny resemblance to the Bengali jungle.The production itself was a race against time as the crew faced unpredictable weather and fast receding tide. But, as always, we successfully completed the project to show that with The Creatv company, Vietnam can become a versatile canvas for any desired settings.

 

8 l
Traveloka Diva
04Jan
2018

In order to stand out of the crowd this Tet, Traveloka and their agency, Y&R Vietnam, chose The CreaTV Company and director, Mihk Vergera to bring even more humour to their already “out there” storyboard. The story, about reunions at Tet, how some sons can’t come home when their mothers want them so they need a little nudge and help from Traveloka.

The lyrics were rewritten over a famous melody, and it is sure to stick in your head. Viewers have to watch it at least 5 times to see all the details in the video. 90” Launched online December 2017.

8 l

We were contacted directly by Unilever London to work on an exciting board for a digital commercial for Comfort fabric softener.

This job involved quite a lot of art direction, building a walking wardrobe that shoots a bloom of flower petals at a young lady when she was under stress through the day.

We had a lot of fun shooting the walking wardrobe on the busy streets of HCMC district 1, and received a lot of strange looks from locals and tourists.

8 l
SUNLIGHT
22Dec
2017

 

When Sunlight came launching a new scent floor cleaner, Mullen Lowe Vietnam and Unilever selected The CreaTV Company to be their production partner.

The one day shoot involved a mop and lots of CGI petals, emanating as mum cleaned the floor.

Our star baby behaved beautifully during the whole shoot!

8 l
HOME CREDIT
22Dec
2017

The Home Credit story is one of a boy growing up always being told “No you can’t”, then finally realising that with an easy Home Credit loan facility, “yes he can” fulfilling his dreams and turning his life around.

This great storyboard came courtesy of Mirum Agency.

We completed the shoot in two days, avoiding the heavy rain, with director Nhu Dang and his team.

8 l

Truong Ngoc Anh and Othello Khanh discuss the overseas Vietnamese filmmakers’ contribution to the Vietnamese Cinema industry for the last 20 years.
Talk Vietnam is an English language talk show on Vietnam’s National Television network VTV 4.

 

 

8 l

Article in Oi Vietnam September 2017 Issue – Cover Story
https://issuu.com/oivietnam/docs/oi_september_2017_on_set/38

 

Behind the Scenes with Othello Khanh

By Wes Grover

The Director’s Cut

 

In October of 1995, Othello Khanh landed in Saigon armed with a Hi8 camcorder and Walkman, a tripod, and a revolutionary attitude. Having just completed a documentary about Mexico’s Zapatista Uprisng, which had him living there amongst the rebel forces, the young guerilla filmmaker’s arrival in Vietnam coincided with the lift of the US Embargo, which effectively markeda new beginning for Vietnamese cinema.

 

Over the past 22 years, he has played an integral role in the development of the local film industry, from producing a mere two films a year to over 50 films with more than 300 screens across the country. Much like the industry itself, Othello’s means of production have grown considerably and we recently met at his studios in Binh Thanh District, where he stands as the founder of The CREATV Company, to discuss the emergence of Vietnamese cinema and the obstacles overcome along the way. As Vietnam’s longest established private production company, CREATV has produced and directed award-winning films, as well as provided consultation services for Hollywood movies filmed in the country, such as Kong: Skull Island (2017) and The Last Airbender (2010).

 

“Only Vietnamese state-owned studios had the rights to production at the time I arrived,” says Othello. “But as the country was opening, the studios needed foreign expertise to operate their services, because on one side there were foreign productions coming to do projects in Vietnam and on the other side, advertising agencies with major clients like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Unilever all had to set up shop and needed services.”

 

Told that his skillset would most benefit the country in advertising and commercial work at the outset, it was at this point that hewas introduced to the technical challenges of early filmmaking in Vietnam. “We would shoot commercials on film and the processing was a bit difficult because the lab had no generator and it would often shut down when you went to process your film.  So instead we wouldgo overseas to process in Bangkok and bring the film back.”

 

As with many other industries here, over time the government’s attitude toward moviemaking would liberalize, giving filmmakers more opportunity. Explaining this shift, Othelloshares, “The government would finance a propaganda film for the state-run studios, but unfortunately they were all at a loss.That’s when they decided to allow private companies to produce feature films. First, we were doing technology transfer for the state studios. Then we were allowed to have our company to do services. Then those companies with services were allowed to make feature films. Then they were allowed to make television programs and later on they were allowed to own TV channels.”

 

Amidst these changes, a wave of local and Viet Kieu filmmakers began to surface. Tony Bui’s 1999 film Three Seasons, the story of an American veteran who returns to Vietnam in search of a child he fathered during the war, would prove a significant achievement, garneringinternational acclaim and earning the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival.Shortly thereafter, directors Le Hoang and Vu Ngoc Dang would establish themselves as masters of the local box office with such hits as Gai Nhay (2003) and Nhung Co Gai Chan Dai (2004).

 

However, Othellopoints out that a discrepancy between the international and local audiences soon became clear. “If you make a film for the Vietnamese audience, it’s been proven that it will never have an international audience,” he admits. “Some films were able to do well at festivals, but it’s very limited and also the Vietnamese language is kind of a barrier. Almost 100 million people speak Vietnamese, but only in Vietnam and some pockets of diaspora here and there.”

 

Further elaborating on the domestic audience’s preferences, Irene Trinh, Head of Production and Feature Films at The CREATV Company, observes, “There has been a real shift in storytelling genre, from melodrama to comedy, shifting away from the more serious themes and topics to lighthearted, whimsical, and sometimes farcical situations. Action films are sparse, as are the more serious dramas, as audiences have clearly voiced their opinion at the box office. In the last five years or so, for every four or five comedies made there is one action or drama. It’s a trend that does not seem to wane, but likely to continue in the years to come.”

 

Irene, who has produced eight feature films in Vietnam since 2005 and worked with such noteworthy directors as Victor Vu, adds, “It would be wonderful to see Vietnamese cinema be strong enough to bring back the dramas, the thrillers, and the arthouse pictures. It’s certainly big enough to sustain, but how to shape and prepare the audience for its return – that will be the challenge. It should be on the industry’s mind as a whole, as it’s important to have variety and diversity in cinema for it to be called a nation’s cinema.”

 

As film activist who prefers targeting the international crowd, undertaking controversial matters has been another obstacleOthello is familiar with, as was the case with his award-winning 2007 film Saigon Eclipse. Examining the topic of impoverished Vietnamese women marrying wealthy foreigners, not for love but out of desperation to help their families and whether this can be considered a form of human trade, his thoughts were, and remain, that being up front with the government is the best method for both sides.

 

“I believe that if you work well with the People, there’s no problem,” he explains.“If you have a double agenda, of course you will get in trouble. The government has had bad experiences because some people played them by shooting one script during the day and then shooting a different script at night. The script they had presented was not the script used in the film and people lost their jobs.”

 

“For me, I’m very straightforward. It’s too complicated and I cannot have double language because I’m not smart enough,” Othello says laughing. “I spend enough energy trying to find out what I really want to say. So every time we do stuff that may be controversial, I’ll present it from the start and the government will explain their angle.With the censors and the government, I feel like it’s more of a collaboration. Once we’re clear with what we want to do, they’re very helpful and are part of the team that works together to make it happen.”

 

The challenge for directors hoping to hit it big in Vietnamese cinemas, he explains, is also partly the result of a lack of laws in place requiring theaters to designate a certain number of screens for locally made film and, therefore, directors are less likely to take risks when forced to compete with Hollywood blockbusters. “It’s challenging to make successful films in Vietnam because, even though there are more screens now, you only have a two-week window to break through and you’re fighting against films like Superman and Captain America.”

 

“So it’s very difficult for Vietnamese film to grow,” he goes on.“The only way to do it is to have some commercial recipes, meaning the budget should only be around US $300,000 or less. Otherwise you cannot make a profit in two weeks and the only way to make that kind of film is to make a heavy comedy – a slapstick film that will please themasses.”

 

Nonetheless, there are several locally made movies that have enjoyed unprecedented success over the last few years, catering to a growing domestic audience of nearly 50 million moviegoers. Most recently, director Le Thanh Son’s comedy Em Chua 18 (2017) grossed an impressive US $8.8 million, while in 2015 Phan Xine Linh’s Em La Ba Noi Cua Anhbrought in US $4.76 million. From a business perspective, the sheer numbers are an encouraging sign for the film industry, though as a classical cinephile, it’s readily apparent Othello hopes to see a desire for a deeper exploration in subject matter from the audience.

 

“I think overtime people have decided to have access to more foreign films,” he posits. “But, mostly what they call blockbusters. What’s been missing for a lot of people is an understanding and a knowledge about the culture of film. Maybe because of what’s been given to them, they are kept in a kind of infancy. Nobody knows about John Ford, Fellini, Francois Truffaut.”

 

Thinking on the future for a moment, Othello adds,“But now that there is access to everything on the internet and people travel to study overseas and come back, maybe that third generation will start to grow.”

 

 

 

8 l

Check out Creatv Company’s Head of Production, Irene Trinh talk about our production services on Kong: Skull Island in Vietnam.

irene on vtv 4_3 irene on vtv 4_2 irene on vtv 4
VTV 4 – Culture Mosaic – 10/03/2017

TOP