WAMM: 5 years after, how do you feel about Ciplak?
KHAI: Oh, man... it's weird. I love the movie to this day, but it's weird watching it from 5 years later for a whole bunch of reasons. I look at how cheaply it's shot, especially considering how much consumer cameras and digital technology has evolved between now and then. It's weird looking at myself from 5 years ago. A lot's changed within those 5 years, a helluva lot. But at the same time, it's like watching a home movie (which a bunch of people would probably argue it's always looked like anyway). The flick is peppered with a whole bunch of my friends, some of them I don't see much anymore, some of them I've simply lost ties with. And it's also very nostalgic. The house that's in the movie no longer looks like that, it's completely renovated. And there's one scene where you can see this big, fluffy white cat in the background - that was Mommy Cat, my favorite cat who passed away last year from old age. It's things like that - little moments of nostalgia.
And sometimes I look at it and think to myself - "I got this cheap lookin' flick released in the cinemas. How lucky was I!?"
Khairil M. Bahar
WAMM: Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
KHAI: On the filmmaking side I do everything from directing to writing to sound to the camera to editing, anything really. It's a tough industry so I try and make myself available for more than one role so that I can get hired for more things.
I also act, did a few bit parts in some TV shows and last year decided to jump back into theater, something I hadn't done since 2001 when I was still in England.
I also have my blues rock band, Rollin' Sixers, and I sometimes write and record some of my own solo music. A lot of people have often asked why I don't just pick one thing and concentrate on that but the truth is I enjoy all of it - the filmmaking, the acting, the music - all of it. Although whenever I'm asked if I could only pick one I always choose writing - everything I do, it all comes down to telling stories.
If there was ever a downside to all this (apart from the lack of financial security) is that when all your hobbies are your job you start running out of hobbies, stuff you just do for fun. Right now it's photography but last year I got hired for a shoot or two and did a photography exhibition so we'll see how long that lasts. I'd rather keep that as something fun to do.
Debbie thought Ciplak was funny, and found Khai an affable and fun person. She will be at the Part II of the Khairil M. Bahar Showcase next Thursday, 5th May 2011, Actors Studio Lot 10. More ke-po's about Khai in a bit.