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  • Andy Nguyen

"Inventing SE. Asia with Dr Farish Noor" started in Vietnam...

In June 2016, Channel NewsAsia's producer Christopher John Hale, his production team and the host Dr Farish Noor, professor at Singapore's NTU came to Vietnam to shoot the French Indochina episode in the series of "Inventing SE.Asia with Dr Farish Noor'.

Vietnam fixer arranged the permit for Channel NewsAsia film crew to shoot in Imperial city of Hue
Channlel NewsAsia film crew in Imperial city of Hue

The crew started the 10 - day long journey in 39 - degree Celsius summer in Hanoi, Vietnam. The expedition actually covered Hanoi, Hue, Ho Chi Minh city, Phnompenh, Siem Reap. The synopsis of the episode of French Indochina is to describe the impact of French colonialism on the development of nations in SE.Asia incl. Vietnam and Cambodia.

So all the French relics, existing architectures were shot during ten days of production. In Hanoi, They were Hanoi Opera House, Hanoi Great Cathedral, University of Chemistry, Tonkin Governor Palace, Indochina Governor Palace. In Hue relics, they were Pre-French, Nguyen dynasty royal architecture and also French-style architectures built by Nguyen Kings who studied in France and came back to Vietnam to lead the country.

All the logistics of the production project were prepared by a group of reliable and experienced Vietnam fixer who provided the service from A to Z e.g. general Cambodia and Vietnam filming permit application, Vietnam drone permit application Vietnam, specific film permit in Hue relics (Vietnam), Museums, specific film permit in Angkor site (Cambodia), travel, accommodation.

In Cambodia, the crew filmed at Museum of Genocide and Killing Fields to discover the Khmer Rouge bloodshed regime in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979.

During that time, more than a million people were killed...

Fixer in Vietnam arranged the permit for Channel NewsAsia film crew to shoot at Museum of Genocide in Phnom Penh.
Interviewing Dr Farish Noor in Museum of Genocide, Cambodia

The most interesting parts in the expedition journey happened in Mekong river and Tonle Sap lake. The crew followed the route which French rulers travelled in Indochina peninsula in the past.

Fixer in Vietnam organised the shoot on a boat traveling along Mekong river in Cambodia for Channel NewsAsia crew.
Interviewing Dr Farish Noor on the boat travelling along Mekong river in Phnom Penh under the temperature of 39 degree Celsius
Vietnam fixer organised the shoot at Tonle Sap lake, Cambodia for Channel NewsAsia.
At Tonle Sap lake, Cambodia: waiting for the boat to come

The last day of shooting "Inventing SE. Asia with Dr Farish Noor" was in Angkor site. The shooting day started with filming Angkor Wat at dawn in the early morning and finished with filming in the rain...

This was a complicated production project in terms of legal preparation (application for general film permit, drone permit, specific film permit at national relics and World Heritage site).

Let's watch French Indochina peninsula episode of "Inventing SE.Asia with Dr Farish Noor" on Channel NewsAsia at the end of the year 2016.



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