Photos: mm2 Entertainment
When we read the plot of upcoming fantasy film The Fatekeepers, our first thought was, “This sounds like a feng shui version of Captain Planet.” And the theme song of the classic 90s cartoon proceeded to be stuck in our heads for the rest of the day.
Age-revealing anecdote aside, we admit we were also intrigued by the premise of the mm2 Entertainment production: five individuals born under each of the Chinese elements - earth, fire, metal, wood, and water - are assembled through a feng shui app, and by their powers combined (sorry, couldn’t resist), they discover a way to alter their fates.
However, this creates a kind of nasty butterfly effect, leading to biblical plague-like catastrophes and the threat of a devastating typhoon. Not so huat after all.
Technically speaking, this sounds like the perfect canvas for some truly spectacular CGI (computer-generated imagery), which director Daniel Yam confirmed will be the case during our interview at the movie’s lensing ceremony last Friday (Jun 21).
“It’s going to be a massive undertaking, but it’s also really exciting because we have never done a special effects film that’s as intense as this on a local scale,” he grinned, clearly very enthusiastic about his new project.
As for a teaser for what audiences can expect to see unfold on the big screen, there will be “hurricanes ripping up cities, dragons”, and loads of action involving the five lead characters, played by Andie Chen, Richie Koh, Julie Tan, Noah Yap, and Regene Lim.
“There are going to be a lot of stunts and wirework,” revealed Richie, as Daniel elaborated, “We’re going to do things like pull them up three to four storeys off the ground and drop them.” Carefully, of course, and after everyone has gone through the mandatory safety sessions.
Aside from Julie and Andie, who have dabbled in wirework in the past, this will be the first time the stars get to try getting rigged up for a role - and they are all looking forward to it.
“I’ve always wanted to do it,” Noah beamed, as Regene piped up in agreement, “We’re both adrenaline junkies.” Even the experienced Andie anticipates being in for a new challenge, as he believes the stunt scenes in The Fatekeepers will be “more hardcore” than anything else he’s ever attempted.
With these big and ambitious-sounding sequences in the pipeline, it caught us off guard when most of the actors named something completely unexpected as the most difficult thing they need to master for the movie: complicated hand gestures. Captain Planet suddenly turned into Doctor Strange.
“Before our characters perform any ritual, we have to do this action,” said Richie, twisting his fingers together in an odd manner like some sort of Chinese knot. “Our characters also have to go through training for this in the show itself, but we don’t have to act like we’re being trained because [the confusion] is actually real. (Laughs)”
“It’s quite tough - actually, I think it’s the toughest part of this show!” Julie chuckled, reporting that their poor digits usually get all tangled up and cramped.
This seemingly simple act must really be harder than it looks because Noah brought it up on his own accord during our separate group interview session, while we were discussing challenges. “We have to learn these feng shui hand movements, which is not easy because fingers are not supposed to be turned this way!” he exclaimed. Our hands hurt just thinking about it now.
Other obstacles the Ah Boys to Men star foresees himself facing during the shoot are mastering his Mandarin script (he admitted he’s not the best in the language) and learning how to play basketball. “I’m not a sporty person at all - in fact, I’ve never touched a basketball a day in my life until I underwent training yesterday!” he shared (a fact that visibly shocked Andie).
Well then, we suppose we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed (but not as elaborately as them) for a smooth-sailing shoot.
The Fatekeepers is slated for release in 2020.