This is Vidad. Born KL, he grew up in the city next to a zoo where he used to cut up bodies.
You were well into child labour –
Deffo. When I was 8, I volunteered at the zoo and helped the vets perform autopsies on the animals. I would open a freezer and see heads on the top shelf, arms on the next, then the feet of elephants, tiger paws etc were on the bottom. My favourite seeing cut up were:
- flamingos – they always died from neck injuries
- monkeys – cos their guts and poo spilled everywhere
- snakes – they’re just kewl
NIGHTMARE CENTRAL how did you sleep?
Fine. The only thing that has ever freaked me out is the movie IT, even the trailers got me. I still haven’t watched it.
Malaysia changed a law because of you.
School buses didn’t have doors so the kewlest thing as a kid was to hang from them as the bus sped down the road. One time hanging out the door, enjoying the wind in my hair, a sudden brake sent me flat on ground – the next second the back tyre rolled over my hand. The driver hadn’t noticed and I had to chase it with my broken hand flapping at my side. The incident made it to the newspaper, so they changed the law so all buses had to have doors.
On behalf of all Malaysian kids, thanks a lot you dickhead. What else about Malaysia?
The clubs are ace, the food is phenom but cinema experiences were terrible. If you ever fly Brunei Air you’ll see what they do to the movies. It’s like the 20s they censor everything:
- kissing scenes
- any swearing – sentences get cut or it just goes silence with no regard for the storyline.
What was it like moving from a massive metropolis of KL to Geelong?
Moving anywhere was tough, but from a major capital city to the ‘greater’ city which was 4 blocks big, took a while to transition. I thought I was the kewlest kid in Australia because everyone needed their parents to drive them places, but as a 12yr old growing up in KL I’d catch the bus by myself at night time and go off to play with friends, be a scallywag in the streets – things were a little freer with what you could get up to, and parents fairly liberal in that sense. Australia is ridiculously ‘safe’ for kids though. Stupidly so.
Why do you have an American accent?
When I moved to Geelong no one could understand my Malaysian accent so automatically I used American film and TV to shape the way I spoke so I could be understood, cause to me that was what ‘kewl’ was. At the time the Aussie accent was like an axe on a chalkboard.
Kewl maybe, but now… bro you’re a nerd?
I have three thousand comic books. That is true, I am a comic book nerd. Fave plot lines:
- Transmetropolitan – Imagine if Hunter S. Thompson lived a thousand years in the future armed with a pen – a gun that would make you shit yourself.
- Preacher – A preacher disillusioned with the world accidentally possessed with a supernatural power decides to search for God – and kill Him/Her.
- Manhattan Projects – An alternate take on history where the Manhattan Project was a front for a whole lot of sci fi insanity; Oppenheimer was a serial killer, Roosevelt became an AI villain, and they all were dealing with aliens at the time.
- 100 Bullets – If you were given an untraceable gun and 100 bullets to enact revenge, what would you do?
- Transmetropolitan – A gonzo investigative reporter living in the 23rd century, a civilisation rife with degradation and indecency, where he writes about issues that seem sci-fi but seem like a very real future possibilities despite seemingly obscene; transhumans, poverty, religion, social movements, advertising in our sleep, humans cloned and fed to us, extraterrestrial life as fashion statements, politics – all in the name of truth! (and since Trump’s election it’s been lauded for predicting the state of politics 15 years+ ago)
- Extraordinary League of Gentlemen – NOT THE TERRIBLE MOVIE – it reads like an encyclopedia to fiction and takes characters from countless works of fiction / media, from traditional literature to film and television productions, and puts them in a shared, cohesive universe.
OK I’m now half interested in comics. How did Pauline Hanson help you?
Australia was trying to prove they weren’t racist – which was funny to me because I didn’t get any racism in Geelong, the worst I got called was Snoop Dogg, and personally think Malaysia is far more racist that Aus – so we got permanent residency early 2001 and the chance to get HECS allowed me to live my dream and pursue film.
Now a doco man what films have you worked on that you heart?
- The webseries we did on The Street’s Barber – the ex-addict who now cuts homeless people’s hair
- A doco in Arnhem Land about tackling the smoking rates for indigenous people up north. Its 5 times higher than the rest of Australia. Tobacco came to NT through Indonesia that started as trade, and was sign of kinship. Smoking has a different relationship within community.
- High Rising: 240 Wellington: following people living in public housing. One poignant moment was when one of the kids in public housing was talking to a cop who said he gets a hard time trying to help. The kid said: ‘You get to go home and take off your cop uniform but we can’t do that with our skin when we go home, we get harassed all the time”
Any brushes with the law?
Once shooting in the Maldives we were taken by the cops because they thought our time-lapse camera that we left on the other side of the island was a bomb.
What are you working on now?
A whole bunch of doco development! We just came back from Sierra Leone, working with charity org One Girl. We helped capture a whole bunch of interviews and footage from some pretty tough (poverty) and remote places – and we’re going to be little pieces from that soon. The energy in Africa though, man, people are just so gracious and loving, and just spilling energy despite these terrible situations – it’s a slap in the face and hijacks your spirit. It’s hopefully the start to something beautiful, heading out more and working people and teams trying to make a difference.
Give me your ideas for some Round3 docos:
- Conversations around Indigenous history and Australia’s denial into issues. – Feels like an ever expanding impossible topic, but I always found it so strange when I moved to Aus that we weren’t even thought it at school
- On Illegal Massage Parlours – I live in Preston , and it baffles me how there can be sooooo many one after another – surely it’s all a front for some shadyness
- New Australian Suburbs – Our history and suburbs has been shaped our culture, Greeks in the North, Italians in Carlton, Vietnamese in Footscray. Now there are all these new suburbs with some real fresh invigoration to Aus and I think it’s worth talking about!
- ‘Connecti-oracy’ – In Africa, I heard this term, which essentially means nepotism or success through “who-you-know”. For years what was happening in recent Malaysian history – except someone already did it and it came out this year
- A year in the white house with Trump – Who wouldn’t to see what dark arts he gets up to?