A Journey Back To Jakarta (Making of Balik Jakarta)

Now we are living in Jakarta, then what does this post title actually mean? Before Balik Jakarta project started few months ago, we have to admit that we thought that we have experienced and sense the city enough. But after three tiring-yet-fun shooting days, we know were wrong.

In this blog post, we would like  to highlight the shooting days, which was fun. We are actually preparing some kind of video blog to portray the process. But, we are still cutting the footages. So, for now, let us tell the journey shortly:

DAY 1 – SUNDAY, 14 AUGUST 2016

We shoot the opening scene at first. The weather is good even though we couldn’t see the sun. All the casts and crew arrive in time and the shoot is also on time. We finished the scene on schedule.

We were preparing for the travelling shoot with motorcycle rigging when the rain fell down. Nothing that we can do except waiting for the rain to stops, but it didn’t stop. We were forced to shoot the scene, luckily the rain became lighter.

Rigging and Towing Balik Jakarta, a short film by Studio Antelope IndonesiaWe took every shot we can take, hoping we can use it in the editing. We spent a lot of time on the street and arrived in the next location a little bit late. We planned to shoot the next scene in Menteng.

From the evening to midnight, it was raining. Of course, we have to change the story a little bit. We wrapped the first day shoot at 3AM in the morning.

Back To Jakarta (Balik Jakarta), a short film by Studio Antelope Indonesia

DAY 2 – MONDAY, 15 AUGUST 2016

On the second day, we planned to do the travelling scene one more time. But before that, we have to shoot the Fatahilah Square scene. It was very easy scene and we can wrapped up the shoot before lunch.

We had a guest coming, Alexander from German Embassy, who came with his beautiful Vespa. On the way to the next location in Cikini, we shoot him and some of the travelling scenes that we missed the day before. The weather was nice that day.

We arrived on Cikini. We shot a beautiful scene in Kalipasir. The people there is nice and warm. Zacky, our line producer, coordinating very well with the people, so we were very helped by them. Kids cheering everytime they saw Fred, who played Günther. He enjoyed the moment and took picture with them.

We spent the whole evening in Kalipasir. We shot all the scenes we need on that location. The weather once again was very friendly to us that day. It was actually quite late in the midnight, and all the crew seems very tired. Fred and Yoga, the casts, were little bit on flu. But, we still hade one scene to be shot, and it’s on different location.

Back To Jakarta (Balik Jakarta), a short film by Studio Antelope IndonesiaWe decided to shoot the scene. It was correct decision. That’s the scene which needs the characters to be extremely exhausted. And because we decided to shoot that scene that night, we successfully get the tired expressions and gestures from the casts. Lovely performance! (Sorry, Fred and Yoga, who were actually tired and sleepy that night


The good news is we got all the dramatic scenes. But, we still need to shoot some transitions, establishes, intercuts, and also the scene that we missed in the first day.

We started a little bit late, because we have to get the two casts on the pickup truck, and make sure it’s comfortable and safe. You can see in the picture below, how we ‘create’ the motorcycle on the truck. It was actually a great idea because they can sit well and focused more on the dialogue.

We shoot all the dialogue, that was supposed to be shot on the first day, on the truck. We improvised a little bit to talk more about Jakarta and some feelings that we get from first two days of shoot.

Balik Jakarta (Back to Jakarta), a short film by Studio Antelope Indonesia

We travel from Studio Antelope (Cempaka Putih), Pinangsia, Hayam Wuruk, stopped a little bit in Cideng, then moved to Senayan and had a dinner there. The last location of the shooting is Sambas, Kebayoran. We wrapped up the shoot in the midnight, 17 August 2016. We have a little surprise for Joshua (Bonge), our art director, who turned 26 that night. We ask him to find and set a new location, saying that we haven’t got enough shot. We could see his face changed drastically. After a while, we just congratulated him, and he was a little bit shocked and smiled. Happy birthday, Bonge!

We are now currently working on post-production. Hopefully, it will be finished next month. So far, we enjoyed every single moment making this film. Hopefully, this collaboration between Studio Antelope and German Embassy in Indonesia, could give new experience.

Balik Jakarta Film Cast & CrewWhat we learned from this process? First, never trust any weather forecast on your phone, because it’s very unreliable. We believed the forecast which said it would be raining the next day, when then we saw the blazing sun next day. It’s just unpredictable.

Second, believe your instincts rather than your plan. You usually rely on your plan that was calculated beforehand, but sometimes Jakarta asks you to play more with your instincts. Unexpected issues could happen all the time, and all you have to do is throw all of your paperworks and trust your instinct.

Last but not least, we realize that we haven’t seen Jakarta that much. It’s like a journey coming back to Jakarta from a perspective of somebody who haven’t coming back here for a long time. Just like the title of the project, balik jakarta (return to Jakarta), a journey to look back and sense Jakarta, the city that we love and hate in the same time, one more time.

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