Sorn Seavmey is a Cambodian Taekwondo practitioner who won gold for her country at the 2014 Asian Games in South Korea, and Cambodian Productions had the honour of working with her on a commercial production in June 2017. We were contacted by a Singaporean based production company, IKON Media, and asked to render our services for a shoot in Phnom Penh. The commercial was being made to promote a new app called “MyParent” and would feature Seavmey as the star.
The first order of business, as is common with so many international productions, was to hire the local crew (camera operator, lighting team, local fixer, stylist etc) and then source the necessary technical equipment needed to get the job done. We also took care of the official filming permission (MOI) which is mandatory when conducting a shoot in Cambodia. After these formalities were taken care of it was onto the next (and sometimes most fun) step in the process, the recce. The commercial would depict Seavmey training in a variety of different landscapes and our client had a very specific idea on the type of scenery for the production. The main location for the shoot called for a large, flat area of grass where no one could be seen in the background, similar to a “golf course” as our client put it. During the recce we visited many locations but everywhere we went, although beautiful and unique, was not suitable for the client’s vision. Then a moment of inspiration hit us, if we are looking for a large flat area similar to a golf course then why don’t we just film in a golf course. Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best. After a visit to the Royal Phnom Penh Golf Course we were able to secure permission to film for half a day, more than enough time to get our shots.
The mini vans that we organized for the shoot picked up our talent and crew early in the morning and we arrived at the golf course ready to start filming at 6am. Due to the size of the golf course we had to utilise golf carts to transport the equipment and crew from one side of the course to the other. Luckily for us it was a public holiday and the golf course was completely abandoned so we could conduct the shoot without interruption, well almost without interruption. A bemused security guard for the golf course arrived about an hour into the shoot and enquired what was going on, apparently the manager had neglected to tell this man that we had gained permission to film for the day. After a quick phone call to the manager of the golf course the security guard was informed about our production and the shoot continued unhindered, the morale to the story is always get the managers phone number even when you have verbal or written permission. The scenes on the golf course wrapped midday and we made our way to the next location, a gym which was conveniently located very close to the golf course. I’d say that filming in a gym, indoors, in Cambodia was like filming in a sauna but that would be a cliché. The final location of the day was in a popular coffee franchise, Brown Café. Getting the permission to shoot in this location was very simple, we mentioned Seavmey Sorn was going to be in the production and the manager agreed, I wonder if this ploy would work on future productions where we need a location permit.
If you are wanting to film a commercial in Cambodia, please contact us directly by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a more urgent enquiry you can phone us directly on +855 (0)11 501 997.