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City of Ghosts – Matt Dillon Interview

In 2002 Hollywood star, Matt Dillon, made his directorial debut with the feature film City of Ghosts. The film, which also stars James Caan and Gérard Depardieu, is a crime noir thriller set against the backdrop of Cambodia. City of Ghosts was one of the first feature films to be shot in Cambodia since the end of the Khmer Rouge and filming in this foreign land was much different from how it is today. After the film was completed Matt Dillon reflected on his memories of filming in Cambodia in a series of interviews (sources from online magazines Filmmaker Magazine and Black Film). QUESTION: What made you set your first feature as a director in Cambodia? DILLON: Well, there’s an old thing that Hemingway said: “Write about what you know,” right? And [then there’s the opposite]: “How dare you write about something you don’t know anything about?” I feel that you can write about what you know, but you can also use [writing] as an opportunity to discover something new that you didn’t know. You just trust your heart and your gut and go with it, and that’s what I was doing. What do I know about Cambodia? Well, it’s a place that has fascinated me for a long time and it just seemed right for a film setting. QUESTION: When did you first travel there? DILLON: When I first went, in 1993 I think, the U.N. was there. I wasn’t planning on going – I was just traveling on an extended vacation to Thailand and Vietnam with some friends. I’d been burned-out doing three movies back-to-back and needed...

Cambodia Film Fixer Chronicles: Dropped

The following story is from 2013 when Cambodian Productions main fixer, Richard John Currie, was working with a different production company on the project below. One of the more interesting aspects of being a fixer in Cambodia is we receive many enquiries about filming in this part of the world. Producers will have a concept for a shoot but they are unsure about the rules and regulations for filming in Cambodia, as a fixer it’s our job to provide the answers and then help bring the shoot to the Kingdom of Wonder. We answer every enquiry that comes in and give as much information as possible so the producers can evaluate if it’s feasible to come or not. Some of the enquiries are straight forward while others are so whacky and unique that we have to sit down as a team and discuss how we can make this happen. So when we were contacted by We Film about a promotional video for Heineken Beer featuring a man floating down a river in a giant yellow duck we had a team meeting……………….several team meetings. Heineken Beer were starting a new marketing campaign called “Dropped” which would have several episodes, each one featuring a different remote location filmed in different parts of the world. In each episode a new contestant would be blindfolded and dropped in a remote location, they would then have to travel back to civilisation using a pre-determined mode of transportation. We Film were looking for remote locations in SE Asia when they contacted us and we were able to suggest Ratanakiri as an ideal place to film the new...

Cambodia Film Fixer Chronicles: Overland

  When you are a production company based in a beautiful and unique country, such Cambodia, you receive all manners of emails from potential clients. Emails about using Cambodia as a backdrop for music videos, feature films, documentaries and commercials productions are a daily occurrence. As soon as producers see the stunning locations that are available in the Kingdom of Wonder they are hooked and enquiries are made. One of the main sources of enquiries is from travel programmes that are looking to explore Cambodia and feature it in their television show. This was the case when we were contacted by Overland last month. Overland is a popular travel program that has been trekking the globe for almost 20 years bringing images from around the world to an audience of millions. The Overland production company were in the middle of shooting the seventeenth series, which would see them travel across SE Asia in the search of spectacular locations. During the pre-production Cambodia was not considered as an option to film because Overland were on a set budget and all of the countries had been organised in-advance before they arrived in SE Asia. Unfortunately one of the locations, which would take up a week of filming at the end of April, had fallen through and the producers scrambled to find an alternative. It was April 5th and Overland were in Thailand, the neighbouring country was Cambodia, the producers weren’t sure of the permit process or if they could get a filming permission processed       in-time so they contacted us. Upon hearing the situation from the Overland producers we advised on the...

Hamish’s Big Cambodian Adventures: Part 3

  Phnom Penh is a city full of life and activity; from the hustle and bustle of the local markets to the food vendors lining the busy streets, this Cambodian city never sleeps. But that all changes on Khmer New Year when the residents of Phnom Penh leave the city to travel to provinces all over Cambodia and celebrate Khmer New Year with family and friends. During this three day holiday Phnom Penh is reduced to a ghost town with only the hard core residents remaining. Many people are left disappointed by the lack of activity and anticipate the end of the New Year so the city can return to normal. But not Hamish Lakeland, a quiet city is just what he craves after a busy year of working in his backpacker establishment. We join our (slightly) drunk hero as he explores the peace and tranquillity of Phnom Penh during Khmer New Year. Will Hamish ever find some ice for his alcoholic beverage, can he purchase some local food and can Mr Lakeland blag a cup of tea for free? Watch and find out. If your production requires an exotic and spectacular location then Cambodia is the place to come. If you should require advice on the filming guidelines in the Kingdom of Wonder then Cambodian Productions can help. Please contact us by email info@cambodianproductions.com or if you have a more urgent enquiry you can phone us directly on +855 (0)78 572...

Hamish’s Big Cambodian Adventures: Part 2

  There are only so many toilets a man can un-block at a busy hostel before he decides that day a day off is in order, and what better way to spend it than exploring the Central Market in Phnom Penh. In this new episode we follow hostel manager and all round Australian nice guy, Hamish Lakeland, as he navigates his way through the busy market searching for adventure. Fresh fish, mammoth blocks of ice, over priced beer and “authentic” silverware are all on display for tourists visiting this popular destination in the countries capitol. If your production requires an exotic and spectacular location then Cambodia is the place to come. If you should require advice on the filming guidelines in the Kingdom of Wonder then Cambodian Productions can help. Please contact us by email info@cambodianproductions.com or if you have a more urgent enquiry you can phone us directly on +855 (0)78 572...

Hamish’s Big Cambodian Adventures: Part 1

  Life for Hamish Lakeland is different from what it used to be, massively different. Back in Australia Hamish was living the stereotypical life of a working man; 9 – 5 job, monthly mortgage payments and a yearning to see more of the world. Two years ago Hamish decided to give up the hectic life he had working in a call centre for the more laid back and chilled environment of running a hostel in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Helping customers check in, booking bus tickets, negotiating tours with tuk tuk drivers and enjoying a few cold beers at the end of a shift; life couldn’t be better for Mr Lakeland. “Hamish’s Big Cambodian Adventures” is a new online series, directed by Cambodian based film maker Jimmy Wilkins, which follows Australian Hamish Lakeland on his daily routine in the Kingdom of Wonder. In this episode we follow Hamish as he frolics in front of the Royal Palace, bathes in some stagnant water from a pipe and learns Khmer from some local pigeons. If your production requires an exotic and spectacular location then Cambodia is the place to come. If you should require advice on the filming guidelines in the Kingdom of Wonder then Cambodian Productions can help. Please contact us by email info@cambodianproductions.com or if you have a more urgent enquiry you can phone us directly on +855 (0)78 572...