Malaysian-born and Jakarta based Afeeq Nadzrin is an executive producer at Seven Sunday Films, a leading production company in Asia with offices around the region including Jakarta, Singapore, Malaysia and Bali.
Campaign Brief Asia caught up with Nadzrin to find out more on his career and work philosophy.
1. What’s your favorite part of the job?
Definitely the rush you get when receiving scripts and the budget from agencies. I love it when we roundup with the team on how best to execute the ideation whilst still carrying the core message of the brand image at hand.
Then there’s of course being on set during shoots. I always get excited when do we our first take and I hear the 1st AD shouting “rolling”
2. What is your most productive time of day and why?
My productivity starts the minute that first sip of coffee kicks in with Drake playing in the background. Gotta start with a good groove before I start getting down to it.
3. If you didn’t have this job, what would you be doing instead?
I’d probably be a chef. I love cooking from time to time and watching YouTube videos of Gordon Ramsey preparing dishes though I wouldn’t advise anyone try my cooking just yet.
4. How early did you know this would be your path?
I was 18-years-old at the time, had just finished high school and didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do so I decided to go watch a movie to just get away from the pressure. It wasn’t the movie but what I remember best was sitting there and seeing everyone laughing and emotionally connected to the film – forgetting everything that was going on with their life within that span of 2 hours and being one with the characters. That’s when I knew I wanted that it was my calling.
5. Can you name some recent jobs?
I’ve been living in Jakarta for almost two years now and now that I’m based here, it’s an exciting time despite the pandemic happening. My most recent job was for Dji Sam Soe, a cigarette company working with a local agency – it was a new product they wanted to launch and though the process was challenging, I had a lot of fun executing it with an amazing team. Some of the works I’ve been given an opportunity to work on are Head & Shoulders, L’Oreal, Qatar Airways and so much more.
I’ve been blessed to work alongside partners from the UK, Bangkok, Singapore, Indonesia and China as of late. I can’t wait to start opening more doors to new ventures and prospects.
6. Do you put on a different hat when shooting for a specific genre?
I think everyone in production have multiple hats because you have to learn to adapt within the scenario at play from the sets, wardrobe, cast… the list goes on! But of course, it’s all about having the right support system and allowing them to do what they do best. My job is just to make sure the shoot goes well and we’re well within the budget
7. Have you been continuing to shoot during the COVID crisis? Can you describe that experience?
It’s definitely been challenging and new – especially with me being a people person and also learning that a solid internet connection is definitely key to all this. But it has opened doors to so many new opportunities with brands and agencies I’d never thought I’d work with. What’s more is the trust we gained during these projects because you are basically the eyes and eyes of everyone on set.
8. Do you have a favorite piece of kit?
My iPhone is first go to because as a producer, we’re always on the move and texting whatsapp groups, suppliers and colleagues. Then there’s of course my iPad for me to work on my budget.
9. Are you often asked to do more than produce? If so, what are you asked to do?
If you ever need a baby whisperer, I’m available. I love kids and probably the best person to speak to with kids (so to speak).
10. What are three pieces of technology you can’t live without?
Instagram, Spotify (when I need to dance) and of course WhatsApp!
11. This is a high-stress job. What do you do to de-stress from it all?
I tell myself everyday that I am grateful to be doing what I love / passionate about to the point where I don’t even like I’m doing work! It feels more like a hobby that I get to do on an everyday basis and get paid for. Of course, there are times I slightly feel that way but in the case of that happening, I would play FIFA on my PlayStation whilst setting it to beginners mode.
12. How do you manage Client’s expectations with the reality of what can really be done?
Seven Sunday Films stands on the belief that quality is key to any project regardless of the board and challenges faced. I am grateful to be in this sort of environment and teaching – because it helps me to push myself to find new ideas and routes in order to make that happen. If budgets are of course restraining that, then we of course compensate and find new ways (over loads loads of coffee)
13. How do you manage your time? Do you manage expectations or try everything they ask of you?
As the saying goes, work never sleeps! Though I’ve learned to always keep a schedule and to-do-list in place then sticking to it – I always try my best to have a discipline morning routine and if everything is out of my control, I will be honest about it and offer something else that can be achieved.
14. When someone who is starting out asks what they should learn, what do you recommend?
Never be afraid to ask questions and there is no such thing as a dumb question. Never be afraid to learn and always put your heart in whatever you’re doing. Also patience – they key to being a successful person is through patience. Never be afraid to start from the bottom and work yourself up. Bear in mind, I’ve only just turned 30 and I’ve still got so much more to learn. Never stop.
15. How do you take criticism? Do you find yourself defensive or accepting of others’ ideas (good and bad)?
I used to shut off criticism whenever someone had a remark on me because of my ego-ness but as I grew older, it became clearer to me that there are people who would like to see you grow and be the best version of yourself. That’s what I expect from my critics, to push me so my work becomes better in the end.