Born and raised in Jakarta, Perdana Batangtaris aka Dana, is an Executive Producer and Head of Productions 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 Dana, to find out more on his career and work philosophy.
1. What’s your favourite part of the job?
Production time is where all the fun begins. The moment starts when we gather in all the best crew, planning out how to execute, what kind of camera and gear we are going to use, location recce, workshop and when the camera starts rolling, I feel that is the most enjoyable part of the job.
2. What is your most productive time of day and why?
My morning routine, having breakfast with my wife and daughter. A nice hot coffee, workout, and start production work.
3. If you didn’t have this job, what would you be doing instead?
Maybe I’ll be focusing on building cars and bikes. Since I love it so much, no day goes by without me looking, thinking or playing with anything with wheels hahaha.
Big or small, real vehicle or toy, with or without an engine it’s just something about how mechanical things worked that got me hooked.
I also run a small garage shop building hot rod’s, restoring classic cars, scooters and bikes. But since most of my time is doing production, my partner is running the shop on a daily basis.
I only come to the shop from time to time for my personal stuff and to get some break from work.
4. How early did you know this would be your path?
I have always been a “love what you do” kind of guy. I study film at Jakarta art institute and my major was a film producer. In my second year, I start to become a script cont., 2nd Ad and 1stAd for tv series, music videos, etc and produced short films for festivals. I was 20 at that time need money to pay my tuition and build my car. So yeah I have enjoyed the proses since the very beginning and also I never consider it a job. I always see it as a hobby and making money while you are doing it.
5. Can you name some recent jobs?
One of my most recent jobs is for KIA. With the amount of locations that we needed to travel to achieve various backgrounds, it was quite challenging. And also there was one day when we shoot with three different units, two in Bali and one in Tulum, Mexico. That was fun, I did a couple of beauty spots also, Wandah and Head and Shoulders. Another one that is very special recently is Traveloka.
6. Do you put on a different hat when shooting for a specific genre?
I treat each different genre with a different approach, if that considers putting on a different hat then it means yes.
I like to do things 100%, or at least I try my very best to do it or don’t do it at all. That goes in everything, whether it’s work, personal stuff, or hobbies.
7. Have you been continuing to shoot during the COVID crisis? Can you describe that experience?
It’s been a challenge, made me learn a lot of new things and upgrade new skills. Never thought I will experience such a crisis in my lifetime. To me, it’s unlocked lots of things that we never thought we can do. Makes us learn distance is not an issue. Makes us learn to collaborate with multiple people in different countries as in you are sitting in the same room. Now we have a new way to become more productive.
8. Do you have a favourite piece of kit?
With my iPhone and my iPad, as a producer, I am always on the move and have to communicate with a lot of different groups and colleagues.
9. Are you often asked to do more than produce? If so, what are you asked to do?
As Head of Production, quite often people come to me with different challenges or problems whether it’s about production or personal. I think the key to having a solid production team is when we can always have this trust that your team will back us up no matter what. So having a positive, comfortable, and fun working environment is really important. It always brings the best people. It will be amazing if every time you go to work you feel as excited as you are going to your playground.
10. What are three pieces of technology you can’t live without?
My bikes, my cars, and my gadgets
11. This is a high-stress job. What do you do to de-stress from it all?
I have always loved this job, I have been doing this job my whole life. But there always be that time when you feel overloaded and tired. So to refresh myself I like to go out on road trips/overland with my loved ones, ride a motorcycle with my buds, or sometimes come to car/bike shows or come to an art exhibition. it’s so refreshing to see what other people are creating and building. I often got new ideas afterwards.
12. How do you manage Client’s expectations with the reality of what can really be done?
I think clear communication is critical. I always try to do my very best to communicate every part of the process. I try to explain what might or can be done, calculate what kind of risk we are dealing with, what is the goal that we are trying to achieve and how to do it.
13. How do you manage your time? Do you manage expectations or try everything they ask of you?
I believed we always have to try to have a balance, if not other things will start falling apart. I always try to be in my very best state of mind, to do that I need to be able to manage my time, mind and emotion. Especially when you are doing multiple things at one time. I think managing expectation is always better than promising.
14. When someone who is starting out asks what they should learn, what do you recommend?
Learn everything, and absorb as much as you can. People have different skill sets. You may be good at one thing but maybe bad at other things. Never considered that you already know everything, otherwise you will stop learning. And when you stop learning you will stop growing. Always try something new.
15. How do you take criticism? Do you find yourself defensive or accepting of others’ ideas (good and bad)?
I’m not a “sugar coating” guy, I try to be as honest as I can in expressing myself to others. I don’t mind being criticised. Maybe I have a blind spot that others can see.