Bandung-born and Jakarta based Anggara Maulandi (aka Anggur) is a ‘in-house’ director at Seven Sunday Films, a leading production company in Asia with offices around the region including Singapore, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Bali. Campaign Brief Asia caught up with Anggur, to find out more about him…
1. What’s your favorite part of the job?
Where do I even begin? There are loads and loads of things to pick out – it’s hard to be specific about just one thing. One of the many things I love is first picking out the script from the agency and finding new alternative ways to execute it further.
I take each script like a puzzle which allows me to push myself beyond my boundaries and capabilities.
2. What is your most productive time of day and why?
I am very much a morning person. The first thing I’d do is get on my bicycle and roam around the city getting that first scent of morning freshness – a cup of coffee, where my mind wanders around endlessly as I find new ideas and creative inputs.
3. If you didn’t have this job, what would you be doing instead?
I can’t see myself doing anything else besides directing. From day one, I always knew I wanted to a film director and nothing else. It’s hard to imagine doing something else, though I’d probably be a bicycle mechanic!
4. How early did you know this would be your path?
The advertising and film industry has been something I’ve always carried deep within at a very young age. When my parents first introduced me to movies, I knew I wanted to be a director from the get-go. I worked myself from the bottom as a reference research for one of my mentors going through sleepless nights finding what makes the commercial unique, inspiring.
It’s something I still do today because you can learn so much.
5. Can you name some recent jobs?
I recently got the opportunity to direct for OPPO’s new phone launch – the OPPO Reno 8. I’m a huge fan of lifestyle commercial and this is definitely something up my alleyway. It was a load of fun as the client allowed me a lot of creative freedom! I also had to find ways and procedure in order to push the limitation of the phone itself and bring out what it provides.
6. Do you put on a different hat when shooting for a specific genre?
I think a lot of directors put a different hat when they’re shooting different genres. It’s definitely fun because I get to bring out another side of me that people rarely see. Also it’s fun for me because in some ways I’m also a talent, except I’m not in front of the camera which is perfectly fine for me!
7. Have you been continuing to shoot during the COVID crisis? Can you describe that experience?
The COVID definitely hit us hard and it some ways, we were definitely limited by our usual choices when it comes to shooting. I love having agencies and clients around so that we can share the same experience of shooting rather than having most people doing it remotely. Though I’m grateful to still getting continuous work during the pandemic.
The one thing I realized is that I’m definitely a people person.
8. Do you have a favorite piece of kit?
My phone of course! I’ve got loads and loads of references stored for easy viewing in case I need something quickly.
9. Are you often asked to do more than direct? If so, what are you asked to do?
The “DJ”. I’m always asked to play some music before we start rolling to get the mood going.
10. What are three pieces of technology you can’t live without?
My phone because who can live without it? Definitely my laptop and my definitely my PlayStation!
11. This is a high-stress job. What do you do to de-stress from it all?
You’ll probably see riding down the streets of Jakarta with my bicycle to get away from it all. Though when it’s raining, I’ll probably kick back with some fun on my PlayStation of course! Psst: Add me up on FIFA.
12. How do you manage producers’ expectations with the reality of what can really be done?
Communication and making sure we don’t beat around the bush. A producer’s job is tough enough already coordinating and making sure everything we need for the project is delivered. I know there are always challenges so we always ensure to communicate on a regular basis to make sure what can be done and what can’t be done. It’s all about teamwork at the end of the day.
13. How do you manage your time? Do you manage expectations or try everything they ask of you?
I’d like to say that I’m a pretty strict person with my time management though my producers might say otherwise! Sometimes, I tend to get lost in the moment though I have them to make sure of my schedule!
14. When someone who is starting out asks what they should learn, what do you recommend?
Never be afraid to speak if you don’t know. I think a lot of the time we’re so worried that we might be looked down upon others that we miss out the opportunity to ask. That’s one thing I learned along the way.
Another thing is that always remember the end goal of it all, it’s never easy to just be a director or anyone in production really. It’s about putting your heart and passion into it. Another thing I might add is to be always be present when you’re doing something. Never doing it half-heartedly.
15. How do you take criticism? Do you find yourself defensive or accepting of others’ ideas (good and bad)?
Criticism is definitely very very important. I used to take it with a pinch of salt though I’ve realized that it’s important to know what people think of you or your work as well so that you can better yourself. I am nowhere near perfect of course and with my job, it’s essential to embrace feedback whether it’s good or bad.