With Brunei’s film industry growing like never before, we can definitely see plenty of local videographers and filmmakers trying to break through in this new scene of video making business. We at Sutera managed to trace down one of our own Hj Muhd Aznil bin Hj Yunus, a filmmaker better known as Aznniel Yunus, to talk us through his crafting ways in Brunei.
Like any talented filmmakers, Aznniel’s career started off when he made short films using his mobile phone while attending school. His first was titled “Battle in the toilet”.
“From that short video, we managed to entertain our classmates and received good feedback from our viewers. That opened up more opportunities for us as we began creating more videos for the school,” said Aznniel as he reminisced back his early days.
From there, clients started to flock over as he became more sought after for his works. One of the more notable works he’s done would be the music video for the local band ‘Epic Tragedy’ which he made with Nostrils production. Since then, he received more requests from local artists to shoot their music videos. On the other hand, he continued working on his short films until a piece, called ‘Masa’, received international praise.
“Masa is a short film that I’m really proud of. I directed, wrote, edited and even acted in it back in 2015. It was featured in many short film festivals in Japan, Malaysia and Bangkok,” he mentioned.
Aznniel is currently involved with Filterworks production and Lailatul Syazana’s Production in directing another big project, a series called “The Bungsu Story”. He mentioned briefly that the first episode took them about 8 days to film. Apart from the series, he is also doing commercials with small-medium businesses and other coverages that involves video making.
Filmmaking in Brunei is not without its own challenges however. One of it being the difficulty of pursuing it as a full time job as it’s not considered a stable career path for the locals. This could be due to several reasons such as the lack of support from local companies and the difficulty in obtaining resources or equipment for filmmaking.
“Another challenge is that there are no proper educational courses provided that delves into the art of filmmaking in Brunei. Most of the filmmakers here are self-taught, taking years to master their skills,” highlighted Aznniel as he discussed the challenges faced by local filmmakers.
Though arduous, Aznniel pushed onwards and made filmmaking as his full time career. He is able to sustain his income while developing his own style of filming, leading him to greater sources of clients to work with. He believed that filmmaking will be a popular choice for the Bruneian youths as there are lots of upcoming production houses and cinematographers sprouting all across the Sultanate.
“I think that there is a filmmaker in everyone! We can connect filmmaking in everything such as sports, music and literature. Making a film is a daunting task as we still need to handle both the creative and business side of filmmaking. It is just a matter of staying true to your vision, not being afraid to take risks and not giving up on our own identity,” said Aznniel as a final message to aspiring filmmakers in Brunei.
For more of Aznniel works, check out his YouTube channel