Dead foreigner discovered in a rice field

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A short comedy about the body of an apparently dead foreigner discovered in a rice field won two awards at the 9Filmfest International Film festival in Bangkok in 2013, and was screened at the prestigious SOHO International Film Festival in New York just last month. Pretty good for a film written by someone who had never written a screenplay before, directed by someone who had never directed a film before, and produced by people who had never produced a film before! On top of that, most the actors had never acted before. And the crew was composed of new graduates from film school (Fine and Applied Arts, Mahidol University International College).

“Clueless?” was screened again at the Pattaya City Expats Club meeting on Sunday, June 22, where it was warmly received. Introducing the film was its screen writer, Peter Lloyd, and its director, Byron Bishop. Peter is a long time Pattaya resident, writer and author. Byron is a long time resident of Bangkok, known for his film acting and for his former modeling career.

Peter Lloyd explains how he wrote the screenplay, acted in, and co-produced the short film “Clueless?” for the Bangkok 9Filmfest while Byron Bishop looks on.Peter Lloyd explains how he wrote the screenplay, acted in, and co-produced the short film “Clueless?” for the Bangkok 9Filmfest while Byron Bishop looks on.

The film, which is 12 minutes long, was shot on location in Nakhon Nayok, not very far from Bangkok. (For the 9Filmfest, the film had to be cut to nine minutes to meet the requirements of the festival.) Peter also mentioned that since the 9Filmfest theme was water, they included an area with water around it so that it would qualify. Peter, Byron and one of the actors, Sahajak Boonthanakit, were the film’s producers.

While Peter Lloyd looks on, Byron Bishop takes his turn to describe how they went about casting and making the short film “Clueless?” near Nakhon Nayok, mostly for the fun of doing it.While Peter Lloyd looks on, Byron Bishop takes his turn to describe how they went about casting and making the short film “Clueless?” near Nakhon Nayok, mostly for the fun of doing it.

Peter said that he was approached to work on the film shortly before the 9Filmfest and that it took him “about a nanosecond” to decide to do it. For the plot, Peter said that he was inspired by the unfortunately frequent local news stories of dead foreigners turning up in the tapioca fields outside Pattaya.

So, the film starts off with a fisherman landing his boat on the bank, gathering his fish, and proceeding down a dirt track across a rice paddy field when he happens upon a farang laying in the field next to the road.  A lady passerby joins him as they eye the body. After some discussion they go to the local police to report the body.  The fun starts there with the actions of the local police detective.

Peter said that the people who worked on the film just wanted to have fun. They never imagined it would end up being screened at a film festival outside Thailand. But because of its success at the SOHO International Film Festival, the producers have submitted the film to other festivals. Eventually, the film will be uploaded to YouTube.

The film cost about US$600 to make. The producers had less than a month to get the film written, casted, filmed and edited and to have a soundtrack added. It was done in such a rush, Peter said, that the fact that Peter wrote the screenplay was omitted from the credits.

Peter had a small role in the film, for which he had to shave his head. “I had never done that in my life,” he said. “The day I did it, even the security guards in my condo didn’t recognize me. Unfortunately, when we shot the movie, my sun-sensitive head blistered and wept for three days afterwards.”

Pat Koester announces that she and fellow USA Embassy Warden Al Serrato right after the end of the June 29 PCEC meeting will be demonstrating for US citizens how to sign up online with the US State Department to receive emergency notifications and how to notify their next of kin, if needed.Pat Koester announces that she and fellow USA Embassy Warden Al Serrato right after the end of the June 29 PCEC meeting will be demonstrating for US citizens how to sign up online with the US State Department to receive emergency notifications and how to notify their next of kin, if needed.

After the presentation, Master of Ceremonies Richard Silverberg brought everyone up to date on upcoming events and called on Roy Albiston to conduct the always informative Open Forum where questions are asked and answered about expat living in Thailand, especially Pattaya.

For more information on the PCEC’s many activities, visit their website at www.pcecclub.org.

PCEC MC Richard Silverberg presents a certificate of appreciation to Peter and Byron for their special screening of “Clueless?” for the enjoyment of PCEC members and guests.PCEC MC Richard Silverberg presents a certificate of appreciation to Peter and Byron for their special screening of “Clueless?” for the enjoyment of PCEC members and guests.