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How she helped a lontong seller ..

For this inspiring true story of a Prudential agent, director, Lukitasari opted to render the present in black and white, and flashbacks in full colour.

“The selection of the talent was a long, drawn out process”, Patria, the producer narrated. “From a list of 200 names, the agency, Ogilvy, shortlisted 14 agents with inspiring stories to be brought to Jakarta from around Indonesia for the final interviews with Luki”.  Luki’s final shortlist was then discussed with Prudential’s management and a decision made.

The selected agent lives in Padang, West Sumatra. She started her career by going around the villages on a motorcycle to educate villagers about the benefits of insurance protection, a sort of “modern day missionary” as she was fondly referred to during pre-production. Her stories involved helping several villagers save for their health care and children’s education. One particular story strike the heartstrings of everyone – one of helping a traditional lontong seller save and plan for that.

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In order for this film to be credible, the production team set about finding locations in and around Padang suitable for the narrative. It was in Solok, a town 2 hours’ drive from Padang, that the team found the traditional, authentic houses called rumah gadang typical of West Sumatra. This town became the main location where the lontong seller was to have her stall (or warung). As the production happened in the midst of the rainy season, the team’s greatest challenge was having to drive through soggy, mud tracks traversing landslides-prone terrain.

DoP, Arief Pribadi, chose a combination of Alexa XT, Sony FS7 and Canon 5D cameras for this film. Other than the production and camera teams, Art Director, Budi Gareng’s art team also travelled to Padang where they mocked up the traditional market on a street in Solok.

After shooting the colourful sights in the city of Padang and Solok, the production team returned to Jakarta for the next leg of the shoot. Due to security and other concerns, the airport had to be mocked up at the International Convention and Exhibition (ICE) complex in Bumi Serpong Damai just outside of Jakarta. Mervyn Lim of Oriental Post Jakarta did a great job in making the exteriors look that of a real airport.

In keeping that credibility and belivability of this real story, the agent’s real voice was used for the narration. Luki even requested Meidy, the musician, to incorporate the traditional West Sumatran instrument called gandang tambua into the final track.

“Well, a project almost a year in the making is finally wrapped and all are happy”, Patria concluded when the final mix was approved for airing.

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