Drone shots, flycam filming, child actors, a prickly plant – little is off-limits in Rumah Epik Fantastik, this year’s Hari Raya advert from Tenaga Nasional Berhad. The five-minute clip showcases some ambitious shots to reflect the familiar chaos that comes with a Malaysian festive holiday.
Directed by Quek Shio Chuan of Guang fame, Rumah Epik features 14-year-old Iskandar Syahidan as a boy coping with cramped living conditions when relatives from his extended family spend Aidilfitri at his kampung house.
Initially unhappy with the way the other young guests mess with his toys, he inevitably sees how Hari Raya is better with his entire family is under one roof.
TNB chief corporate officer Datuk Wira Roslan Rahman shared that Rumah Epik presents a relatable situation to most Malaysians. Aidilfitri is a time for family gatherings and some sacrifices need to be made with that.
“I believe we are all familiar with that feeling of rushing home to avoid being stuck in traffic. Then when you’re home, there is no time to relax because you have to start cleaning up. We do all this so that we can create a comfortable living situation for everyone else,” said Roslan.
Roslan believes the ad carries an important message about tolerance. Rumah Epik shows how happiness can be achieved when everyone works together and looks out for each other. “The sense of tolerance among Malaysians is what makes us special,” he added.
Quek, who also directed last year’s witty TNB advertisement Dugaan Raya, shared that Rumah Epik took three days to film on-location in Banting, Selangor. About 30 actors were involved, and one particular aerial shot that involved cars moving simultaneously was a major challenge.
“Once everyone was in the car, it’s quite hard to coordinate. Everyone had to start moving at the same time and get to their assigned positions. Plus, we used a drone (for the shot) and it can only stay on the air for a limited time,” Quek explained.
The key to nailing the scene came down to practice and teamwork. “We had to rehearse the movements in stages. Cars in the front row would practise first, followed by the second row, and the next,” Quek said.
He added that he was fortunate to have a passionate team of cast and crew. “Everyone was up for anything. I remember seeing the cast practise their dance movements together. That was really inspiring.”