Indonesian Showering (The Mandi)

This is my tribute to the love/hate relationship I have with the shower (mandi) in Indonesia. In the hot afternoon, I love showering because I can cool off. However, ice cold morning showers are not so enjoyable. I made this video so I could share a little “Nugget of Indo” with friends and family back home, and so I could keep my creative muscles strong.

If you haven't already, I encourage you to watch the video before reading further. 

A Rough Start

The first shots I took were in my bathroom. Little did I know that these shots would eventually go to waste.  

 A still image from the footage with garbage audio. Image not edited or colored.

A still image from the footage with garbage audio. Image not edited or colored.

While editing, I noticed that the audio from inside the bathroom was terrible. There was tremendous echo, rendering the sound virtually unusable. So, I had to scrap this footage and re-shoot. 

The Look

Check out that bokeh! I kept the camera pretty close for the vlog style shots so that the background would be nice and blurry. Since I wanted a more polished look, I used my Nikon DSLR with the 35mm f1.8 lens. I only use the GoPro for some specialty shots like the panning timelapse and the shots which required the camera to be submerged in water.

 Doing this with my Nikon was nerve racking.

Doing this with my Nikon was nerve racking.

I tried to have a wide variety of shots- some static, some dynamic- so that I would have good coverage while editing and so that the video could have a snappy pace. Things got sketchy at a couple points. I don't have a waterproof housing for my DSLR. If some part failed on my tripod, it would be “bye bye, Nikon.” 

 Another precarious shot near the water.

Another precarious shot near the water.

You don't need to own a slider to get slider-type shots. Here I used a folded up towel on top of our water basin. It's not as smooth as a legitimate slider, but it helped capture something with a bit more flare than a regular static shot. 

A Note on Culture

Video shooters will always catch people's eye while they're recording footage because humans are naturally curious. This curiosity can feel magnified in Indonesia, especially for shooters from foreign countries like I. We stand out more than a local shooter. If you're shooting here, sometimes people stop and stare at you. Sometimes they step in front of your camera lens (ruining your shot) and ask what you're doing. Making videos is super cool, and even people who aren't shooters know that. It's no wonder that they would be curious about what you're doing. 

 A selfie with some locals.

A selfie with some locals.

While I was packing up my gear in the street, a mother and her two kids stopped near where I was and stared at me for a good minute. I was just drinking some water and staring back, wondering how long they would stare at me. The little girl to the right, who I didn't see until she poked her head out from behind her mom, yelled, "What is your name?" I replied and went over to talk to them. We chatted for a minute and I took this photo. As I was about to say goodbye, the little girl who asked me my name, Keiko, asked me to come to her house. I politely declined, of course. It was a good interaction with some curious locals.

Final Thoughts

I had a great time shooting this video. The total time spent shooting was about three or four hours. It took about eight hours total to get it edited and colored the way I wanted.

Please leave any comments, suggestions, or questions you have in the space below. I'd love to get your feedback.

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Take care and keep creating.

-Max