Today we take look back at the last of our Coca-Cola Celebrating PNG films made in early 2015. This film tells the story of a little known lady named Susan Karike Huhume.
After we finished shooting with the much loved Honz (aka Jokema), we continued our shoot with Susan who was our second subject to be filmed in Papua New Guinea. Many people are not aware of the fact, but she designed the PNG national flag when she was still only a teenager in 1975.
Susan is the most unfortunate subject we shot for this series when compared to Jokema the PNG Pop Star and Hubert the National Rugby Captain. Susan lives in a shack in a rural area 45 minutes ride from Port Moresby. I was shocked to see that there was no running water and electricity in her house (as this is the PNG flag designer!). So we made the ad in the city, renting EMTEK staff’s apartment for the day.
In this film we faced more obstacles than we had in the previous or next shoots, because unfortunately we had to reconstruct the history of young Susan 40 years earlier, before PNG Independence Day. For this we needed a young talent to play Susan, a location that looked similar, old props and old wardrobe, etc.
Besides that, security problems were still happening during our shooting day. Some people came to us and claimed that we shot on their land so they asked for money from us and so our PNG team evacuated us immediately and luckily we had already wrapped at that location.
Also during this shoot we used around 50 extras for the rooftop scene of Susan’s family celebrating Independence Day with fireworks in the background. It was kind of hard to direct all of them because first of all, there was the language problem and also they hadn’t been involved in shooting before. Our Director, Putra, also felt stressed out during this time so luckily we did the fireworks during post production or it would have been a terrible nightmare for that particular shot. Eventually we were able to manage all the problems and took a rest before continuing to our third Coca-Cola ad in PNG, with Hubert, The National Rugby Player.
Susan is the nicest subject I’ve met. She gave me a PNG traditional bag just before we departed (this made me cry). We are so grateful for the opportunity to meet and film Susan and her family and a huge thanks to our fabulous client, Cara, that had the vision to do this project and gave us this job and went over and beyond to help during filming.
Let’s hope that PNG people and their government will re-remember Susan and give some assistance to her living conditions.
Story by Dennis and Putra. Photos courtesy of Hasal.