A journalist who turned up last night asked a few obvious questions ("What is this event? What is this book? What is in it?" - all while holding a copy of said book) but she also asked why I thought of publishing it.
Way back in the last century, I was a Law student. On impulse, I took a few Film Studies classes because the university allowed me to do so. Lo, my Film grades ended up higher than what I got for Law!
My three years at university were when I learned the most about film. And one of the hallmarks of that era was that I would buy screenplay books of films I liked. Of course, we are talking about the last century here, so the films were Reservoir Dogs, Fargo, Sex Lies and Videotape dan yang sewaktu dengannya. I would often buy them second-hand and eschew the ones with too many glossy colour pictures.
Although I am too lazy and non-discriminating to be a real cinephile, those books did help me to know the films better, and to see filmmaking as something I might conceivably do.
When I was based at Indonesia's Miles Films for half of 2004, I was also pleased to see that this company actively published the screenplays of its own films, such as Ada Apa Dengan Cinta? and Eliana, Eliana.
So although, yes, it's part of merchandising and will hardly change the world, Buku Untuk Filem is a series I started because it will help us to know some movies better. And that's surely one of the ways that we can make other, interesting movies later.
The next one after KAMI will be for the film ESTET, written and directed by Mamat Khalid; the book will be edited by Ajami Hashim. It should be out early next year, God willing.