A Merdeka to remember

For the first time in Malaysia’s history, there is no live Merdeka Day parade due to Covid-19.

Twentytwo13 decided to create its own parade in light of the new norm as a way to thank Malaysians for their sacrifices and dedication. The news website came up with its Merdeka campaign ‘A Merdeka To Remember’.

“The video is about us being creative during unprecedented times,” said Twentytwo13 managing editor Pearl Lee.

“We wanted to remind people of our childhood memories by utilising toys, specifically toy soldiers. The video teaches us about working together, appreciating the young and reminding our readers that we are celebrating Malaysia and its people.”

Pearl added the team also drew inspiration for this video from Twentytwo13 columnists who have been writing about what Merdeka truly means. The entire video was shot at Twentytwo13‘s office in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur.

“The team worked hard to produce the video within three weeks and we are extremely proud of it,” she said.

“It’s the simple things in life that we often overlook but which can make a whole lot of difference.”

Twentytwo13 creative editor Amar Qastellani said close to 200 mini figurines depicting police personnel, soldiers, frontliners and the crowd were used in the video.

“We painted some of the toys to ensure they looked as close as possible to the real thing,” said Amar.

Twentytwo13 intern Mohamad Rasul Shamshul Kamal preparing the set.

“The backdrop was a printed street view of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, where the Merdeka parade is traditionally held in Kuala Lumpur, to give it a realistic feel.

“There was no tough scene really. We stuck by the storyboard and everything fell in place.”

Amar getting a tight shot of the toy soldiers.

The video also pays tribute to Malaysia’s uniformed personnel who kept the peace during the partial lockdown, the dedicated frontliners and those in the delivery industry.

The talent in the video, three-year-old Shane Lee Deol who was seen playing with the toys before uttering “Tanah tumpahnya darahku“, represented the voice of the younger generation.

Shane playing with the toys at the set.

Powered by Professional Storytellers, Twentytwo13 has been creating videos since its inception in 2018. A Merdeka To Remember is its second initiative this year.

In May, Twentywo13 created ‘We’ll get through this‘ video to honour Malaysians who have gone through trying times following political uncertainty and the Covid-19 pandemic.

“News can be presented in many forms and this is one of our ways of documenting news. Our tagline, ‘People’s Perspectives, Breaking Boundaries’ is evident in our efforts,” Pearl added.

Title: A Merdeka To Remember

Production Team:
Twentytwo13 (powered by Professional Storytellers)
Pearl Lee
Haresh Deol
Graig Nunis
Purwaiz Alam
Amar Qastellani
Mohamad Rasul Shamshul Kamal