It Ain't Easy Being Mean

Being the "bad guy" is not exactly fun. You have to endure the contempt and judgement of everyone on set, be extra nice off-camera, and go back to being a professional jerk when the camera rolls. Kind of taxing.

Nevertheless, Austrailian actor, Jordan Prainito, who was 18 then, took the role of a Bully in Tzang Merwyn Tong's FAERYVILLE like a champ, holding the torch of villainy aloft without an ounce of self-pity. Far from his "Jock" persona in his first feature film, Jordan is a hard working young talent who gives a lot to the roles he plays. 

This young actor has worked with HBO, Shooting Gallery Asia, Infinite Studios, ABC, INRI Studio, Canningvale Australia and through these experiences, rubbed shoulders with numerous directors and master teachers such as Tony Knight, Nikki Snelson and Peter Andrikis. Read on to find out what his experience on Faeryville is like.Article by Jeevan K.

You play a Jock in Faeryville. How close is that to you in real life?

To be honest, at that time, it was probably a little too close to me than I would have liked! But I was going through a big “re-assessment” stage at the time and this role came at a perfect time for me.

Do you have difficulty playing a character that is so much of a cliche. The Jock/ Bully. 

Now you are making me recall a lot! Well, I always like to over prepare with my roles and so I created a world for him (I had to dig this out of my diary). He was given every educational opportunity but he had a worsening, mutually destructive relationship with his father which, rocked his personal stability (as you will see, in the film he explodes at times). This enabled him to have an emotional disconnection with the world around him. I found that he could be curious about his fellow students and the outcomes of his own actions, but only in a detached and clinical way. Although when we see a close friend of his perish, we see there is still hope for him yet.

You seem like an athletic person yourself. What's your fitness regime like?  

Nowadays due to the pressures in the industry to keep in shape I work out 5 times a week. Weights on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Cardio (Sprints, etc.) on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
On top of that I currently do kick boxing and rock climbing classes. I’ve been brought up in a household where my brother and I were taught to be well equipped for most situations, at the time I was focusing on Krav Maga. Which is essentially about disabling multiple opponents in as quick as time possible, heaps of fun by the way!

Disabling... Heaps of fun? Hmmmm. What do you think the role of 'the bully' is in society?

I hate to think in stereotypes or ‘roles’ in society as I believe that it limits myself as an actor. A bully does not think he is a bully, just like a murderer doesn't think he has done anything wrong, he believes that his actions were justified. 

But if we had to put it in a box per se, I would sum it up that the bully’s main function in society is to bring the true leaders out in people. Essentially, who has the balls to stand up and take them head on. 

You were only 18 when you were casted for Faeryville meaning, you were playing the actual age of the bullies in the film. How did that feel? 

Yes, I was 18! I feel old now! Well, if anything it made my job slightly easier as, I could recall past instances in high-school quite vividly.

Were you still in school then?

Yes, I was. Graduated earlier this year from Lasalle College of the Arts: Musical Theatre with first class honours... Thank God!

Let's talk about girls. What kind of girls do you like?

I’ve never really liked a ‘kind’ of girl. The most important attribute for me in a girl is her ability to make me listen and laugh with her.

Are you also a player in real life? 

At the time (of the filming), unfortunately I was! But we all mature and learn eventually.

Describe your ideal date. 

Currently I am in Melbourne about to shoot a mini-series for ABC with a bunch of Australian stars and I am actually (as a surprise) taking a girl on set with me so she can see what it is like. I hope she doesn’t freak out…

What are the most provocative film / films you've watched?

Off the top of my head: ’A Clockwork Orange’ (1971), ‘I Spit On Your Grave’ (1978), ‘Requiem for a Dream’ (2000), ‘Irreversible’ (2002, French) and ‘The Dreamers’ (2003).

I love to be pushed out of my comfort zone which, is essentially why I am an actor! All of these films will do that to you in different ways.

How do you think people will react to a film like Faeryville?

I think it is going to be an absolute treasure of Singaporean Film one day. Why? Because it breaks the rules. Having lived in Singapore for 3 years, this film holds a stark mirror up to the community and asks us all; what would you fight for?

What does 'Be Afraid of what you fight for' mean to you? 

Fear keeps us alive, and always do what you are afraid to do. 

What will you stand for / fight for in real life? 

For my family, my country and my friends. For true equality and freedom.

Jordan Prainito will play Anthony, a Jock in the Calvary Fraternity, in upcoming feature film, FAERYVILLE, a dystopian teen movie by Tzang Merwyn Tong. He is currently represented by Gary Jones of Smith and Jones Management based in Sydney. 

FAERYVILLE will make its World Premiere in Los Angeles in January 2015.

Follow Jordan on Facebook: @ jordan.prainito
or Instagram @jordanprainito

Follow FAERYVILLE on Facebook:
Twitter @faeryville / Instagram @faeryville

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Faeryville, a dystopian teen movie from INRI Studio, a Singapore independent film studio, has been picked up for international sales by Eleven Arts, an American film production and distribution company based in Los Angles. The feature film will see its maiden screening at a Red Carpet World Premiere in LA, California, on January 15, 2015, in a yet-to-be-announced theatre, with support from Singapore-based publishing company Sterne & Lears Global Pte Ltd, the publisher of F*** Magazine.

Written and directed by award-winning independent filmmaker Tzang Merwyn Tong, Faeryville is a coming-of-age film about a group of teenage misfits who are often bullied, and how they struggle to find themselves in an increasingly surreal, ambiguous and apathetic world. Set in a fictitious college, Faeryville is about identity and friendship, and explores how victims of bullying are pushed to extremes.

Following the Los Angeles World Premiere, Faeryville will kick start its world sales in Europe, at the Rotterdam Film Festival's CineMart and the Berlin International Film Festival's European Film Market, with Eleven Arts representing Faeryville as International Sales Agent.

The international Film Premiere of Faeryville, as well as the acquisition by international sales agent Eleven Arts, marks a milestone for filmmaker Tzang Merwyn Tong and his independent Singapore-based studio, INRI Studio.

Tzang has made 3 award-winning featurettes: e'Tzaintes (2003), A Wicked Tale (2005), and V1K1: A Techno Fairytale (2010), with e’Tzaintes and A Wicked Tale getting a bit of an cult following in Berlin and Montreal when it was released in 2005 with underground screenings in clubs and indie art spaces. A Wicked Tale, which is a psychoerotic re-imagination of Red Riding Hood, premiered to critical acclaim at the Rotterdam International Film Festival; and was the Closing Night Film at the Montreal FanTasia Film Festival. Tzang is also the youngest Singaporean director to release a film commercially on DVD.

Eight years in the making, Faeryville was very much an underdog battle from pre-production to post-production. From budget constraints and a highly controversial story to a massive thunderstorm that killed the most expensive day of shooting, there were innumerable obstacles in the making of Faeryville. However, true to the underdog, rebel spirit of the film and INRI Studio, director Tzang Merwyn Tong kept going and remained faithful to his vision for FaeryvilleFaeryville is Tzang’s first full length feature film. 

For now, Faeryville is primed and ready for its international debut, followed by world sales in the European Film Market, with international sales rep on board. This marks an achievement not just for the filmmaker, but also for Singaporean Independent Cinema, proving that local independent films can punch above their weight class in the global arena, even without the might of a major international studio behind them. 
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'e'TZAINTES - giving self deceit a better name' (2003). This is the no-budget teenage black comedy that got the revolution started. The first film of writer-director Tzang Merwyn Tong, produced with Lee Amizadai and Armen Rizal Rahman, when they were 19 year olds, using school equipment (without permission), recycled SVHS tapes and a cast of 30++ teenagers - all misfits, from gangs, cults, churches, schools and IRC chat groups.

A film about the spirit of the underdog triumphing against oppression. A film made by nobodies.
e'Tzaintes was the Opening Night Film of the Berlin Asia-Pacific Film Festival 2004. Winner of the Bronze Remi Award (Independent/ Experimental Category) at the Houston WorldFest 2003. Screened as part of the Asian New Force at the Hong Kong IFVA Festival 2003.

Arsenal of Flyers. Mini DV Tapes. Tzaintes T-shirts and VCDs.
Photos by Lee Amizadai

e'Tzaintes (2003) Unofficial Trailer:

'Tzaintes Not Dead' a fan-made tribute Music Video (featuring Aerosmith's Amazing):

Follow Faeryville on Facebook:
Twitter @faeryville / Instagram @faeryville

SINGAPORE: Local indie filmmaker Tzang Merwyn Tong's first full-length feature film Faeryville has been picked up for international sales by US company Eleven Arts, and will premiere in Los Angeles next year.

Eight years in the making, Faeryville is about a group of oft-bullied teenage misfits in a dystopian world.

"It has always been my vision to offer a different kind of imagination for Singapore film. Faeryville is a film set in an alternative universe. It’s a story of teenagers in a fictitious college, tired of trying to fit in, choosing to prank their oppressors instead, to rebel and fight back – and later, realising how lost they are in their pursuit for meaning and identity," said Tzang.

"It is a coming-of-age story, a story of friendship, and finding yourself in this increasingly surreal post 9/11 world, where nothing seems to be right or wrong any more."

Tzang's past films include e'Tzaintes (2003), A Wicked Tale (2005) and V1K1 - A Techno Fairytale (2010). - CNA/ha

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