Chiu Keng Guan says shooting a movie about football was "really tough" but the concept of "team spirit", not money at the box office was the real driving force behind the movie. PETALING JAYA: After the monstrous hit Ola Bola, Chiu Keng Guan, 44, did not only endear himself to most Malaysians, he proved he was no one-trick pony but a movie maverick at the box-office. With movies like Woohoo!, Great Day and The Journey all big successes in their own right, Ola Bola showed in no uncertain terms that Chiu was a master of his craft. In an exclusive interview with South East Asian Globe (SEAG), Chiu relates how money was never the driving force behind his calling and says: “If you keep on thinking about how to make money, you won’t.
Making Ola Bola however, brought Chiu right back to his school days and before he knew it, he was on the field, a tad older and more rusty in some places as he attempted his football manoeuvres.
The cast of Ola Bola however spent some four months in training, despite one film critic still pointing out that they did not quite pull off the football playing scenes. However Chiu, taking the criticism in stride, said Ola Bola was not so much about football per se than about team spirit.

Talking about his path to film making, Chiu told SEAG he studied graphic design, then editing after joining a local film production company. As a director, Chiu also treasures his audience, and yearns to experience what they experience, so much so that it is common for him to watch his own films in cinemas over and over again. Clearly dedicated to his craft, Chiu also said: “If you really want to make a good movie… you have to really believe [in it]. He said that was when he realised that what he really yearned to do, more than playing football, was film making. So instead of casting well known actors in his movies, he scoured the streets instead in search of virtual unknowns. Sometimes you might think they’ll laugh or be sad at a certain point and, if they’re not, you have to think why. So he headed to the Beijing Film Academy and came back to his homeland bursting with creative concepts he wanted to flesh out on screen.

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