Filming has wrapped for “Dek Chou Damden,” Cambodia’s latest feature film, and director Sak Sythorn is convinced it will be at least as successful as the last one, “Child of the Giant Snake.”
“‘Child of the Giant Snake’ is a legend, and ‘Dek Chou Damden’ is a historical event, so it is quite different,” Sak Sythorn said.
“I think the film will be more popular because it is supported by students, intellectuals and people in general. They want us to produce more historical films so the next generation can know about history.”
But the hero of “Dek Chou Damden” is hatched from an egg and uses magic as a weapon. Is this history?
“Sure,” the director said. “He threw rice onto the ground and it would sprout into an army to fight his enemies.”
History or entertainment, the master copy of “Dek Chou Damden” has been sent to Long Beach, in the US state of California, where it will be edited and fitted with effects such as surround sound, Sak Sythron said.
When the editing is complete the movie will be shown in at least two venues in Phnom Penh, Sak Sythorn said. It also will be shown in Long Beach. If it turns a profit, it will be distributed on DVD and VCD.
The movie, which cost $100,000 to shoot, employed 30 actors and brought in 1,000 extras for a climactic battle scene. Filming took seven months, longer than expected because the sponsor was in a car accident and the actors had to take time off to make karaoke videos.
The folklore epic tells the story of a Commander Damden, who used magic and martial arts to unite the kingdoms of Cambodia and Siam (now Thailand) in 623 AD.