For us, it was a no-brainer to make this film. We simply have the access and the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make this documentary. We feel, we won’t be around long enough to witness another Nyoman Nuarta or Garuda Wisnu Kencana to be born in Indonesia. We might as well cherish the artist, the struggle, and the masterpiece now.
At first, our surprise was the facts about the statue itself and the nature of the project, which will be revealed in the film. Most Indonesians don’t know a simple fact about the GWK project that we can’t give away too much here. To us, that surprise, will let us know as Indonesians how much work need to be done in building our character as a nation, and Nyoman, for better or worse, can be our role model to be a better Indonesian.
More than others, is the virtue of not giving up and staying true to our promises. We’ve been lucky enough to witness the culmination of a 28-year long promise being fulfilled, no matter the cost. In making this documentary being interrupted by the pandemic, the temptation to give up and let go of the project was there. But we thought it wouldn’t be fair to the story, to all the hard work all of us have done, and we wouldn’t be walking the talk.
Starting out, it was the logistics of shooting. We decided to have our DP stand by and set up a base near the construction site and she documented the statue building process almost everyday for almost 2 years, while other team members would check in twice a month. Us being fresh out of the oven, had to figure out ways to keep ourselves feel challenged by the mundane work we were doing. In the end, we got what we came for and more. Now we have at least 20TB of footage in our GWK footage library.

And then there was post-production and story re-writes. Skimming through more than 20TBs of footage and archives took us a while, we felt that “more is less”. Everytime we had a structure we liked, there’s always new data or archives to be found that would skew the structure a bit. As it happened many times, it ended up skewing the structure a lot. It took us one year to finally coming up with a structure we liked, with the help of our co-editor Pietra Brettkelly that we’ve worked with in the last couple of months.

As we made final tweaks to the edit, the pandemic happened. We weren’t able to bring home the massive project as the world went into lockdown. We also still had problems with very expensive footage licensing, which we couldn’t afford. We were bleeding money and we had to make a choice to continue finishing the project or put it on hold for us to stay afloat. We did the latter and make small progresses along the way. In the end, we had to solve the problems the production was facing with very limited resources, while people asking “Is STG finished yet?” through out the pandemic. But here we are at last writing answers in a press kit material for Sculpting The Giant’s launch.
Juliano Ribeiro Salgado’s The Salt of The Earth was definitely an influence of how the documentary revolves around one main character and the circumstances he had to face, with the support of loved ones. One more that influenced us the most is Ron Fricke’s Baraka. We had that mentality of whatever in the frame, must be really good to look at and sound really good to listen to. One of our upsides as a team is having a very talented composer and sound designer that made the experience of watching STG is such a audiovisual joyride.
Having the project spanned over 7 years now, there’s a lot of things that came to mind. But at the end of the day, we believed everything happens in the right time and in the right place. If there was a reason GWK took 28 years, maybe there’s also a reason why our documentary had to go through what it did for the last 7 years.
It just started on the nature of our friendship and how we built Seeds Motion together. We always work together, in some small projects sometimes we do divide and conquer, but in passion projects like STG, we stick together. We just never had the reason not to.
Our video submission for GWK competition was in 2013, and we continued to do a little documenting in 2015. In 2016 we kickstart the whole thing as the construction in Bali started. There was another team that was in charge of documenting at the course of 2013 to 2016, it was Cerahati, and we got a lot of footages that’s really important to our structure. So at least It started from 2016, but our relationship with Nyoman Nuarta and the activity of documenting GWK goes way back to 2013.
First and foremost, we hope that as much people as possible would want to watch STG. After watching, we hope that people can remember their dreams they want to achieve and realize that no matter how big, nothing is impossible. We all just have to put in the work and the time to achieve it.
Seeds Motion is not only a documentary production house. We just like to explore different things at any given time. There are a couple of fiction works in the pipeline with one of the biggest comic IPs in Indonesia and there is a possible unique take on animated documentary we might want to pursue. In the end, the sky is the limit!