If you’re googling his image, you will only find one picture of him. But if you’re browsing about him, you will find hundreds of articles written about him. His works, mostly.
In Indonesian Cinema, he is known as one of those veteran who started out his career in the wardrobe and make-up department. Many young talents arrive on the surface nowadays, all agreed that he still remains as a person who maintain good enthusiasm at work, and most qualified art person you can find. Probably, like once he told me, because he loves his works.
If you have a chance to talk to him, you will find out in a second that even though he is old, he has a young heart. No matter who you are, from what department, when you come to him, for any purpose, he will relax you, make you feel like home and (this is the biggest treat) make you laugh.
I met him in GIE, 2004. I was just starting, worked as a Continuity Person. I worked my way from taking pictures behind the camera, in the wardrobe room, make-up room, on the set, for crowd or main talent, print the pictures, put them on the board, carrying it and laptop everywhere, all the long and wide excel worksheet, all you can imagine. Still, he memorized better. Every single detail, including wound on a face.
Once he hide my cell phone when it was a hectic day. Told me that I have to learn to laugh sometimes, it would be good for me. And even until now, I’m still working on it. He also taught me to think script wise, instead of frame wise or set wise, for continuity. ‘If you grab the story right, nothing would go wrong from there.’
Another project after that, I use his advice and I was able to remember each scenes in a feature film script. It took me (only) read the script twice and I have them all in my head, just like I’m the writer.
We met again in BALI PROJECT, where he worked in Wardrobe Department, and I worked as a Production Assistant for Art Department. To me he said, his department would be the last thing I have to taken care of, the last thing I should worry about. He suggested me to focused more on Art Department needs. Yet, his room still the best hiding room from hectic and chaos, where you’re guaranteed to get relax for a while and laugh over things really not important.
I occassionaly met him in a workshop KFJP held every 3 months. No matter what is the workshop topic at the time, he appears and again, pouring laugh between us who shared work experiences.
Once I came to him and tell him that I wanted him to write a book about Art, based on his experiences all this time. He was laughing out loud and told me that he doesn’t like to write, unless if he has to—like if it’s for work. But he understand that it’s important. Then we talked and agreed to work on a system: I will ask questions, he will answered, I will record all the interviews and make script out of it, then he and I can check it from time to time, together. He loved the idea, he can say whatever he wants and I’m the one who will need to write those down. Because, he said, he actually always wants to share, but didn’t really think that he has a lot to share.
I never have the time to do the interview. He always busy with work (and his travelling, so he said) and we never meet again since.
He passed away this afternoon, due to long illness he’s been fight for years, so I’ve informed. And all I can remember how he does things he has to do with heart, and this enriched his creations, fulfill people’s days with laugh, painted nice memories everyday and he still get—always—to be the only person you can find when you’re looking for the best Art Director.
So long, Oom Iri. I will miss your comment about my appearances, your sarcasm jokes about chaos on the floor, your handmade things—from clothes, accessories, etc—shows magic on the day shoot everyday, your glasses on your nose when it’s almost 5 pm, time to write your report, you said.
I will especially miss your words, once you told me when you were working with your handmade prop, ‘Indonesian people are smart, and I believe, is the most reliable crew in the world. Because we can make things happens, with our own bare hands.’
This is a very big loss for Indonesian Cinema.
God Bless You, Oom Iri Supit. May you Rest in Peace.
We all will miss you around.