Here comes the sun
Sunny Suwanmethanon and Kenji Boonpipattanapong head overseas to capture the wonders of the shining star at the centre of our solar system
AFTER 12 YEARS of playing romantic leads, actor Sunny Suwanmethanon is taking a break from the movies, joining up instead with his best pal Wanswang “Kenji” Boonpipattanapong on a mission to chase down the sun. The programme, aptly titled “The Sun Hunter”, meshes travel TV with reality show and makes its debut on Line TV on Wednesday starting at noon. The two, both of whom bear a name that means sunlight, will be looking at the sun from different perspectives and in different times and places as they roam the world to witness the best sunrises and sunsets.
A scene from “The Sun Hunter”
“The sun is with us every day and it always makes us feel good,” Sunny says, adding that both he and Kenji share a passion for travel.
“We usually travel together and this time we have a goal, to search for the sun and discover the meaning of life – the fun, the happiness and the sadness. That goal keeps us moving forward,” adds Kenji.
“The Sun Hunter” is the first original content of Line TV. Filmed mostly overseas, it aims to capture the ambience around sunrise and sunset in different global destinations. The first few episodes take place in some 10 cities across France and Switzerland. And the sun doesn’t always make an appearance. Indeed, on occasions it is shrouded by clouds and all that can be seen are occasional splashes of pink and orange.
“Good or bad, rain or cold, and even if don’t wake up in time for the sunrise, we show what’s happening and move on to the next city on our schedule. We don’t stop to shoot again. When it is gone, it’s gone. No matter how well we plan, things can and do go wrong, like the car breaking down or our photographer getting robbed,” says Sunny. “We want our audience to experience exactly the same as us.”
“We don’t recommend travel destinations but take the audience go along with us. Sometimes there’s some sadness but life goes on. It’s the positive feelings that are the most memorable,” Kenji adds.
“The sun rises and sets every day and people remember the moment, the feeling, though not always the exact visuals. On one occasion we were at the Eiffel Tower in Paris waiting for the sun to set when all the lights on the tower were turned out. It was so beautiful and no one dared to say a word,” says the actor for whom France has a special meaning as his mum is French.
Sunny burst onto the scene in 2005 winning awards for his role in the romantic comedy “Dear Dakanda”. He has since appeared in “Shambala”, “I Fine..Thank You..Love You”, “Porn Jak Fah” (“Still on My Mind”), and most recently in the tennis dramedy “Mr Hurt”. Kenji, a long-time pal, runs The Animal Cafe in La Raffles community mall on Sathu Pradit Soi 19.
The 45-minute shows are divided into four parts. “Full better than hungry” zooms in on cool restaurants. “Kam Kling Ling Kab Mah Yang Eai” (“Even funny monkeys and dogs are shy”) recounts the funny happenings as the pair hunt the sun. “Over than you, we can” shows the occasionally tumultuous situations the two experienced in trying to reach the destinations, while “Success and disappointment” is about the highlight shots when they can capture the sun in all its glory.
The show doesn’t have a script because, says Sunny, Kenji and he know each other so well that it would be superfluous. “I know what he is going to say just by looking at him,” says Sunny. “The dialogue is part of who we are.”
He adds that the pair decided to go with Line TV in an acknowledgement of how much viewing habits have changed.
“People watch television on their mobile phones anywhere and at anytime. I think the variety shows on Line TV are getting better and better and I’d like our audience to have a good time and good experience with us in the digital world.
“It’s important that the audience understands that we are not suggesting destinations or giving travel tips. We do some research about the places we visit but we are not trying to teach viewers about geography, architecture, cultures, food or people. All of them are |part and parcel of what we hope will be a highly enjoyable show,” says Kenji.
“The scenes of landscape at sunrise and sunset are as delightful as they would be if seen in a documentary. We have lots of footage,” Sunny continues.
“It depends on the audience how they interpret and see the values of such experiences.”
Asked if he thinks producing the show has changed him as a person, Sunny says he’s not sure but his perspective and attitude towards the rising and the setting of the sun are no longer the same.
“Life is more meaningful. I think the way you look at the sun or life is different no matter where you are. Sometimes, I wonder why we are so serious about hunting the sun,” says Sunny.
“The obstacles we faced made our goal even more valuable. But if we failed, we didn’t feel sad, just went out and did it again. It’s better than waking up to a normal day,” adds Kenji.
The Sun Hunter airs every Wednesday at noon exclusively on Line TV. The first episode goes out on July 5.
Download Line TV for free at both App Store and Google Play Store.
Watch the trailer for the “The Sun Hunter” at https://tv.line.me/v/1807355.