5 idiot-proof ways to create an arty film

  1. Write an elliptical script (a plot with gaps), and maybe a story with no fixed ending if you like
  2. Use long take, still shots without anticipating characters’ movements, along with silence
  3. Use extreme close-ups of faces/objects/food?
  4. Break the 180-degree rule and take odd unusual artistic camera angles
  5. Include emo shots with a person talking to himself or in deep thought in some emo place with light shining through and shadows casted, along with emo music

Haha. Of course, it is much more than that. Just some of the things which I observed and learnt in my film art module.

I just watched Eric Khoo’s “My Magic”. It is a simple straightforward and touching film and makes you feel for the characters even within the short and simplistic story. It is quite heartwarming and sad at the end but also quite meaningful of a father’s love, although I expected the story to be longer. And it is interesting that most of the movie is in Tamil, and the only understandable language was the bits of Hokkien/Teochew, and today is Deepavali. Hope it gets some recognition or prize in the Oscars which Singapore is going to submit this film to it.

Feedback, Mid Terms and of Chance Encounters

LTA is quite amazing. They are re-aligning the traffic junction along Hougang Ave 10 outside Hougang Mall to improve the pedestrian crossing there. Recently, they constructed a ramp for wheelchair access over the current sloppy footpath. But in doing so, pedestrian like me have to walk one big round along the ramp instead of a direct path previously.

Hence I wrote feedback to LTA regarding the problem, and they call me the next day! I was quite surprised by their fast response. The person said they will look into the matter, and said that constructing a shortcut path will be too steep, thus they will see if can build a stairs there and let me know.
Haha. much better than SBS Transit who doesn’t even reply to my recent feedback -.-

In other news, finally all my mid-terms and major projects are over! =D Less stress and workload, except for the short film. However, I didn’t really do very well for the mid-terms, mostly got B…how to get a good CAP like that? But my Marketing Presentation regarding Red Bull got an A, which we are quite happy about, given our tutor’s high standards. We spent quite a bit of effort in preparing for the presentation and case analysis, and we had to wear nice formal wear on that day. We even bought Red Bull cans to give out free during our presentation! lol. I was quite nervous on that day itself, and I think my hands were trembling as I spoke. Nevertheless, my tutor wrote on the feedback that I’m quite a good presenter, and did not use any unnecessary words such as “Er/Ah”, “Basically”, “Actually” etc. I guess the PW and CCA in JC trained me well. heh.

My Film Art mid term was quite interesting, as the lecturer screened a music video of Madonna’s “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore” and we were supposed to analyse its use of film techniques such as long take. On a sidenote, I quite like this subject, and I think that my lecturer quite interesting…He perspires quite a lot during lecture, possibly due to the high excitement. lol. But he’s good and the subject is interesting.

I think I quite like Wong Kar-Wai’s films especially as expressed in Chungking Express. The ideas of fate, chance encounters and coincidence is very real in the real world, especially in school. We wave and say hi to friends every day, (or poke people on Facebook) but how many of these relationships are transcendent? Most of the friendships that we make are transient, however, the memories that we have are everlasting.

Sometimes, you walk past friends whom we know previously, but you don’t even bother to say ‘Hi’, because the person is not significant enough for you to bother to do so, or because it has been so long since you interacted with the person so you wonder if he still remembers you, or you can’t remember if the person is really the same person you met an some orientation event last time. And then sometimes, some people say ‘Hi’ to you, and they are actually pretty insignificant in your lives now, and you forgot when you met this person the last time, or you confuse him/her with another person. And then it will also happen when your friends previously made in secondary school or JC are in the very same place that you are right now, whether is it the canteen or the lecture theatre, but you did not sense their presence and/or have no chance to meet them, or you can’t be bothered to open your eyes, lift up your hand and make a wave. What an irony. And it happens even more in university as we will meet a lot of acquaintances. Maybe one day I should make a short film about this.

I spent quite a lot the past two weeks, eating a few meals at restaurants, cos of friend’s birthday and also chris who came back from australia for two weeks. Grr. We went to a nice jap restaurant at Robertson Quay, called Zen, and the food is very nice. It is quite unique and different from other Jap restaurants.

Khooty’s birthday party was held at some HomeTeamNS chalet, which was quite ulu. After the food and cake, we played Polar Bear, the typical uni orientation game, although those who did not attend orientation did not know the game. hahaha.

And my cousin-in-law just gave birth to a new born baby boy!

BOOM Play, Rude SBST NEL Staff

Last week, I went to watch a play by the Singapore Repertory Theatre called “BOOM”. It was about the en-bloc housing issues in Singapore, including housing of the alive, and of the dead. It was quite funny, albeit over-exaggerated Singlish, showing both sides of the scenario. It was not too bad, although my friends think it lacked depth and should have talked more about its implications instead of just showcasing the issue.

It was quite expensive too, at $35, plus the monopolistic $3 SISTIC fee. Perhaps ticket prices are the reason why this kind of artsy stuff are not taking off in Singapore. However, there’s some sponsorship by Keppel to subsidise certain day tickets to $20.


On Monday, after my econs mid-term, I was on the train at Harbourfront MRT at about 8.30pm. Seated down, I was taking a sip of plain water, when the green staff from SBS Transit walked past. He spotted me drinking and told me off rudely as if he’s my CSM. The conversation goes something like this:

Staff: Hey boy, cannot drink on the train, you know or not?
Me (after gulping my water down): “oh sorry sorry.”

Then, seemingly still doubtful, he stared at me and repeated,
You cannot drink on the train, do you know or do you not know?

Me (stunned): “ya ya ya sorry sorry”

Actually, I was apologetic because I have heard of cases where people have been fined on the spot. Hence I did not say any futher to reduce the risk of me being fined.

I should have added, do you have to be so rude? Plain water also cannot?

F1: Singapore is the world’s stage

On 28 September 2008, Singapore lights up the world with F1 and showcased our city’s skyline and the interesting sight of urban cars driving along Benjamin Sheares Bridge above F1 cars driving along the Marina Bay street circuit. The lights, setup and the race was brillantly done, and lots of money was spent too. Everyone praised our good work (except Ferrari…who seemed arrogant and gave sour grapes) and look forward to a even better job next year. Bernie Ecclestone said Singapore is the crown jewel of F1 after Monaco.

The Wednesday before the race, I went to explore the track with Jere. We had lunch at Marina Square food court, which was very quiet. There was a nice view of the city and a little of the track. Then, we walked to the Flyer, and found out that we could walk on the road/track without any special VIP pass! Initially, we thought need to have some special pass to walk lol. We had some fun trying to walk towards the pit/grandstand, but was stopped by security. We continued the other direction towards Esplanade. Along the way, we saw 2 drivers cycling round and round, one of them was David Coulthard..haha. We also saw the kerbs, chicane and some BMW vehicles with sirens parked along the road. There were a few other Singaporeans and tourists walking and jogging around too. We walked around the Marina Bay grandstand, across Esplanade Bridge, and exited at the hairpin turn when a security guard chased us away. See the photos I uploaded here.

On Friday, I watched the practice on TV. It was boring after a while as the cars go round and round.

On Saturday, I went to Marina Square to catch a glimpse of the race with Jere and Xiang Yu. We tried to catch a glimpse from the second floor when it began. Only managed to see some cars zooommm pass. From the Carls’ Junior entrance, it was extremely deafening as the engines roared under the Marina Square’s bridge/tunnel, and the echoes amplifies the sound multiple times. It was piercing and I wonder how people eat!

We walked further down and saw many people making good use of the gaps in the black canvas sheet. It was quite a good view actually, save for the black canvas. There was lots of people on a staircase near Pan Pacific and the bridge to Suntec City too. It was quite exciting to be there to see and hear the action. We also walked to National Library and saw the night scene and some of the cars zooming by. It is also interesting to note that when the cars change gear, they go ‘boom boom boom’ like firecrackers or fireworks.

On Sunday, I watched the final race at Jere’s house. It was exhilarating. For two hours, our eyes were glued to the screen as we see accident after accident, safety car after safety car. It was also nice to see our skyline being in the background, and the StarSports commentator constantly boasting about our landmarks. Makes me feel proud of Singapore. The race itself was exciting and unexpected too, quite satisfying for a noob to F1 like me. At least they don’t go round and round. They crash. lol. And when the first crash happened at the bay grandstand, many people (typical Singaporeans?) rushed down to the front to take a look.

The next day, headlines all over the world talk about us. One of the most interesting reports was in new paper, about a Singaporean finding a steering wheel in a dustbin but was forced it to throw it back into the dustbin lol.

Hopefully, we will put up a greater show next year. And hopefully, the heartlanders will be involved more, as this year, some Singaporeans don’t really care or know.