I had many ideas when I planned for a short film. Eventually, I decided to go for something personal, something that went straight to the heart. The elements were all present, the process, the emotions, the lagged messages, the last letter, that surreal loss, that immense regret, it’s dramatic structure is real. It’s just that I had to tear open a wound that never really healed.
And so I wrote the script, went through several revisions, and when I thought it was ready enough, I went on to pull the team together. It’s a huge learning curve and I learnt so much. Even though I’ve 18 years of acting experience behind me, Production and all that it entails is still something that I had to learn from scratch.
I want to learn. I am not shy to ask when I do not know. I seek help when I need to. I realize that when you ask and truly want to learn, there will be so many people who will be willing to share and impart their skills to you. You will meet the people who matter, the group who share the same passion as you, no conditions attached.
The actors who came on board had so much love for this project. I can only say I’m grateful to have them. Mummy Yinzhu teared when I shared my story with her, hoping she would come on board. She broke down when recording the VO for the last journal entry. She teared again when she watched the completed edit. We’ve worked together so many times as a mother-daughter pair, and she’s always really been like a mummy to me. Shine had so much heart in this, so much respect and commitment to the production. More so, she also felt for the topic.
Shucheng dage was such a dream to work with, so much support for those who want to chase dreams. Even though it’s just a photoshoot, he said yes, no questions asked, no requests made, he accommodated to time/date and he always had a huge smile on his face. I treasure the moments like this.
I think I was always in another world this time round with so many things going on in my mind. Truth of the matter, I never had the intention to act in my own short film, I wanted to focus on directing. But when I finally decided on this story, I felt it would be better I take on the role because the emotions need no further explanations. Being an actor and a director at the same time, is quite like left and right brain at war.
I never did dream that my first short film would get selected. This nomination meant the world to me. It was such an incredible experience to be a part of such a prestigious Film Festival.
Nearly 10,000 films from over 130 countries and regions around the world were in the running, with the cream of the crop — some 250 titles — being selected to screen at the festival. – SSFF & Asia
It was also such an honour to be one of three filmmakers to be invited to Tokyo to be in their Tokyo Cinema Ensemble project (more on that in another post).
I tried to catch as many short films as I could during my stay in Tokyo for SSFF and it was as if a whole new world opened up right before me. Film, quite a different world indeed. It’s intriguing and I love it.
I’m already working on the script for my next short film. I’m excited. The story is slowly falling in place and no, it will not be a personal story this time.
Here’s sharing a little prep work done for The Last Entry. Choreography that reflected story. Choreography that expressed emotions, without words. Jeffrey Tan, the best in the dance circle helping me.
This ends the entry aptly. Many say this is a glamorous job, but very often, you don’t get to see us like this. Hard work, sweat and tears. Success entails hard work, there are no short cuts. Times have changed, mindsets have changed, but some things don’t change.