Tokyo Cinema Ensemble

SSFF (1)It isn’t everyday that you receive news on a nomination in a prestigious film festival. So imagine how incredibly honoured I felt when I was invited to be part of Tokyo Cinema Ensemble.

“At the beginning of 2016, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, in association with the Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia (SSFF & Asia), Asia’s biggest international short film festival, initiated a project to showcase Tokyo’s various charms as part of plans to make people inside and outside the country want to visit Tokyo.

This project makes use of the talented directors who have participated at SSFF & Asia, to spread the appeal of Tokyo far and wide, at home and abroad, as well as to help nurture young filmmakers.” – SSFF & Asia

SSFF (2)SSFF (3)So began my journey as my own Director of Photography (DP). I have zilch experience in this area. As an actress, I was always in front of the camera. As a director, I called the shots. This time, I had to handle the camera and capture my own shots, and thereafter, bring the footages back and edit the collage video.

I actually had a crash course, over one night, with my own DP back in Singapore before flying to Tokyo. I had to try to remember everything he taught me, about camera settings and the specific skill set on how to shoot night scenes, which was a challenge in itself. SSFF (4)Before starting on my shoot there, I went through another round of quick tutorial on how to handle the camera that was given to me. And after that, I was on my own.

SSFF (6)SSFF (9)SSFF (10)The shoot was arranged over 2 nights where we went to a couple of locations. I just basically captured what I could, and what I felt for. I enjoyed the experience tremendously. I believe that I gained better insight on shots, angles, and what could and could not be done.

SSFF (7)SSFF (8)SSFF (5)Night Tokyo.

I got to see a very beautiful Tokyo, with city lights coming to life. It was colourful, even romantic in a sense. When I was told that we would be assigned one of the 3, Morning, Day or Night, I secretly prayed and wished that I would get Night. I guess I wished hard enough and all the universe conspired to give me just that.

SSFF (12)SSFF (14)SSFF (15)SSFF (16)Only when we dare to step out of our comfort zone will we grow better and stronger. When we are given the opportunity, we should always cherish it and learn as much from it as we can. Challenges aren’t scary, staying put is.

SSFF (17)SSFF (11)Tokyo Cinema Ensemble is a promotional collage video of Tokyo, filmed and edited with the fresh and unique vision of foreign filmmakers, who are recommended by SSFF & ASIA. This is the third installment of the project. “Morning Tokyo”, “Day Tokyo” and “Night Tokyo” were chosen as themes, with images of different quarters and areas of Tokyo” – SSFF & Asia

Only 3 filmmakers were invited to be on board this project. I’m blessed to be one of them. The most heart stopping moment for me was when this video opened the Official Ceremony of SSFF & Asia 2018. This will be something I will always remember.

So here are the 3 different collage videos by the 3 filmmakers.

Tokyo: Morning, Day and Night.