Is that me?

20 03 2009

Had a chinese tea session with my friends Jacke Tan and Gek Li San recently. Li San is an experience Editor and Jacke was the Production Designer for my feature film “The High Cost of Living”. She also production designed for Han Yew Kuang’s “18 Grams of Love” and Jack Neo’s “Best Bet”. Very talented and very generous. She owns a design company called WHITE WORDS. You can check out her website here: White Words

While I was tackling how to brew a proper chinese tea with all the apparatus, she took out her chinese ink brushes and starting doing a portrait of yours truely. She says she is exploring a new style of painting. Here’s the result below. What do you think? 🙂 



2nd Screening of “失去愛” (Love Lost) SOLD OUT at 22nd SIFF

18 03 2009


The section for the 2nd screening of my latest short film “失去愛” (Love Lost), at the upcoming 22nd Singapore International Film Festival, has been SOLD OUT as well! 🙂

Thank you for all your support!  Really appreciated and grateful. 🙂 If you have not seen the Trailer for the film, click for an earlier post of mine here: “失去愛” (Love Lost) Trailer

See you at the screening!

A Different Way of looking at Scripts

15 03 2009

I have always wondered who determined the rule that 1 page of script is equal to 1 minute of screen time? So a feature film that is more than 80 minutes in length would be roughly equal to about maybe 80 or more pages?

From my experiences working as a Continuity and Script Supervisor, the above rule (I wouldn’t say it is a rule, it is only a guideline) is only true for scripts that are very heavy on dialogue. It really depends on the Director, his style of filming and what kind of genre, that determines what makes a feature length script.

I can think of one possible reason that this “guideline” came about. When film was starting in the west, it was greatly influenced by the traditions of drama and theatre. Most of the early scriptwriters are initially from theatre. So naturally, when they are developing scripts, a very dramatic and dialogue heavy approach is adopted. Also, when novelist starts writing scripts, they tend to follow this approach as well. As more and more people started writing scripts in this way, it naturally became a some sort of rule.

I have no objections to guidelines or rules, it is just that it should not be taken as a GOLDEN RULE. A script is just an intermediate element of a film. A film is not word based, it is made up of images. A line in a script that describes the sunset could mean a 5 minute scene for a certain Director, depends on how he wants to film it and what he wants the image to mean or the audience to feel. An experienced film maker, after reading a script that is only 30 pages long comprising of only 36 scenes, will be able to tell you that this is enough for feature length because of the way it is structured, the depth of the story and the images it attempts to describe.

* For different examples of scripts & scriptwriting, you may want to check out scripts written by Tsai Ming Liang or 朱天文 (She is the Golden Horse award winning scriptwriter for Hou Hsiao Hsien. Her works include 戀戀風塵 [Dust in the Wind], 悲情城市 [A City of Sadness], 海上花 [Flowers of Shanghai], 千禧曼波 [Millennium Mambo], 最好的時光 [Three Times] and the recent 紅氣球的旅行 [Flight of the Red Balloon] )

Additional 2nd screening of “失去愛” (Love Lost) at 22nd SIFF

13 03 2009


For those who were unable to get tickets for the 1st SOLD OUT screening of my latest short film “失去愛” (Love Lost), the festival has added an additional 2nd screening!  Details are as follows: 

Section: Singapore Panorama Shorts 1
Date: 25 April 09 (SAT)
Time: 4.30pm
Venue: The Substation, Guiness Theatre

Tickets: $9.50
Date of Sale: From March 14 onwards!

How to Book:  
SISTIC Hotline: 6348 5555 (for Singapore only)

Please continue to support the film! 🙂

Production Talk – “失去愛” (Love Lost) with Jeremy Sing

12 03 2009


Had a good chat with fellow film maker Jeremy Sing for his blog, SINdie, on the production of my latest short – “失去愛” (Love Lost).

You can check out what we talked about here: SINdie – Production Talk 

“失去愛” (Love Lost) is being screened in the upcoming 22nd Singapore International Film Festival in April under the section Singapore Panorama Shorts 1. The 1st screening on 18 April 09 has already been sold out! There will be an additional 2nd screening, the date is not confirmed yet. You can check out updates on this blog or at the festival website: 22nd SIFF

The Melancholy of Hokkien Songs

9 03 2009

I have always thought that Hokkien songs have a deep melancholy to them or “滄桑”. They often sing about the difficulties faced by the common man. The lyrics are reflections of hardships, regret, or asking for understanding or forgiveness. They are like Tom Waits or Bruce Springsteen, singing the plight of the common man.

Here is a song that I like very much. It is “誰人會了解” (Who will understand?) by the godfather of Hokkien Songs – 余天 (Yu Tian).  It is like a howl in the dark for understanding and comfort.

You can click here to listen: 誰人會了解 (Who will understand?)

The lyrics goes like this (I will attempt a translation in English):

誰人會懂了解 (Who can and will understand?)

玩耍人的悲哀 (A Worldly Man’s sadness)

我有滿腔的眼淚 (I have a chest full of tears)

不敢為你哭出來 (But I dare not cry it out for you)

啊 啊 啊  我的心肝內 (Oh, Oh, Oh,  My inner heart)

啊 啊 啊 啊  痛苦誰人知 (Oh, Oh, Oh, Who will ever know my pain?)

夜夜夢見故鄉 (I dream of my hometown every night)

草堆的屋裡 (My house among the grass)

我的啊母在叫我 (My mother is calling me)

叫我早日倒返來 (Asking me to come home again)

My Mum & Dad in 1960s

6 03 2009


Found some old 1960s photos of my Mum & Dad while researching for my next film. Makes me realize that my parents were also young once. Look at those hip shades and pants!

1966-dadAnd my Dad is pretty good looking too! Must have a lot of women chasing him back then!


Don’t they look right together?