Got Ghost Meh?

31 05 2009

Was busy for the last 2 weeks working as the Continuity & Script Supervisor for Jack Neo’s new film. It’s called “Got Ghost Meh?” and is a horror comedy. It consist of 3 different stories and I was only involved in the last story. Have not done Script Sup for quite some time, so it was hard at first starting.

Jack’s style of directing had evolved since I last worked with him on “突然發財 (Best Bet)”. The dialogue in the script is only a guide. When he is on the set, he will improvise and come out with entirely new lines. The lines will vary sometimes from take to take. It is great for the energy of the scene, but hell for the actors and the Script Sup! haha 🙂 I guess you have to be able to go with the flow working with him, and that includes the technical crew like camera and lighting. Jack is a great director when it comes to acting, but for the visuals side, he will need to depend on his Director of Photography (DP) to give him what he envisions. Here are some pics from the shoot.

CIMG4408塋塋 and her dummy

CIMG4432Amandi Wong (DP-in white) and Dean (Camera Assist-in yellow) having a karaoke session at the camera

CIMG4458

啊南 (left) and 王雷 (right) all tied up

CIMG4518Doing a blue screen shot with 啊南 hanging!

The film will be out in August, so watch out for it!

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Why Ban on Brides, Boy?

14 05 2009

I came across this article while checking sgfilm.com. I think it is an interesting argument against the ban of these films during the SIFF. Here is what it says: 

I refer to the letter by Amy Chua, ‘Why Ban on Brides, Boy’ (Life Mailbag, April 11). 

In the letter, the Board of Film Censors attempted to justify its ban of the film ‘Brides of Allah’ on account of it being ‘sensitive’. It claimed that the female terrorists interviewed in the documentary ‘did not seem to be remorseful and were determined to perpetrate acts of violence should they have another opportunity’. The Board was concerned on the effect of such a film on ‘those who are like-minded’. 

This line of reasoning seems to me to be tenuous at best. There are many documentaries which portray all manner of sociopaths and deviants—including unrepentant criminals, racial supremacists and homophobic bigots. Just because they are allowed their points of view does not mean that the documentary, as a whole, necessarily endorses their perspectives. It is a grave disservice to refer to the warped ideology articulated by these terrorists as ‘the documentary’s distorted view of Islam’. This ‘distorted view’ is one held by the interviewees, and do not necessarily reflect those of the filmmaker. 

As a matter of fact, it has to be noted that the filmmaker herself is an Israeli female director, who professes at most a curiosity towards, rather than an admiration for, these female terrorists. A review of the documentary on the Hollywood Reporter states that ‘this is a film ripe with ambiguity, neither wholly sympathetic nor wholly judgmental about the subjects’. It takes a paranoiac leap of the imagination to interpret the film as one that ‘provides a platform for terrorists to champion their cause’. 

Likewise, FIPRESCI film critic Pablo Utin expresses his bewilderment at the actions of these Palestinian women. In his review, he asks, ‘How can a mother abandon her kids and husband and go to kill others by committing suicide? How can a pregnant woman put an explosive belt around her belly, right on top of her unborn son?’ Chris Barsanti of filmcritic.com concludes that ‘some of these supposed martyrs…are nothing more than homicidal maniacs given a pass by a handily convenient ideology.’ None of the reviews I have read identified the film as pro-terrorist propaganda which in the Board’s own words, ‘portray[s] terrorists or terrorist organisations in a positive light’. 

By banning the documentary, the Censorship Board assumes that a typical Singaporean filmgoer is bereft of what it patronizingly describes as ‘a discerning and mature mind’ (even after having passed 21 years of age) and is unable to reach some of the conclusions I have outlined above. More worrying is the idea that terrorists are not supposed to communicate the reasons for their chosen course of action, or rather, that the public should be shielded from their testimonies. 

There are supposed proto-terrorists now who are languishing under indefinite detention at the Whitley Detention camp. Until today, the public has yet to hear their side of the story. Denied a fair and open trial as well as access to the media, these prisoners have been effectively silenced. This veritable gag order, however, is not in the national interest. Public education on the dangers of terrorism must include an avenue where these ‘terrorists’ are allowed to make a statement on their motivations and justifications, and to defend themselves against the evidence laid against them. 

The Nuremberg trials, which allowed Nazi war criminals to testify in court, was an exemplary case in point. Despite fierce attempts by the Nazis to exonerate themselves, it was clear from those who witnessed the proceedings that the atrocities they had committed were patently indefensible. The Censorship Board, by banning ‘Brides of Allah’, has not only failed to recognize its pedagogical value, but has squandered an invaluable opportunity to educate the public on the multifaceted causes of terrorism. 

Alfian Sa’at 
Chairman 
Censorship Monitoring Committee





“失去愛” (Love Lost) wins “SPECIAL AWARD” in Romania

12 05 2009

Following the three successful sold out screenings at the recent 22nd SIFF in Singapore,  I had just received another very good news! My latest short film “失去愛” (LOVE LOST) had won the “SPECIAL AWARD” at the Timishort FIlm Festival in Romania which was held from 6~10 May 2009! 🙂 + victory sign!

You can check out the festival website for more details here: Timishort Film Festival

During the prize presentation, President of the Jury and noted Romanian documentary filmmaker Mr Andrei Ujic commented: “The film shows, with ironies and cliches, of love, desire and desperation.”

Other members of the jury include Corneliu Porumboiu (his feature “12:08 East of Bucharest” won the Camera d’Or award in Cannes in 2006), Jakub Felcman (Programmer for Karlovy Vary International Film Festival), Leo Soesanto (Programmer for the Long Features section of the International Critic’s Week at Cannes Film Festival) and Nadja Rademacher (Director of Festival of Central and Eastern European Film in Wiesbaden, Germany).

Many thanks to supporters and especially sponsors of film, and also to those that have attended the screenings during the SIFF! I will strive to continue making more films!





Q&A during SIFF

12 05 2009

Here are some pics of the Q&A following the screening of my short film “失去愛” (Love Lost) at the recent 22nd Singapore International FIlm Festival. The venue is the Substation. The film was screened as part of Singapore Panorama Shorts 1 together with 2 other Singapore short films.

Love Lost-SIFF

Here I am in the official RED festival T-shirt 🙂 giving a short introduction of the films before the screening. I always remind the audiences that the festival is selling merchandise outside the theatre to raise funds, haha.

Love Lost-SIFF3Love Lost-SIFF2

The Q&A proper. From L~R: Kristin Saw (Moderator of the Q&A), Boo Junfeng (Director of “Tanjong Rhu”), Ang Soo Koon (Director of “Mosquitoes – Xiao Fu”) and myself.





From Dyanne

11 05 2009

I was so busy when I volunteered for the Singapore International Film Festival as Cinema Manager that I watched very little films during the festival this year. One of my duties was also to conduct the Q&A for some films after the screening. Dyanne Asimow is a filmmaker from America and her documentary film is called “Bill’s Mountain”. Good film. I conducted her Q&A. I was very surprised when I came into the festival office the next day and one of the staff pass me a note. It was from Dyanne and here is what she says:

Leonard,

I just watched your film and I thought it was wonderful. I wanted to talk to you about it while I was filled with enthusiasm. You have an amazing visual sense, and an ability to convey the emotional depth of a story with a minimum of dialogue. I hope to see you before I go. I’ll be back in the USA April 30. Honestly – your short reminded me of what film is supposed to be.

Dyanne

It warms my heart and brightens my day when a fellow filmmaker likes my work. I will continue to strive and make films.Thank you Dyanne.





“失去愛” (Love Lost) competing at Timishort in Romania

11 05 2009

poster2009After very successful sold out screenings at the recent Singapore International Film Festival in April, my latest short film”失去愛” (Love Lost) is again competing in the 1st Timishort Film Festival in Romania from 6~10 May 2009. You can check out the website for more info here: Timishort

This is the 1st time that my film is shown in Romania, I am unable to attend but really wanted to go. Hope that the audience will like it! 🙂





From Sam

6 05 2009

I recieved a very touching email following the last screening of my film “失去愛” (Love Lost) at the 22nd SIFF. It was from an audience who came for the screening, Sam. I am very glad, very humbled that he liked my film and it has touched him. It makes me remember why I am a filmmaker. The power of cinema is that it transcends gender, just emotions and sincerity remains on the screen. Here’s what he says:

Hi Mr Leonard,

On 25th of Apr, I went to watch your short film during SIFF period. At first i chose to watch Singapore Panorama Shorts 1 because of Tanjong Rhu. But ended up, I love your short film -Love Lost very much. 

During the Q & A session, you mentioned that you made this short film, because of your passed love. And you mentioned that, up to now, you still can’t give up of your passed love. I feel very touching about it.

Being a gay, I also experience the same thing. I have been waiting for my ex bf, for 6 years already. 

I knew him during my NS time. That time, I had already knew he got a bf. So I knew that we can only be friends. However, he started to date me out and expressed his feeling towards me that made me accepted him as my bf. I never asked him to leave his bf or chose one of them. I just wanted to be together with him only. However, our love ended half a year later, because he felt guilty towards his bf.

All these 6 years, I often passed by the places that we used to go, hoping that I can see him. Yes, i saw him 2 times this year, on the street. However, he just pretended he didn’t see me and walked away. Made my heart feel so pain. 

Till now, I still didn’t give up hopes that one day, we will patch back again. 

I totally understand how you feel when you lost your passed love and still waiting for your passed love to return back to you. 

I hope your passed love will understand you one day and patch back with you.

Wish you all the best and good luck for your next 2 films.

Regards
Sam Tan