Archive for October, 2006

Hi, I saw your ‘Diminishing Memories’ on Australia TV last night, and enjoyed it very much. Thank-you for making such a touching and personal film.  I caught the film by accident; I was just changing channels on the TV. In fact I missed the first few minutes, but luckily Australia TV re-broadcast it later that night so I was able to see it all again (and cried the second time, too!) But the thing that resonated most for me about your film wasn’t just that it was about Singapore, or Lim Chu Kang, or any place in particular. All of us have a childhood that we can’t return to. All of us have diminishing memories…

Dave K.
Hong Kong

 
A feedback from an audience in Hong Kong after watching Diminishing Memories through the ABC- Asia Pacific Regional Satellite Channel.  Like the audience from Tara, it’s always so heart-warming for me to hear such feedback and encouragement :-))) I am a happy person today! ;-p

FULL HOUSE

Posted: October 19, 2006 in Diminishing Memories I: Screenings
Last night at the National Museum, Cine.SG screening was a FULL HOUSE! 😉 
 
A BIG Thank you to everyone who came and support the screening, all the journalists who helped in the publicity, the organisers of the screening.  Most importantly, everyone who came in particularly for my film, to share the passion we all had for the long lost kampongs or childhoods! 🙂 I was personally very touched indeed, to know of how the film had connected to not only Singaporeans, but friends from Canada, France and other parts of the world.  Thanks for your time, and in allowing me to share with you my personal journey.  🙂
 
Because of your support, your comments and your encouragements, I didn’t feel I was alone! 🙂 Thanks again so much!
Director,
Yee Peng 
“I saw your film feature on cable. I miss the first half so I’m not sure what’s the title. It’s about the memory of the old life in lim chu kang. Very touching and fresh… It has put more humanity in the seemingly dehuman perception of singaporean.“
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device  7290
 
此时此刻,我的纪录片正在澳洲电视台的一个亚太区域卫星电视上播映着。 是当天的重播,而在三个半小时之前,也就是七点钟时间, 有个观众,不知道是在哪个亚太区域观看了我的影片后,马上就写了电邮给我。 真有点儿不可思议!因为电视上的首播时间是六点钟,影片长五十分钟,他寄电邮的时间是七点钟。 他怎么会有我的电邮呢? 真是个有心人。 我在影片的最后是有打上了我的电邮的没错。 他不但把影片看完,还看完了整个“谢幕词”(credits),我以为电视观众都没耐性?
 
我怎么会在影片的结束打上我的电邮的呢? 我的用意正是如此啊! 感觉上好像有点儿自大。 我凭什么相信我的影片会跟新加坡以外的观众见面,我凭什么认为我的作品或许,可能可以打动人的心? 不止打动人们的心,还能促使他们动心也动手的为我写了封电邮? 我凭什么? 我究竟何德何能?
 
其实,我当时决定把电邮放在影片上的原因就是我抱着一份希望。我希望听到新加坡以外的人士,他们在看了影片后有没有因此而让他们对新加坡的印象有所改观? 我记得,我的本意是想让外国人更了解新加坡的!
 
花了那么多时间、体力、精神、心思,去掏心掏肺,在自己的伤口上撒盐到连自己的心都像被掏空了。 自己从寻找资料到拍摄、收音,到后期制作。 我自己一个人一手包办。 还要写旁述稿,自己在一间录音室里,像个疯婆子似的,往控制室和隔音间跑来跑去。 这边按了按扭,开始录音,念完旁述后回来发现电脑故障,要重录! 放假了,全体师生都放假去了!我自己一个人在剪片室里埋头苦干。 搞到最后连大学的保安人员都会背我的学生证号码还有名字!完成作品后,好累、好累、好累、好累。 到现在还在累。 因为我把我一部分的灵魂,放进影片里了。 作品完成后还要自己去推销自己的"产品"。 从找寻国际影展的资料,到自己打信请求媒体报道自己的放映会,到自己去接洽发片商。 这一路来似乎都是孤军作战,虽然我有好多贵人朋友相助,但这条路走来感觉还是有点儿孤单。
 
回报是什么? 如果期待所付出的,会有所相等的经济回报的话,那我干脆改行算了! 如果以我应得的,以每一个我工作的项目来做一下专业酬劳的计算。 我再在做几年的自由身编导的工作都赚不回我那十三个月分身出来做不同技术的酬劳! 那么我现在快乐吗? 我非常!
 
今天很有趣,有位朋友问我是不是“基本上”算是个快乐的人? 我想我有种快乐是脸上不带着笑容的。 是一份感动、欣慰。 如果我是个斤斤计较着经济报酬的人,那我此时此刻肯定感受不到快乐! 如果我连这点小小小小小小的小感动都不懂得把握的话,那我真是个不快乐的人了! 于是,我又怎能不好好地,用心地去让这份感动慢慢在我心底扩张,让自己感受一下这样的温暖,带给我心的激荡!
 
如果这一路上没有这些小礼物、小小幸福, 这艰辛的道路,我该如何走下去?
Friday 5 is a regular feature of Cine.SG.
We ask the filmmaking talents involved in Cine.SG a total of 5 questions in order to give you a chance to learn more about them and their movies.

This week we speak to Eng Yee Peng, director of Diminishing Memories , screening at the National Museum of Singapore on 18th October.

Q1. You studied abroad. Did your experience living overseas lead to your nostalgia about home, and hence the making of this documentary?

Yes, very much so. As I had the experience living in a kampong – in a house with front and back yard – before moving to a flat, there’s no way I would have chosen to live in a small unit again when I studied in Australia. So it became such a luxury to live in a house again in my lifetime (not unless I leave Singapore), and the experience triggered the memories of living in a house in Lim Chu Kang.

The project started off with the concept of comparing housing in Singapore vs Australia (how little or huge the land is in these two countries, therefore limiting the choices of housing in Singapore). But before anything became concrete, I knew it had to do with Lim Chu Kang, the village I grew up in and where most of my happiest moments in life were spent. I felt a very strong and complex emotion that started to surface, so different and unique that it stood out from the other topics I was considering documenting.

Q2. Besides your own home, what do you most miss about the Singapore of your childhood and youth?

Everything in the film. What’s more I realised what I didn’t miss when I was aboard. 😉

Q3. Was it difficult to interview your own family for this documentary?

I knew what I was roughly getting into when I decided to interview my parents. However, I did not expect the extent of the impact. Making a personal film is different from making a film. Thus, interviewing your own parents is different from interviewing anyone else because your parents are not only subjects to be interviewed. Emotionally it was already very different. I don’t think I should or I could separate my role of being an interviewer and a daughter at the same time, just like I don’t think I should treat Lim Chu Kang like just any other village simply because it wasn’t just a place to me.

It was most difficult when it comes to more personal questions such as when I revealed to my mum for the first time, how I felt neglected when half of our family lived in Lim Chu Kang while the other half in Jurong for a span of six to eight months. Having said that, if not for the making of this documentary, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to raise so many questions I had wanted to ask. Some of those were still unanswered.

Q4. What did your family think about your wanting to be a filmmaker?

I wondered if they took me seriously until the film won its first award in Australia. (I knew my mum didn’t :-p hehe). But well, they did not object to it and gave all the support they could, like driving me around filming and helping me approach people from old Lim Chu Kang. I am fortunate I could follow my heart at this stage of my life and I was not forced to compromise. Not yet anyway.

Q5. Do you have plans to make a feature, and would you be keen to make another documentary, or a fiction film?

Yes and I would like to work on documentary first, then explore the combination of both fiction and non-fiction, and then fiction. Why in this order? Because I suspect I am better at dealing with something that is real and already in existence at the moment.

Furthermore, as someone new in the filmmaking scene, completing a documentary is possible by myself – of course not without some help from some people – but to make a fictional piece, I would most likely need a lot more people. As more people get involved, the final product gets "further away" from me. So I guess I enjoy the intimacy of documentary filmmaking at the moment. After all, filmmaking is a lonely process and it could get quite lonesome at some point.