Archive for the ‘Diminishing Memories II: Diary’ Category

Everybody has a lost childhood and mine happened on the day I left Lim Chu Kang.  I will never forget those days spent in this lovely village, a farming village full of coconut and rubber trees.  I remember hearing the sound of rubber tree seeds hitting the ground making the “cracking sound” in a quiet afternoon.  My cousins and I would race to the rubber tree near our houses to look for those rubber tree seeds.  We collected them to make them our toys.  Such as rubbing the seeds against some solid surfaces to make them real ‘hot’ before we placed them on someone else’s skin to give them a shock! hehee :p And then we will play fighting games.  We would pick some tree sticks from the ground, straight ones, to be used as swords.  My brother and I would rehearse some fighting moves before we do it for real.  It was fun! J  He was normally the one who will win though. haha :p 

 

My father was the only wooden load lorry carrier carpenter in Lim Chu Kang.  He built wooden lorries for the farmers to transport animal feed in the area.  So mum would send us (my brother and I) to collect pieces of odd sizes wood from my dad’s workshop near our home.  I love doing so as I will be carrying a basket around, choosing and picking up woods that I like.  Mum will then ‘set fire’ to the woods that we collected to do her cookings and I always wondered why were there more than one colour in the flames?  There seemed to be some blue colour outlining the orange colour flame and it dances in the air like a wave!!

 

I do not remember studying much when I was in Lim Chu Kang. haha… maybe because I was only in primary one and two then but maybe because I really did play more than studying!  We have huge compound of our own at the sides, at the back and in front of our house.  My siblings, cousins and I love to cycle around in our own compound and when we couldn’t control our bicycles, we would drive them towards the bush and crash! It didn’t hurt much at all but bruises and scratches were always common.  Every time we fell down, we cried, stood up and then play again! 

 

Everyday, we looked forward to 2pm.  It was the time when a bread man would drive a huge red van past the road track just outside our compound.  My cousins, brother and I would run to the track that was connected to our house and we would wait.  We want to be the first one to spot the red van coming and the first one to open the ‘back door’ of his van.  The bread man did not only sell lots of bread but tibits and sweets! J  It was already an enjoyment to be able to look at those goodies even though we couldn’t have them.  Occasionally, mum would reward us by allowing us to buy some sweets from this bread man.    

 

We did not only play in the day but at night too!  Living in a village with huge area, we often organised gatherings and parties!  I particularly enjoyed the Moon Cake Festival as we would carry paper lanterns around lighted up by candles, and it was fun because it was really dark at night in the village.  The nights were so dark which made our walking trips even more exciting and yet scary.  We didn’t know what we would ‘run into’ as we couldn’t see very far.  However, the glow from the candles went a long way in guiding us home.  I see no more fun carrying lanterns in the HDB area today as the glow from the candles can never be as bright as those in the villages.  I started to appreciate those very dark and ‘scary’ nights.  In fact, I missed them.  :p

 

Anyway, during those days we didn’t have many toys.  But we have lots of bicycles in all shapes and sizes.  I had one that looked like a scooter and my brother had one that looked like a racing car. :p My brother’s ‘race car’ is still around today and it belongs to my nephew now.  Although time has changed, my nephew enjoys the ride as much as we did.

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I knew Diminishing Memories I & II have a larger audience than the film-goers.  I knew, it could and should connect to audience from the general public, especially those in my generation and above.  True enough the audience who came for The Arts House screenings range from as young as 4 years old to the 70s/80s.  This surprised me though, as this range is wider than what I expected. Many came with their families, with members of two or even three generations.  Others were students and teachers, as well as our fellow citizens and non-citizens of other races.

 

I have finally done what I felt obligated to do as a producer- to allow my films to meet their audience.  Although I knew it would mean that I would have to put in more money (in the cost of publicity & distribution), more time and more effort.  Both Diminishing Memories I & II took a total of 30months to complete with personal investments of an estimation of S$70k.  I knew there’s absolutely no way for me to break-even the amount of time, money and energy invested in both films but still, I knew I ought to do it.  I ought to complete the films and screen the films. People ought to watch them.

 

I was there at The Arts House for each and every of the screening sessions. It’s funny people came up to thank me for my efforts, but I thought I should be the one thanking them for coming.  Then I realized why. From their eyes, they were telling me that someone has done something to speak for them.  Of course, the films speak to them but they were grateful that the films were made.  Those were the local Singaporean audience.  The expressions from the audience who came from overseas were different though.  They show a different type of appreciations, the appreciation of an opportunity for them to get to know the Singaporeans, the Singapore history and culture more.  You know, these are essentially the kind of things friends from overseas would like to find out.

 

I find my audience very cute as well.  They sent or hand over gifts to me.  Thank you all for the bookmark, books, food, little notes and VCDs. 😉 And of course, some friendships developed.

 

Some of the comments were heart-warming too.  One of them came, telling me that she came as she was impressed that a young lady like me has shown concerns in the kind of topics featured in the films.  Most of them reminded me to eat more and were concerned if I had really let go. haha! (Of coz I have) And I also found out there were audience who had not been to the cinemas to watch any films for more than 20years, and there she was sitting in the screening room watching my films. I was really glad and grateful that all of them made an effort to book their tickets and come for the screenings.  Really sorry for those who couldn’t get hold of the tickets though.  The only way I thought I could thank my supporters is that I should take good care of myself and when the time is right, I will be able to meet them again with my new work.

 

Thank you once again- to the media, sponsors and the public who supported!

food

 
Look at this! 😉 James, one of the audience who came for the SIFF 12th April screening brought me food! But how did he know that I had lost weight over the Diminishing Memories II’s production?  No matter, I thought it’s such a nice gesture to remind me to ‘feed myself fat fat’ !:p This is soo sweet. Yup! I’ll try to eat more. Haha… thanks James! 😉 
 
Also, thank you all.. for everyone else who came. Nice! 😉  
YP 
Dear all,
Thank you all who had went to the screening on 8th April at the Sinema, 21st SIFF film screening of Diminishing Memories II.  I noticed everyone stayed for the Q&A despite it was already 11pm when the film finished screening.  It was all quiet at first in the audience but I knew since you stayed, you must have something to ask or that you have an urge to want to hear more.  Hence, thank you to everyone who came for the screening despite heavy rain.  It was good to meet up face-to-face. 😉
 
I heard there were also enquiries about the purchase of Diminishing Memories (Part one) DVD after the screening.  I know some of you managed to track me down but I shall write a note here again to let those who’s still searching that yup! You can place an order for the DVD directly from me.  Please drop an email to diminishingmemories@hotmail.com
 
In addition, I have also received orders for Diminishing Memories II on DVD.  Thank you for your support and interest, yes you may place an order with me first but the DVD for DMII is not available yet.  Once it is available, I’ll revert. Thanks!!
 
Thank you so much, I am very touched by your responses… ;)) YP    

Shooting Day 3

Posted: February 20, 2008 in Diminishing Memories II: Diary

《悄逝的记忆2》拍摄的第三天

这一组拍摄的工作终于先告一段落。很开心最后一天终于有个帮手帮忙,让我的摄影师和录音师都可以有多一只手。我也终于在一天里可以因此而拍摄到一些制作过程的照片!真是松了口气!!尤其摄影师让他有点儿乐!因为有人帮忙那摄影机的架子!哈哈!

 

这三天的访问,其实都有点出乎我的预料!统统三个都出乎我原本预想要的“效果”。不过我想这就是纪录片的制作过程吧!原先在做资料收集时,受访者讲的话和语气都可能在开机时有所不同!制作纪录片和剧情片的最大差别也在这里吧?剧情片很可能是根据现实个案,再加上虚构的故事,一切拍摄几乎都就是靠着剧本走。一切安排、准备工作必须做得妥当,拍摄时才能比较顺利的完成。而创作过程往往在开拍之前就已经设想好了!纪录片则是一直在变,一直在变。包括每一个制作过程,它都会有很多未知数和无法掌控的事。因为无法完全掌握访问的内容,所以创作过程也会因此而可能有所更动。一部纪录片不会因为拍摄完毕了,就是创作过程的结束。往往更考人功夫的是后期制作的过程。对我来说,最艰难的是拍摄完毕,要整理资料和思绪的时候。怎样把一切资料、拍摄内容和想法最有效地综合在一起,把观点表达出来?一部纪录片的创作过程,不会完毕,直到剪辑完成为止。

 

这时我最需要的是,一片宁静。思绪的宁静。而我的身体已经累了,思绪却不肯睡。

 

Diminishing Memories II, Shooting Day 3:

The filming block of 3 days has finally come to an end and we finally have a helper on set- my video editor.  We are all more than delighted to have another pair of helping hands on set.  This is especially as there’s finally someone to help us take some production stills.  Moreover, my cameraman was smiling away as there’s someone to help us carry the tripod.  My editor has an interest in production, so I’m glad that she’s here with us.  

 

I had three interviews these three days and they all surprised me!  I must say there’s a potential of a great difference in the content and expressions of what was being said by the interviewees during the research interview and the actual filming.  But I guess this is the challenge of making a documentary and one of the main differences with fiction films.  In many cases, fiction film has a script to follow.  The filming set and actors were staged.  Thus, good research and planning is essential in the pre-production stage.  For drama (fiction) films, even the editing is more or less based on a script.  Everything is almost all planned ahead.  Non-fiction films however work the other way round.  Documentaries can only be scripted to a certain extent during the pre-production stage.  You can not control exactly what the interviewees are going to say or how they are going to react to your questions.  The story could change in every production stage.  Unlike fiction films, the creative process and the decision makings in story-telling keep changing even in the edit room.   To me, the most difficult task is after filming, how am I going to digest and organized the filmed materials into meaningful pieces for what I wanted to express.  The creative process of a documentary shall not end until the film has finished editing.  And right now, what I needed most is to have a peace of mind.  Although my body is extremely tired, my mind refused to rest.

Shooting Day 2

Posted: December 31, 2007 in Diminishing Memories II: Diary
悄逝的记忆2:拍摄的第二天

小小感动 (我的Crew

 

今天和昨天一样,天还没亮就下起雨来了!上个星期的下午几乎都下起雨,我就希望这几天的天气可以做美,这样就不会妨碍了拍摄进度。虽然昨天天还没亮就下起雨,我没有担心。因为知道早点儿下起雨,就越可能早点儿放晴。昨天下雨的时候,我就对我的摄影队伍说,如果再下起雨,我就要到林厝港拍下雨的景像。因为雨景也应该很美丽吧。我说我要拍雨打在屋顶的镜头,这样下雨才听得到声音嘛。我记得我说这句话的时候,我的录音师抬起头看了我。

 

今天天又还没亮就下起雨来了!我就抓紧机会到一处拍摄雨景。我问说用不用我把伞撑起来。谁知道不一会儿,录音师就拿出他自己的“家伙”——是个专用摄影机铺盖!!我说,诶!这个哪里来的?他说,“我带来的,因为昨天你说想要拍下雨。”

 

!!!!

 

这两天虽然有Wide Angle Lens,但是因为我的摄影机镜头匡镜跟我借来的 Lens不符合,所以无法派上用场。今早我也只不过问了问我的摄影师Set Up Ring 可以到哪里买到?我刚刚才发现,原来傍晚拍摄结束后,我的摄影师跑去买了适合用的Lens Ring了!!!

 

我的crew adorable hor? 真是讨人喜欢!可快要把我宠坏咯!呵呵!!

 

Diminishing Memories II: Second Shooting Day

A little moved by my crew members.

 

It has been raining for these two days and I had been hoping for a beautiful bright day so that the weather won’t affect my shooting progress.  However, it has been raining for the past week and it did so yesterday.  It rained very early morning so I was hoping the rain would perhaps stopped by the time I started filming. I told my crew members that if if should rain again today, I shall go film the rain in Lim Chu Kang as it ought to be beautiful. I wanted to film the rain dropping on the zinc roof top so I could hear th esound of the rain too! Then, I noticed my sound recordist turned to look at me, little did I know why. 

 

It’s raining again today and the first thing we did was to go capture the rain scene of Lim Chu Kang! I was wondering if I should put up my umbrella to "protect" the camera only to see there’s already a little "rain coat" being put on the camera! I asked, "hey! Where did this come from?" My sound recordist said, "I brought it along because you mentioned you wanted to film in the rain yesterday."  

 

Wow! It’s such a nice suprise as I didn’t expect my crew to be so "attentive". hee ;p I also just found out that my cameraman went to get an adaptor ring when we finished our shoot today to ensure we could fit our wide angle lens onto the camera on our third day of shoot tomorrow.  I was only curious and asked him where should be the best place to get the adaptor ring.

 

I find my crews so sweet and "adorable" and I felt so pamper by them. 🙂 Nice…  

Shooting Day 1

Posted: December 29, 2007 in Diminishing Memories II: Diary

悄逝的记忆2:拍摄的第一天

第一天为我独立制作的第二部纪录片进行拍摄。在林厝港农场访问了一些公众,问他们对那里有一部分农场将被发展成娱乐农场有什么看法。访问后发现新加坡人说话小心翼翼,但我需要的是坦白的声音。以为洋人可能会比较勇于坦白,谁知关机后,他才说了我需要的真心话。原来居住在我国几年了的洋人说话也会有所保留?是因为处在我们这样的环境的关系吗?还好很幸运的,之后居然采访到一个愿意坦诚说出自己看法的新加坡人,和外国人。拍摄结束后,我想起今天的采访内容,还有我其中另外一个主要个案的眼神。我的心,隐隐作痛。

 

Diminishing Memories II: First day of shoot

This is the first day of my shoot and I was at Lim Chu Kang farm interviewing some public for their opinions on the fact that some parts of it will be developed into an "agri-tainment" recreation farm area. Generally, Singaporeans are still very "careful" in giving their opinions.

I thought I would get an honest point of view from the expatriates, only to my suprise. I wondered if it has to do with staying in this environment that has an "effect" on him. Anyway I was lucky to finally get some honest answers from two other public- one local, another expatriate.  By the end of the day, I was thinking of another main case study in my film that I somehow felt a little painful on my chest. I couldn’t help thinking about what was being said by this main case study that made me a little sad.