"Acting is the ability to live truthfully under imaginary circumstances." -- Sanford Meisner


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Friday, February 5, 2016

The Next Plot

This short film is the first three scenes of a feature film. It is inspired by a true story. The full script is completed and peer reviewed. I am now sketching more of the visuals for the subsequent scenes. We will be seeking investors for the full-feature production soon.


So will he get to use the next plot when his time comes? How will his struggle against the bureucracy be?  Where does morality starts or ends? Why is there purportedly one god and many religions? Stay tune...

Below are the sketches I did during pre-production. I am sketching the other images and will post them online later. For more of my other sketches of other scripts, click here.

Finding suitable locations was the greatest difficulty, so I am very grateful for the owners of Gusto Napoli Restaurant at 328 Joo Chiat Road and HCAC at 22 Dickson Road, for letting us use their place.

It's hard being the producer, director, script writer and lead actor. I would avoid that if I had a proper budget.

It is hard to focus on both the macro and the micro issues.

Unlike aging me to become an old man, she is making her look pretty to be one half of a loving couple in the restaurant. 

I am very delighted that these friends and friends of friends came by to help out as extras in the restaurant scene. They are brilliant.  Thank you guys.

HCAC was used as the office of the religious organisation in the story. It was very difficult to get a real religious organisation to let us use their place because of the conflicts in our story. So, we had to mock up the place to have some resemblance of a religious hall.  That costs money, a lot of work and some worries. Worries, because we only had the use of the hall on the day of the shoot and we had to hope that all the props and design work.

Thankfully, all the props worked, and we get a set that looks reasonably convincing.

It is great having this big flat screen to review footages. Easier to assess the performances and pick up mistakes. 

Can you guess what props we are making below?

Finally, we had some time to practise the script.

This is our only outdoor scene. The sky is grey, thanks to the haze from the forest fires in Indonesia - suits the mood. It is an emotional scene where the lead character visits his wife at the cemetery.

If you think I managed to mimic the posture of an old man very well, you are half right, as I was really suffering from acute back pains on the day and so the postures were quite real.

This shot is visually a transition shot from one of grey to some green.

Here is the other cemetery which is more grey than green. I needed the shots there to illustrate that there are different cemeteries for different religions.

I told you I can play a bent old man very well. Comes in handy when you have to review the footages when the monitor is very low. :)

And here are the pre-production activities of preparing the props.

Being the overall in-charge for logistics I had nightmares making sure that I don't miss out anything on set. On the first day in the restaurant, I forgot to bring the bottle of wine for the owner. Then at HCAC, I remembered the bottle of wine, but carelessly smashed it. Sigh!

For more about who my wine kakis (buddies) are, click here.

For more about my other productions, click here.

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