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


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Monday, August 14, 2017

Ask Me Anything in Viddsee

Viddsee.com, an Asian short film curator site, has invited me to their "Ask Me Anything" page.

Click here.

#acting #act #future #futureoftv #futureoffilm #michaelchua #viddsee #questions #films #film #filmmaking #shortfilm #curated

UPDATE (31st August 2017):

It was an overwhelming response - 39 questions!  My favourite question is question 13:

"Can you tell us what been the funniest moment on any of your sets so far? :D"

And my answer is:

Okay, I am mentioning this because this is funny and that you have asked for it. 

In one intimate scene, I was to surprise my screen wife by lifting her up suddenly to  the bed, rolling over and kissing her on her lips, then 'cut'. We rehearsed that and all was well and agreed.

However during the take, the director (a lady) didn't say 'cut' at the point we had rehearsed to. With no 'cut', we had to continue and improvise with our act. That was not a problem between the actress and me, as we were very professional about it, but next to director was a young chap prompting "Cut! Cut! Cut!" next to the director's ear. It was very annoying, but the director ignored him and called 'cut' only at a point she deemed appropriate.

The director prolonged the take because she likes the delivery and didn't want to break the flow too early.

As for the young chap, we learned that he had the hots for the actress and was jealous.

The lesson learned was that there should be only a minimal crew on set during such takes. Young jealous chaps not allowed in.

Here are the list of 39 questions:
Click here to read the answers.

1. I really enjoyed your acting. Can you share some of the challenges of being a local actor?

2. If you are asked to perform for no fee, and you are willing to do so. How does that affect the final film production?

3.If the part asks that you kiss a person (male or female) that you are not attracted to and the kiss must look most passionate. How is this achieved?

4. Thank you for the previous answer, I am also curious to know how you cope with rejection. Is it a natural response or a skill you have developed?

5. Have you ever had strong disagreement with the director on set, and if so, how did you deal with it?

6. What tips could you give to aspiring actors to guide them along their career path?

7. When reviewing a new script, what do you look for and what would you avoid?

8. Which local and international actors do you admire and why?

9. What do you hope to see more in Singapore development of movies? Budgets, scripts or supportive audience

10. What advice do you have for people who have ambitions to become actors/actresses? How do you compare Singapore film industry vs film industries in other countries?

11. What is one advice you have for actors in Singapore?

12. How does the Director help out with uncomfortable parts, if the actors /actresses feel uptight, like sex scenes, etc

13. Can you tell us what been the funniest moment on any of your sets so far? :D

14.What innate talents does one need to have, to make it in acting?

15. Why do some actors /actresses get stereotyped into certain roles?

16. How does a director help the actors portray their characters convincingly?

17. As a Freelance Actor, do think/feel that it is possible to rely solely on Acting(silver-screen only) to earn a living in Singapore?

18. I thought the a couple of the short video clips I saw were quite good, story-wise, acting-wise, not those over-exaggerated acting the I observed in local mandarin movies. Just wondering why we hardly hear or know about them. What are the problems the local English language movies faced?"

19. How far do you think the Internet will disrupt the traditional theatrical distribution of films?

20. What's your advise for those who wants to get into acting?

21. What's your biggest achievement thus far?

22. You left an exciting career in the Cyber Security space to follow your heart and passion in the creative and performing arts industry. Do you have any regrets? What inspired you to make the transition and was it a tough journey ?

23. How has acting changed/enriched you as a person?

24. ...as we all know, 'the Gift' was amazing. How did you prepare for your inspiring role in this film?

25. What's your worst filming experience?

26. Is there any other roles / characters you would hope to attempt in the near future?

27. If you could have it your way, what would be your dream role and movie?

28. What are your artistic inspirations, Michael? And what considerations do you have when taking on a project? What has been your best film experience so far? Would care to elaborate more on that experience? Would you also care to tell more about what is your opinion on the growth of the local art scene?

29.  I will like to know what are some do's and dont's of directing, specifically from the perspective of actors? How can directors work with actors better to create a great piece of work?

30. I have seen that films are made in an order that is not the same way as the final storyline is edited. How do you, the actor, keep track of the emotion and intensity of the scene when they are being created in such a different way to the final sequence?

31. What got you into acting?

32. ...you are very good in crying in your role, how do you make yourself cry?

33. Beside being actor and director have you think of writing , you are good in writing as I have read some of your blog?

34. Good to see your passion for acting. Could you elaborate what drives you the most?

35. Of all the roles that you have played in the past, which is your favourite?

36. When was your first role as an actor?

37. Also would be interesting to know what is the most extreme change to your appearance - in terms of hair, body weight, face changes etc etc, that you have done to prepare for a role?

38. Have there been a time when you had a really bad day but had to act or perform that night. How did you get through it?

39. I'm interested in how you feel about playing against type.

I'm specifically thinking about when you have to assume a character you would not like in real life - how do you approach that, and do you 'enter into' that person's psychology, or distance yourself emotionally?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


If you are in your 50s or 60s that have lived the pop scene in Malaysia-Singapore in the 1970s, you must watch this movie. It is based on the real story and teen years of Singaporean singer-composer Dick Lee - with lotsa drugs, sex and music.

Such films wouldn't have been possible, say ten years ago, with our censorship board in this draconian part of the world.

To the younger audiences, this may be your chance to take a peek at how your parents might have lived their lives once upon a time. And understand why they may be nagging at your hanging out with friends during the wee hours of the morning - knowing the perils lurking in the dark.

"WonderBoy" will bring you monumental detail of nostalgia, like: buying your first cigarrette and taking that timid first puff; and your crush on school boys in all-white uniforms, or girls in blue pinaforte at your favourite bus stops in town. And also those house parties and slow dances where very soon you find everyone else snogging away like hippies. 

The trailers:



I particularly like the concern for details to the locations, set design and props used in the movie. Like the choice of colours that symbolises the psychedellia presiding in youths as they stoned their brains away frolicking, amid high colour saturation and smooth camera movements bringing the surrealism to the surface.

The film is well scored musically, as it should be with Dick at the helm, directing it with the help of Daniel Yam, a director that has made films that literally got millions of people cry their hearts out all over the world. This is Dick's first time directing a  film, as in a non-stage production.

I would rate "Wonderboy" highly as a musical with great cinematography and acting.

Benjamin Kheng carried the nervous and frustrated teen and lead character very well, so did the rest of the main cast delivering their parts.

However, I do find the script a little weak with relatively flat character arcs.  Also, while I like all of Dick's compositions, I find the last song in the film, sang by Dick himself, a little out of place. But I won't spoil your fun by telling you,l. Go and watch the film and find out.




This is MM2's first foray into an English language movie. Do support, so that it will pave way for future such films to be made. 

"WonderBoy" movie premiere gala @ Marina Bay Sands Mastercard Theatre, Singapore on 1 Aug 2017.