#19 (Aug 2011)

We turn our attention to our local scene this month. I have to admit I’m quite critical of our locally produced films, so please bear with the rants first.

Sure, we do not have the budget of our Hollywood or even Hong Kong counterparts, but I’m sure we can at least fork out some common sense before spending those hard earned cents producing something no one would watch. Yes, art is subjective but focussing a camera on a subject who’s only acting part is to do nothing but maybe breathe, or walk, or stare for the entire 120 minutes is not art! Ditto for inanimate subjects and scenery. They may make pretty pictures, but not movies. It’s taking the term motion picture to a literal joke of big-screen proportions.

We have world-class entertainment resorts, airlines, ports and even Asia Pac’s first digital Imax screen. And with Singaporeans being one of the world’s most frequent moviegoers, it’s not unrealistic to say our expectations are a wee bit higher.

To potential or struggling filmmakers, go back to the couch and watch your favourite movies. What inspires you, the story or the pretty visuals? Chances are it’s probably a good mix of both and not one without the other. Commercial flicks are merely a term used for works of art that are appreciated. You do not need a mammoth budget to do that. Just some thought and a dash of soul and passion.

Of course that’s not to say we do not have success stories, we profile a handful, though not all, of them on page 80.

But the only way there is to pick up that camera and start shooting. Here at F***, we believe half the battle is won by taking the first step, with passion being the fuel. Add oil!

Royston Loh