Yeo's CNY 2019
Thoughts and Reactions from Pre-Prod-Post
Woohoo!!! I have finally made this film happen and it was definitely an honour to be featured by “Marketing-Interactive” as the top 10 Singapore CNY adverts in 2019 for my directing debut.
This story was one that I have kept for a long time before finally having the chance to make it happen.
Before I bring you on a journey talking about how this story came about, I would like to thank the wonderful crew that made this happen and my awesome mentor, Lee Feng Nian, who shot this.
For those who know me, I am a Director of Photography and not a Director by profession. Though I am involved in writing many of Guangfilms’ works, I have never directed any of it.
One day, Sun Ji came back to office from a meeting and told us that there is a CNY Yeo’s project and asked if anyone had a story to tell. I casually spoke about this script I had in mind and long story short, Sun won the pitch with this story. Unknowing to me, Sun asked me “Who you want for DOP?”…
My reaction?….. “wait, what? Who’s directing?”
And this was how my debut film as a director came about. Sun insists that no one could bring the story out better than the person who writes and feels the most for it. I guess it is true.
Fast forward… I obviously panicked. The first thing I did was to pick up my phone, calling 2 very important person in my life who would make my first experience as a director much comfortable, Feng and Aden (Main cast of the film). Thank God they agreed to come on board without hesitation.
How did this story come about?
When I first received the brief, I was wondering “What exactly is Chinese New Year (CNY)?”
We cannot deny the fact that as the years pass, Chinese New Year has slowly lost its excitement and meaning to us. We no longer “ton” the night away, otherwise known as “守岁”. I haven’t had a debate with the client during PPM on what is the exact meaning of “压岁钱”. Chinese New Year has now become a season of “Pre-CNY Shopping spree to flaunting of fashion sense during Chinese New Year and red packets.”
As i slowly recall the many CNYs I had when i was younger, I realized that it is the many little things that we took for granted as we grow older, that makes CNY, CNY.
Remember the first time when you ask your grandparents / parents the meaning of certain couplets or chinese characters that are hanging in the house and its meaning? Everytime you learn a new word / phrase you get excited.
Remember faking your sleep so that you can get the red packet below your pillow?
Remember using 守岁 as an excuse to stay up late and play computer games with your friends?
As we grow older, all this little actions and customs have become just a superstition to many. Be it true or not, but it is this little actions and customs that brings siblings and family together.
And… this was how this story came about :)
On a side note, I think i enjoyed this directing experience but definitely not the part when I have to come up with a pitching deck. HAHA!
From your friendly neighbourhood director,
He Zhen Liang, Charles.