“Redhill” is inspired by “The Legend of Bukit Merah”.
The Legend of Bukit Merah
A long time ago, the seas of Singapura was inhabited by many dangerous swordfish that attacked the villagers living by the sea. The king tried several methods to solve this problem, but to no avail.
A clever little boy saw what was happening and suggested the king to make a trap for the swordfish along the beach with soft banana tree trunks. So, the king sent his soldiers to cut down all the banana trees nearby and built a barrier along the beach. When it was high tide again, the swordfish swam up to the beach. However, instead of attacking villagers, the swordfish found their sharp noses stuck onto the banana tree trunks.
The little boy’s plan had succeeded and the grateful villagers thanked the boy for saving their lives. The jealous King grew worried that the boy might grow up and take away his throne. So he plotted to kill the boy.
One night, he sent his soldiers to murder the boy who lived on top of a hill. The boy was killed and his blood flowed down the hill making it red. The blood eventually caused the soil to turn red and the hill became today’s Bukit Merah or Red Hill.
Reinterpreting the story, we seek to explore the idea of betrayal. The captain represents the King and the protagonist represents the clever boy. The masked men in the HQ represents the Silver Fishes. We used the ring as a bridge to relate the captain’s relation to the silver fishes (They are in cahoots trying to kill off the clever boy (Protagonist)).
In the end, the hero was betrayed and shot dead while the Captain claims the credit.
Sourcing of Locations
Grass patch along NIE. We have to ensure that there is a wide space for shooting and an area where buildings are not as visible in order to show the realness of a hill.
Big, open space behind ADM
Along ADM’s corridors. We have to ensure that the corridors are litter-free and have long pathways for the protagonist to run across. At the same time, we have to ensure that there are not much alleys and twists to prevent confusion.
Short pose for our film (Excited for filiming!)
Biting Elbows – ‘Bad Motherfucker’ Official Music Video
Snippet from “Robocorp”
Script & Storyboard
Using our knowledge from Writing Narratives class, we came up with a script for familiarisation. We decide what scenes need to be shot first and what props are needed for different scenes. This script enables us to visualise how the actual scenes going to be like and how we can portray our characters better.
Some of the issues throughout the project is low budget props. We have to find suitable toy guns that look realistic in mini marts, Daiso, etc… In the end, we got a pretty realistic gun for the protagonist and sprayed painted it white to make it look more futuristic.
In addition, when it comes to creating a bomb, we bought a bottle and sprayed painted the cap silver to give it a more sophisticated and high-tech look. We also coil metal wires around the glow stick and stuck it onto the cap to make it look special.
The end result was a futuristic gun.
We got white masks to hide the identities of the ‘Silver fishes’ and also got the enemies to don on their berets and same top colour to act as soldiers.
Our ‘Silver Fishes’ had to fall onto the ground umpteen times to capture the exact perfect shot. One where the Gopro didn’t cut off the head and where the fall is realistic and impactful. They fell so much that their hands turned red. A big shout out to our enemies for falling for this video!
We tried to capture the best angle possible for every scene and every clip. Both on the protagonist as well as the captain on the hill. The clips are taken at different timings of the day and most of it are taken in the late afternoon where the lights are slowly dimming.
As mentioned above, the clips are taken at different timings of the day and most of it are taken in the late afternoon where the lights are slowly dimming. Some clips thus turn out darker than other clips. Hence, in order to compensate the lack of light, we have to colour correct the clips such that it looks like it is filmed at the same timing.
User Interface Design
User Interface Design
When it comes to sound design, there are a lot of layerings to do.
Firstly, we have to make sure that the audio voice over sounds like a walkie talkie where the protagonist is communicating with his captain.
Secondly, we have to separately record the audio of the protagonist breathing heavily after he got shot for a better sound and voice effect. (The original audio was a little soft).
Thirdly, to give the video an even realistic feel, we individually added in subtle sound effects such as foot stepping on the grass, windows breaking, fingers breaking and placing of the bomb.
Lastly, we have to ensure certain audio does not overpower or drown other audios such as the alarm ringing which became softer after some time. This is to heighten the sound of other audio and also to create the effect that the protagonist is reaching near the exit of the building.
We want to get our audiences to anticipate for our video project. Hence, we decided to do a countdown promotion on social media e.g Facebook & Instagram. We’re glad that our friends were supportive of us by commenting how much they look forward to it!
Just for Laughs
“This project can be considered a nostalgic one as I am able to go back to making my own short film which I have not done since I graduated from Polytechnic. The idea of working on the legend of Bukit Merah started off from me as I felt the calling to make an alternative film with a futuristic take that is similar to the story I did for my Final Year Project (FYP) in Polytechnic. After several rounds of discussion and consideration related to budget and time, my team is able to come up with a concise plan to portray our story in the best way possible. With artistic and practical inputs from each and everyone, we are able to work together closely to get the final product done. As each of us are talented and well versed in our own ways, we contributed to the film in the best way possible.
Similarly to my FYP in Polytechnic, I am also the editor for this film and in charge of doing the colour correction and grading. This task was a challenging one was we took multiple takes and had to take into consideration continuity issues in editing as well as matching the different colour temperature and exposure of different shots together to give a coherent look across scenes. There is also a challenge in arranging the different layers of sound together to make them sync in harmony and help to tell the story better. There is a need for an awareness of how loud each audio clip should be in correlation with one another – dialogue, foleys & background music. This narrative is extremely dependent on sound design and more than 15 audio tracks were used for this project. There is also a need for an awareness to layer these clips together to form a harmonious piece.
Finally, all visuals and audio has to come together perfectly to give a sense of professionalism and colour grading has to be done to give the desired look and feel to the final product. To increase the production value, I gave special attention to create extras such as muzzle flashes coming from the firing of guns in the film as well as creating the opening and ending motion graphic title sequences.
On the final note, it is really enjoyable working with the team as each of them are really professional and there is a very strong team dynamic behind us to spur and get things going in the right direction. Much effort was put into the making of this film and we are glad and honoured to have our viewers enjoying our short film. Thank you all for the support and I look forward to creating more compelling visuals for everyone to enjoy!”
It’s our first biggest assignment and we put as much effort as possible to make it look polished. As our group’s story is set in a futuristic style, it is really difficult to find a place to fit the concept. And plus the tide schedule, we decided to film it in ADM. But we managed to maintain the look in the post production.
And it was also my first time using GoPro, which is very interesting. But it is hard to control the shutter speed and aperture, it turned out it has a lot of motion blur.
For the UI design, I quite enjoy doing it and always want to learn more about it in deep.
This project has been an eye opener for me, revealing a world that had long been hidden from me behind the curtains. The process to making a film is a lot more complex than one would imagine. I learned that a single scene can take 10 to 15 shots, before an ideal scene can be done, lighting is a lot more important than I thought and editing is something that can take weeks on end even if you finish filming in a day. I still have much to learn in the use of sounds in a film figuring how a scene, but I now have a better understanding of the process that go into making a great film.
It’s been a long time since I last acted for a project and the last one was for my JC’s drama SYF. It was fun portraying a hero – a dying hero that struggles to stay alive. I understand the importance of having to replay certain emotions in order to capture the perfect shot. Through this project, I learnt a lot of things. I learned the importance of sound layering and making sure how certain audios can give a different mood. Background music is very important and that impacts the overall feel of the video. In addition, it is good to input different angle shots such as wide shot, close up shot in order to give a variety to the video. Colour correction is equally important as well because it affects the mood and overall style of the video. I had a fun and awesome time working together with my group mates and I seriously wouldn’t choose anybody else to work with. After the end of the presentation, I realised that every individual have their own style and that putting an individual into another group will change the mood and tone of the final video. When it comes to team work, synergy is crucial. I will always remember how our first meeting was held in can 2 and we simply bought coffee and dim sum and discussed, brainstormed about the project. The energy was great and ideas just kept coming in. It was a very memorable experience for me.