Motions – Singapore Short Story


A short documentary about the life of my dad and the unique insights into his perspective of a society that is going through the motions.


(Please turn on subtitles/CC for a better viewing experience)

Challenges & Reflections

For this project, i wanted to convey my dad’s story through a short documentary film.  This is because i believe that he has many interesting stories he has when he was a kid and he would never fail to tell them to me over dinner. I chose film as the appropriate medium as the visual and audio narration encourages viewer retention through the story and flow of the film.

At the start, i really had difficulties in coming up with the concept of the documentary. Sure it was about the childhood stories of my dad but that was too general. My mental block lasted quite long until the second consultation with Michael. The project was then narrowed down and encouraged that a learning point or perspective was to be like a take-away from the video. That was when i started to go on the right track.

Sometimes when you have really no clue on what to do, the best thing to do is to start doing something. Anything. Some inspiration is bound to strike you when you are doing something. This happened to be while interviewing my dad. Before the interview, i wasn’t sure of how it was going to turn out. Unexpectedly, during the interview, i slowly started to see the flow of the film coming together. I was amazed that my dad managed to talk for 30 minutes without stopping! That was the turning point of the project.

I chose to make the film slightly longer as i wanted the audience to be engrossed in it. I wanted a slow and steady flow for the video with my dad telling his stories at the start and then followed by his perspectives on the change of quality of life at the back. 


I stumbled across cinemagraphs – still image with several moving elements
It has this really atmospheric and subtle vibe



Thought i could give it a try with Kampung scenes.

Thought it set the mood quite well!

Interview Questions

How was life like in the kampong as a kid?

Are there any interesting stories back then?

What are some of the things you miss from the old days?

Singapore has grown over the years so what are some of the changes you may or may not have issues with?

How are the changes affecting your life?

Were you happier in the past or the present?

How do you feel about the younger generation?

F. A. Q

Why is the video so long?

I wanted the audience to be fully engrossed and engaged in the film’s slow and steady pace.

Where do you get the kampung footage from?

I shot the footage from Kampung Buangkok. Some of the still black and white pictures were taken online to serve as  a visual stimulator for the story.

Why didn’t you use more visual imagery for the video?

I could not find any other old photos of my dad’s kampung life. These were all that i can scavenge.

Hope you enjoyed!

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