Miles Ahead – Final Installation

Hello! If you’re new (or did not see our installation),
please watch the trailer above


Hair, Make up and Wardrobe

The biggest key consideration in the art direction was development – we felt that it was important to see Miles’ spiral into psychosis from a cheerful and chirpy vlogger to a deranged and desperate student to a calm and calculated killer.  There were many considerations that went into showing this.

Happy and chirpy vlogger – Hair down to show carefreeness, wearing primary colors to show joy.

Deranged and Desperate Student – Initially wearing a cap as a symbol of hiding something (like gloves on Disney characters, really), progresses to a messy hair. She also removes shirt as a symbol of her ‘letting go’ of sanity.

Calm and Calculated Killer – Tied hair and now she wears a lot of black.


Another consideration for showing development is the use of lighting – from a bright, cheery day we see the gradual darkness sinking in (literally and metaphorically) into a dark mysterious room. Then back to an eerie bright day where Miles is seemingly alright, calm and collected, and then back into a darkness where she loses her mind.

From there the scene is slightly lit by red and orange lights to symbolize her dark state of mind, but since she still has grips to be calculative and analytical, we see a bit of the background.

Perhaps the most apparent appears in this vlog where she goes from calm and collected (brightly lit) to sinister (ominous red light) to longing (still on ominous red light) and back to calm and collected (brightly lit)


In post production, I added an overlay of a video camera to enhance the idea of vlogging with a running timecode and blinking recording light (what a doozy). I also added some minor color grading to mute the colors as though it has not been treated.

Perhaps one of the most subtle (but painfully worth it) change I made in this scene was making the battery blink red, it was to symbolize Miles snapping into her psychosis rage as she slowly drains herself of her sanity.

Some audio elements I’ve included were subtle background noises that hints to the state of mind of the character – if she is clear-headed and happy, we hear birds chirping, if she’s tired we hear crickets and if she’s losing her sanity we hear the buzz of neon lights and the hum of a compressor.  Perhaps one of the most distinct sounds was the door’s slamming that is metaphorical of her snapping into her psychosis rage.


The treatment of the CCTV was minor – I desaturated the color, added a bit of grain and added a camera number to the scene. There were a lot of other elements I considered such as the moire/interlacing of the cctv footage, adding blur or even vignetting. But I chose to stick to the most simple monochrome, grain, and text as I felt it conveyed the idea of CCTV most simply and allowed details to be captured in the little actions.

In the murders, I created contrast between the two scenes by juxtaposing the chaos of the murder against the eerie stillness of the corridor. I felt the idea of helplessness was conveyed stronger through a subtle action of switching the CCTV footage to a quiet corridor to emphasize the drama of the murder.

It is also another subtle addition was the moment to moment aspect, with the camera static to show the passing of time. I held on longer for occasional parts to build suspense and abruptly cut on some parts to build a sense of mystery and discomfort in the viewer for the unknown.

During the consult, it was mentioned to not include the sound as it creates an eerie silence through the whole sequence. So yeah… I totally did that too.


The biggest challenge as an editor finding ways to allow the CCTV footage playing to support the moments in the scene – be it supporting the narration, supporting the emotion, or showing the inner state of mind of the character. However this was the best I could create a relationship between the two footages.

Firstly, I supported the narration of Miles being overworked with footages of students studying late at school. Intercut with the occasional empty, dark foyer of ADM to show the hour, and back to the studying studying.

Secondly, I supported the narration by also showing what was playing on Miles’ laptop as she loses her mind – utilizing freeze frames and zooms, we are able to see the little things that drives Miles into psychosis.

Thirdly, I show Miles’ transition into insanity by gradually altering the lighting between the CCTV footages. You might have noticed majority is shot in the night. This is motivated and planned as darkness is what clouds Miles’ mind as she falls into psychosis.

Fourthly, one subtle thing I added was using the CCTV static to show Miles’ state of mind. When she trails off, switches topic or forgets what she is speaking about mid way we see the static play as though we lose the thoughts in Miles’ mind.

Lastly, as the assassinations takes place, we are given a view of Mile’s current hideout. Without the camera overlay, we are observing as though we are omniscient viewers who are looking at the space through an idle camera.


Before entering the audience is invited to observe the space through a glass opening in the staircase door. They will see the ominous red light as well as silhouettes of photographs on the wall.

Upon entering, the echo-y location will give a sense of discomfort and forces the viewer to be quieter. The viewer will then walk towards the red light curiously to discover the hidden space.

At the hidden space, through the use of lighting and scale, the viewer will first see the conspiracy board on the wall with strings and a spotlight illuminating the map. The viewers are then invited to play videos of Mile’s vlog or the CCTV surveillance footage in the sequence of their choosing to provide a mulit-linear narrative.

For example, if they watched the last video first, they will find out the fate of Hui En, but not the motivation or reason, if they watched the first video first, they will find out Miles’ initial personality but not how she turns murderous. If they watched the middle, they will find her sink into psychosis, but not the fate of her roommate.

The viewers may then either interact with the photos and articles on the wall or look closer into the board. From the articles, the audience will establish the demise of Mile’s sister through the accident, and from the photographs establishes how deeply Miles misses her.

They may also interact with the items on the table such as the weapons or the medical documents. Through this we are given an insight of her psychosis and the extent of the damages from the accident.

You may see the articles, medical letter and medical report here
(4D Documents)

On the wall, the audience will see photos of themselves captured prior to the installation that provides a sense of personal touch to the the story, as Miles is amongst one of them.

The viewers are also invited to inspect the articles on the wall which were painstakingly curated to give a deeper understanding of Miles and her research. It features academic articles, articles of murder and articles about accidents. From here, we understand deeper about Mile’s obsession with being the best in school and how thorough she is in her research to conduct clean, untraceable kills.

After the exhibition, the audience are given a deeper understanding of Miles.



I learnt the importance of character research in character-driven stories. Through understanding characters more intimately it is easier for us to sympathise whether they are likeable or unlikable. Characters are still, at a core, people, and people are filled with likeable traits and unlikeable traits. Through balancing this we have a more three dimensional character with clear goals, clear reasons to do things and clear reasons for behaving a certain way.

I also learnt about the importance of details – through sound design, colors, lighting, wardrobe, make up, props and editing we are given a more intimate understanding of the character just visually than through what the character does or say. Sometimes the strongest influence is something we are unaware about. Subtlety is the key to influence.

But on a related note about installation – I learnt about how there is a stark difference in private spaces and public spaces. Through private spaces we are given a more intimate, honest and profound understanding of a character, but in a public space we are given a more curated perspective, where we see how the character ‘wants to be seen’.

It leads back to the Johari window where we are given various parts of the character through space and form.

Okay, now it’s time for me to rest.

thank you ‘Miles Ahead’ team. 

to see the process click here

Interactive Narration – Process


I was part of the team as a producer/director for this project. Together with the team, I directed the overall image, look, vibes, tone, theme, and sound of the project. I also was the editor.

I compiled my director’s notes detailing the acting, the visual and audio elements I planned to incorporate and tasked my talent, cinematographer and art director to convey this. Of course, they had many contributions to add and we planned all logistics before the shoot.

(this details all our considerations in the shoot)

Clicky Click to expand

Hannah was in charge of researching the character,
Joel was in charge of looking into the shots and
Hui En was in charge of space and art direction


You can read our script here: Script

I worked with Hannah to get the script out (which she wrote majority of it). There were a lot of backstory to fit into the script and without making the vlogs too long, many things had to either be hinted, mentioned briefly or ignored altogether and put into the space instead.

We looked VERY much into the backstory of the character in order to achieve a strong sense of motivation in the character as we are dealing with a very difficult idea of sympathising with a unlikable character. She looked into Ed Gein, Ted Bundy and Aileen Wuornos.

More details on that will be on Hannah’s OSS.


I worked with Joel to achieve the various footage. I told him about the Johari Window which details the four types of perception of character. The open self, the hidden self, the blind self and the unknown self.

Each of these perception is achieved through various elements in the scene and thus capture various essences of the same character. It was an interesting concept to play with and I thought it was well conveyed in the final output.

We also looked into the cinematographic style of the game ‘Dexter’, ‘Her Story’ and the movie ‘Purge’.

Dexter reference photos

Her Story reference photos.

More details on Joel’s OSS post.


With Hui En,  I worked with her on the overall look of the final board that will be the almost center piece of the installation. We looked into Miles’ character, past and things she will look for in articles. We explored various ‘textures’ of paper as well – from newsprint, printing paper, and even instax.

I think I may have stressed Hui En too much with Newspaper clippings
and printing documents

Visual references for ‘Map of Conspiracy’

More of that on Hui En’s OSS

Once all the pieces were set, we began production.



The day started with shooting Shi Min’s murder scenes. We choreographed the before, during and after the murder. As the camera was a wide and far away shot, we got away with little flops in choreograph and ‘special effects’. However we had to exaggerate actions so it can be seen from afar.

We “borrowed” a ladder from one of the rooms to achieve the high vantage point in the CCTV footages and sometimes went upstairs to shoot the space below.  We also utilized wide angles in some scenes to allow a more CCTV look.

We aimed to capture the space (the corridors that seems to end in a distance) or people in the space to support the narration (students doing work). Oh yeah, we also took a trash bag from the cleaning aunty as the body bag and stuffed it with our bags to act like it’s heavy – yes we are impromptu about the murder as Miles was.

Final outcome of the CCTV

We then proceeded to shoot Mile’s vlogs in Hannah’s hall. We shot both the day and night scenes through the use of lighting in the room to show various times and states of mind. In our attempts at budgetry, we used stacks of books and wallet as a makeshift tripod, a piece of kitchen towel over the lamp as a diffuser, and blutac as a makeshift holder. It was budget, but it worked.

Fortunately for us, Hannah was very comfortable in front of the camera and handled the challenge of conveying a deteriorating state of mind very well – I supported this through the usage of lighting, space, wardrobe, and hair (or make up).

 Final outcome of vlogs

dont you think it looks like we REALLY shot it at night?

One challenge we faced was one scene where we had to place the camera just right on a tilted surface as we really wanted the dutch angle shot in this moment – so Joel and the team crafted an elaborated choreography where he will position the camera from the bed in the darkness to a perfectly timed series while we chose strategic spots to hide, which you can watch below (please excuse the off sync, it wasn’t the best take used and I got locked out too often)

If you look closely, you can see Joel directing hannah through the art of charades



The day started with shooting the second half of the vlogs. I was very fortunate to have an extremely dedicated and talented team that transformed a corner of a space into a hideout with a board, string, newspaper and lots of tape. We originally intended to shoot the scene in our actual space, however decided against it as the audio would become echo-y and inaudible.

So we sourced for a hidden classroom and shot there. We also used the table in the room and hid a lot of stuff on it. Once again we see the return of our budget ways and secured a red LED light with tape, diffused the light with a piece of paper and held up the board with a stool taken from a classroom next door (don’t worry we returned everything).

We also considered about Mile’s acting and how the lighting and space complimented it. I was very thankful that Joel (the cinematographer) was very observant to lighting and lit the scene so beautifully to subtly show the state of mind in the character without it looking too obscure.

We then shot Deryck and Hui En’s murder scene. We once again borrowed the ladder and shot some CCTV footages.

Watch our Behind The Scenes here
(but sorry, we didn’t really shoot day 1 cause it was so busy)


We began setting up the space for the installation. With my art director’s vision, we first set up the projector then placed the ‘screens’ the images were going to be projected on.

I watched youtube videos about projection mapping and utilized a grid method to determine where the two videos will be, then fit them to a grid projected on the board. We then worked backwards and placed our articles, threads and photographs around the screens and tied threads to link articles and photographs together.

Some challenges we faced was firstly finding a way to mount the board onto the wall, we tried double sided tape, blutac and even propping it against a stool – however we ultimately used an easel as it was the most stable and probably something Miles would have used in a space like that.

This was the final layout for the installation.

More details on the installation and video in the next post here

Interactive Storytelling – Projection Mapping Research

I remember when I was visiting Japan during my post-ORD trip, I visited Disneyland (the happiest place on earth). The most significant thing I remembered was my first projection mapping experience where they turned Cinderella’s castle alive with stories, and a flurry of colorful lights and even to the extent of warping it’s structure.

There is something magical about projection mapping that alters the structure of a building and allows us to see a structure in a new light (no pun intended).

Projection Mapping (or video mapping) is one of many things on the rise in installation art. It is the usage of everyday video projectors, but instead of projecting it onto a flat screen or surface, light is mapped onto any everyday surface turning any 3D shape into an interactive display.

It is a form of spatial augmented reality sometimes it is done on furniture, cars, and even familiar or famous buildings. It allows artists to fit any desired image onto the surface or object – adding dimention, create optical illusions or create motion into previously static objects.  It is a recently popular trend of a form of audio-visual narrative.

There are many ways that projection mapping is utilized, and it is primarily grouped into four categories.

First being video jockeying (or VJ’ing) where live events are augmented by projections that are fully dynamic, controlled live and consist of pre-programmed videos and combinations of effects and overlays. This is allows live concerts to do the impossible and turns the stage alive, dynamic and interactive.

Secondly, we have theatrical mapping. This is where scened are ‘cued’ on demand in a choreographed order. The images mapped onto the space are interactive and synchronized to the dance or on stage performance.

Thirdly, we have interactive mapping . This is less performance based and more directed towards turning a space ‘alive’ through a looped video or interaction with the environment.

Lastly, we have video mapping. It is a single fluid video that is not interactive and plays from beginning to end.

Another recent local projection mapping done in Singapore

I was fascinated by projection mapping as it allowed forgotten and familiar spaces to once again be sparked into life again through a unique form of interactive space and I was stoked to experiment with this method to allow my space to come alive in a narrative way.