Having not actually filmed much and also adopting the Werner Herzog philosophy of having a broad idea of what I wanted to shoot and going to the locations to let the shots present themselves, in place of having a storyboard, I took quite a number of shots.
Coincidences always happen if you keep your mind open, while storyboards remain the instruments of cowards who do not trust in their own imagination and who are slaves of a matrix. If you get used to planning your shots based on aesthetics, you are never far from kitsch.
Coincidentally, Sabina is against kitsch too. (More on that in the previous post)
I used the movie “Before Sunrise” as a point of reference for this film; opting not to be influenced by the movie adaptation of The Unbearable Lightness of Being.
Before Sunrise is one of those films that had a profound impact on me as a teen. I still go back to it to learn about filmmaking. One of the many moments that I remembered from the film was the ending where we see wide shots of places where the two protagonists had been throughout the night. Because we’ve been through the journey with them, there is a feeling of, perhaps, nostalgia. I can’t quite pinpoint the feeling with words. Maybe it is the feeling that these places have a magical hold on us. They are just places to everyone else, but these places are memories to us. Yes. That is what I am trying to achieve; or at least just a fraction of.
The difference is I am jumping straight to the epilogue and expecting the audience to fill in the blanks themselves. This will either show my confidence or failure as a storyteller.
After my research, I had to come with a story for what would be shown in the 1 minute of film. Keeping in line with the character not having friends, I went out on my own on Chinese New Year to film the places I used to hang out with friends. The story is an epilogue. Imagine a person having gone through so many relationships and now has no one. This person is reflecting on his decisions.
I made my way to Pasir Ris and started with the nearest place, Coral Secondary School.
And found that they had already slapped a new name on top of the body and essence that was my school.
But I digress.
I walked the route from school that I normally took to get to the basketball court below a friend’s house.
Next I went over to Loyang point and Street 21 where my primary school was, and still is, located.
After all that I walked back to the MRT station and ended off the day’s shoot with the area near my house.
The next day, I went to more crowded places for variety before heading back to school.
The feel I was going for was somber and I know that it will turn out coming off as some prick with a stick up his butt- BUT I wanted to try taking something seriously for once. I always talk about how philosophy seems pointless because there is no answer. That is because I can never bring myself to make a stand. I am trying to make a stand and because I am, I have to question myself endlessly.
With that in mind I ask myself, “Who do I make art for?”
A lot of times I don’t want to answer the question because an answer might define me and I am supposed to be “light”.
The next couple of shots are pick up shots that I hold no feelings or memories of, but I took them anyway because they evoked an emotion that I wanted to convey.
What is the purpose of my art?
To entertain? To express? To communicate?