4D II Project 1 – Alter Ego


There exists a device that allows us to peer into other realities where different choices were made, resulting in very different people and personalities. This film is about a reality where King Lam grew tired of caring for others, perhaps through experience or upbringing. Over the years, King Lam had learnt that only weak people ask for kindness and the lazy make use of other people’s kindness. Being kind to others meant you were restricted in your actions because of society’s morals. It also meant that others would try to take advantage of you, which made you weaker compared to them. This film is a rejection of morals in the interest of taking care of oneself. It is about understanding that being kind was something for the weak and lazy, as well as how choices will slowly affect us. Therefore making choices for kindness was the same as making weak choices.  It is statement that to be truly free, you must let go of kindness.

Character Exploration and Research

One of the first parts of making this film was to complete tasks to decide what character I was to portray.


TASK 1 – List 5 characters from literature/fiction which whom you have a special affinity.

Andrew Ryan (Bioshock)

Michael Scott (The Office)

Geralt of Rivia (The Witcher)

Rick (Rick and Morty)

Matt Trent (Black Mirror)


TASK 2 – List 5 Public Figures

Philip Wang (WongFu Productions)

Damien Chazelle

J.K Rowling

Barack Obama

Steve Jobs


TASK 3 – List 5 people I know or have known

Dennis Wong

Adam Lee

Jason Wong

Alex Tan

Adriel Yeo


TASK 4 – Explain why I have an affinity towards the first 2 characters from each task

Andrew Ryan

– A good man who grew tired of socialism and collectivism in the world. He believed that one could only own what one earned and that science should not be restrained. He eventually created an underwater city with those values in mind. He called it Rapture and watched it fall apart because of those values. My affinity with him lies in the fact that I too understand how it feels to have something you earned get taken away, or be shared for the “greater good”.

Michael Scott

– A regional manager of Dunder-Mifflin, a fictional paper company in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He used to be a salesman before being promoted to his current position and his normal tactic was to be friends with everyone. Unfortunately that doesn’t work all the time and he often fails to do his job. I can relate to this as I often try to avoid stepping on other people’s toes and end up making my own life more difficult.

Philip Wang

– An Asian-American film maker who is best known for his work on his YouTube channel, WongFu Productions. He believes in the good inside of people and supports other Asian film makers. This is how I relate to him, as I try to find the good in other people’s actions.

Damien Chazelle

– Youngest director to achieve 14 Oscar Nominations (The last film to do that was Titanic), best known for Whiplash and LaLa Land. His vision of nostalgia with modern elements as well as his focus on story has made him a visionary director. I hope to one day become someone as good as he is and that is what links us.

Dennis Wong

– If I didn’t have an affinity with my father, I’d be lying. Empathizing with others, a sense of responsibility and bad jokes are just some of things he taught me. That and more is what forms the affinity we have.

Adam Lee

– A friend I made in Poly. Assistant producer at a production house and guitarist of emo-math rock band forest, Adam has always been a wild ride and generally fun to be with. He lives in his own world and genuinely does not care what others think. I try to remind myself to not care so much about others and that is what links us.


In the end I chose Andrew Ryan, antagonist of the video game Bioshock, because I felt it would be more interesting to portray a villain. So I started to do more research on him. I had played the game a long time ago and remember being very impressed with the character on how he manipulated others and tried to control his underwater city as it spiralled out of control. Most of the research was gathered directly from the game.

The main inspiration is the first time you hear his voice which is near the start of the game.

It starts around 54 seconds. Below is a transcript of the speech.
“I am Andrew Ryan, and I’m here to ask you a question. Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow? ‘No!’ says the man in Washington, ‘It belongs to the poor.’ ‘No!’ says the man in the Vatican, ‘It belongs to God.’ ‘No!’ says the man in Moscow, ‘It belongs to everyone.’ I rejected those answers; instead, I chose something different. I chose the impossible. I chose… Rapture, a city where the artist would not fear the censor, where the scientist would not be bound by petty morality, where the great would not be constrained by the small! And with the sweat of your brow, Rapture can become your city as well.”

My own monologue is largely based off this speech. It starts with a question and ends off with a positive answer. Of course, there are other famous quotes that define Andrew’s character.
“ No Gods. No Kings. Only Man”
“A man chooses. A slave obeys”
“We all make choices. But in the end, our choices make us”

I could already get a sense of this idealistic man who believed in a better tomorrow. But something had caused his fall from grace and so I researched more.

Ryan’s philosophies stem from Objectivism and Meritocracy. The former being a philosophical system developed by Russian American writer Ayn Rand, which Andrew Ryan mainly followed one guideline, “Do not take what you do not deserve”. He was a young man who watched the Soviet Union destroy his family business and his country. This led him to believe that the world was created by great men who strove to make their own way and any time parasites controlled the world, they would ruin it. His impression of communism soured greatly. He fled to America where he felt great men could prosper and for a while, he did. But he saw more people who benefited undeservedly from the labours of others and finally when he witnessed the destruction of Hiroshima, he decided that was the final straw. Science and researched had been harnessed to create weapons for parasites to destroy anything they could not seize.

He created the underwater city of Rapture and filled it with the world’s best and brightest. It was a paradise of freedom and prosperity, where a culture of entrepreneurship was unrivalled. However, his own ideals did not allow him to place regulations on the market so illegal business started popping up and his own belief that they should not rely on the outside world created a hole in the market because people wanted things from the outside world. This was the beginning of Rapture’s slow descent. So it was a story of how one man, in an attempt to escape what he saw as constraints, started to destroy everything he owned.

Based on this research, there were certain characteristics of Ryan I could draw upon. Namely his idealism and anti-altruism. I linked this to the fact that I believe I may have been too nice at times and created a concept where I would be another version of me, one who did not believe in kindness and opposed it. With the speech as a base, I had my monologue roughly complete.

I based the visuals of the film on old 1960s films, with grainy film damage and sepia color tones as the world had largely started adding colour into their films. I could have gone with black and white but I enjoyed the dash of colour the sepia tones gave and the aged look it had. I researched how to create these film effects, such as the rolling offset, frame flickering, grain and the film reel melting.

Like many of the films in that period, I chose to leave the camera mainly stationary. I worked on the transitions as they generally showed what an old film really was like. However, I was also inspired by Satoshi Kon, a Japanese animator who’s transitions are very organic and followed into one another. Thus the scene with the suit walking towards the camera and then transitioning to walking away from the camera was created.

Challenges of the film process was mainly figuring out how to make the scene look nice with so many stationary shots. There was also the matter of voicing over the clips and making sure they fit within the time. It was also challenging to bring out that side of me and maintain it.  Fortunately, I managed to overcome these challenges (at least I think so). I learned a lot about more transitional effects and how to find and properly realise a character during this project. Hopefully I can bring these over to my next project.



The last 2 parts were actually removed to cut down the film timing. But I felt this was fine as well because the message still stayed the same. I planned the rough framing, what would my VO be saying and any movements within the film. I did not remove the start because I felt it was interesting that while I explained how the device showed another world, the audience would be watching another world as well. It seems to be the basis of films because of the way we show audiences other worlds, personal or otherwise.

Here’s the film, hope you enjoy it. The password is “kindness”

ALTER EGO – 4D II Project 1 from Wong King Lam on Vimeo.

Que Sara Sara – Research, Process and Final ALL IN ONE

In the beginning photo_2017-02-07_05-20-49

Before any research, I looked into designs for my 4 jobs and came up with 3 per job. 3 of these job concepts are in the above picture.

The 1st row was being an Author. The ideas were based around paper, pencils and a series of books. The one using a row of books on shelves was chosen in the end.

The 2nd row was being a Magician. The ideas were based around cards, rabbits and cloth. The rabbits were chosen in the end, I think because it was very cute.

The 3rd row was for Musician. I focused the three ideas around guitars and guitar picks. The one based around the guitar strings curling into my name was chosen.

The last job was based around being a professional video gamer. I tried to use old and new games to make it more interesting, but I did not really base it off a game. In the end, it made the concept weak and it was easier to look to a certain game for inspiration.

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These were what I based my concepts on and as I looked more into the bookcase concept, I researched another images to base my design on.

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So first I created the shelf using shapes and a gradient overlay + drop shadow to give a sense of depth.


The first books added were based on simple minimalist designs and spelled out “King”. These were made with shapes, some custom stickers and a few free vector images lying around. I used colors to try and draw the eye towards the individual letters. The designs correspond with the types of books that I wanted to write. Like the “K” is a fantasy book, “I” was made with a barcode kind of design to be a sci-fi kind of book. “N” and “G” are of the thriller genre.

“LAM” were added and I based “LA” on a crime novel so I went with dark blue, a bright contrasting pink. The detective image was based on a vector. “M” was based a graphic novel sort of design, so I added the silhouette of characters, plus a more hand written font.


Lastly I just added some additional books at the bottom to fill out the space.

The difficulties I had for this were figuring out how to achieve the look using photoshop. I played around with the shapes and colors to give it a slightly 3D look. I also needed to base my designs around certain books because creating a new design while thinking how to incorporate one character of my name is a tall order. Good thing I knew what the spine of books looked like and I just followed that.


For this concept, I didn’t really look online to base it on a design. I just based it off the sketch I had, which the design was approved. I felt like I could challenge myself into creating something cute. The idea was based on the magician’s trick of pulling rabbits out his hat.  magicianI only looked online for tips on how to create a proper top hat. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mV1WlCWDSlo&t=875s)




The rabbits were created from shapes and originally were quite big. But in order to draw attention to my name, I had to make their heads smaller and their ears bigger. Their ears were just shapes that I had warped or combined into new shapes, in order to create letter. I added a gradient overlay into the hat to give it a texture and some inside of the hat as well, to create depth. The rabbit eyes were going to be pink as some rabbits were, but they looked terrifying so I changed it into grey.

The difficulty here for me was getting the ears to look ok while expanding their size on the rabbit’s heads. The most difficult letter was G as I had to bend it around and often it would clash with N. I felt it worked out in the end.


This concept started as me wanting to be a game designer, but it was difficult to visualize. So I switched to a professional gamer. In order to narrow down the scope of the designs, I chose the game “Overwatch”. Since I had the game, I played the game to try and find out what elements I could take. Below are some screenshots from the game.

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I wanted to make use of the various weapons to leave bullet holes on the environment. The game does not leave bullet damage on walls unfortunately, so I had to add the bullet holes in Photoshop. I used a character (Soldier 76) who carried a conventional assault rifle so that I could use larger bullet hole effects.


The bullet holes are arranged to spell out “King”. After that I needed to add some in-game elements, but I didn’t want it to overpower the text so I put a small simple one by the corner.


The difficulty of this design came with finding the proper bullet hole vectors that would fit on the texture of the wall. Also finding the right designs from “Overwatch”, was difficult because it is quite a new game.


For this one, I wanted to make the music a part of the design. But it was difficult to think of a way, so I reduced it to having the guitar spell out my name using its strings. I based the design on an actual guitar and made the strings as shapes. I tried to use the pen tool to curve the strings into my name, but it was difficult to do with my skill level. So I resorted to using a font and adjusting it as necessary with the puppet warp tool. 2017-02-07-19

I added a vignette effect to bring out the contrast and added wood textures to add to the design of the guitar.

The difficulty of the design was to make it look realistic and bending the strings without the actual know how. I couldn’t learn the pen tool but managed to figure out the puppet warp tool.


I learned a lot about aspects of design I was not very sure of as well as how to use specific tools. It was an enlightening experience. I also learnt I can’t trust myself to work after 4am, cause I just lie on my bed and sleep. I also learnt that some skills are just easier to understand when you have friends and I should ask my friends so that I don’t spend an entire afternoon trying to do one small part of a design.