Documentary: Farmers in the Concrete Jungle

My team and I were very interested in Singapore’s farming culture — all we knew of it as millennials was that the ones in Singapore had a kind of tourism vibe to it. We initially considered if it was just unconventional farms that made us think of Agritourism – such as the crocodile and frog farms here – but upon further research, we found that Agritourism is actually a shared concept for almost all the farms in Singapore which have been relocated to one area due to land constraints.

This was how we landed on our documentary angle, on how farms in Singapore adjust to rising urbanization and demand for land, which results in them capitalizing on “Agritainment” to help with the high land costs. We will also explore the importance of and need for self-sufficiency in resource-lacking Singapore, which imports 90% of its produce overseas.

We have since visited 2 farms so far: The Jurong Frog Farm, and Bollywood Veggies, a vibrant jack-of-all-trades kind of farm.

Additional comments/reflection:

Team members: Alex, Clarinda, Lauren, Matthew

Our roles are pretty flexible throughout the whole process;  I am currently the main editor and will be writing the script/interview questions for the docu.

The is the test edit I did for our recent research visit to JFF: link.

You can also find our PPT slide with our initial ideas and brainstorming here: pdf link

We plan to visit again to shoot more cutaways and get a detailed tour of the farming process. Next on our list of farms to interview… in Malaysia!

Story Idea: Love Virtually


It’s win or die for an amateur-in-love who must get the girl or he’ll remain stuck in a Dating Simulation game forever.


Raymond has never had a girlfriend in his life. Forget girlfriends — as a socially stunted adult, the only girl he can ever communicate with without melting into a sputtering puddle is his 60 year-old co-worker at the café, Auntie Irene. On his birthday, sympathetic Auntie Irene (who has noticed his epic failure at serving female diners) gives him a weird present that looks like a porn dvd with a bracelet: She tells him it’s “LOVE VIRTUALLY,” a Dating Simulation game meant to train amateurs into successful Don Juans. That’s how she found her boyfriend.

Having no one to celebrate his birthday with, skeptical Raymond boots up the game on his PC and straps on the simulation bracelet. He blacks out and awakens to a techni-colour world. A girl stands before him; her face not quite clear as it switches to different faces each second, the sound of a countdown timer beeping in the background. When the timer hits 0, the girl’s face-changing roulette stops to show a feisty brunette, the words floating above her reads “Elodie”. Her name.

A Narrator’s voice explains how the simulation has picked the most suitable girl for him based on personality analysis (although Raymond is intimidated by her; she’s definitely not his type). The Narrator then lists the game’s rules: 1. He has to win the heart of Elodie and make her his girlfriend. 2) He only has three tries – if he fails all, he can’t leave the game. 3) Only he can hear his Narrator.

Panicked Raymond tries his hand at dating to save his life, but fails the first two times. Elodie seems to be a self-aware character. She can remember the events of his previous failure and tells him off for only caring about winning the game and not her heart. Raymond gives up trying to win the game. He attempts to cheer Elodie up on the third date, going to places and doing fun things without agendas. They both seem to have a good time — Raymond is happier here than in real life — and they tell each other about themselves (e.g. his job, his fears etc). In the end, Raymond tells her he doesn’t mind staying in the game if she’ll be his friend. Elodie smiles, touched. She gives him a virtual heart from her pocket, and says he has won the game. Raymond wakes, back to dreary reality.

The next day at work, he is shocked to see Elodie in real life, who greets him at the counter.

Elodie: “Why don’t we start off as friends first?”

Raymond is too shocked for words.

Elodie laughs and splutters, “I still seriously can’t believe you thought it was all a game the whole time. Love Virtually is a dating program!”


Additional Comments/Ideas:

Planning to shoot Raymond’s workplace at ADM’s cafe. As for the dating places, most likely a park, some other cafe(?), and maybe a playground.

Real life has a grey tinge, the scenes will be more desaturated. The game life will be vibrant and whimsical, and if possible, maybe using wide angle lens to show the distortion in reality. The narrator (who’s actually one of the many program operators for Love Virtually) will comment on Raymond’s progress during the game and mess with him.

Also still working out the kinks of the three tries and what Raymond will do for each date. Suggestions or critique very much welcome!