Project 4 – Poetics of Time // Cooking with Fizah




A slow-motion film showing the process of cooking fried rice, a local dish common throughout every race in Singapore.

I hope to highlight the effort put into cooking our home-cooked meals by our unsung heroes; our mothers, fathers, grandparents, siblings or maid. By capturing the process of cooking an everyday meal in a mesmerizing way, I hope that the audience has a better appreciation of what usually would be a mundane daily cooking.

I wanted to create content that almost everybody can relate to. I am aware that it is impossible to, there will be exceptions. Initially, I wanted it to be about a mother’s cooking, however, after consideration, I realised that everybody has different predicaments thus may not be able to relate to mother’s cooking. To be completely honest, even for me, I am not able to relate.

Thus, I changed the idea to a home-cooked meal which I hope more people can relate to.

The idea was generated during my brainstorming process when I thought of some things that everybody loves. Hence, I decided to go with the topic of food because who doesn’t like food?

After which, I reflected on my own life where food comes along and thus thought of the meals my father prepared. Seeing him come home from work, despite being tired, he prepares dinner for the family to the best of his ability. Unfortunately, with my own circumstances, it has been difficult to thank and show my appreciation towards him.  Hence, I created this film in dedication to the unsung hero that is my father.


Initially, I wanted to recreate the idea of heaven from Project 3 through space. However, after setting out my objective of being relatable to my audience, I decided to think of new ideas instead. Especially for my idea of heaven, I believe the idea is heavily influenced by my idea of what heaven should be and thus this may not be relatable to my audience.


My goal for this project is to remind the audience to appreciate the love and thought put into making our home-cooked meals. I feel that we tend to overlook the effort that our mother, father, grandparents, maid or even siblings put into cooking our meals. I hope after watching the film, my audience will go home and remember to show their appreciation or just a say a simple thank you to their loved ones for their effort.


I’ve chosen to do the film in slow motion to capture the process in a captivating and mesmerizing way. Also, the film follows a sequential step by step process of cooking fried rice. Thus, creating a linear edited time.


I wanted to create a rhythm in my film by having a change in the shots every few seconds rather than showcasing the entire process which you would normally see on a cooking show.

In the first part of the film, the transition between each shot is a cut, whereas the second part, the transition turns into a fade. I wanted to highlight the change in the meaning between this two parts, thus I used different movements.

I wanted people to view the film at first as a mesmerizing cooking show, after which the film would unexpectedly change to something with a deeper meaning. Hence, in the front part of the film, there is the expectation for the viewers to watch the sequential process of cooking fried rice and I break this expectation by adding the message about coming home to a home-cooked meal.

I could not really decide on the duration of the film before filming because I wasn’t sure how long I should time each scene. The rough estimation I had was about 3-5 minutes. After filming and editing, I decided that 5 minutes was enough to captivate the audience and at the same time show the mesmerizing process of cooking a home cooked meal.


Before starting my filming, I had to do some research on how to make fried rice.

From the research, I extracted the ingredients that are required and also the step by step process of cooking fried rice.



The step by step process of cooking fried rice is crucial to creating the sequence of the film. The sequence of the film follows the process diligently. Hence, from the research I derived the sequence below:

Scene No. Step
1 Cooking rice
2 Chopping onions
3 Chopping chicken meat
4 Pouring out mixed vegetables
5 Starting fire
6 Pouring onion into pot
7 Stir-frying chicken
8 Pouring in onions
9 Stir-frying onions
10 Adding mixed vegetables
11 Stir-frying altogether
12 Drop in cooked chicken meat
13 Mixing together
14 Drop an egg into pot
15 Mixing everything
16 Add in cooked rice
17 Stirring all the ingredients
18 Drizzle in some soy sauce
19 Topping it off with spring onions
20 Table setting shots



Initially, I wanted to do the filming and cooking on my own but I realised that that is a difficult feat to perform. Hence, I got the help of my sister to assist me in cooking it while I film the process.

For the filming, I used my iPhone 6s configured to 1080p at 60fps on normal video mode to capture the process with the help of a tripod.

Here is a short behind the scenes footage of the process:


To edit the videos taken and create the slow motion effect, I used Adobe Premiere Pro CS6. This was my first time using Premiere Pro, as I usually work with Adobe After Effects. Fortunately, my experience with After Effects and other video editing tools helped with learning how to use Premiere Pro much easier.

All the videos taken were recorded at 60fps and imported to a 25fps sequence which allowed for the slow motion effect. However, I realised that the slow-motion effect was not obvious enough, thus I decided to speed some parts of the video by 2 times, mimicking what it would look like normally.

To create this edgier and cinematic look to the first part of the film, I added a cool tone on top of it whereas, for the second part, I opted for a warmer tone to illustrate the idea of home.

I added in music to help add to this contrast between this two parts, the front part being a slow immersive music and the second part being a cheerful, homely song.

Part 1

Part 2

Music credits:


Finding the right camera

I decided to borrow a DSLR camera from my friend to do the filming. The main reason why I wanted a DSLR was that I wanted high-quality shots and manual focus. However, I forgot to take into consideration that not all cameras are able to capture videos at 60fps. Unfortunately, the camera could only capture up to 24fps. I checked with the camera provided by the school and it could only capture up to 25fps. As suggested by Lei, I had to resort to using my iPhone 6S which offers the option of filming at 1080p with 60fps. However, the camera did not provide with best quality videos up to my expectation.

Exporting video

After I was done with editing, it was time to export my video and choosing the appropriate exporting setting. However, the estimated time it would take to export was about 5-8 hours. I have heard the horror stories of the time needed for exporting videos on Premiere Pro, but I completely forgot about it at that time. I did not expect it to be that long and I didn’t accommodate 5-8 hours for exporting. Hence, I had to resort to reducing the quality and size of the video export which helped in reducing the exporting time to 3 hours instead. I believe this could have been due to the slow processor of my laptop so I believe if I intend on using Premiere Pro in the future, I should invest in a newer and better laptop.



It is sad to say goodbye to 4D. It has been an amazing journey learning many new things such as photography and videography. Being new to the Arts scene, I haven’t developed my own style in many areas including 4D. Getting an opportunity to view my classmate’s own style coming to life has motivated me to discover my own style.


Project 3: Impossibilities of Being

A place I have never been before.

I envision heaven as a sort of a paradise for each individual. Only those who have done good deeds throughout their life are deserving to enter heaven. Hence they are rewarded with every possibility, making the impossible on earth, possible. In my video, I’ve depicted how MY heaven would look like.

Final Video



As recommended by Lei, I embarked on a research on the movie “Avatar”, sound composed by James Horner. I chose this movie because it depicted a different dimension from Earth, and thus the sounds used throughout the movie would be unearthly. In a lot of the environmental sounds, there were the sound of birds chirping and a melody playing in the background. There was also a sound of a female’s melodic singing which added to the ambience of the unearthly world.




Follows the story of a lady’s death and her entrance to heaven.

Low-Fi Storyboard

Hi-Fi Storyboard


Medium of Video

Since I am creating an entirely new world, I decided to create moving graphics to illustrate heaven. I chose moving graphics rather than still graphics because a lot of the sounds come from movement, thus I wanted to display these movements to accompany with the sounds. Also, throughout the entire video, we are seeing it from the perspective of the character. The graphics in the video was created in Illustrator and then imported to After Effects.

Scene Analysis

Scene 1


The story begins with the perspective of the character lying down in a grave.


As she is being buried, there are sounds of a male and a female mourning in the background. This is accompanied by the sounds of digging soil. As she gets buried, the background sound of people mourning and digging is muffled.

Scene 2


She gets completely buried, and the entire scene turns black. Her life flashes before her eyes which we don’t see on screen but we hear.


We first hear the sounds of a baby crying followed by a car crash. The baby crying is supposed to represent the first thing she hears when she was born whereas the car crash represents the last thing she hears before dying.

Initially, I wanted to create a sound sequence about some of her important life moments, e.g. wedding bells, applause after her performance. However, due to limited time, I cut down short to the first and last sounds in her life.

Scene 3


She slowly opens her eyes to see stairs and a door at the top. She climbs the stairs and arrives in front of the door. She proceeds to open the door.


In the background, there are sounds of angels and bells. As she climbs up the stairs, she hears a heartbeat, which is ironic because she is dead. This represents the beginning of a new life. When she reaches the top and opens the door, we hear the sound of a door opening.

Scene 4


She opens the door to find that she is completely surrounded by the ocean. As mentioned in Project 1, one of my favourite places is the beach. Hence, I created a space to illustrate this.

In this space, it is raining, my favourite weather. The sky is a sunset tinge which depicts my favourite time of the day.

We see from a distance what appears to be someone playing the piano.


In the background we hear environmental sounds of waves crashing, rain and birds chirping.

We can also hear a faint piano melody which gets louder as she gets closer.

Scene 5


Naturally, the sea should get deeper and deeper. However, we found that she is able to walk on water. This idea stems from my fear of the deep ocean. Even though I love the beach and sea, I get terrified at the idea of being out in the open, deep waters. Hence, I wanted to eliminate this fear by giving the character the ability to walk on water.


Initially, I wanted the walking to be accompanied by the sound of splashing water. As suggested by Lei, I replaced this with a sparkling sound to create a more surreal soundscape.

In the background, the environmental sounds from Scene 4 remain.

Scene 6


She realises who it is, and moves faster. The “camera” moves closer to the man and the piano.


Background environmental sounds continue.

Scene 7


It cuts to a scene of her embracing the man who she had missed. She has finally been reunited with the love of her life who passed away before her. In this scene, it is no longer a perspective shot and we can finally see our main character.


The piano melody stops, followed by the sound of him getting out from his chair and then, the sound of their clothes brushing against each other.

Sound Analysis

Scene No.

Sound Origins


Male mourning From the net – Link:


Female mourning Own recording by mimicking the sound of a female mourning


Digging soil Own recording by using a small shovel to dig through a bucket of rice and lowering the pitch on Audacity to make it sound more earthy than grainy.


A new-born baby crying


From the net – Link:


Car crash From the net – Link:


Angels From the net – Link:


Bells From the net – Link:


Heartbeat From the net – Link:


Door opening Own recording of a door opening

4 – 7

Waves crashing From the net – Link:

4 – 7

Rain From the net – Link:

4 – 7

Birds chirping. From the net – Link:

4 – 7

Piano melody From the net – Link:


Sparkling sound From the net – Link:


Chair dragging Own recording of chair being dragged


Clothes brushing against each other Own recording of rubbing clothes together

Classroom Exercise Part 1

Rhythm Irregular, progression of a narrative
Movement In most of the scenes, there is only one subject which is the primary focus of that particular scene. There isn’t any other subjects that distract our focus.

Scene 1:

The falling of soil, starts as a single group, and eventually, more and more groups of soil begin to fall until it completely turns pitch black.

Scene 4 – 6:

Gradually moving closer to the man on the piano. This movement gets faster in Scene 6.

Causality For example, we see someone playing the piano, and I believe there is an expectation that that person has a connection with the main character of the story and it is expected to meet this person.
Duration As given, the entire length of the video is about 1 minute. Throughout the duration of 1 minute, it follows a narrative. I think it felt quite short because the story was highly condensed in order to fit into the 1 minute requirement, so the story moved pretty fast.


Project 2: The Subverted Object


Task 1

Bucket in a toilet”

Idea was to display the bucket in its “natural” environment. Buckets are usually found in homes either in the toilet, kitchen or garden. Specifically for me, my buckets are situated in the toilet. Fortunately, my toilet was all white, which contrasts with the bright blue bucket, thus emphasising the attention on the bucket.

“Water Bucket”

For this photo, I wanted to highlight the purpose/use of the bucket.Buckets can be used to hold all sorts of things such as sand, fruits, cement, etc. One of the most common use of a bucket in a usual Singaporean homes is for holding water. In general, “bucket” and “water” are closely related to one another. Notice how the background was blurred, and the focus is on the water ripples/droplets in the bucket. In order to create this effect, I used shallow focus.

“Bucket Splash”

Buckets can prove to be useful in times of emergencies such as a fire. When loaded with water, buckets can be used to put out fires usually in a home, where there are no fire hose or hydrant in sight. Other than emergencies, it can also be used for having some fun time, like splashing water at one another.  In the recent years, there was the ice bucket challenge for raising awareness for the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis disease (ALS) which is an example of how a water filled bucket had been used. This shot was tricky because I needed to ensure that I took the photo at the right time by making use of shutter speed. Also, had to ensure that the angling of the water splashing was just right.

Task 2

Time to activate my imagination.

“Fashion Bucket”

Subverting an object which is commonly used for cleaning or gardening, as a fashion piece. You do not normally see people carrying around a bucket as a handbag. Usually, if you do see someone carrying a bucket, it contains some household items, water, sand, etc.  In this photo however, the model is displayed to be out shopping with a wallet in hand and a bucket as a handbag. To display the normality of carrying a bucket as a handbag in the society, I photographed this in a public place.

PS. the wind was on point that day.

“Crying Buckets”


Metaphorically, cry buckets means to cry a lot.  I thought why not make it literal by having the buckets cry. Thus also subverting the object, as buckets are inanimate objects that are incapable to express emotions. I printed out some crying faces and attached a different crying face to each bucket. I decided to go for more than one bucket to emphasize on the plurality of “cry buckets”.

“Bucket List”


When I first thought of bucket and subverting a bucket, the first thing that came to mind was bucket list. Bucket list refers to the things that you wish to do before you die. Culturally, we associate a bucket list with a handwritten piece of paper, full of all things you want to do.

My idea was to have the list of things we want to do ON the bucket itself. So I gathered some of my classmates’ bucket lists and cut them out into small pieces of paper. I then proceeded to paste this pieces of paper onto the bucket. Thus, creating a list on the bucket, hence making a  bucket “list”.

I wanted to spruce things up a bit and added a balloon into the mix. The balloon is trapped inside the bucket, this represents how all of our bucket list has not been fulfilled yet. Hopefully, one day we will be able to let the balloon go and fulfill all of our dreams.

Task 3

The photo I chose for Task 3 is the “Fashion Bucket”.

In the poster, I added the title “Feel confident with Bucket™”.

I wanted to give the “Bucket” a branding and display it as a high end luxurious handbag such as Chanel, Gucci, thus I decided to add the trademark.

My concept for this was to display the bucket handbag as a new fashion trend. In the photograph, the model appears to look confident and proud despite the fact that she is carrying a bucket as a handbag. The idea was to “sell” the bucket handbag as a tool for customers to boost their confidence, hence the “Feel confident” in the title.

I wanted the poster to look like an advertisement that you can find in a fashion magazine. Thus, the overall image of the poster gives off a chic & edgy vibe suitable for a page in a fashion magazine such as Elle, Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar.


During class, we went through a brain-storming session. Below are some images and ideas from the session.

This brainstorming session proved to be useful as I derived the idea of “Crying Bucket” through this exercise.


Initially during my test shots, I found that most of my photos of the “Water Bucket” appeared too dark even though I used a bunch of light from my phones and a torchlight. During my consultation with Lei, she explained to me how high shutter speed images needs to be taken with strong lighting. She advised me on either using strong spotlights or take the photos outdoor for as much natural bright lighting. Taking Lei’s advice, I managed to capture the image the way I wanted it.


A common comment from the class and Lei was that I could have pushed the idea of “high-fashion bag” even further by photographing it in front of a branded shop such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, etc. Through this comment, I realised that I’m still trapped in my comfort zone in Foundation 4D and I should challenge myself to step outside of the comfort zone for my future projects.

Project 1: Picture Story – Curating Self

Task 1

The first photo series I will be introducing is The Dark Side.

In this series, I wanted to highlight a different side of me which is darker.

Since I was using black and white, I had to play with light and dark colours in my photo by coordinating my clothes and even lipstick.

Task 1 – Hostile

The first photo, I wanted to reflect how people view me externally. I have had people tell me how I appear very hostile, especially when they met me for the first time. This hostile exterior makes me appear unfriendly and unapproachable.

To reflect this, I angled the camera from a slightly low angle to show dominance. I used dark lipstick to give off that scary feeling and give my lips a darker contrast. I used a white blazer for a lighter contrast from my hair which is black.

Task 1 – Emotional

Even though I have this hostile exterior, I actually have a softer side to me. I’m someone who gets emotional easily. I tend to cry in all sorts of situations; when I am angry, sad or happy. In this photo, I appear to look sad to reflect this emotional side of me. The focus for this shot is my emotions, hence I took a close up shot of myself.

Task 1 – Vulnerable

This emotional side of me triggers this other complex of mine which is how vulnerable I get. I tend to trust people too easily and end up getting betrayed by them. I shot this image from a high angle to show my vulnerability and my position on the floor (curled up) represents my inability to get back up on my feet after being betrayed. The surroundings are darker to represent the darkness enveloping me.

Task 2

My second photo series is titled A Friend in Me, the object that I have chosen is my childhood toy, my Tinky WInky.

A little backstory, when I was younger, I was often left at home alone. One day while rummaging through some cupboards, I found my Tinky Winky and instantly fell in love with it. Somehow or rather, I created an imaginary friend out of him.

In this photo series, since I was showcasing my childhood toy, I decided to incorporate some other childhood elements such as tying my hair into 2 pigtails and taking the photos at a playground.

Task 2 – A friend

In the first photo, I wanted it to represent the action of me talking to him like as if he was a real person when there was nobody around. The photo was taken in a full body shot interacting with the object. Since my object would appear small if I were to stand next to it, I decided to sit down instead.

Task 2 – Trust

In the second photo, it depicts my trust in this “friend” of mine, and how I used to think that we were constantly looking out for each other.  This shot was taken close up to showcase my emotions towards the object. I have also positioned the object in such a way that it appears to be looking at me.

Task 2 – Adore

In the last photo, it shows my adoration for this little friend of mine, and when I’m with him, it feels like there is someone there to get me through the difficult phases in my life. This shot was taken in a medium scale showcasing some of the playground.

Task 3

In my final photo series for Task 3, I have titled it as Escapism. The place I have chosen is the beach at East Coast Park. I am a nature girl and when I need some time away from the hustle and bustle of the city, this is where I escape to. This is the place that makes me forget all of my problems.

Task 3 – Crashing waves

The sound of waves crashing is comforting, watching the waves crash onto shore brings me peace. When I’m there, you would usually find me perched on top of the breakwaters just staring out into the sea. Hence, I captured a mid-range shot of the waves crashing on to the breakwaters.

Task 3 – Lonely Bar

ECP is a place that holds a lot of memories from camping out with my family, bbqing with my friends, cycling. However, no matter how many times I have explored ECP, somehow I always seem to be finding something new there. For example, this bar which I have never stumbled upon until the day I went down for the shoot. I positioned the camera in such a way that allows the bar to be in the centre of the frame.

Task 3 – Horizon

In my last photo, you see the convergence where the water from the canal meets with the sea in the centre of the photo. This convergence takes up half of the image, while the other half is taken up by the uninterrupted sky. You don’t get to see the sky like this in the city. Looking up at the sky reminds me how small I am to this world and how there are so many people living under the same sky who are going through difficult times. I think about how lucky I am to be here, to have food, shelter, companions. Makes me appreciative of the world around me.


Image from:

I did some research into Jo Spence’s Remodelling Photo History (Industrialization). The image features a portrait of a nude female, being Jo Spence herself, who dominates almost half of the picture and the rest of her body goes out of frame. In the background you see tall industrial structures whereas in the foreground you see the fading grass, both of this adds to the cynical effect of the image. The picture illustrates her feminism and protest against modernism in open landscapes.



For the first task, I was inspired by this piece of work where she used grey scale to convey a dark and sinister image. I decided to mimic this since it tied in with my theme which was The Dark Side.


Here are some of the photos that I took that didn’t make the cut and below are some reasons why.

Task 1

Left: The lighting in this photo was perfect however I thought this photo did not reflect the right emotions. It did not showcase the emotional side of me.

Right: For this photo, I thought of snapping a shot of tears flowing down my eyes. Unfortunately, the camera wasn’t able to focus properly at the right spot. Also, when I adjusted the colours of the photo to black and white, the tears were not visible.

Task 2

Left: Lei commented that the photo was a little too close and that I could afford to showcase more of the playground in the shot.

Right: The colours of the playground stood out more compared to my childhood toy which was washed out. The viewer’s attention would be to the brightly coloured playground (purple and green) instead of my toy and I. A suggestion from Lei was to wear a brightly coloured shirt that compliments my purple coloured toy.

Task 3

Initially, I wanted to showcase this series in 4 themes; Waves, Sand, Sunset and Food. However, after consultation with Lei, I realised that I should showcase ECP in a not so cliché way and that the photos I took of the sunset and sand were very typical “Instagram” shots. Hence, I stayed clear of this shots and selected photos that showcase a different side of ECP.


All in all, I understood how changing the scale and framing of a photo can alter or strengthen the meaning behind a picture. Some of the challenges I faced was the inability to control the camera while posing. I had to rely on using the timer and tripod for most of my shots. Hence, I wasn’t able to control the focus of the camera to my liking. It was much easier to be behind the camera where I have full control of the angling and focus of the camera. Nonetheless, this project has been a great adventure to discover the art of photography.