[4D Final Assignment] Halloween Gone Wrong

Nick is an ostracised freshman in school due to his sloppiness and lack of motivation in life. He tries to make friends but always ends up in rejection, leading him to be labelled as a weirdo in school. In a desperate attempt to make friends, he attended the school’s Halloween party as a vampire but turns out to be a feeble attempt when he caught his friends gossiping about him. Realising that his last ditch of effort had went a waste, Nick isolates himself in the washroom and stares at his reflection in the mirror as he questions his identity. The emotional turmoil from constant rejections starts to turn him into a psychopath as he sees himself as a real vampire. Wearing the identity of a vampire, he began to seek revenge on his friends. The revenge started as a means to display his prowess but gradually turn nasty. He starts hunting them and taking them down one by one.

Actor: Nevin (Main)
Cameraman: Jafri and Nevin
Screenplay: Nevin and Jafri
Storywriter: YuQing and Jafri
Production Designer: Yen
Film Editor: Nevin
Logistics: YuQing
So, here’s a timeline of our work progress :
timeline24 Oct: Storyline Discussion

Among all the genres, we decided to work on horror. Firstly, we felt that it was a genre that works to the strength of our team because Yen is well-versed in production design while Jari enjoys working with lighting. Secondly, horror allows us to experiment a lot more with visuals. And lastly, it was a genre that pushes us out of our comfort zone and work on something new to all of us. Honestly speaking, none of us were fans of horror shows except Yen. Nevertheless, we wanted to seize this production as a good learning opportunity for the team.

As a team, we had an endless flow of ideas. We were watching trailers after trailers and discussing horror stories one after another. Ideas were just floating everywhere. Hence, the storywriters had to intervene and filter the ideas and string them into a logical narrative. In the end, we decided to settle on a story that revolves around Halloween as Halloween was just around the corner at the point of discussion. We were also partly inspired by the film ‘The Clown’ – a film where the dad dress as a clown for his son’s birthday party but could not remove it afterwards. The mishap takes a bad turn as the clown costume turns out to be demonic.

However, we decided to change the context such that it resonates with our audience – our classmates. One of the major change was the main character which we wanted him to be a misfit. This idea was from Nevin when he acutely pointed out that misfits had been interesting character archetypes in recent years eg Perks of Being a Wallflower and Big Bang Theory (nerds!). Even Disney movies work with outcasts in their shows.


Our list of reference on Google Doc:
screen-shot-2016-11-16-at-2-13-11-pm screen-shot-2016-11-16-at-2-14-25-pm

This is the initially the (brief) story outline we had:

  1. Nick is a very messy and unmotivated freshman who is ostracised by his schoolmates.
  2. However, he wants to make friends (shaping force of story)
  3. Flyer for a Halloween house party given out in school.
  4. X is loner and not invited but picks up a flyer for the party
  5. He’s keen to join. (he smirks at the invitation)
  6. Go home and find an old set of costume in the attic
  7. X tries on the costume. Costume fits him perfectly and completely covers his face.
  8. X goes to party and no one recognises him in the costume.
  9. Overhears a conversation where other people are gossiping about him.
  10. X get angry and leaves the party silently.
  11. Reaches home and want to remove costume but realises he can’t. Costume is stuck on him.
  12. He starts hunting people.He struggles to remove the costume

This story outline gradually took on a more solid form and logical flow in narrative along the way as we film.

We planned out filming scenes in details. However, many of the scenes were not used eventually as we came up with new storyboard along the way.

screen-shot-2016-11-16-at-2-16-53-pm screen-shot-2016-11-16-at-2-17-23-pm

24 Oct: Film Footage at Halloween Party

Since OUR school was having a Halloween party, we decided to seize the chance and film footage for our trailer. Jafri and Nevin filmed different students in their costumes and some of the footages were ultimately used in the final trailer. (In a way, we had blurred the line between fiction and reality.)

30 Oct: Act 1 filming at Jafri’s Hall
In order to establish our character as messy, we decided to use Jafri’s hall to show a messy room. As Jafri’s hall was very neat,  we took some effort to mess it up for our main character. It was our first shoot and our progress was pretty slow. A lot of time was spend trying to figure out how to shoot the crane shot smoothly with just Jafri’s arms. #budgetproblems

31 Oct: Act 1 filming in school

Most of the scenes film on this day did not make it into our final trailer as we thought the shots were too long and not impactful enough to establish the character. The establishing shot of our character was almost becoming a narrative for a full film. However, we got a lot more practice with panning and tracking shots on this day. Watch the video to see our progress for that day and the outtakes for the trailer.

1 Nov: Act 2 filming in school
This was one of the most productive shoots we had and a lot more fun. YuQing was starting to understand what’s going on in filming. Yen finally had her chance to shine. Jafri was getting better with camera movements. And most importantly, Nevin finally became a vampire on set. Woohoo!


Yen, our make-up artist


(Nevin) the vampire in making







And YuQing brought a skateboard to set that makes dollying shots a lot more productive and fun. We were able to get smoother dollying shots in the scene where the vampire stalks his victims.

Most of the scenes we shot today were for the climax and re-shoots for the character.
For the re-shoots of the character, we decided to reference ‘Friend Request‘ to show how Nick is being rejected by his friends – Nick is being shoved aside by a jerk he considered as his friend.

gifs website

gifs website





The scene where the victim turn around to see Nick was one of our favourite scene. This was referenced from The Conjuring trailer.

gifs website

gifs website






The filming started at about 6pm and ended at about 12:30 midnight. It was a productive day.

3 Nov: Climax filming at ADM, Hall 12 and NTU Running Track
This was probably one of the most memorable shots for the group as we finally moved out of ADM and shot at new places. We were shooting at a lot of outdoors shots at night (ie carpark and running track) so we had to use the Caliber lights we had loan from school. They were really useful. The low lighting condition really puts our lighting skills to test as well as coordination between actors, cameraman and the grip (aka human tripod). Also, as the scenes for the climax are usually fast cuts, we less concerned about camera movement but instead focus on character movements and shoting angles. Our cameraman/director/screenwriter also tried to experiment and shoot more footages that could be useful while editing for the trailer.

An overview of our filming schedule:

Date Scenes – Location Props
24/10/2016 Discussion of storyline
30/10/2016 Scene 3 & 5 – Jafri’s Hall Shabby outfit for Nick

Vampire costume

31/10/2016 Scene 1 – Classroom

Scene 2 – Locker Hallway

Scene 4 – Locker Hallway

Choco Bar

Rough Paper

Halloween Flyer

1/11/2016 Conversation outside of party – TBC

Nick’s struggling transformation from Halloween costume to full vampire – Jafri’s Hall

Full werewolf hunting down of Qing along ADM hallway

FULL vampire costume

Werewolf costume

Costume for Qing

Costume for Jafri

3/11/2016 Intense Hunting Scene:

  1. Forest area
  2. Carpark
Fake blood

The editing were all done by Nevin. It was a tedious process to edit fast cuts and many of our scenes were shot in low lighting which needed more processing. Thankfully, our responsible editor continues his editing even on his flight to NYC which allowed us to submit a more finished piece on final submission/presentation day 🙂

Nevin editing en his flight to NYC :)

Nevin editing our trailer on his flight to NYC 🙂


We put harmony in interracial!


Just for the fun of it, we decided to include a logo for our group which encapsulate the alphabets H-A-R-M-O-N-Y. We called ourselves Harmony Production because coincidentally, our group members we all of different races- Chinese, Indian, Malay and Vietnamese. We put harmony in interracial 🙂

And, let’s end off with  some bloopers and behind-the-scenes 🙂

The Blind Side – Reflection + Process


“After a five-hour night flight and another hour of commute, I finally arrived at the hotel. The last traces of tiredness that had settled in my body were quickly ebbing away; I was all ready to explore the city of Melbourne. Before I left the hotel, I folded the white cane I was carrying and stored it in my bag. It was an aid, but also a crutch. The cane seemed to magnify my disability and, in some way, my insecurities of appearing inferior.

I was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa at the age of five, a condition that causes  my vision to steadily deteriorate. It was predicted that I would be completely blind by the time I was twelve, but seven miraculous years had passed and I still had 10 percent of my sight. Everyday since has been a blessing to me, especially as I was acutely aware of the fact that I was seeing on borrowed time. It was for that reason too that I made a goal to catch as many of the most spectacular sunsets around the world as possible. Though this was going to be my 22nd trip abroad, it was the first time I was travelling on my own. It took my parents much convincing before they agreed to let me go. Bringing the cane with me was one of the few concessions I had to make; of course, I would have much preferred to rely on my heightened sense of direction and spatial awareness to get around.

As I stepped out into the streets, it hit me then that I was completely and frighteningly alone. And I couldn’t be more exhilarated.

My first stop was the State Library. As soon as I walked into the La Trobe reading room, I was left awestruck by the magnificence of its octagonal architecture. Natural sunlight filtered through the glass dome ceiling and bathed the massive library and the many shelves lining the walls with a warm hue. I made my way to a less lit corner to take a look at the books when I suddenly bumped into a low-level shelf that I had not noticed due to my night blindness.

Thud. Thud. Two thick hardcovers dropped to the floor – the noise they made as they landed was amplified amidst the deafening silence of the library. Embarrassed, I hastily shoved the books back on the shelf before discreetly leaving the room.

It was the first of several bumps and trips in an oddly accident-prone day. I reassured myself that I would soon get used to my unfamiliar surroundings. The bouts of clumsiness did little to dampen my high spirits, as I went about visiting various places of interests in the days that followed.

It was my last morning in Melbourne, and I had saved the best for last. I was finally going to see the best sunset, one I had heard so much about. I had woken up earlier than usual that day. I squinted and tried to adjust my eyes to the blackness around me. The room was shrouded in an unusual darkness. Panic coursed through my veins. It couldn’t possibly be today. I groped around for the light switch and turned it on. But everything remained the same. The world was pitch black.

I was momentarily lost. Losing my vision was something I had always anticipated, but was never prepared for. Furthermore, I had yet to be fully efficient with my white cane! The independence I had built for myself over the years was gone along with my vision. I reached for my cane and tried to get to the door. A routine that typically took six seconds was now a 60-second exercise, as I kept bumping into furniture and knocking over objects. It was frustrating that a simple task had become so difficult. Maybe this room is too cramped. Maybe it’d be better once I’m somewhere more spacious.

I got changed and slowly got to the street level after a slow and steady 30 minutes. It was indeed more spacious outside the safe confines of the hotel. But never had the bustle of a city sound more threatening than exciting. The rumbling of the subway in the distance, the cars zipping across the roads and the beeping of the traffic lights suddenly seemed overwhelming, and fed my growing trepidation. As I was figuring out directions to the convenience store, I heard a bicycle bell ringing from behind me. Which direction should I stay on – left or right? The ringing got louder. The norm is left, right? Is it the same in Melbourne?


I stood rooted to the ground, my eyes shut tight and my hands in clenched fists, hoping for the best as the bicycle came closer. While the bicycle missed me, it did nothing to soothe my irritation – I was unable to even  walk down the streets. I decided this was it. I was returning home. Once back in the hotel room, I feverishly started packing. As I was searching for my cane that I had angrily tossed aside, I tripped over it and fell over. Warm tears trickled down my face as I pounded the floor in frustration. I felt utterly useless.

Just then, I heard my room door being unlocked, followed by soft footsteps. “Sorry to intervene, I’m the housekeeper.  Is everything all right?” A lady’s voice spoke in a slightly accented tongue. She introduced herself as Jessica. I could feel her soft touch as she helped me up. With no one to turn to, I started pouring out my grief to her.
“My dear, never let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. Master your cane like it’s an extension of your body. Meanwhile, continue chasing your goals. It might be tedious in the beginning, but persevere and you will emerge stronger. You’ve lost your sight, but not your freedom or independence.”

“You’re a beautiful lady with a beautiful heart,” I told Jessica. “Ha! I’m not sure you’d say the same if you could see my face.” She took my hand and ran it across her face. I could feel a rough patch of skin on her right cheek, stretching from her nose to her chin. It was a massive scar.

“How did this…?” “I was a runaway bride from Pakistan and this was an acid burn that I got as  punishment. I had no freedom back home. Thankfully, an NGO helped me and even found me a job here in Melbourne. I felt so relieved, I’ve never felt true freedom till I was here. So Alison, keep your chin up and embrace this new freedom. Stop packing and resume your journey!”

Jessica was right. Compared to what she had gone through, I was still in a far better state than she could have asked for. Life had to go on. Still fumbling with my cane, I headed out and continued with my city tour. By evening I was on my way to the Eureka Skydeck. During the 38-second elevator ride to the 88th floor, I felt adrenaline rushing through me. My ears were popping as we entered higher altitudes. As I exited the lift, I could hear the excitement of the children around me, presumably looking through the binoculars that were scattered around the deck.

“Look at the sun!” I heard several kids exclaiming. I tried to picture the sunset I’ve seen in my mind’s eye so many times. As I placed my hands against the glass panels, I could feel the heat emanating from the sun. Then, lifting my face to the sky, I let my skin bask in its warm rays. I imagined myself touching the sun. For the first time, I was ‘viewing’ a sunset with my entire body. It was a moment to remember.

It hit me then that I was completely and frighteningly alone. I couldn’t see. But I was at peace.”

Written by: Yu Qing
Edited by: Rahimah

The above is the original narrative story I had. However, I had condensed the story into a simpler 3-Act structure for my photo montage video.

  • Building Action: Establishing character + goals + Journey
  • Climax: Turn blind
  • Ending: Achieve goal

I love films about man vs man and was inspired to create such a story. One of the main movie reference for this video was ‘Wild’ (2014) where the story revolves around protagonist, Cheryl Strayed, embarking on a journey of self-discovery and healing. The film often uses wide angle shots to capture the magnificent environment. More importantly, the background provide a narrative element of the scene. wild

Picking up from this, I had also used the same for my work.


During the week for filming, I happened to be in Melbourne. Hence, A number of my shots were taken there and then post-edited on Photoshop.

Another show I had referenced was Netflix series – Unbreakable Kimmy Schimdt. The show is about Kimmy who had been away from civilisation for 20 years and only visited New York City after 20 years. Her bubbly disposition is expressed through her colourful dressing.


In order to present Melbourne city as it is, I only adjusted the vibrancy and had minimal colour distortion for the photos. Instead, the only scenes where I had greater control of colours was the climax where she had turned blind:


As for the background music, they are all from the movie Forrest Gump. Similarly, the show is about the ups and downs in Gump’s life journey, hence the music was largely relevant to my story.


Photo Reference:

Santorini, Turkey:
Eureka Skydeck  (Low Vantage):
Sound Effects:


Curating Self: BTS

‘The Things that Matters’ :

This post card was a reminder of the summer vacation I spent with my cousins this year. As we live on the opposite ends of the world, we cherish every opportunity we get to meet up.

I wanted to capture the times I reminisce whenever I stared at the post card during post-vacation. Hence, I decided to reference Wes Anderson’s retro colour palette.


Also, I’ve explored different body language and vantage points to integrate myself into the story of the object. I think the first few shots were successful in evoking emotions but not the right one I was looking for in my photo story. The use of silhouettes seems ominous. I looked like I’m fussing over some unpaid bill than reading a happy postcard.Capture3

The last photo, where the background was strongly lit against my subject matter, evokes a happier note as I read the happy note (oh bad pun!). After all, who sends sad messages on postcards?

‘The Place that Matters’ :

Among the places I had in mind, I’ve decided that the serenity of the yacht club was the most fascinating to me. The rhythmic crashing of waves, the bobbling yachts at the dock and the whiff of briny air is a breakaway from my daily cosmopolitan life.

Hiroshi Sugimoto’s seascapes series photos were the type of quality I was trying to capture. However, due to nature’s restrictions and my lack of capabilities, my images weren’t as powerful as his. Mine seems like cliche tourists shots.

Hiroshi Sugimoto Landscape 005 1989 Gelatin silver print 47 x 83 inches © 2012 Hiroshi Sugimoto

Time Exposed: #367 Black Sea, Inebolu , Hiroshi Sugimoto, 1991, print



IMG_8781 IMG_8784

Hence, I decided to try a different approach to capture the sea-view. And this time round, I was much luckier.
IMG_8680 IMG_8683

Being a yacht club, the yachts were one of the main subject matters I would capture and work on (derh!). While the yachts varied in forms, they were parked neatly in their respective docks. This creates an interesting visual as the mast of the boats converges to form a one-point perspective. The first few attempts weren’t as satisfying due to unbalanced composition and poor framing.

IMG_8659 IMG_8666

And finally, efforts were paid off when I managed to capture the post-sunset shot!

This photo is greatly influence by one of my favourite photographer, Andreas Gursky.

F1 Boxenstopp I, C-print, 88 5/8 x 239 3/8 inches, 2007

F1 Boxenstopp I, C-print, 88 5/8 x 239 3/8 inches, 2007

Gursky’s photos often reflect order among chaos. While his subject matter is not deliberately placed in precise positions, his photos turns out to be very controlled in composition and lighting.

Lastly, the photo of the walkway at the dock was to bind the 2 previous photos and form a complete photo story of my sentiments on the yacht club.

IMG_8798…… and then I went home after a loooooooooong day.

Thanks for reading this loooooooooong post.

Curating Self II:

The Place that Matters

IMG_8683 IMG_8798 IMG_8822

The rhythmic crashing of waves, the whiff of briny air and the occasional egrets that glides across evening sky is my kind of perfect way to end the day. Its serenity and calmness is a much needed break from the hectic cosmopolitan life.

To read more about the work process, click here.

Curating Self I:

The Things that Matter

1.1 1.3 5.1We spent our first summer vacations together for the first time this year. To do everything we missed out in the last 8 years within 1.5 month is simply too short. Thankfully for the photos we had taken and the postcards sent, I can easily reminisce on those time we spent together. Looking forward for our next meet up!

–Your Cousin