Escape (Home)


This film was the first film I directed that I felt could probably be put into my portfolio. I’m a lot happier with the result of this film compared to the first 7-shot assignment.

I was originally very nervous about shooting a film, unsure if it will turn out the way I hoped it would in my head. Especially after seeing my classmates’ work in the first assignment, I was very unconfident in my abilities as a director/storyteller. But after working on and acting for my classmates’ films, I got to learn a lot by observing the way they direct their cast and crew on set. The practical lesson that Ms Nicole gave us about production also made me think about more creative shots I could put into my film and to have shots that told a story, not just captured a scene.

I’m so happy with my actors because each of them brought out the character I was trying to portray perfectly. I was surprised by how accurately they played their roles, exactly like how I imagined it in my head. Without them, I wouldn’t have a film to direct (or i’d just have a bad film).

Some mentions for people who basically saved my butt during this project:

Having Fendi as my DP was very helpful not because he’s the best camera operator, but because I trust him to work hard for every shot that he works on. He was a great partner in this process, from pre-production all the way to post production.

Chloe was the best AD/Producer. She caught and organised all the things i missed in the planning process. If you look at the shot-list and notice all the scribbles on it, that’s Chloe trying to keep me on time because my actors were on a tight schedule (and I didn’t plan my call sheet heh). Without her I would probably have had to call the actors back again for a second day of shoot. She is my lifesaver.

For this film, we shot at two locations because the first house had the set-up of the front door that we needed, where the father’s study/lounge faced the front door. But this house didn’t have a girl’s room I could shoot in.

Dad/Grandfather Argument Scene
Emily/Dad Argument Scene

I kept the dad/daughter argument behind a slowly track-out door shot for two reasons:
1) I didn’t want so many climaxes in this 5-min film. The argument between the Dad and his own father is already a heated start to the film and Emily deciding to kill her dad is another one. A third one would have been way too many.
2) I wanted to focus on Emily and her thought process after the fight, the contents of the fight were not as important. What was important was that the audience knew there was a fight prior to this.

Emily’s rant

Searching for weapon

This scene was fun to edit. Because I had Fendi track my actress around the kitchen several times from a few angles, I had a lot of footage to play with to get the perfect shot – good framing and in-focus. It was a scene that had to look rushed and nervous, so that definitely helped my editing process.

We had the challenge of keeping the shot of the staircase and front door out of the kitchen scene in order not to give away the fact that it was shot at a different location. We couldn’t use the front door of this house because the living room looked too homely, something that didn’t fit with a father/daughter family where they hardly interact, apart from arguments.

Doorbell rings – a distraction?

The two locations had similar decor and hopefully came together well. The locations I found both used a lot of wood in their furniture and decor.

Emily sneaks into Dad’s study

All in all, I learnt a lot from this project. And the best part was that I had fun while doing it!

Self Intro – Title Sequence


I was inspired by the fast cuts and the motion of this self-titled intro video Beyoncé did for her Visual Album.


Potential topics

Passion for Travel
Filmmaking journey
Life story
Life outside of school – Wave house!

I was considering doing a video of just text and animation like this, but when the brief changed, I thought maybe doing a video would be better, being inspired by the Beyoncé video. But looking back on my final product, I feel like my video could have been stronger if I had done simple animation like this for my final assignment.


I thought about how I wanted to piece my video together, and I wanted to use the After Effects motion tracking for my text, so I realised that I could not do a video with fast cuts in it.

I decided to do a video with humorous visuals that link to the VO audio, to give it an ironic humour. My friends always say that my films (dark and disturbing) are very different from who I am (bright and cheery). So for this assignment, I struggled to do something that fit with who I am; I had no choice but to, because it was a self intro title sequence and there’s no way I could create a dark and disturbing video about myself even if i tried.

Final Video


Home – Film Pitch

Empty// Memories


A girl comes home from school to an empty home. She cooks herself soup and does some chores around the house as she waits for her dinner to be ready. But in doing each activity, she is reminded of when and how each of her family members left, leaving her house empty.



Why and how did they leave? What is connected to them?

Where & what: Living room – arm chair
– Posted overseas to china as a factory supervisor
– couldn’t find a job in Singapore

– Caring father
– ‘O’ level graduate
– soft-spoken


Where & What: Brother’s room – broken mug glued back together
– Moved out to live a better life
– moved in with his richer girlfriend

– Self-centered
– sporty
– smart, handsome


Where & What: Laundry area – clothes
– Went to work as a laundry maid for someone
– husband’s income not enough to support the family


P.S. I Love You (2007)
P.S. I Love You (2007)
Single White Female (1992)
Single White Female (1992)

Old conversations layered over the visual of her interacting with the object.


For this theme “Home”, I wanted to do a film close to my heart so here is my own story:

As a kid, I lived in a big house and everyone was at home most of the time. So even though I was small, our big house didn’t feel so big. But as I grew up, my family started disappearing off to different places, including me. My Dad started working in Taiwan, my brother went to Australia to study, and my Mom started a business in the Philippines so she would fly there quite often. I myself am in school all week and only go home on the weekends.

However, there was a point in time before school started where I was the only one at home for long periods of time. During this time, I would clean the house and cook myself simple meals. We’ve moved many times over the course of my 23 years. Each time the house gets smaller, but yet it feels bigger and bigger as each one of my family members goes away to another country.


  1. Emily comes home to her empty apartment in the evening after school
  2. She puts her bag down by the door and sighs as she looks around the apartment. She doesn’t really know how to feel about coming back home to an empty apartment but she’s resigned herself to the fact that it’s her life now. Home isn’t really home if the ones you love aren’t there is it?
  3. Life moves on and so does she. Emily gets on to starting her dinner’s cooking anyway. She follows the recipe for ABC soup her mom left her on the wall in front of the stove. She sets a pot of water to boil on the stove and takes out the ingredients from the fridge, getting to work like she’s done a thousand times since she was 6.
  4. She looks at the boiling water and decides that it’s going to take a while and sets off to tidy the living room.
    1. She is 13. Her dad sits her down on the couch in the living room and settles in his usual armchair. Her mom is cooking dinner and the TV is on. “Emily, come sit. Daddy has something he needs to tell you…” He tells her about his job overseas and how he can’t come home for a long time. He makes her promise that she will take care of her mom while he is gone. He gets up, the legs of the chair drag along the marble floor, and he hugs his daughter.
  5. She chops up ingredients and slides it into the boiling water. She covers the pot and goes to her room to use her phone while it’s charging.
    1. Fade into the background is Emily in school uniform and her brother with a duffel bag in front of him.
    2. She is 18. She’s just come back from JC and caught her brother packing and he tells her he’s leaving to live with his girlfriend. He’s got a better life there, not like the plain boring life they’re living.

Final Pitch

Seen and Unseen – 7 Shots

Story Ideas

  1. Hidden Nature
  2. Domestic abuse
  3. Schizophrenia 
    1. Imaginary Friend
    2. Spirits

Research & Process

Mise-en-scene research!

Schizohprenia research:

I wanted to use this assignment as a study of objective/subjective shots and how the audience reacts to them emotionally.

I was inspired by Todd Haynes’ Carol in framing objective shots. I was very intrigued by the way Ed Lachman (DOP) used doorways and angles to make the audience feel as if they are intruding on a private moment in the character’s life.

Objective shot:
Subjective shot:
The Handmaid’s Tale


My story was inspired by one of my favourite films, Ron Howard’s A Beautiful Mind. A Beautiful Mind is about a man named John Nash who suffers from Schizophrenia. The film follows his life and how his hallucinations affect him and the people around him.

A Beautiful Mind

The video above is a snippet of one of the major plot points of the movie, and the one below is um… the whole film.


I started with the two objectives of making a short film about a mental health issue (schizophrenia) and playing with objective/subjective shots to be able to have the juxtaposition of the two and how it affects what the audience feels.

So then I started out writing the script. I focused more on situations rather than character development in this story because the main objective of my film is to study shot framing. Being the first time I’ve ever written a script, I got pretty confused with how to convert a story into a script instead of a narrative, so I got Fendi’s help to see if it made any sense. Eventually, this is what came about.

Click here for the full script.

Shot list:

Then it was down to shooting it!

Stay tuned for the film

Out Of My Head coming to a cinema (room) near you on 13 Febuary 2018.

Assignment 1 – Human Emotions


I wanted to create a photo series that is aligned with the way emotions are expressed in films. The way I chose to do it is with various body parts.


Many people search for their ‘soulmate’ because they believe that’s what will bring them happiness.

  1. Close ups of two people about to kiss.
  2. Holding hands.
  3. A love bite

They say the eyes are the windows to the soul.

  1. Extreme close up of eyes
  2. cuts on thigh
  3. tears
  4. grabbing neck

People are scared of blood. of death. of pain.

They are afraid of consequences.

  1. blood dripping down body
  2. Blood dripping down hands


How people express anger. Physical release. Explosive reactions.

  1. Fist, wrapped & bloody
  2. Grabbing neck
  3. scratches across chest/back


Final Work


Interactive Storytelling – Final

‘Miles Ahead’ is an installation space created to bring you inside the mind of Miles. A hideout tucked away in a corner of school, the space immerses you into her hidden persona. With the aid of Vlogs and CCTV footages, you watch Miles slowly falling into Psychosis. Is her tragic history worth sympathy, or should she still be condemned as a serial killer?

Please watch the trailer below

I will now link you to Fendi & Joel’s final posts because they have covered both shot analyses and installation set up incredibly well, you don’t need to read another post talking about the same thing.

Fendi’s Post (Shot analysis & Installation space)

Joel’s Post (Installation set-up and space analysis)


I’m really happy with the way this project came to life from a somewhat daunting concept in our heads. Seeing the reactions to our installation from Ruyi and our classmates really made all the effort we put in worth it.

I didn’t know what to expect taking on the challenge of bringing out a character that I have no experience with (I’ve never wanted to kill all my classmates before so that’s a big thing), but I’m really honoured that my group mates entrusted me this role. I’m so thankful to have this group of incredibly hardworking individuals to work with on this project. Without any one of them, the project would not have been the same. A huge Thank You to this team, and I really hope we can work together again some day!!

Check out my group mates’ OSS posts about this project!

Fendi – Process / Final

Hui en – Process / Final

Joel – Process / Final

Interactive Storytelling – Process


In this project, I was in charge of Scriptwriting and Character Development. After discussion with my group mates about the basic storyline, I set to work on an in-depth character research before coming up with a timeline.

Character Research

Case studies:

(click names for reference links)

Aileen Wuornos

Aileen Wuornos was born in 1956 to parents who were only 14 and 16. Her father was incarcerated at birth and she never met him. When Wuornos was 4, her mother abandoned her and her younger brother with her grandparents. On the outside, she shared a very close relationship with her brother. However, it was discovered that by the age of 10, their relationship was more than a regular sibling relationship – they also experimented with each other sexually. Wuornos was known for having episodes of explosive anger and had a list of petty crime charges against her before her serial killings. At her trials, she maintained that each killing was in self defense, when the men became violent or tried to rape her.

Ted Bundy

Ted Bundy was a serial killer who was regarded by many of his young female victims as handsome and charismatic, traits that he exploited to win their trust. He typically approached them in public places before assaulting them at more secluded locations.

Ted Bundy suffered from antisocial personality disorder (APD), which people usually call ‘Psychopathy’.

Ed Gein

Ed Gein was a murderer and body snatcher. Gein had exhumed corpses from local graveyards and fashioned trophies and keepsakes from their bones and skin. Soon after his mother’s death, Gein began to create a “woman suit” so that “…he could become his mother—to literally crawl into her skin”.

He suffered from Psychosis, which is when a person loses sense of reality and suffers from delusions.


Psychopathy and Psychosis share certain traits, but typically psychopaths are manipulative and know right from wrong, while psychotics suffer from delusions.

Character Research Conclusion

After extensive research about serial killers, I put together a character for Miles that combined my own personality with the characters of the 3 above referenced case studies – the outward manipulative charm of Ted Bundy, the delusional commitment of Ed Gein, and the violence and traumatic history of Aileen Wuornos. Our aim was to make the story as believable as possible, thus I created a character that was as close to real life as possible – like this could really have been the Miles that they’ve been interacting with the whole semester without knowing.

However, with this combination, I had an utterly unlikeable character. This gave the challenge of how do I make this character likeable? According to this Author, one of the ways I could do that is to give my character a redeeming quality.

Redeeming quality:

MILES is very devoted to her sister and does everything she is doing for her sister. Although she goes crazy and on a murderous spree to be the best in school, she doesn’t know it is wrong, she only knows she is doing everything she can to make her sister proud.







Loves MMA, photography and Human Biology

Suffers from Psychosis


MILES has been through many traumatic events throughout her life that led up to her killings. Miles was born to an alcoholic father and a schizophrenic mother. After her father got thrown into jail for domestic abuse, her mother started uprooting their family and moving to a new house every half a year. Her mother thought her neighbours were spying on her for her husband and were out to kill her and her family. Through this, Miles ended up learning paranoia from a young age.


Miles has always been easy going but hardworking in school. She has never been able to excel in the area of her studies. She was in a car accident 1 year ago and was in the hospital for 6 months recovering from her injuries. She suffered minor brain damage to the frontal lobe. However, her speech and intellect was not impaired and was given the “all clear” by her doctors to return to school. Little did they know the damage to the frontal lobe of her brain has caused her to fall into Psychosis. She believes that to be able to excel in school, she must kill all peers with the potential to do better than her and all professors with the potential to give her a bad grade.

Researchers theorise that damage to the frontal lobe, the hypothalamus and the limbic system can cause extreme aggression, loss of control, and poor judgment.

Public profile:  

MILES  is a charming individual. She is very outgoing and sociable. She is easy to talk to and a good listener. She is funny and makes friends very easily. She likes using self deprecating humour and memes. She is an avid photographer and likes taking pictures and videos of her friends and their work. She’s easy to work with and makes project work fun. Although her work may not be the best, she is hardworking and puts in a lot of time and effort in everything she does. Although she is friendly with everybody, she is not very open about her private life.

Why Vlogs?:

Although MILES has accepted that her sister is gone, due to the sudden and tragic death of her sister, she still wishes that she could talk to her. So Miles started the daily vlogs to “update” her sister about her endeavour to be the best in school, hoping to make her sister proud. Eventually, when she succeeds, Miles will put all the recordings in a box and lay it beside her sister’s grave to give it to her.

Story Research

SPLIT – Movie (Click title for scene reference)

In the movie “Split”, the main character, who has Dissociative Identity Disorder(DID), keeps video logs (vlogs) of his different personalities on his computer for his own records. With the video logs of MILES on her own computer found in the installation space, the audience will find out what she has been recording for her sister (actually herself).

Pre-Script Shooting

Miles would have been collecting surveillance of her classmates as she started losing her mind. Thus, the moment our story was put together, I started collecting videos of my classmates who excelled and who were lagging behind. By the time we were putting our story together, I had a substantial collection of videos of our classmates in consultations, doing project work, or sleeping. This gave me an inventory of targets I could work around.


After I established a character and collected a database of potential targets, I got to work on the script and timeline of Miles’ vlogs and killings. This was my first time writing a script, so I got a ton of help from Fendi (FSV student ftw!!)

Essentially the vlogs document the deterioration of Miles’ state of mind. They see the transition of Miles from a confident, carefree individual to a manipulative, calculative killer. With the constraint of time, we decided that the vlogs could only show key points in Miles’ journey. This forced us to use subtle hints within the vlogs to communicate a bigger picture. What couldn’t be conveyed through the vlogs had to be left to the installation space for the audience to explore and figure out.

Take a look at the full script.

In the script, I included details that may not have been noticed, but hopefully added realness to the story. Because Miles is doing a daily vlog, I corresponded vlog numbers with specific dates in our academic calendar.


Vlog 42, the breaking point, was the day we had our first mid term critique for Foundation Drawing, a module that in real life, I’m not very good at. 

Vlog 92, the day huien was killed, is the day before our 4D final installation.

Next up, the Final Installation.