8 April 2013

Dedicated to Hermits with Halos

H e r m i t  P r o d u c t i o n s ,  2 0 1 3

Three days before our short documentary film submission and all I really want to say is thank you Alex, Jo, Cat, and Jess. 

A few hours ago when i showed my family our short documentary, I just felt so...happy. This great joy that can only stem from gratitude- gratitude for truly everything that had happened to us as a team. 

From the day we decided that having Einstein as our whatsapp conversation picture as only appropriate because he truly is the epitome of a reclusive genius to the countless (creepy) surprises we have had, this really was one heck of a ride. 

The very first time we met up and explored Singapore with a few addresses and rolls of tau sar piah (as erm, door gifts) in our hands and ambitious hearts, I remember us being so clueless and just walking through levels of rented flats at Jalan Besar. We stumbled upon an old shop selling grounded coffee beans, joked and toyed with the idea of changing our project entirely to featuring that as a disappearing trade. And well now...am i glad we stuck till the end with our chosen topic :')

But anyway how, days passed by with us going anywhere our feet could carry us, and as long as there were places to fill our stomachs on the way. Coffeeshops, cafes, random eatery at the community centre, train station bread shops, we've been there. The thing is, we just could not find a family to feature on our documentary. 

Coupled with a sick feeling inside us that we were selfish people looking for fellow human beings just for the sake of our project, we were really losing that zeal we had. After speaking to countless strangers, social workers, a clinical psychologist, even attempted stalking, and not to say the added pressure around us when most of our course mates are already onto editing their videos, we counted ourselves lucky to be at the brink of hopelessness. 

Essentially, it was down to either a miracle happening and meeting someone who's willing and able to help in our documentary, or a stop motion video featuring Hoardie, a wooden figurine from Art Friend. 

And like all fairy tales and because God is good, we really did meet someone who is now our wonderful benefactor (and friend!!). He had nothing to gain, but gave unconditionally to our project, even having us under disguise to film. 

After numerous emails back and forth, viewing photos and literally memorizing the floor plan of the house, I...was still nervous. Battle plan was in and out of the house in 2 hours, avoid giving the game away, get the footage and vanish. 

Sounds grossly selfish and unethical... sigh. So on our part, we have promised to keep the video from anywhere near YouTube and thanked our new found friend in practically every single text message exchanged.

So the day came when we had that mere hours to film and even still barely believing in ourselves (we were like what, less than 3 weeks away from submission??), managed to place courage in one another. I cannot even go about describing how all the factors played out so amazingly on that day, when the rain came and eased at the right time, Uncle was not at home the entire day, Grandpa coming home, to our very pleasant surprise. 

Truly as photographer Tim Walker writes in his book, he believes in divine intervention especially when involved in something creative. Who knows when a bird would fly into the frame when the photographer decides to snap? 

I can't be thankful enough for the sweetest teammates, who went in and out under the rain, exchanging cameras, looking for lens caps, and walking far out to get us drinks (it was the best Teh-o Peng i had, Caty). 

And now into post-production, we stuck by each other (though i still feel guilty for being completely useless at editing), and funkybunny32 Jo saves the day with her poly skills hehe. And really, thanks for trusting me with the camera and direction, considering there can be pretty much no retakes!!, when even i doubted myself. 

Looking back, it certainly was nothing short of an amazing thrilling ride, and i hope what i have written can serve to capture these memories and feelings as accurately as possible, though i have obviously left out some details (creepy-"don't ask too much"-woman etc). 

Thank you Hermits, i will always hoard you guys in my heart :')