Movie Making in a Battle Against Time

By Isabelle Liew Bi Xuan

Back: Melissa May, Tan Wei Lun. Middle: Eric Darmadi, Pocholo Dela Cruz, Ong Ye Feng. Front: Brendan Andrew Hendricks, Larissa Rommerskirchen. NP team, Twinfilm, beaming proudly as they present their hard-earned winning title of Best Visual Effects. | Photo by Eileen Teh

From Apr 15 to 17, aspiring filmmakers from around Singapore were tasked to create a short movie within two days

Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) team, Twinfilm, emerged as Best Visual Effects winner at The 48 Hour Film Project award ceremony on Apr 23.

Twinfilm comprises of second and third-year students from Film, Sound & Video: Eric Darmadi, Pocholo Dela Cruz, Tan Wei Lun, Ong Ye Feng, Tam Chin Wang, Larissa Rommerskirchen and Brendan Andrew Hendricks.

The 33 competing teams were each provided a genre, character, prop and specific line that must be included in the movie, and were thrown headfirst into the stress and adrenaline of making a short film within the tight deadline.

Given the genre “coming of age/superhero”, Twinfilm’s movie, Subject B, was inspired by the gritty, realistic portrayals of super-powered beings in the films Chronicle, Hancock and Watchmen, incorporating a substantial amount of visual effects.

Team leader and director of photography, Eric, 18, said: “The film is about two girls who are held captive against their will by a disgruntled scientist who is trying to perfect and ‘weaponise’ their powers, and their plot to escape his clutches.”

“Filmmaking is a collaborative effort. Everyone plays their part, does what they’re good at to make the best thing you can possibly make.”

– Pocholo Dela Cruz

Difficulties were certainly faced by the team on location, mainly background noises made by tenants who were staying in the apartment they were filming at. However, they were prepared for the stress of a constricting deadline and combatted it with productive planning.

“I think planning is very important – it’s very essential. It actually forced us to make sure that we have all our paperwork and everything prepared well before the submission,” said Chin Wang, 18, the sound designer.

Their hard work paid off as Subject B was also nominated for the Best Film, Cinematography, Editing and Music and Sound Design categories.

Although participating in this competition was a last minute plan for all of them, the team is extremely grateful to be part of this unique experience as it challenged and stretched their boundaries.

“The greatest takeaway would be, don’t be ashamed to ask for help. Filmmaking is a collaborative effort. Everyone plays their part, does what they’re good at to make the best thing you can possibly make. We were very fortunate to have a creative team of people,” said Pocholo, 19, the director and writer.

Filmmakers know all too well the difficulty of settling on a specific direction for a film; more so the process of scripting, storyboarding, casting, producing, filming and editing.

Mr Goh Shao Wei, 28, assistant producer of The 48 Hour Film Project said: “Collective teamwork is very important to ensure the teams can finish everything on time.”

The next 48 Hour Film Project will take place in October 2016 with a horror theme.

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