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The Fluidity of Filmmaking


The Fluidity of Filmmaking

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“Lucky Break” is a poke at the annual Lunar New Year pain points some of us go through during the Chinese festive period. Relatable.

Created for Caltex as part of their integrated marketing campaign for their Chinese New Year Fortune Cookie retail promotion, the brief was in perfect alignment with what we had always wanted to do – something fun.

One of our favorite ways of coming up with ideas involves pooling everyone within the team to share experiences. This creates for more powerful, relatable stories. 

Charlene, our resident writer, then puts herself through creative ‘torture’ and lovingly blitzes something out. We put it through the agency for the go ahead.

The timeline was challenging. It was sometime in mid-December before approval was signed off, giving us a frighteningly tight schedule – what with the end year festivities and annual leave. 

We rifled on. Through the holiday season. Sourcing, casting, putting things into motion because we believed in what we wanted to create.
Bang Lin was on art and managed to cajole a framemaker to have a huge-ass painting cut to size to fit in the living room. Tessa spat out the shooting schedule in record time. Joel casted with no compromise. Qam hunted potential music. Charlene stuck to her guns and idea.

I was originally expecting a 4-minute output on “Lucky Break”. Going through the scenarios made me realize that it was not going to be possible. The weightage and pacing had to be right. I abandoned the safe practices that I’d adopt on an ad – storyboards and scripts. Going through the story for the nᵗʰ time, it became apparent that we needed it to be structured but not construed. We switched tactics and went with characterization instead of structured dialogs. This paid off abundantly. There were many performances that I was really happy with.

During my preparation stage, I like to internalize the story and incorporate personal experiences within them. Along the way, scraggy drawings showed up. Alongside them, introspections of my own relationships with people around me.


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I thought about the structure of what we were creating again. It was different. It was going to be lengthy but it wouldn’t feel like it. We had good moments and excellent chemistry. We had fast cuts and stylistic devices peppered throughout the film.

This is the fluidity of filmmaking. You can plan to death and things still change.

Visual comedy helped us drive this film to where we wanted. The good guys at Homestudio understood what we were gunning for – the soundscape in this film was particularly important in the overall final experience.

“Lucky Break” was such a collaborative and fulfilling project to be on and we’re raring to go for more in 2019!