In the world of warlords and superbeings, intelligent robots, mammoths and pyramids, man dresses as a bat and battling one of the greatest villains of all time, where do we stand. I am humbled everything a new trailer of a major blockbuster is released. These films are also made by humans, a lot of them and with a huge amount of cash. When would we ever get to make one (just for the sake of it) here on our island state?
Yes, we all know a good story sells - but it is more than that now more than ever. Every time I give a presentation to filmmakers or film lovers, the question that never fails to come up is "Why does all Singapore films have this 'Singaporean-ess' in them?" In which the answer (or question back) has been:"If the film is made here, why shouldn't it have its Singapore flavour?"
This has been bugging me the last few days after an interview with The Business Times together with other 'new' filmmakers.
Back to the first bit and this other nagging situation - If I pay S$9.50 to watch a big time blockbuster and be mindlessly entertained after a long week, why should do the same for a local film that is going to remind me of my meaningless and rather depressing state?
Films (or movies) - or rather going to a cinema - has become a way of escapism for many people. I am one of them too. It has become a natural choice. Here's the deal, after dinner, how about going for some drinks? Nay, driving later kana road block. So we go drink some coffee? Had too much, later cannot sleep, too crowded, smoking corner now always full. How about... what else is there? We natural don't watch plays, nothing much at the museums, library? must be kidding (has too much of that i school), go home (sian...). So movie quite safe right? No need to think, sneak in some Mos Burger corn soup, watch - laugh, cry, get scared, get excited, watch some hot celebs get down and dirty - shiok what.
So the filmmaker is torn. I really want to make my personal film or break some new barriers. Should I be concern if anyone watches my film? If so, how do I do that? Hardcore marketing doesn't even equal guaranteed viewership. So make a 'commercial' flick, what the hell does that even mean? I am not going there.
The current thinking of going to festivals and gaining some awards so that maybe only maybe someone would pick up the film here is not going to be viable very soon. If you do not have people who put in money to worry about, that's fine and dandy. But what if you did? Make it cheap. Sure - than what? Then fuck lah make if for S$10 million - then what?
I started this post without a real purpose. Maybe I just wanted to know our place and perhaps writing it and coming back a while later may help. Maybe I just needed to get this off my chest and move on. Maybe someone out there has an answer. Ya lah, smart aleck can say make films so difficult, don't make lor.