One Day In June..... we start the cameras rolling again


The independent short film scene has been a little quiet of late. Not many people have been shooting. Not sure if becasue June is the hottest month. Or perhaps it's because it's become seasonal that most people like to shoot year end. Daniel Hui, who made Dreams of Youth and the Bracelet has just shot another short film during his summer break here. It is currently called `A Day In June' and the thrust of the story (if there is any) is kept very hush hush. I did manage to squeeze a little out of Daniel. And for the rest, hope the pictures will do some talking. Jeremy (J): You must be one of the youngest proflific filmmakers around.... how old are u?
Daniel (D): I'm 21 years old.
J: Wow! And this film is your ?th film?
D: This film will be my 4th short film..
J: I went on the set and was very intrigued D: Hope you liked what you saw!
J: Cos the shots were very evocative but I have no idea what it's about. What is it about?
D: I don't think anyone has any idea. Vel was complaining to my mom (who has another supporting role this time) that nobody knows what I'm shooting except me. I told her nobody knows what I'm shooting INCLUDING me.
J: Yes, that's exactly what I got from almost everyone lol! Okay let me change the question....what are exploring in this film?
D: Um, that's a difficult question.......Maybe it'd be better if I told you how the film came about?
J: Okay sure!
D: My friend in America made a short film about a woman who lost someone close to her and becomes obsessed with communicating with the dead. J: Actually that kinda answers a lot already!
D: The film ends with her calling the person's cellphone, which we see in an evidence bag. We hear the answering machine message of the guy saying that he'll always call back no matter what happens.
J: For all the mystery surrounding Vel Ng's zombified behaviour
D: No no no but only the last scene remains. But actually the film has changed so much that almost nothing remains ha ha.
J: Why were you so inspired by this idea?
D: I can't say. I guess I felt very strongly about answering machine messages. Like you can leave a message on someone's answering machine and the person will only hear it after that time is over, and he will hear the sounds from the place you're calling from. (pause) It's like a slice of time and space preserved and prolonged. Kind of like cinema, actually? Ha ha. I don't know.
J: That's very novel. Do you actually get a lot recorded message motifs in your film? (sorry just my imagination). D: Nope, I don't think so. Actually I think it's a ghost story now. But that's only my interpretation...
J: Hahaha. Sorry I cant help laughing thinking of Vel and the Ghost story genre.
D: Don't think she's been in any ghost movies before right?
J: Nope
D: Oh ha ha. I think she was an extra in Helmi's film though - Flyer.
J: Are there actually ghosts in your film?
D: I think there are lots of ghosts, but you don't actually see them.
J: That's very funny and intriguing. I saw an old man playing the erhu.... what's his relation to the story? or is he is just a external stimuli?
D: Mmm...how do you define external stimuli?
J: Like not integral to the storyline
D: But he's integral to the film, otherwise he won't be there. It's not a narrative-driven film though. In fact the narrative is pretty elusive, I think.
J: How long will this film be?
D: The rough cut stands at around 19 minutes.
J: And care to share some of the favourite parts of the shoot?
D: It was such a rewarding experience for me this time, because it made me feel that cinema truly is a collaborative medium. (pause) In fact it was something Wan Ping said that made me realize what the film was about while shooting a scene. (pause) It's as if I was bringing the seed, Wan Ping brought the soil, Vel brought the water, and the crew (Athalia, Lung Chieh, Bee Thiam etc.) brought sunlight and care to it. (pause) I really saw the film grow while we were shooting, which was so exciting for me. (pause) I don't know if it means anything to anyone else, but it means a lot to me. (pause) Back with my previous films, we were just shooting according to the storyboards and script. It was really touch and go; hardly any creativity involved while shooting. This was entirely different... J: And what do you hope the audience will take back from watching One Day in June?
D: I think the collaborative process doesn't end with us? The audience will complete the film, and I can't wait to see how the film will transform some more.

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