From commanding a troop of men in green to directing a production crew - is it really that different? We talk to Dom Ow, an army officer turned filmmaker whose feature film Red Numbers we can't wait to see. He tells us how he went from the easiest job to make money to the hardest.
SINdie: How did you become being an army officer before this?
Dom: I was in Officer Cadet School during NS and was offered a scholarship. I felt it was important to get a good education and to get started in a career that would be challenge me in many ways so I accepted the scholarship.
SINdie: What inspired the switch over to explore filmmaking?
Dom: I’ve always wanted to be a filmmaker, and I did in fact major in film (along with Literature) when in university. When I was approaching my mid-30s, I felt like I had accomplished much of what I had set out to do when I joined the armed forces, and if I did not take that big step, inertia would set in and I would be less inclined to switch later.
SINDie: did your ex colleagues/ family/ friends react to your decision?
Dom: Most of my colleagues in the military were quite surprised. My military career was coming along well and I can understand some of their thoughts that I was “throwing it all away”. My family and closer friends, however, always knew that there was a filmmaker in me waiting to come out of the shell. But by and large, whether they agreed with my decision or not, almost everyone who knew me offered their support. I guess there’s a bit in everyone about wishing to follow his dream and pursue his passion.
SINdie: Was there stigma knowing that you'd be seen as a "first time filmmaker" with your debut piece of work? How did you deal with it?
Dom: Everybody who aspires to become a filmmaker dreams of making a feature. A feature film, in many people’s eyes, is still the measure of heaving reached a certain level of expertise and experience. In a sense, you can direct shorts, TV and it won’t be as challenging as making a feature. So to me, there was no stigma about being a “first-time filmmaker”. I wanted, I felt I needed that opportunity to make a feature.
SINdie: Ever regretted the decision, or thought of going back?
Dom: I sometimes joke that I went from the easiest job to make money to the hardest. It is not a slight on people working in the civil service or uniformed services – I think that there are many hardworking people in the public sector. But the fact is my previous job was an iron rice bowl. Still, even from the perspective of financial security, I have no regrets, none at all. Money is important but I believe that if you do what you love, and work hard at it, money will come naturally (perhaps with a little slice of luck like in Red Numbers!).
We at SINdie wish Dom all the best in his filmmaking adventures, and we look forward to seeing Red Numbers!
If you know of any other individuals who have "crossed over" to the world of filmmaking, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org - we'd like to feature these inspiring souls!
Written by DizzNey