Production Talk: 4th SSFA - Polling Day by Jesmen Tan Jin Lin


In the thick of election fever, Gregory Lim is seeking his first job fresh out of university. However, he finds that he has to compete with foreigners for what few jobs around. Upset with the way his life has turned out, he turns his resentment towards the government and his father, resulting in a heated confrontation. Gregory has his chance to voice his opinion with his vote, but the question is- does it even matter in the end?

The issues that the film aimed to communicate were familiar and clear. How was the story crafted? Is it really clear?

Initially, the writer, Shane Mok wanted to explore on how all the individual members in the family are affected by the election. Then slowly we minimize to the protagonist, Gregory (the fresh graduates). I think the reason is that I always have an issue with people who abandon their roots and complain how the society not giving them opportunities. 

Could you explain your choice of characters in the film, in particular a father who is a SAF regular, a grandfather character, a Caucasian job candidate who can speak Mandarin and a Chinese boss? Why were these characters important in forming your story?
This is pretty hard for me to recall now. The father and the grandfather basically represent man's mentality at different generation, the change in Singapore. The Chinese boss and the Caucasian candidate represent foreign talents coming into Singapore, it's a wakeup call for the new generation. I also forget how and why we created them, but that's basically my reasons.

Is the talent who acted as the Chinese boss a real Chinese PR? What were his thoughts being an antogonist in the film?
Yup, he was a BA student in our school, Lasalle majoring in Performing Arts. As a Singaporean, I would say sometimes, we're too arrogant and rude towards the Chinese PR. When I shared with him about the character, he said: "I've been wanting to do this."  

When was this film made? Was it a reaction to the 2011 elections?
It was after the 2011 elections. It wasn't really about the 2011 elections, but it's more about how the younger generation sees the elections. 
What were the biggest challenges in making the films? Any interesting anecdotes from making the films?
Communicating with the DP. Short anecdotes...a bit hard to remember. But I really like working with the grandfather. 
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