Production Talk with Andre Quek, director of PRINCESS

Best Animated Film for the National Youth Film Awards 2015 went to Princess,
by Andre Quek Xiang Lin, Abdul Hadi B Abdul Wahab and Vivien Tan Liqing


Lucas is an average Singaporean boy who lives in his world of Western-influenced fantasy.
His dream to seek out friendship can finally be realized when he chanced upon a broken princess doll. By fixing the doll, Lucas hopes to break the ice with his neighbour, Angie.

With swords, dragons, and a doll in distress, ‘Princess’ is a 2D-animated, heart-warming tale of an average child that we can all connect with. Recall the days when we were young; a time when we learnt to face our fears and chase our dreams, when we let our imaginations run wild in our favourite, neighbourhood playground.

How did you get the idea for PRINCESS?

"Princess" was based on a tagline I had for another film, "Let go of wants and one will get more than expected" and it attracted Hadi, who suggested to work together in making a film. So, we expanded along that tagline, brought out our childhood memories, and we focused on something that we had a common interest about: the dragon playground. Then it took us another few months to cement the story together while we progressed on other aspects of the film.

What were the challenges you and your team faced when making PRINCESS?

The main challenge is time. 2D animation is very labour intensive medium, so when we don't have labour (its just the three of us: Abdul Hadi, Vivien Tan and me), we have to work extra more, definitely not faster (because we don't want to sacrifice quality). Also, everybody had different commitment and interest during the long process, making it a real challenge to put people together. It definitely needed a lot of understanding and perseverance.

How long did you take to make PRINCESS, and was it your first animation?

It took us almost one year in the making, from pre-production to post-production. I'm glad we had a good mix of three in a team where we had strong interests in different areas of the whole process. PRINCESS was not my first animation short, but it was my first time working with the other two (talented) members. It gave us a lot of opportunities to learn from each other and also helped us understand more about the whole process of making a film with people. We made many mistakes, discarded almost half of the film, but the process was enjoyable, as we looked forward to completing it.

If you could, how would you improve on PRINCESS?

I would not improve it anymore. Not that its the best/perfect film, but it is already a finished product. I would leave it as it is. It signifies what we can do at that stage of our life. Any progress/improvement will be shown in my next film (hopefully) :)

Watch the full video here:

Director's bio
Andre graduated with honour from School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University. Andre believes motion is the primary drive that brings out emotion in animation. He draws inspiration from everyday life, because he believes that beauty lies in the details of reality. By abstracting these details, he transfers them into his work and enlivens his drawings and animation.

By Gwen X
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