STOP10 May 2017: 'Time' by Daniel Yam

Time directed by Daniel Yam is Viddsee’s first ever original short film production. It was launched on Friday, the 5th of May on Viddsee.

The film sees Grace, a frustrated young mother with little time on her hands and her young son’s constant demands. She wishes for him to grow up into adulthood quickly as she had.

Daniel Yam is no stranger to Viddsee, as several of his films have gone viral and been the platform’s most popular films. We caught up with Derek, the co-founder of Viddsee and Daniel to ask them about this new project.

Has creating your own content always been part of your plans for Viddsee? Or was it a new development and something different that you wished to address?

Derek: Jian and I (both founders) are filmmakers at heart, and we hope to engage our filmmaker community further in this journey to not just sharing their short films with a wider audience, but also to make films and tell their stories together! 

How does creating original content help Viddsee’s goals?

Derek: Our goals have been to build this sustainable ecosystem for filmmakers and audience, where we started building a ground up community with the film community to curate and market short films, and present a consistent programming for audience. Our Viddsee Originals initiative is continuing our commitment to provide a space for our local & regional stories to be made and told to local and global audience.

On the flipside, how does this initiative possibly help filmmakers? Which filmmakers are you aiming to support through commissioning works?

Derek: This initiative is our plans to continue helping filmmakers to build their careers and profiles. We started with curation, bringing together Asian stories together to groom an online community for filmmakers, industry and audience. We continued to build up a marketing platform and engine, utilising technology, editorial and audience design to position and amplify short films to a wider audience, working with filmmakers to launch their films online together. We then introduced different ways of profiling filmmakers with AMAs, director notes, etc. This is our next steps to provide new opportunities in content creation.

How did you decide on what story to tell? Were there specific criteria or themes to be met?

Daniel: Viddsee had given me a theme of Family and Hope. They said, make an inspirational short film. These are the 2 most important values we hold on to dearly but the demands of life often take our focus off them. Our family is what keeps us going and our hope is what we can hold on to.  So this story, tries to remind us about these values.

Why did you want to work with Viddsee? What was the motivation and how was it like?

Daniel: Viddsee is a platform that supports local filmmakers. Jian and Derek are very passionate about pushing the film industry forward. I am very honoured to collaborate with them in making meaningful films and share it with their audience.

My first film An Unconventional Love Story found its first audience online through Viddsee. My subsequent short films such as Gift and Ripple managed to hit millions of views – all thanks to Viddsee.

We have always dream about Viddsee creating its own video content one day. I am very privileged to be the director for their first original short film.

How was the process of working with Daniel?

Derek: We looked at our data and insights and set the content brief of what we wanted to experiment with our first original. And Daniel came back to us with a story, inspired by being a father/parent himself. This really embodies what we at Viddsee believe in, to enable authentic storytelling coming from the filmmaker's influence around personal or across the community he represents. We later augment the content development process with insights, but Daniel had full creative control around telling the story he wants to tell. 

What are you thoughts on how Viddsee has helped your (Daniel) career?

Daniel: My second short film – Gift went viral when it was picked up by other influencers through Viddsee. Subsequently my other short films hit the million-views too. This led to more opportunities and I was blessed with many open doors.

Can you see Viddsee being cultural cheerleaders for the most vulnerable filmmakers?

Derek: I think this has been our role as technologists and filmmakers to create opportunities to highlight our stories in the crowded online video space. We also see ourselves working to represent young, authentic Asian culture with our stories and films for a global online audience audience - that our Asian narrative doesn't drown in today's colonialism of western content and creators online. 

How do you see Viddsee evolving in its role in the film industry?

Derek: We always see Viddsee as a digital partner to filmmakers in the film industry, and evolving from marketing to creation! 

How should you measure success for this short film?

Daniel: For me success is not just about the view count numbers.  If my story goes out and inspire one audience, give him the courage and hope to get through his/her life, then the story is a success.

For “Time” the simple message is to slow down and treasure our time with our loved ones. If my audience takes action on that message, the short film is a success.

Will there be calls and opportunities opening up for filmmakers to create more content under Viddsee and how? 

Derek: Yes, we are looking forward to opportunities to open such calls. We will like to start with filmmakers on Viddsee's platform first, as we have the insights on how they have performed on our platform. But we also recognise that emotional, compelling storytelling needs to come from an authentic place with filmmakers, and will continue to work with Viddsee filmmakers and the larger film community to open more opportunities in the future. 

What are your next biggest/ambitious plans?

Daniel: I will continue to work on meaningful stories and perhaps to challenge myself to try different genres. Currently I am working on my next feature film which involves old myths and legends but telling it with a modern touch.

Derek: Our first original film aims to kick-off more work we will be putting in to enable more filmmakers to tell their stories, like Daniel, helping them tell stories in their lives and across the communities they represent!

Written by Rifyal Giffari

Watch the completed short film Time here:

For the full list of May 2017's 10 films under STOP10, click here.
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