Two’s a crowd
Tan, Douglas Aik San
Date of Issue2017
School of Art, Design and Media
Film is in essence, a visual medium; most things that need to be communicated about a story and its characters are better shown than explained. Working a visual medium requires one to understand the visual literacy and when realized, will demonstrate the unseen — inner psychology, hidden histories, and emotional conflicts — to a better extent than direct explication will. My role as a cinematographer in Two’s A Crowd is to not only capture compelling cinematic footage but real and raw emotions which enable me to communicate clearly and effectively with the audience. The ‘dramedy’ story idea for Two’s A Crowd came around during the fall of 2015 when my peer and good bro Edmund Chew (Director) texted me unexpectedly. He had this idea in his mind for more than a year, with it being an occasional topic while having breaks on different productions. We are both a fan of Thailand happy movies and heart-warming commercials, whereby emotion is one of the signature characteristics. The decision to portray the film in a comedic yet thought-provoking manner will likely prove a make-it-or-break-it move for both. We wanted to keep it real as much as possible, going all out to connect with the audience, whether it is comedy or drama. Of course, it did come with its own set of problems — the credulity of the film, locations, production challenges and more. In spite of the problems, it was pleasing to see whatever we had planned for this film coming to fruition. In this essay, I will discuss my process — how I developed the film’s aesthetic and concept, the problems I encountered and how I worked around them. Two’s A Crowd aims to address issues of social insecurity and self-expression. Singapore prides itself in being westernized city, yet our society still holds itself to traditional Asian concepts of group-oriented values and “face”. We are careful when expressing ourselves in daily situations — going against the majority means we risk ‘losing face’ and ‘losing popularity’. Tracy is pretty, sweet and helpful towards all her friends; however, all this is just a façade, fabricated to gain social acceptance and popularity from her peers. One day, Tracy’s inner conscience appears as a manifestation of a lady in a crow mask, and starts getting in the way when Tracy finds herself in situations of moral conflict. Through a simple, light-hearted approach of Tracy’s interactions with the Crow Woman and her experience in University, the film addresses fundamental questions: how far do we go or change ourselves to stay popular and accepted, and where do we place the line between social acceptance and self-acceptance?
DRNTU::Visual arts and music::Film::Digital
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University