2018

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Starting the second week of the new year right with a blog post!!! I am still in disbelief the first week of 2018 has already come & gone, but I feel truly blessed to be able to kickoff the year working on film. Today is my break day before I PA on another set tomorrow, & I wanted to finish writing this before I get busy/distracted again.

On a completely irrelevant note, I started writing this at Necessary Provisions three nights ago & I have to say the pork burger there was surprisingly delicious?! The pork patty was cooked to perfection, & the buns were toasted just right – it was the right amount of soft & crispy (??). My only reservation about this burger was the rocket leaves – not a fan of this bitter vegetable.

Writing this was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I had initially intended to commemorate my first blog post of 2018 with a poem I had written, then I changed my mind & I wanted to put up photos that would highlight key milestones of my 2017 but I figured I had already done that through my instagram account, so I have absolutely no idea how to go about doing this. I did leave my shabby attempt at poetry writing here though, so if you wanna read it scroll down. Or don’t.

This time two years ago I was enjoying winter in Seoul, & this time last year I was probably packing for my 6-months exchange in NYC. This year, while I am stuck in Singapore, I am very excited to be working on film?! So I was part of the supporting cast in a student film 1-4 January, & I got the chance to work alongside amazing fencers, cast & crew. It was interesting to be on the other side of the camera since I have been behind it the past year or so. Some of us had to go through fencing “bootcamp” & let’s just say my thighs have not felt this way in a very long time. The last time I’ve ached this badly was probably at soccer practice back in Junior College – i.e. 4 years ago. Also got to work alongside Pierre Png that was cool.

Special mention: @veraoohlala_ , @ohyushi , @laurenjsl , jmin , & @cherylyhwong y’all have been amazing to work with. ❤

Then I went on to assist with HMU/ Wardrobe for about a week on another student production, & I am particularly excited for this one to be completed because (1) I loved the script, & (2) the wardrobe/HMU was i n s a n e – think demon/God etc. Also very shookt that we were on time every single day?! I got to work with so many talented nice people [Special mention: @natstanto who made me ice coffee on our last day?!] Because we don’t have a crew photo, here is a picture of me taken on set.

 

A glance at 2017

What is a new year post without looking back at 2017? It was really the year I kinda figured out what I wanted to do with my life & that to me, is an accomplishment in itself. That said, while I am proud that I have been actively seeking opportunities to bring me closer to my directing dream, I’ve come to realise I became so fixated on film that I neglected everything else – my health, my family, loved ones. I think I was too ready to give up too much for a dream that may or may not come true, & I didn’t like that. So this year, I’m going to take it slower & live a little. I’ll still do film for sure, but I’ll make sure to do so at a comfortable pace.

I wrote about my year briefly in an earlier blog post, & so I’m not gonna do that here again. 2017 started with a bang, & ended with a bang. I am thankful to have spent New Years Eve with new & newer friends (thx @Jack for food & opening your house to us), & the last moments of 2017 with the fambam at home.

the fambam attacks food at Gurney Drive, Penang
new & newer friends at Jack’s place

Looking ahead: 2018

I used to write New Year resolutions for myself every year, but I end up losing sight of them by the time it was March. So this year, I decided I would list down reminders for myself so I’ll be a better, happier person in 2018.

  1. Be a better version of yourself everyday.
  2. It’s ok to not know. I spent a lot of 2017 trying to figure myself/life out, & I’m still confused. Someone wise told me there’s no point doing that because who we are today may change tomorrow.
  3. People come, & people go. Treasure those who stay, & let go of those who don’t.
  4. Give without expectations. Be kind.

2018 is gonna be a great year I feel it!!!!!! Also, here is said poem.

2018

Ok, I tried. I’m not super proud of the last verse, but I ran out of ideas & got lazy. I may have mentioned this somewhere, but guess who is headed back to school next week?! I intended to take another semester off, but things did not work out as planned so I am on my way to finishing my degree. Tbh, I am excited to be back at school, but a part of me is scared for some reason. It has been a year since I’ve been back at NUS, so I guess that’s where part of the fear comes from.

On another completely random note, I watched The Greatest Showman with Lijie last night, and it was amazing!? The film is beautiful visually, & aurally. Zendaya , Hugh Jackman & Zac Efron performed beautifully. The songs are still stuck in my head. I enjoyed it. I’m unable to write coherently right now what I feel about the film, because I am still processing it but this one is definitely worth the watch. If anyone needs company, I am down.

Today is also the day another chapter of my life ends – three-ft. What started as an ambitious venture became quite a flop. Homes, J & I are headed to the bank to close our joint account today, but I guess with every failure, we rise from it. At least we tried.

I’m looking forward to what 2018 has in store for me, & I hope you all are too!! Here’s to a 2018 filled with joy, laughter, tears, & kindness!

xoxo, gweishi.

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22

gweishi22

fifth december twenty-seventeen;

We finally wrapped production three days ago, & I have some time this evening before my movie, so I thought I would spend this time wisely to do something for myself – i.e. writing about my special day. I turned 22 only a week ago & i feel like I’ve already aged a whole lot. Possibly everything to do with this production I was on. This year’s birthday was just like any other birthdays; it was just another day, & I basically spent it working on the film. In hindsight, yea there would have been things I’d love to do on my birthday (like spending time with friends & drinking & not working) but I am reminded that I am fortunate enough to be able to work on something I love & that made it special for me.

So the day started out pretty ordinary – I got up thinking “today will be awesome”. I made sure to dress up because I believe in “look good, feel good”. I was feeling adventurous so I tried to go for a subtle smokey eye but I failed. & so, with barely any eyeshadow on & 5 outfit changes later, I left home & headed to work. We had a photoshoot at Botanic Gardens & Sembawang park which brought back memories of when I was working as an extra for a Mediacorp TV series. Those were the days when I thought being an extra was the coolest thing I could ever do because I could be on TV. Until I saw the scene air one day, where I played a prostitute & prayed that clip would disappear forever.

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we are not affiliated with Sinmah Poultry.

My afternoon was spent working on the film, & I was really just looking forward to spending my evening with Kranz, away from work, away from the stress. I expected to have to work since principal photography would begin the next day, so all I really wanted was a couple of hours to have fun. I remember I used to shun from the idea of having my birthday celebrated – I hated the attention & every year I get reminded of how little I have achieved. Last year was no different. So, I decided, instead of moping, I would do something about it. Within the last year, I have done so many things I’m so proud of. I finally feel I’ve done myself some justice (for lack of a better word), as a 22-year-old fighting to fulfil my dreams & to live a meaningful life. Sure I’ve met with a whole lot of failures & challenges along the way, but I’m proud of the person I am today.

Most significant is the discovery of my love for filmmaking. This time last year, I was still that person who had no idea what to do with her life, & I was wondering what I could do to help society/people/someone. I know now for sure that this is what I want to do with my life, that film is a powerful beautiful art, & that this is a possible career path even in a place like Singapore. I have never been so sure about anything before this. Within the 6 months after my exchange in NYC, I’ve worked on 4 sets as a producer/AD (3 short films, & a commercial), & I am excited for more to come in 2018. This is what dreams should look like. It’s not the perfect, smooth-sailing, idealised version that everyone speaks of; it’s the drive that keeps you going, it’s sleepless nights, occasional tears, a lot a lot of hard work, some sacrifices, sheer determination, it’s picking yourself up again & again after tumbling down the hill, it’s a fight.

This aside, I celebrated my birthday with someone special – someone I am immensely grateful for. KRANZ, my facebook wife, who readily accepted my request to crash at her place when I had late wrap times & ridiculously early call times at Sembawang (which is a 30 mins drive away from my home). This woman waited at the restaurant for an hour, drinking Moscato alone, while I was running around Tanjong Pagar looking for a heart-shaped, matcha cake. I have to write about this because it made for a memorable birthday.
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Here goes the story: It was 9.14pm. I got a text saying the prop cake (which would be used in the scene the next day) had not been bought. I had a 30-minute window (before shops would close) to look for this very specific type of cake in Tanjong Pagar – the only cake store I knew existed was Cake Spade. I am someone who would do anything & everything within my capability to solve a problem, & so I spent an hour running around the entire Tanjong Pagar area. An hour of searching led me to find a $48 matcha cake at 100AM. We made do with that one.

I remember walking back to the restaurant completely exhausted & overwhelmed with emotions I ended up crying. Haha, great way to end my birthday aye? I was upset I couldn’t devote my full attention & time to Kranz, & I was honestly quite upset with myself for not being able to switch off the phone & ignore work for a bit. Eventually we finished that bottle of moscato & proceeded to Chicken Up for more drinks on a whim so our night together ended beautifully.

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Amidst all of this, my family has been supportive of my filmmaking journey & for that I am grateful. As with any parents in Singapore, they had their reservations when I returned from NYC & insisted on taking a year off school to pursue filmmaking. But seeing my family take time to be a part of this film I was doing (as cameo, or bringing us crafties while we were in the middle of nowhere) made me realise how much they care about me & my dreams. It’s these little things that showed me I’m not fighting this battle (for lack of better word) alone. I don’t express my appreciation & love for my family enough, so this is me making a note to do so.

present:

I obviously took longer than I should to finish writing this, so I’m now at the airport with my homes jetsetting to Langkawi in a couple of hours.

ending off with happy thoughts of the beach, the sand, & the sun. Happy holidays everybody!

xoxo, gweishi.