1. What do you do for a living?
ANS: I’m currently a Lecturer in Media & Communication in the School of Communication, Arts and Social Science (CASS) — Singapore Polytechnic.
2. What role are you playing in this year’s NDP? (Briefly describe what your task entails)
ANS: It is a great honour and privilege to work with a professional team and with the NDP’s multimedia committee for the National Day Parade Celebration 2009. I am directing and doing the vision mix for the multiple live screens at the Marina Bay Stadium. This encompass me to lead a team of professional crew from ESPN & Media Corp cameraman, grips, video engineers and assistant directors. Being involved in this year’s NDP is more than just another experience; it is an opportunity for me to remember that everything I have learnt, the skills I have acquired, and the creativity I have honed through the years, is for me to give back to society in a meaningful way, in both my Singapore homeland and to Singapore Polytechnic — School of CASS.
3. How did you come to be involved in playing this major role in the NDP?
ANS: I was involved in the 2007 NDP as a video engineer and technical director to assist in the setup and quality control of the images to screen. Through that involvement, I got to know more people in the industry and with the NDP multimedia committee. I’m glad that they requested me to be the video director for NDP 2009 after seeing me in action in one of the events in Singapore Indoor Stadium.
4. How is working with the NDP different from your normal course of work?
ANS: Through my involvement in NDP 2009, it is my endeavour to become an exceptional teacher who not only imparts knowledge to the students, but one who will become an example and inspiration for them to go beyond what they learn in school. One simply cannot teach video production through theory alone. It requires a discipline of creativity and technicality. As you watch this year’s NDP, each picture and frame is meant to communicate the essence of our nation’s 44th birthday, so careful planning and directing is essential in order to capture these ignited moments.
The fact is that teaching as a profession requires more than just giving information through lectures. Teaching requires the ability to inspire the uninitiated, nurture the undeveloped and convey certain life values through examples. The difference between a good teacher and an exceptional one is this: A good teacher imparts knowledge and inspires learning, but an exceptional teacher goes the extra mile to help those who have yet to find his or her gifting and talents, and creatively develops that potential for the future of Singapore.
In the heart of every matter lies this one truth — what legacy are we leaving for the next generation? What do we want them to learn from us? What do you see in the faces of your students each week?
What do you see?
For me, I see potential students that I can train and inspire with what opportunities have given me and someday see them leading, doing and reach for the stars.
5. How is this year’s NDP different from previous years?
ANS: Every year is different. Each year plans to out do the previous years. This year creative team led by Ivan Heng has done an excellent job in creating different chapters of Singapore through the years and how we as one people overcome the odds to strive for excellence and progress for our nation. I think Sidney Tan did a very good job as music director in the arrangement of music and songs for NDP 2009. It certainly added a special feel to this year’s NDP.
6. What are some challenges you face in your task during NDP 2009?
ANS: Someone once told me: Some things in life are not just taught, but are caught. I cherish this experience and knowledge that I have attained through working with the NDP committee, creative team and especially LTC Raja (Chairman of Communications & Multimedia for the NDP committee). These are the people pushing the limits and breaking barriers to create a better NDP production. Because of this teamwork, I have become a better producer and director to capture and play a part in making Singapore’s history together. Another challenge during my role as Director & vision mixer is that I needed to get every detail of the 90 pages time-coded cue sheet which I’ve create from watching and rehearsing the ten chapters of recreation of the Singapore story & parade in my memory. All these was with the help of two able assistant directors who helped me right down to every seconds of every chapter.
7. As a true blood Singaporean, describe how it feels for you to be a part of the NDP on such a large scale.
ANS: It’s truly exciting to be part of NDP… not taking into consideration that all of us at the NDP committee do not have any off days for the three months rehearsals during the weekends. As part of the multimedia committee, we also met up every Wed and Fri night for five to six hours after our own work to go through the technical details for NDP. To see our sacrifices come to fruition in capturing the moment of happy faces,beautiful colours and light up with all the fireworks combine with our visuals simply completes the NDP’s atmostphere. The feeling after NDP is awesome! This is truely my Singapore… beyond words.