My Reelity

Is this the reel life or is this just fantasy?

Archive for February, 2009

Mountains and Molehills

Posted by Ruok On February - 21 - 2009

Finished what I think (and hope) will be the final scene for Fighting Spiders yesterday.

While I’m grateful for the recurring scenes, its really not a good role. Heck it’s actually a painful one where I either get roughen or beaten up every time I appear on screen. This is the price I pay, I guess, in my ever on-going quest to break my typecasting.

Had a good talk with Nemy (Short for nemesis :P) while we waited for our scenes. I think we’ve been “rivals” so long we are actually beginning to feel more friendly towards each other. It is somewhat comforting to know he is now feeling what I was feeling two years back about the industry, and it made me wonder do all actors go through this phase right about this stage in their career?

This phase is of course the dreaded J word – jadedness. If you compare the enthusiasm we had when we first started out and the fire we have now, there is, undoubtedly, a huge difference. But this is usually role-related.

When we first start out, every minor role feels like a major one because there are so many challenges presented to us. But once we conquer these molehills we often look forward to scale the next peak. Only to find more and more molehills. And we all know how lame it is to make mountains out of molehills.

I have no doubt our enthusiasm and fire will be back when we get a good role. But in the meantime, we do all we can to stop this jadedness from growing and dousing our internal embers.

And then we wonder, how long more can I keep this up?

Are You Really An Actor?

Posted by Ruok On February - 20 - 2009

Most of the time, this question always leave me in a state of bemusement.

Let’s see what the basic definition is :

? ?/?ækt?r/ [ak-ter]
1. a person who acts in stage plays, motion pictures, television broadcasts, etc.
2. a person who does something; participant.

So going by the above definition, then I guess I am one.

But anyone can be an actor, you say. True, I mean its not like you need a Masters degree to be one. And wasn’t it Bill (William Shakespeare) who labeled everyone an actor?

I guess why people ask me the question is because I’m too obscure and/or haven’t been featured prominently in anything mainstream. I don’t fault them for that; heck if I’m in their shoes, I too, will have difficulty believing I’m an actor.

But I do get offended by people if their questioning goes along the lines of “Are you pretending to be an actor”. Please lah, I got nothing better to do meh? Why do I want to pretend to be something anyone can be?

And then there are those who differentiate between extras, bit players and main part actors. Most of us have to start somewhere and its just too bad that the industry here don’t really advocate working your way up. But that’s not a reason to condemn those who call themselves actors but have been only doing carelefare work (see definition above).

So am I really an actor? Well, you decide for yourself. But I do know I have a good body of work behind me, so if anyone’s asking, I’m an actor.

And a darn good one at that. 😉

Here’s To You Ms Robyn

Posted by Ruok On February - 11 - 2009

The government announced a few days ago that MDA would be setting aside $230M for films. By Hollywood standards, this amount may not seem a lot, but here in Singapore, its huge.

If we set aside $1M for one movie, we are looking at potentially 230 movies. Which is more than the total number of movies we have produced to date.

But for years, our local industry has done more collaborations with overseas productions rather than concentrating on making definitive local movies. The reasons for this trend, as told to me by a few filmmakers, is the perceived “international” or “regional” appeal one would get from making these “rojak” movies.

I have never agreed with this view. But I’ve always felt I was one of the very few who oppose this view.

So I was really heartened to read what Ms Robyn wrote here. These are some of the points she raised :

Because Singapore is unique in so many ways, and that uniqueness cannot be adequately addresses by overseas international media productions.

Although there are a plethora of television series, documentaries and movies available out there, many of them deal with topics not critical in Singapore, or feature a style of humour alien this country.

It makes far more sense to utilise the amazing talent in Singapore, to nurture it and help it to grow. A new generation of actors, writers, poets and artists is already here. If we want them to fulfil their potential we have to show them that there is a future for such talent.

Now if only the powers that be can share her views. Then it will truly be exciting times for the local film industry.

And of course, hopefully, more work for me. 😀

Review : The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button

Posted by Ruok On February - 7 - 2009

I’ve been looking forward to this movie ever since the trailers came out in the middle of last year. And I’m glad to report my anticipation was not in vain; it truly is a beautiful movie.

Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen – Mark Twain

From this quote comes a short story from F. Scott Fitzgerald, and from that short story comes this 166 min long story that is the re-enactment of Benjamin’s diary.

The movie is carefully acted, sensitively portrayed and beautifully shot. The pacing is a little slow at first and towards the end but one sense a certain deliberateness about it; its like the movie paces itself according to Benjamin’s unique “youthing” process.

And to top it all, the movie is wonderfully inspiring about how to live one’s life fully. Just check out this quote :

For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.

I’m predicting Best Picture and Best Actor nod for this one. Its the most beautiful movie I’ve seen in a long time and this is how movies should truly be :

Tell a good story and inspire its audience to greater heights.