A day in the life of: A Filmmaker

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This article is part of the CCA Previews for 2016.

By Xu Jiaxin (16A01A), Chairperson

Film is not merely a pastime; it is an art form that we learn to critically appreciate and apply practically here at Raffles Film Society. Considering that there are so many approaches to learning film, there’s never really a “regular” session so to speak.

To begin with, you can expect lessons on scriptwriting and cinematography techniques as well as the various considerations of film production with our experienced resident-trainer Mr Kelvin Sng, local director of “The Gang” and “Taxi! Taxi!” fame. Expect practical exercises, where you will be equipped with DSLR cameras and professional audio peripherals in putting your newly-acquired skills to the test. The enactment of absurd scenes, quirky improvisations and creative interpretations, not to mention the reviewing of your hilarious outtakes and bloopers, mean that these hands-on sessions are not only educational and meaningful, but immensely gratifying experiences in their own right.

Every once in awhile, we indulge our core passion for good movies by watching films from a selection curated by members. Expect pleasure in sharing the movies you love, exposure to more great films (pun unintended), and intellectual engagement with fellow members in the discussions that follow. You can also expect a fun-filled boot camp and outings to indie cinema The Projector and local film festivals like SGIFF.

boot camp

Beyond the infinite possibilities that you already have within the club, external opportunities to exhibit your expertise and contribute are diverse and aplenty. On top of organising IHC Filmfeste, we regularly work with Council and school staff to produce videos for school-wide events like Open House and the Y6 Farewell Assembly. You will also be able to collaborate with other CCAs; some of this year’s highlights include a visually splendid documentary of Runway’s annual fashion show RProj’15 and an action-packed montage for RMUN 2015’s crisis segment. Outside campus, you are encouraged to represent the school in entering short film competitions and awards, both local and international.

Towards the end of your first year as a Raffles Filmmaker, you will embark upon a half year-long thesis film project – a true test of grit in realising your creative and directorial vision – for which the sky’s the limit. Raffles Film alumni have produced anything from surreal comedies, tear-jerking dramas to real horrorshow thrillers. Stepping out of your comfort zone is a must; expect to improve your people skills and resourcefulness in the quest to make a film with high production values – like this film that starred professional actors hired using a grant from the government, or this film that obtained a hospital’s sponsorship in the form of a top-tier medical suite to film in. When you encounter difficulty, fear not – Mr Sng and your groupmates will be there to guide and support you. It will be a journey that promises great fun and tight-knit company all the way, culminating in a showcase where your friends and family bear witness to the fruits of your labour – a satisfying payoff, no doubt.


By the end of your journey, you will have picked up new skills, and honed existing ones in conceptualising, screenwriting, producing, shooting and editing a film. Reaching a profound understanding of this art form, forming lasting friendships in this CCA and others that you collaborate with, and above all seeing your ideas all the way through to the silver screen, will be a fulfilling and rewarding experience like no other here at Raffles Film Society.

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