The Scope: Hannah
B: Borneo Art Collective
TS: The Scope
B: Why and how did you start your film making career?
TS: I've always loved to dance ever since I was young. In 2011, I met this group of dancers from this hip hop community. I've heard a lot of stories from these dancers, of why they are dancing and how dance can change their life. During that time, hip hop dancers were prejudiced upon, the hip hop dance culture was not really accepted or well known by the public here in Kuching.
So I decided to do something, and the best way to promote this message to the public would be to make videos. I started on making a short documentary of their story without having any good camera or gears.
I learned throughout this process, and eventually I was discovered by local artists and exposed to filmmakers, which gave me more opportunities to step into this industry. After 2 years of working in my previous filmmaking company, I felt that I lost my original intention, and I decided to start up my own filmmaking team – The Scope, to do more passion projects and the things I love.
B: Who/what influenced you to begin this film making approach?
TS: At first it was dance. I was interested in how music affects the pace and tempo of the videos and so I was fascinated in how to film and edit those kind of videos. Slowly I would notice and study editing through films and also learn from tutorials online. A film with an engaging story, interesting color palette and cool editing is what I wanted to make, be it a dance or music video, a short film or advertisement. That was what influenced me the most in film.
B: Tell us about the film/documentary you would like to share with our audience? What is the big message you are trying to deliver through this film?
TS: I would love to share this film called, HANNAH.
The theme of the story is 'Turn Back Time'. I'm sure everyone has that someone who you love, left you. But no matter how long, the love stays. So to me, memory is the one that can turn back time.
Why Hannah? Spell it backwards, it is still Hannah, it also means the love stays the same even if you turn back time.
The whole story is about an old man who lost his wife, decided to go to the familiar places to reminisce all the moments together with her.
I got this idea earlier last year, when I was thinking of making a love story. But I don’t want it to be a cliché kind of love story, so my mind imagined an old man with a teenage girl. What would people think of this kind of relationship? I expected people to think and have their own perspective on this story, because there aren't any words or dialogue in it.
In the middle of last year, I wanted to join a short film competition with the theme of 'Turn Back Time', to which I immediately entered this story. Eventually, it didn't make it to top 10, but this short film has brought me lots of great opportunity and exposure, like how I’m standing here today, interviewed by news reporter and radio station. It had also become an important debut for my own film company last October.
Our team list:
Director & Producer : Koh Khai
Casts : Asher Rambo Chai & Jacqueline Tan (both are real married couple)
Assistant Director : Damien Eu
Director of Photography : Dennis Lam
Video Editor : Koh Khai
Colorist : Dennis Lam
Assistant Producer : Leslie Tnay
MakeUp Artist : Hui Nee Yong
Crew : Joanne Lai , Hui Chian, Jia Ni
Music & Sound by : Emily Voong, Alester Leong, Marvin, Adrian Lim
B: Where do you see your film making approach evolving in the near future? What are you trying to achieve at this point?
TS: Of course I’m still learning along this journey, and I’m constantly experimenting different genre and style of film making from the start until today. I will keep doing that so that I can produce new things everytime, no matter in planning a story or taking creative shots or using good lighting in production or discover new way of editing in pacing, color or fluidity, basically anything that can make me move one step forward, I’ll do it.
At this point, I just hope to improve myself, build up a strong team and one day inspire someone especially people in Borneo so that we all can bring up the film making scene here.
B: How do you see Borneo film making potential at the moment?
TS: In my opinion, it is slowly progressing. Firstly, because social media is now a powerful tool for advertising and people started to realised that video is an effective way. Secondly, cameras and gears are getting cheaper and more accessible, which means, to make a video with good visuals in production are no longer difficult, however, to make your film different from others in this time, would be the pre-production which is your story and ideas, and post production which is the editing stage. I believe that content is the core of the film, and besides shooting a visual that can convey the message, editing plays a very big role as well.
B: How could people access your film/documentary at the moment? Is there any public participation/volunteer you allow in your project/group?
TS: We upload videos to our facebook page “the scope” www.facebook.com/thescopeco/ and our website www.thescope.company/
As my works are mostly independent, sometimes we do involve volunteering work for experience. We are always welcoming people who are interested in exposing to this media.
We are actively collaborating with local talent to create new stuff, people such as rock bands, musicians, artists, craftsman, dancers, models, music composers and so on. Even if someone is interested to act in our coming short films, please feel free to contact us as well!
B: Please recommend stories/projects/individuals/groups that we should reach out to in order to expand the Borneo Art Collective network.
TS: Ceres Lau
Doing paper art, which is really rare here in Kuching or even in Malaysia. Her work is really impressive.
A fine art artist who I think is really patient and passionate. His work is detailed and great but he is not having the exposure that he need to move further.
A young team of photographers that based in Kuching as well. We are constantly working closely with them and their work is awesome.
B: What would be your message to aspiring fellow Borneo film maker/Artist?
TS: Keep doing what you love as passion is the key. Be proud of what you do. Be proud of your work, and be humble to learn. Dare to do something different out of the norm. Don’t do it for the sake of popularity, do it for your self.