Friday, June 10, 2011

[ScreenSingapore In Conversation Series] Yong Mun Chee: Making When the Road Meets the Sun

LtoR: Moderator Michelle Chang, Writer-Director Yong Mun Chee, Cast Luke Brandon and Fernando Noriega

LIVE BLOGGING - Keep refreshing this page from 1400hrs for the latest piece of nugget from the proceedings. You can also follow on Twitter: @stefanshl or #ScreenSingapore

Here's the synopsis:
Singaporean filmmaker Yong Mun Chee and her multi-national cast Laura Ramsey, Fernando Noriega and Luke Brandon Field share their experience making the film US-Singapore co-production When The Road Meets The Sun.

Yong’s debut feature has gone on to win the Best Director and Special Jury Award at the 44th Annual Houston International Film and Video Festival and Outstanding Cinematographer and Special Jury Award for Best Ensemble Acting at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

1550 Session ends

1548 Fernando: Meryl Streep and Daniel Day-Lewis. Luke: Michael Caine. Mun Chee: None (which Luke said she had shied away from the question yesterday too)

1548 Moderator: If you can work with anyone in the world, who would it be?

1544 Don't focus on what can't be done, focus on what can be done - Mun Chee

1543 Question from a film student asking for tips and guidelines. I think a 10 year series should help him

1540 Mun Chee recounting about getting the wall in which to crash the car into.

1539 Anecdotes on set coming up

1534 One last clip to be played

1531 Sean Newhouse is not in the house

1528 And the question is, *drumroll* Is Oscar on your mind. Huh??? Sigh.

1527 The art to posing questions : keep it simple stupid. do not name drop or brag and beat around the bush. Get to the point!!!!

1526 Finally Mun Chee states it's difficult for her to compare since she wasn't actively here for the last 10 years

1525 If you're sensitive to life, you'll grow as a writer - Yong Mun Chee

1520 Seems like there are a lot of questions on comparisons to making films overseas and here. I think because Mun Chee hasn't made a film here, that to answer this is quite difficult

1517 Agree that size of domestic market is different, and co-productions do open up other markets.

1515 Mun Chee: Financing is related to how you're going to make it back. You have to figure where to sell it to. Had found distribution in the US in 8 cities theatrical and VOD, and other strategies

1514 Question whether the film can be made in Singapore, how different would it be in terms of financing

1510 Mun Chee: Improv worked well for Luke and Fernando

1509 Fernando has different approach - in finding values of the characters that are similar to himself, and working on accent based on someone familiar

1507 Luke shared they had a whole week of rehearsals with Mun Chee for a couple of days to explore their characters.

1506 Question from the floor about immersing oneself into the role

1504 Mun Chee's strategy to make Luke and Fernando bond involved illegally getting a green card and a visit to Little Mexico

1459 Pardon for the lack of updates. Anecdotes repeated from the earlier press conference, which you can watch it later once it is uploaded.

1456 Note to self: whether Luke Brandon and Fernando Noriega have this great chemistry on screen because everyone seems to be talking about it.

1451 Another excerpt played

1449 First draft was 2006, and 2009 they got the New Feature Film Fund.

1446 Had writing team who did one of the earlier drafts. Seems like at least 20 drafts as an estimate.

1443 Mun Chee: SFC New Feature Film Fund was the first piece. Script was sent to Eric Mabius' agent and Eric liked it. Casting was huge part of packaging the film, which makes it a little more attractive for other investors.

1443 Question from the floor asking about budget and whether the cast and crew had creative input into the screenplay

1442 Wanted to act but didn't have the courage to look for it, but the opportunity came

1441 Fernando sharing about growing up in Mexico, Went to Mexico city to study media, didn't know what exactly in media he wanted to be

1440 Felt that to express himself artistically, since he loved film, wanted to convey himself through films

1440 Luke grew up in the entertainment industry. Sang in one of the songs of the movie, available in the soundtrack

1438 You write what you're familiar with, and fortunately with supportive parents who never told her not to dream and to work within her constraints

1436 Started off as broadcast journalist with then TCS.

1434 Talking about growing up as a child in Singapore. Mun Chee: From a science background and never occurred to her to want to make a movie. Did not travel out of the country till 18 because it is a luxury coming from a working class background.

1433 Watch out for the mirroring between characters paired up in the story

1430 Fernando: Attached to the script as soon as he read it. His character very well written and attractive.

1430 Luke: three dimensional characters attracted him, and interested to learn about LA and its culture to learn more about that

1430 Mun Chee: Coming from Singapore a multicultural society and going to LA also another multicultural society becomes the basis of this film

1430 Moderator liked that the friendships were real, wanted to know what inspired the writing

1422 ... and the session begins! Introductions all round and trailer begins

1412 The session will be joined by Sean Newhouse (Unit Production Manager), Luke Brandon (Cast) and Fernando Noriega (Cast). Still waiting

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