The making of Becoming Royston: Chapter 2/5 – Doing something stupid.
Sometimes in life we have to make difficult decisions, this decision proved to be one that is life-changing, not just for me but everyone else who would eventually be involved in “Becoming Royston”.
School or film? I couldn’t decide but I had to make the call. The application was sent in and I had just just received news that LCC had accepted my application and has offered me a place. To be honest, I wasn’t really confident in the first place. Why would they offer me a place? After all I don’t have a Bachelor’s Degree, only a Polytechnic Diploma. One of the key reasons for my application was that I want to eventually be able to teach at college level. But I heard from some people that based on the system in Singapore, even if I managed to get the MA, I might not be able to teach in a government recognised instituition because I don’t have a basic degree.
At that point, I was more overwhelmed about being offered a place than worried about the whole teaching part. So I accepted the offer. But there was one major problem and that was I had to start in 3 weeks. Yes I had to physically be in London in less than 20 days and how can I possibly do that? I wrote to tell the course director that the soonest I could be there was at the end of February 2006. She replied and suggested that I would miss out too much and maybe I should wait till the next year, which was 2007.
As if that wasn’t bothering me enough, I received a call from MDA’s Synthesis project manager while I was in Hong Kong trying to clear my head and guess what? Our proposal for the web episodes of Becoming Royston had been shortlisted and they were really excited about it.
I had to call Randy. We had discussed at length and I made the final decision, we do the film and postpone school till 2007.
As soon as that got out of the way, everything went full steam ahead.
Yes we did make a 5 minute fly-by-night flick, but a 6-episode drama? That was a whole new ball game altogether. Can we pull it off? Randy certainly thought so and he went about doing what he does best again; assembling a dream team and planning for the production.
We knew who we wanted on the team right from the start, but to commit to a project of this scale without being paid is a whole new question altogether. This was the list of the usual suspects we had rounded up;
- Producer + Production Manager: April Tong – Company X
- Script + Screenplay: Terence Teo
- Director of Photography: Ken Minehan
- Editors: Christina Choo/ April Tong
- Assistant Director: Boi Kwong – Company X
- Web Magicians: Troy Toon and Ming Fei – EADC
Ok, these are the people we wanted on board and we would then do everything else ourselves, which included this official production-blog. We had to convince them somehow. While Randy was sorting them out, I started working on the story logic based on Kay Chin’s “Becoming Capa” and characters with Terence and he was absolutely brilliant. He could see the characters I had in mind and most importantly, he could see the logical relationship links between the characters. The episode outlines were done in 3 hours, at Simple Digital at Bras Basah which by then had become our favourite hangout.
While Terence went about to work on the script, a new set of problems started to emerge. What about the cast? Most of the auxiliary characters were created for our friends but the 2 main leads, Boon Huat and Ah Girl had to be convincing. We thought Yeo Yann Yann was the best candidate to play the part of Ah Girl but we had no budget for talents. Zero.
What about the equipment?
How now brown cow?