Gone Shopping – at Golden Village Vivocity till Wed 22 August + interview with Aaron Kao and Magdalene Tan4 min readReading Time: 4 minutes
A behind-the-scenes video of Gone Shopping, with music by Joe Ng (thanks Emme for the heads up). Catch the film before it ends its run in Singapore, 22 August Wed, at Golden Village Cinema Europa Vivocity. Details here.
We also spoke with the film’s two leads, Aaron Kao and Magdalene Tan, who played Aaron and Hayumi in the film about their feature film debuts.
Junbin (JB): How did you land your role in this film?
Aaron (A): I knew Lin [the director] from many years back — I was actually a student in one of her film-making elective classes in La Salle SIA, and one day she called me up, told me about this story that she is doing and said that she felt I kind of fit the role, so it started from there.
Actually since the first meeting… the film has been about three years in the making!
Magdalene (M): The script has changed a lot since then — I met Lin only three years ago when she contacted me after seeing me on one of the episodes of True Courage and my audition tape at Verite.
JB: Three years is a very long process…
M: Yeah I think for three years, Lin wanted to get all the right people involved — shooting didn’t start until she got the right script, so all along she’s been perfecting the script, and getting more people involved, liaising with them…
A: We had quite a few meetings throughout to discuss the character I played, and because the whole process spread over three years, I had a lot of time to get to know Mag, so when it was time for execution we were already quite comfortable with each other so it was alright.
JB: Your character had to do some sword-fighting scenes in the film… besides getting lessons what other forms of research did you do for your role?
A: Actually the research on my side is not so much on the character itself, but more on acting itself. Because I’ve never done acting, ever, I had to observe people, including myself, and then watch how they and myself behave in front of the camera. I was actually very conscious whenever I was in front of the camera, so I really had to ‘psycho’ myself into being natural and things like that.
As for the sword-fighting — that was quite a worrisome part because I personally don’t know any martial arts, and I didn’t know how to swing the sword properly, so there was a coach on-location while we were shooting to guide me along.
M: For me, the research wasn’t really about the character’s personality, but more on her indulgences, specifically, the cosplaying — that really took a bit of research. I had to dig into a few websites of the cosplay groups in Singapore and go on forums to read and research a bit. One of my co-stars actually is part of a Singaporean cosplay group and owns a shop in Far East Shopping Centre so she helped me out quite a bit in the research.
JB: Sword-fighting and cosplaying aside, how alike are you from the character that you play?
A: Basically from the start when Lin told me about Aaron, the character I was playing, I felt quite familiar with the kind of person he is already. A lot of the character’s role is partly based on my own character, which is one of the main reasons why she asked me to play him.
M: I guess for me, I think everyone can identify with my character because the whole idea was being young and not thinking too much, doing things and following your gut feeling so I think everyone, when they are young, would have been like that, doing things without thinking of the outcome or consequences.
JB: How was it like, interacting with each other, especially seeing that this is, for the both of you, your first role in a feature film?
M: I think I learnt from him as much as he learnt from me. Of course when it first started it was a bit awkward, but with rehearsals it got better. So when it got down to the actual filming and all, the process was actually quite smooth — basically once we saw the cameras and then there was a crew and you’re on location and in costume, everything turned out very smoothly.
Video from youtube.
Catch it at GV Europa (Vivocity) and GV Plaza (Plaza Singapore) before
Gone Shopping the movie website link here.