A Little Faith Goes a Long Way – An Interview With the Inciting Incident’s Inaugural Winner, Chung Ming See
Many creatives often have to balance their artistic sentiments with pragmatism. This is why Sinema launched The Inciting Incident (TII) competition, which is meant to provide an avenue for writers who may be uncertain about showcasing their work, to cultivate their art and ultimately, the local creative industry itself.
Chung Ming See, the first winner of TII, encapsulates the spirit of the competition perfectly. She submitted her comedy screenplay (Fertility Treatment) with little expectations, motivated simply by the idea of “why not?”. Free from the usual apprehension, Ming See proves that sometimes, all we need is to take a leap of faith and trust in our work.
In Fertility Treatment, a married couple comes under pressure by the government to make a baby to resolve the country’s population crisis. Jury member Ray Pang, founder of Premise, praised the story as “something out of the ordinary” yet remaining believable and realistic. Kamil Haque, founder of the Haque Centre of Acting & Creativity, commended the interesting social messaging and plot twist, making Fertility Treatment “very exciting to read”.
Ming See shares her experience as a writer and what the future holds for her.
Tell us about yourself.
There is not much to say about me, really. I am generally a very dull character. If I were in a movie I would probably get killed off within the first minute and nobody would remember.
I spend the bulk of my time and energy attempting to mould the future of our nation (i.e. I teach), with varying degrees of success.
What was your inspiration for Fertility Treatment?
I wanted to write something sort of dystopian and darkly funny, so I thought about what some of the imminent challenges facing Singapore were, that I could also make a joke out of. I decided on the topic of boosting fertility rates pretty quickly because, well, sex is something you can always make funny – there is a lot of room for awkwardness and irreverence.
Tell us a bit about your experience writing screenplays
I only started writing screenplays about two years ago, when I became interested in long-form storytelling after getting sucked into the world of Netflix.
I wrote my first screenplay as part of a Skillsfuture workshop, and then my second one as part of IMDA’s Writers’ Lab last year. I guess I can be the poster child for the government’s efforts to promote lifelong learning.
How did you hear of TII and what made you decide to participate?
One of my friends from Writers’ Lab informed us of this competition and I thought, why not? It’s a good way to keep the momentum going. I also liked that there were clear parameters set.
How did you feel winning the challenge?
Very surprised, and very touched! It felt very strange to hear my name announced on live stream. I wasted no time in informing my parents, both of whom I think have been quietly and steadily let down by the way I have turned out over the years. It offered them some momentary solace.
What are your plans moving forward now that your screenplay has won the challenge? Will you be producing the screenplay into a short film?
I would definitely like to have a chance to produce it into a short film… as soon as I figure out how!
Missed out on the opportunity to participate in The Inciting Incident’s first round? Fret not! The challenge’s next round will be open for submissions on Thursday, 2 April! Contestants are to submit an original screenplay in English for a 3 – 5 minute short film based on this quarter’s genre of romance! Submissions will be judged by a panel of industry professionals, narrowing the selections down to 10 finalists and ultimately 3 winners.
Stay tuned for more information on our Facebook page.