WEEK 6 REFLECTION

Last week, everyone in class had to write a 1000 word essay on political apathy for our IS module- which (bet you’ve guessed it) nearly made us ‘die’. Upon doing my research, I thought that while the Singapore government made a lot of effort to encourage young people to be involved in the nation’s politics, many still remains nonchalant.

So, for this week’s reflection, I’ve decided to write a little short essay or so called speech to arouse young Singaporeans to salute our nations past achievements. But, I’ve got to first state that an essay I wrote last year inspired this weeks reflection.

Here goes…

“Singapore is moving on to her 41st birthday this year! Singaporeans of different generations have gone through thick and thin together in the forty years of independence. We shared the same tears; the same smiles, laughter and pride, and picked each other up when we fall. Even as we make a step further to the 41st year of the birth of our nation, let us not forget the trails and difficulties our dear forefathers faced in making what Singapore is today.

In the years before Singapore celebrated her first birthday, the British who colonized Singapore was defeated. Japanese troops entered from Malaysia (then known as Malaya) and conquered our country. They performed barbaric practices on loyal countrymen, like forcing water into a prisoner’s mouth and tossed infants through midair and pierced a sword through them. Chinese men were selected from villages, and family heard no more of them. Wives lost their husbands, children lost their fathers and sisters lost their brothers. Instead of enjoying lessons like we do in school now, students in the past were forced to learn Japanese (not willingly like in Ben’s case) and had to salute to Japanese soldiers. Everyone was made to adopt and practice the Japanese culture and pay respect to the Japanese king. Lives under the Japanese were tough and torturous, but if there was one thing our forefathers did, that was not to give up on Singapore.

Through suffering, people built goals and dreams for the nation, held on to hopes and strived onward. Alas, the long awaited day finally arrived. 9th August 1965, Singapore blew her first candle on the birthday cake. Flags were raised, songs were sung and people worked hard, hand in hand to build our Singapore.

Now, in the 41st Anniversary Celebrations, Singaporeans will sing National Songs that symbolize economic success and tolerance among different races and religion. Welcome, my fellow classmates, to the 21st century Singapore, a country of hope, peace and a future.

Singapore was once just a vision of our ancestors. With their blood and sweat, they made their dream come true and built our present home. As Singaporeans, we must never forget our past. Even with obstacles placed before us, we must work together to overcome it and reach the place where we belong. We live in the reality of our forefathers’ dreams, but lets not put an end to these. Continue to strive, children of Singapore, and colour our dreams with vibrant colours. Live the lives of our ancestors learn our history. Together, let us not allow our age, religion or race affect our decision to make Singapore a better place. Every youth plays a part; everyone makes up the 4 million strong Singapore.”

I hope that by reading my short ‘speech’, people will be interested in my nations past and future! While I must confess that the political situation in Singapore don’t affect or interest me much, I do hope that I, together with many other young Singaporeans, will nurture the interest of our country’s politics.

So, fellow classmates, lets flip open to the Straits Times today and read all about Lee Kuan Yew!!

WEEK 6 NOTES

Writing For An Audience
Screenwriter= storyteller
– The current cinematic experience is not just made up of words you might put on paper but the audience’s emotional reaction to that information.

Who Brings The Story To The Audience?
⇒ Director to people
⇒ Writer to people
⇒ Camera to people
Actually, it’s NONE!!
It is people who bring the story to people

What is A Writer’s Purpose?
– To connect (emotions, able to visualize)
~ Themselves (own past, history, life)
~ Their unique vision
~ The material
~ The drama
~ Others
Why? Because audiences want to be transported by a screenplay. They want to be able to CONNECT and RELATE with the filmmakers.

Where Do You Look For A Story?
Inside yourself!
Everything to learn about other people is already in you. Even if the audiences cannot relate to the plot, they must be able to relate to the idea.

Storytelling Tool #2 – EXPERIENCE
– All people have fragments of stories
– These potential ideas prompt your desire to know more
– Respond emotionally and intellectually to what you have heard
– Your stories are born in the heart, not in the head
– Remember the role of the audience. After all, you ARE the audience!

Storytelling Tool #3 – MEMORY
– Your memory is a wonderful cabinet of past incidents that you have experienced or have been told.
– These memories are points of reference to your past experiences.
Memories are filtered by perspective. It sips into our head. You grow as a person.

Write what know, write what you dint know.

Film Les Miston
Written and directed by Francois Truffaut

WEEK 5 REFLECTION

Everyone has likes and dislikes, don’t they? For example how Shu Hui likes her sampan (a Malay small boat) trips, how Li Qing likes to set up mass conversations on msn, how Ben likes to wear his jacket even on a hot and humid day and how JJ likes his dear. Ok, that’ll better be love!

As for me, I like planes. Airplanes. I think that each different type of planes have their story to tell, a story precious to many individuals. And since this is a story telling class reflection, I felt it apt to talk about the stories left behind planes as they trail across the sky.

I must admit, though, that I know nuts about planes. What kind of plane models is there, the history of planes, the technical details about planes–what are these anyway? I only know that there are two types of planes: the passenger planes and the fighter planes. And based on there two facts, I found them interesting and thus my reflection.

The passenger planes and the fighter planes. To me, they represent woman and men respectively. Let me explain!

The fighter planes are made to protect the country, the nation, and the people. They are there to serve at the front line and risk damage for a cause. These planes move fast, and are strong to begin with. Here to protect, here to serve. Thinking about this, isn’t that what men are supposed to do? Aren’t they also supposed to protect their family and friends and serve their country too?

When I see a fighter plane fly swiftly across the sky and leave a trail of white clouds behind it I would stop and take a second look. How strong this plane seems, ready to face all challenges before it. And as it flies steadily across the sky, it reminds me how man in particular should live. Holding on to a certain believe and purpose, he strives forward. But why man in particular and not woman? Yes, woman must have her purpose too, but other than that, she has a husband to follow and obey. So, the man is the one who leads his family and the one who protects his country.

And what about the trail of white clouds that follows the fighter plane as it dash across the sky? While men have to be strong and lead many, he also has to leave something behind for us to follow. Not just to lead, but teach others how to follow and obey.

To me, this is the beauty in the way men are made, different from women. Like the fighter plane, they have to protect and sacrifice, lead and learn to teach.

As for the passenger plane, they are made to serve. Carrying hundreds of precious lives in them, they shoulder the responsibility to help these people reach their destination. Made larger and move slower, they seem more gentle too. As the pilot flies the plane, he flies it with love, love for each and every passenger in it, love for his or her lives. Just like the woman, part of her responsibility is to serve her husband and nurture her kids. She bears the responsibility to teach her children the meaning of life and nurture them as they grow each day.

When I admire a passenger plane stride pass the sky, I look with wonder and adoration of the number of lives in it, and the great yet humble responsibility it carries. Each passenger has a story to tell. Perhaps one of them is on the way to his/her child’s graduation in the UK. Or perhaps some others are on their way to a wonderful family vacation together. Or maybe one passenger is on his/her way to begin a fresh new career overseas. Maybe there is a couple on board, looking forward to a priceless time together as they begin their new phrase of life.

As the passenger plane flies across the sky, she never knows the stories she carries inside her. Just like when a mother nurtures her child, she does not know what her child will be like in the future. However, she does have the responsibility to teach her child the right way, praying for the best.

So, the passenger plane is like a woman, with the noble responsibility to teach her children and lead them to where they belong.

However, planes are planes, machines are machines. And human are human. While we cannot use these machines to compare with humans totally, I think that there are many similarities we can draw and learn. We are not machines after all.

So don’t you think it’s just so amazing, the way men and women are made, so similar yet different from each other? We all bear different responsibilities, yet deep down inside we bear the responsibility for each other.

The men leads while the women follow. The men protects while the women nurtures.

WEEK 4 REFLECTION

While writing my week 4 reflection, T1B2 has already completed 5 weeks of school! And I must say, I really like the school and my dear class! We have the really crazy people, like Benedict, Joshua, Jacky, Bryan, Shu Hui, the lame ones, like Ray, JJ, the sweet and lovely ones, like Liqing, Kim, Seri, Rein, the quiet and mature ones like Eugene and Thombaline, and the hardworking ones like Sharkadada and Zelda.

We were complete strangers on the 15 of April (which happens to be Jacky’s birthday) yet friends on the 16 of April. Now, we are pals, buddies- we are one! And I believe that we did not meet by chance, but there is a plan for all of us. A big and beautiful one. The Storywriter made us meet for a reason! This is exciting! Like written in our friendster account, “because of who we are, we make things happen”.

Why did I mention this? Because just last week, we did an assignment in class where we had to make two individuals whom our friends spied on, meet. They were complete strangers, yet in our story, the individuals will come know each other in some way or another. And a story, a planned story, develops. Just like our story. T1B2’s exciting story.

The PowerPoint presentation was another interesting thing we did on week 4’s story telling class. Why? Because we could watch our friends present! Ok, maybe for Joshua, the fun part was presenting. Then, he can show of his hidden ‘talent’. (You know why the word talent is in inverted commas don’t you?) Kidding. Back to the point, doing our own presentation has its benefits. First, we will definitely understand our research topic very well. Simple and complex plot- I know what is that! Second, with our friends’ understanding of a certain topic and Mr. Ryan’s explanation, we can indeed learn more. Two similar yet distinct reasoning on one topic. How interesting can that be!

And I think that Aristotle is a remarkable man! Whatever he has penned down thousands of years ago is still being studied today. If my essay is read three years later, I will indeed be glad, not to mention thousands of years!

One interesting thing I learnt is that spectacle (special effects in a story) ranks the least important in the factors of a story, and I agree with the point. I am not saying that I do not enjoy and appreciate spectacles. In fact, these are some things that immerse me in the film. With high and improved technology, special effects make things seem as if some things really occurred. Take the film Spiderman 3 for example. Most would have to agree that the special effects created for sandman was remarkable. It looks as if he was real! However, how did that contribute to the overall storyline? What values did that bring across, or what conflict did the effects cause? Did the way sandman was evolved contribute to the message of the film? I should say no.

Like what we learnt in class, the purpose of a theater in the past is to bring across religious message to audiences. Now, the theater’s purpose is to convey the filmmaker’s and societies certain believes and values. Thus, spectacles would only contribute to the excitement and entertainment level of the film, but does not help much in bringing across the film’s intentions. A two-hour film, which consists only of special effects and no strong message, will not be worth watching, will it? So, what I’ve learnt is that while spectacle is indeed entertaining and enjoyable, what is most important in a film is the story and values it brings across.

That’s all for now! Bye!

Signing off,
Pamela Soh
T1B2!!!!!

WEEK 4 CLASS NOTES

Definition of Greek Tragedy:
– It is an imitation of an action (mimesis) that is serious, complete and of a certain magnitude; in language established with each kind of artistic ornament; in form of action with narrative; with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish its kartharsis of such emotions.

The 6 factors of a story:
1. Plot- arrangements of incidents, the way it is presented to the audiences in the film, not the story itself.
2. Character- second place in importance. The characters support the plot.
3. Thought- where something is proved to be or not to be. Or a general maxin is enunciated. When there is character growth.
4. Diction- expression of words which are proper and appropriate to the plot, character and the end of the tragedy.
5. Sound/melody- musical elements of the chorus.
6. Spectacle- special effects. Production of spectacular effects depends more on the art of the stage machinist than on that of the poet. Least important.

The “Cause & Effect” chain:
4 types of causes: a. material cause (what something is made of)
b. Motive/ efficient cause
c. Formal cause
d. Final cause (realise formal cause)
Definition of cause: a chain effect where whatever happens in scene A leads to scene B.

How can a good plot create “Unity of Action”
⇒ No action/scene is to be a digression; nothing is left inside temporarily in speech and writing. Every word and action must contribute.

A Film’s Beginning, Middle and End
The beginning
– Start and cause the effect chain
The middle
– Climax
– Caused by earlier incidents
The end
– Resolution
– Caused by preceding events that cant lead to other incidents
– The end should resolve problems caused during incintive moments
The Episodic Plot
– The only thing tying together events in such a plot is the fact that they happen to that same person

Characters in a Tragedy
– must be rich and famous
– they support the plot
– personal motivation are connected to the cause-and-effect chain.
– not necessary bad, but are flawed in some particular way

The 3 Act Structure
1st act: set up (goal oriented character)
2nd act: confrontation (character must make a choice and action intensifies)
3rd act: resolution (level of effort raised to now height. Character can either achieve or not achieve his goal)

Important Vocab
1. katharis- purification of a motion
2. mimesis- look like real life, mimic
3. anagnorisis- ignorance to knowledge
4. perepeteia- turn/twist tragedy
5. hamartia- flaw

* The purpose of a theater in the past is for religious reasons. Now, things shown in theaters still portray certain set of believes, values and principles.

WEEK 4 COMPLETED CLASS WORK

We had to read 2 peeson’s stalking exercise and write a story based on the time when the two characters are together. Fun exercise! Enjoy:)

WHEN THE TWO MEET

Xiao Li and Aaron are in bus 151. They are on their way home after a long day in school and the ‘best’ thing is, the bus is a non air-conditioned bus. Xiao Li, sitting near the ales of the bus is engrossed with her comic book. She reads the book as if she is in her own world and nothing else beside her matters. The noisy, bumpy bus ride did not bother her at all, as long as she could read her comic, she is satisfied.

Aaron, on the other hand, is very sleepy. He has just had lunch with his classmates and is about to doze off any moment. All he wanted to do is to sleep all the way to his stop, which is a thirty minutes bus ride.

Suddenly, Aaron opens his eyes and remembers that he has left his hand phone in MacDonald’s. He sits straight up and shouts “Oh no, I left my darling in MacDonald’s!” in Chinese. Aaron rushes towards the bus door, hoping to go back and get his dear hand phone. While trying to make his way through the crowded bus, he accidentally brushes against Xiao Li and causes her comic book to land on the bus floor. With a foot on the book, Aaron hurriedly and panicky pick up the comic book for Xiao Li. This caused the book to tear into half. Half of the book remains on the bus floor while the other half is in Aaron’s hands. Aaron freezes for a moment, but upon realizing that his hand phone is still lost, he immediately mutters a “sorry” to Xiao Li. But no, she is definitely now going to easily accept his apology. The book is her favourite, and it was not easy for her to get it.

“Sorry? You think that just a pathetic sorry will solve this? You are going to pay for it!” Xiao Li stands up and shouts, angry with Aaron for tearing her book. With this, everyone on the bus stares at them, shocked. Frustrated, Aaron slips out a $10 from his wallet and pass it to her. He turns his back and is about to leave the bus when Xiao Li roughly grabs his bag.

“Stop it!” he shouts, really angry this time. Xiao Li tugs him lightly, and signals Aaron to leave the bus. She leaves the bus too.

“We will settle this later,” she promises.

WEEK 3 REFLECTION

The past 3 weeks of school has been really exciting! I like my new classmates and I love the modules we are having!! We have: storytelling techniques, film introduction, studio production, photography, art and design, individual and the community and last but not least, contemporary issues. Cool huh… It’s always exciting to go for classes everyday. Perhaps it’s because I like this course, and that is why I am here right now, enjoying what I am learning. Seriously, if not for Film, Sound and Video, I really do not know what other course I’ll take in polytechnic. I did not even select any other course for the JAE. Thanks to God that I was selected for FSV☺ Yippee!!

Anyway, Storytelling Technique classes have been terrific in the past 3 weeks! There is so much to learn. Just last Friday, we learnt about who wrote the first story and people’s observation skills. The two parts I liked most was first, when we get to hear others short stories and talk about it and second, when we got to work in groups to answer questions. I think that discussing other student’s stories and sharing what we feel about the story helps a lot. In a sense, we get to know the student’s and teacher’s opinions of the story so that in future, we can either learn from them or avoid their past mistakes and improve together! Isn’t that amazing? I think so too! One interesting point was when Jacky commented that Jun Jie could use an exclamation mark instead of just a full stop to portray his character’s feelings and thoughts better. What occurred to me was that even simple and basic punctuation mark could change the story as a whole. That’s indeed a point to note. Thanks Jacky for the comment and Mr. Ryan for coming with such a way to conduct the class! Also, working in groups to learn a lesson doesn’t just help us understand the lesson’s objective, but how to work as a group as well. Yes, my dear T1B2 has indeed been very united as a class even though we have known each other for only 3 weeks, but we haven’t gotten a chance to work together as small groups. Discussing lessons in groups of 3 of 4 have indeed allowed me to get to know my classmates whom I don’t really talk to better. Also, we don’t just copy the notes, we present them. That’s the fun of it all. Although I must admit that it wasn’t easy, my group (Liqing, Bryan, Eugene and I) struggled a lot!! Hahaha. Wait and see the fruits of our labour.

In class, we were also taught about observation skills. Ben and Seri were asked to describe what the other party wore today. Unsurprisingly, Seri bet Ben! Congrats Seri!! It was really fun listening to how they described each other and I bet the class had as much fun as I did. Wow, it is indeed true that girls observe better than guys. Speaking of observations, after class on Friday, I have been trying to be more observant to my surroundings. While on the bus today (Monday), I tried to look out of the window and see things which I have never observed before. I must admit, it can get tiring after some time.

I’ve completed the ‘stalking’ assignment halfway, with another target to go. I never knew we could know so much about a person just by sitting and observe her. Can’t wait to ‘stalk’ my second target!

That’s all for now. Reflection for week 4 coming up! Well, that would be, of course, after week 4.