I would like to thank my alma mater for the recent feature in this year's School of Art, Design and Media's undergraduate prospectus. Full interview below:


Q
A brief introduction about what you are doing in your profession currently

A
I’m currently a founding partner at Semicolon, directing and producing commercials, music videos and promos.

Q
What was your most memorable school moments?

A
Helping out on some of my seniors’ FYP films was something that stuck. Mostly because it was quite a painful experience - long hours of physical and mental exhaustion. But the camaraderie that was forged in adversity is invaluable. Most of us went in because we believed in a script, or someone, or just an idea which was always too ambitious. And it taught us that no ambition is too crazy as long as you had the right band of people at your back. It taught us what it meant to dream.

A lot of us still work together these days, either as collaborators, or as clients. And when we see each other on set, there is that sense of homecoming. And when you go in with a crazy idea, you know these are the people you’d want to die pulling it off with.

Would I want to live it again? Probably not, but it made for great stories and even better friendships.

Q
How do you think ADM has benefitted you that helped you to achieve your success today? Describe that experience.

A
I left ADM having met and known so many people that were instrumental in getting me to where I am today. From faculty to fellow schoolmates. People that I still collaborate with; people who know people who end up as clients. People who can open doors, people who know more people.

I met my two partners at Semicolon back when we were in school. Our first client was a senior of ours who now works at an advertising agency.

Q
Where did you go for your overseas exchange programme / internship if any? Describe your experience

A
I did my exchange at HDM in Stuttgart, Germany and it was an experience that complimented the ADM one rather nicely. The cultural differences were a big part of that - and it broadens your perspective on things.

The thing about being in an unfamiliar environment is that it forces you to be very self-aware - which is something as creatives we tend to forget when we become too caught up in client work, or artistic ego, or trying to score a good grade in school. Being on exchange really reminds you that the world is a lot larger than that, and it helps you find and centre your head around the “why’s” behind each piece of work you engage in.

Q
Any projects that you are really proud of?

A
I did a music video for Starhub as a promo about 2 years ago. And that to me, was a culmination of my entire career up to that point in time. Every creative has a sort of wishlist - an imaginary magnum opus they hold in their heads for a hypothetical “one day” to get it out. And until then, they never really move on creatively. That project was it for me.

I had always been interested in mixing up mediums, more specifically, my interests straddle between film production and animation, and seamlessly blending the two. And up till then, most projects were either one or the other. And this was the perfect project for the two to come together on a scale that I had always wanted to work on previously - with dancers, crazy set design, miniatures, blended in with CG elements and characters, all synced to a music track. Obviously, that in itself presented various challenges to even get the project off the ground. And there were occasions I thought we weren’t going to come out of it alive. But overcoming those, with an almost all-ADM alumni team, was one of the highlights of my relatively short career so far.

I can finally move on to other things now.

Q
Any pointers for incoming young artists, designers, filmmakers etc – something you wish you had known when you were a freshman?

A
Stay curious. A lot of what we learnt back in school was self-initiated. Tertiary education isn’t so much about being spoon-fed information, as it is about the continuous search for knowledge. You learn so much more by asking the right questions and knowing where to look - because it’s everywhere in school. And in many ways, that is who we are as creatives - curious about the world around us. So why not start in school?