Ah Boys to Men stars' new movie -- a school project that costs $26,000

26 April 2013 / 3 years 6 months ago

They were willing to spend whatever it took to realise their passion for producing an impactful, quality short-film for their final-year project (FYP).

Even if it meant forking out close to $10,000 each from their pockets. Or, having to hire actors like Ah Boys to Men stars Maxi Lim and Noah Yap to play supporting roles.

Their 24-minute film focusing on relationships in the army cost a hefty $26,000.

According to a report on The New Paper, the two undergraduates from Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU) Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI) felt that every cent spent on actualising their film, Purple Light, was worth it.

They submitted their project yesterday and are waiting for it to be graded.

Director Cecilia Ang, 23, said: “The experience is worth it. I think it’s sort of like giving birth. When you see your baby at the end, it makes all the pain and hard work worthwhile."

Miss Ang said the bulk of the money went into hiring cast and their 20-strong film crew, most of whom were freelancers.

The money also covered expenses for wardrobe, transport, welfare and production supplies.

She said although she was aware of the costs in making a film, she initially expected to fork out only about $5,000 of her own money.

To fund their exorbitant project, Miss Ang and, team-mate Charlene Yiu, 24, took on various jobs and video competitions during the school semester, raising some $5,000.

Miss Yiu, who was also the producer and art director, said:

“It was tiring, but I’m used to juggling work and study. It boils down to time management."

They also tried also getting public donations but were more successful raising about $1,600 in funding from two school grants.

Miss Ang and Miss Yiu’s expenditure sheds light on the importance of FYPs, a necessary component in the academic curriculum of some undergraduate courses.

Usually worth more than the credits of a single module, it has the potential to affect their overall grade point average.

This is why some university and polytechnic final-year students spend large amounts on their FYPs.

Ms Nikki Draper, a senior lecturer at WKWSCI’s division of broadcast and cinema studies, said that while there is no cap on the amount students can spend, “there are loads of great ideas that don’t cost a ton of money to execute‘.

She said:

“Part of the FYP process is determining the execution of a feasible idea, given your resources. Everyone can probably think of some Hollywood big-budget movie flop.

“The mentality that a good idea needs a big budget... is often a liability to producing work. People miss interesting, opportunities that way."

Students can also apply for grants either from their schools or from outside organisations to help fund their work.

Join in the talk