A Photo and A Caption

I feel that I might be taking baby steps in this initiative work as compared to my peers but recently (since the start of this year, actually), I have been using my Instagram page as a platform for my creative ideas. When I take a good picture, I would edit them in the way I feel that would set the mood and then I would write a short prose for the picture (along with useless hashtags that should be ignored). Plus, I love framing it in 16 by 9 (anamorphic format, I think…).



This shot was taken when I was at a resort in Langkawi. I stood by the balcony of the cafe and I felt like I finally escaped the hustle and bustle of the the busy city life and felt relaxed. I used that to reflect and created a small character based on what I felt at that moment and wrote that prose. In a way, I had subconsciously followed the “create a character profile then write a story” style as practiced for Task 4A. I find this method more effective in trying to write a story. It helps you put yourself in the character’s shoe and find out how the protagonist / antagonist would react or feel towards the situation.



In this, I went for a more comedic punch. I felt I had to dramatically set up the mood and end it with a punch line. My friends and I have this problem where we can’t decide where to eat most of the time and so I thought it would be more relatable to end it with that (very pun-ny).



I have always been lacking in the creativity side so I thought that reading more stories as well as trying to conjure up short heartfelt proses might help cultivate and store a bank of ideas in my head or if I forget them, I can always go back to my Instagram for ideas. The pictures are to practice my cinematography and composition for camera angles and the short proses for my story ideas. I found my weakness even before the studios started. As I mentioned before, I chose this studio to challenge myself to get creative and understand the aspect of scriptwriting in more details. When the first class exercise came, reality hit me like a brick swung in full force for my head. I had trouble even coming up with a simple idea for the scriptwriting exercise. I literally went towards the most cliche story. It was embarrassing…

As I said, I may be taking baby steps but my tactic in improving is with photo essays or with short proses to compliment my pictures. Everyone has to start somewhere, so hopefully my next initiative post would have more impact to reflect on.


Week 4 – Back to the Scripts

It’s been an exciting week! Unfortunately there was a last minute cancellation of class on Monday so I used that time to review my work during week 3 and export it out. Later in the day, I received an email on my task for that week – characterisation practice. We were to create a profile for two characters, put them in any one of the scenarios given and create a synopsis of the story. I went with the idea in mind of twins whose personalities are similar (with tiny differences). I created a twin brother who fears for his own life when up against his scary sister when she gets mad. A short profile of the characters with a tiny example:


1. Shane
Shane is a tall and attractive person, who has the typical “i-dont-care” attitude. He is clean and well kept. He loves to wear baggy clothing, an extreme gamer (and a competitive one at that), and eats twice the amount of a normal human but never gains weight. He loves reading novels despite being a sporty person as well.

He is aloof and quiet. His face usually shows no emotions but when he accidentally broke one of his sister’s precious glassware, he was stricken with fear. The one thing he fears most, is a grumpy, “all-hell-breaks-loose”, angry twin sister after his life.

2. Sarah
A calm and collected person. Just like her twin brother, she has this elegant and sophisticated feel but in reality, she is an extreme klutz. Her mature face looks like she has never smiled even once before. She has long hair and well-dressed all the time.

She loves to read books, all types of novel genres. She loves snacking and if anyone touches her food, she goes into “hell” mode (mostly passive-aggressive but really scary). She would make the smallest problems into a life or death situation.

I think my influence on reading plenty of manga comics and Japanese anime is quite evident when I write these profiles. I had even envisioned Shane struggles to tell his sister that he had “accidentally” eaten her last cookie from the cookie jar. She calmly reads a book while Shane sits at the other end of the sofa fidgeting as he stutters his confession. The idea had hit me that I had to write down a draft script. I had imagine the monologues happening as well.

Screenshot of "The Last Cookie"

Screenshot of “The Last Cookie”

For more on the Task 4A, click here.


Moving on to the next studio class on Thursday, we were grouped into four groups and work on the Creative Writing students’ scripts. We were to shoot exactly as the script said to figure out whether it was workable, or if it was really suitable to be shot in that way. The difficult part of writing a script is you would not know if it could be possible to be shot in the way you envisioned it to be. Sometimes when you shoot, the writers have to do some changes on the spot to capture the shot. So, this time it was definitely a challenge if we cannot capture the way the writers envisioned it to be shot. Lucky for us, the script was short and simple and in a single location. It was workable because it relies on the character’s style of reaction and their way of delivering the dialogues. The group I was in had no problem following the script. There were no major changes in the script.


Overall, in the process of being put through the different stages of production, it kept me on my toes to understand the various tasks that had to be done in a production. This whole studio was to understand the filming aspect to enhance the writing skills. As I mentioned before, it is definitely difficult to sit and write the script without knowing whether it could be shot in that specific way you are thinking of. Being exposed to the technical aspect helps you learn the camera angles and the cinematography. I believe that if I expose myself more to the technical area, I would start thinking my camera angles and scenes in my head and I can write scripts that could give a closer representation of what a camera could capture. In editing, it can help me find different perspectives of framing the camera shots as well. Hence, I think every aspect of the production stages are equally important so this studio is helping me diversify myself to be able to write a screenplay type of script.

Week 3 – Editing Week

This week was more focused on editing from our exercise from week 2. On the first studio session, we were given a lengthy set of instructions on how to operate the media server and where to save our projects to prevent any loss. I was barely keeping up with the rules (my brain processes things rather slowly in the mornings). Thankfully, I had the step by step sheet to refer to when I was doing it on my own the last hour of class. On Thursday, we were randomly grouped and learned the ropes of using the media server storage and how to save our projects and be able to access it anywhere in the editing suites.

I had finished my rough cut on Monday, it was short, simple and as stated in the storyboard we came up with last week. I was suppose to analyse and try to understand how I can better my scriptwriting by being able to visualise the scene coming together with the shots. A few mistakes I found while editing were:

1. I had to be wary of our background – Our bags were in the shot and it was not suppose to be there.

2. I had to make sure there was no eye contact with the camera- there were no shots that were supposed to be looking into the camera.

3. The script had very little storyline to play with – we could not use more camera angles.

Besides the edit itself, I was teamed up randomly with other peers and they gave me an insight on how they edit. We spent the first hour to refresh our memory on using Premiere Pro since one of my group member, Bianca was unable to attend the Monday class. We sped through everything as she learnt quickly and managed a rough cut within that hour. Since she was on a different group last week, I had a different perspective on their style of shots and how they created a dramatic effect for a suspense genre. The way they used the cast looking straight into the camera was very engaging. Next was a team member, Darren where he had a different style of editing with the six shots we had. I figured, just because we had six shots does not mean it was used for only six times as it can be cut back and forth, especially during dialogues. I had done straight to the point, conversation after conversation whereas Darren had created a tension between the mob boss and the two children. I loved that aspect (as expected from a creative writing student!).

I think creating a brainstorming session and giving out ideas during editing session can help me visualise and copy some styles into my next writing exercise. The most valuable lesson I got from this was that there are plenty of ideas out there so we have to group together to gather ideas from different perspectives.


Here is my video of my rough cut! Exercise 2B

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