Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Interview with Emily Haw of Web Series "Waiting"

The Interview you've been Waiting for ... Producer / Director / Composer Emily Haw has been making an impact online with her web series Waiting (http://www.iamwaiting.sg/), an innovative photo-video-radio hybrid that tells a group of stories of people who are waiting for different things to happen. Her unique story telling style has not only captured an audience but has also raised awareness and funds for her adopted charity, the Red Cross.
As an alumni of EML (Electronic Music Lab), Emily not only produced and directed and published the series herself, but she also composed the soundtrack and title theme. So of course we wanted to aks her some questions about her experience.
 

What were the biggest challenges you faced in creating the show and soundtrack by yourself?

The biggest challenge was seeing through to its end.It was as if the project was cursed, as it was named “Waiting”, and there were times that I thought that it would never see the light of day. The project began as something purely for fun, but after the first day of production, I knew that I could no longer turn back and say, “I don’t feel like carrying on anymore,” because there were so many other people’s time and effort at stake. In the entire process, I was also not the only one who wanted to give up. One of my photographers, Chuan, almost threw in the towel too, because he had the most tedious marathon task of editing hundreds of photos in the series. I had to ask the actors to encourage him to carry on. They sent him a flurry of text messages to cheer him on, and finally he finished it till the very last photo. Getting others to buy in is easier than maintaining that enthusiasm.

How has the reaction and reception been to the series?

The reaction has been encouraging. The media gave great reviews for the music (phew!) and we had an onslaught of interviews from tv, radio and press. I was most encouraged when a random stranger bought the DVD when he was at the library during the premiere screening. He was not related to any of the crew, and told me that he liked the screening and wanted to watch and listen more. It’s moments like this that makes it all worth it.

Why did you choose Red Cross?

I was previously a Red Cross cadet. Not many people are aware of the Red Cross Home for the Disabled, which is Singapore’s only residential home for close to 100 beneficiaries. When I first visited the Home in Secondary School, it left such a deep impression in me that when I was looking for a beneficiary for the waiting project, the Red Cross Home for the Disabled came immediately to mind.

What is the next step for your project? Or are you starting another one?

I’m currently looking for more opportunities and venues to conduct screenings and live performances to generate more awareness. My next gig cum screening will be at MAAD Sounds on 7 September 9pm at Red Dot Museum.

Based on what you experienced, what advice would you give new creators who want to develop a project like this?

Always look for sponsors first before embarking on production, so that you could explore subtle product features during filming. Be flexible and open to learning. Be prepared to refine your roadmap as you go along.

 Interview by Benjamin AngWAITING (等) is available on DVD - 50% of nett sales are donated to The Red Cross.

Episode 1: Weijie's medical report is out and he discovers that he is suffering from the last stage of lung cancer. He requests the doctor to keep his illness as a secret as he does not want his wife, Yiwen, to know. Months later, he writes the song 《等》 for a upcoming female artiste Xiao Le. During recording, Xiao Le can't seem to nail down the vocals until Weijie enlightens her on the emotions of waiting. 第一集:透过化验报告得知自己患上末期肺癌的伟杰,请求医师封口,别让他太太知道实情。

 The theme song from the mini-series WAITING (等), remixed by Cosmic Armchair (Singapore) Visit http://www.iamwaiting.sg  for details of WAITING (等), visit http://www.cosmicarmchair.com  for more music from Cosmic Armchair








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