NEA: LooGuru

Client: National Environment Agency
Project Title: LooGuru
Director: Glenn Ng
DOP: Alvin Choon

I was contacted for this assignment when I was traveling abroad. The brief was to build a mini scale (but not miniature) set of a toilet cubicle complete with fixtures (such as paper towel dispenser, hand dryer, toilet roll dispenser) in a scale of 1:1.5.

Without my laptop and other tools, I could only resort to pen and paper drawings to sketch the prepatory plan. The main challenge was to maintain the accuracy of the design, while down scaling everything to 66% of its life scale. We had to ensure the aesthetic accuracy of the toiletry props, and could forego its functional aspect. We also had to create a semblance of a face on the props (consisting a pair of eyes and a mouth), in line with the comedic genre of the shoot.

The puppet was a live prop made by an outsourced vendor. For the cubicle set, we selected actual floor tiles measured for the downscaled set, and also included auto-closing door hinges and a vacant/occupied knob. The cubicle had to factor two openings – one in the back wall and one in the flooring, in order for the puppeteers to manoeuvre and animate the puppets comfortably.

The most enjoyable aspect of this project for my team was to ensure that each of the props made were able to contain its own special feature. We had to cut off a roll of actual toilet paper by almost half its original width, to fit proportionately inside the toilet roll holder. We also used A4 cartridge paper cut-to-size to mimic that of a paper towel, then to be used inside the hand towel dispenser.

Skills: Props Fabrication, Set Build, Set Design, Set Dress, Standby