NYGH: Once Upon A Generation

Client: Nanyang Girls’ High School
Project Title: Once Upon A Generation
Director: Huang Junxiang
DOP: Tan Kang Wei

Watch Once Upon A Generation (2017)
View Tuesday Report: When the Bell Rings (Episode 1)

Once Upon A Generation is a telemovie script co-written and directed by Huang Jun Xiang, in commemoration of Nanyang Girls High School’s centennial celebrations.

The narrative revolves around the story of a young girl, following through her childhood in the 30s, later on to the 80s, and to present day. I had to recreate scenes from the 30s “kampong” era. Houses from that time mainly comprised wood and other natural materials. To achieve an accurate representation of this, my set building team led by Julie Liew had to build and age the wall panels using only wood. To further achieve authenticity, we sourced dry palm leaves and wove them together to use as the roof over the house, as “kampong” houses back then did not use tiles.

Many props were acquired to represent the 1930s kampung marketplace, where people of different backgrounds go to buy sundry products, kacang puteh and other local fare. Stall racks were constructed to resemble the styles and building techniques used during that time period.

The entire art department consisted of a few of us who were full-timers, however we received immense support from the school’s students who assisted to make props, age set walls, and also participated in painting a huge backdrop spanning 25m wide by 17m tall (led by Jacky Mak). The responsibility was shared by over 20 students who supported us in the Art Department and they were credited accordingly for their efforts in making the movie together with us.

Skills: Art Direction, GFX, Props Fabrication, Set Build, Set Design, Set Dress, Standby