Today theSun publishes an interview on a website that promotes short films. Here is the full article.
Headline: Promoting Shorts Online
By Bissme S
When Ho Jia Jian and his business partner,Derick Tan, founded the Viddsee website two years ago, they faced a lot of scepticism and discouragements right from the beginning.
“Everyone thought we were dealing with a niche market because they believe not everyone loves watching short films,” Ho says in a recent interview.
But the duo has proved the critics wrong. To date, the Singapore-based platform has over three million monthly video streams.
The hybrid online platform currently showcases short films from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea and India.
Viddsee has also become a hit among film buffs and filmmakers with many filmmakers having used this website to showcase their works.
Ho explains: “This is the place where you get your voice heard.”
Even an experienced filmmaker like James Lee is impressed with Viddsee and is currently using this platform to showcase his works from his production house, Doghouse 73 Pictures.
“I do not see my future in mainstream cinemas any more,” says Lee.
“The mainstream film industry is not progressing financially and doesn’t give you the space to put up different stuff. Almost everything in mainstream cinemas is determined by investors.”
Catering for audiences online gives Lee the chance to be creative and to think out of the box, adding that “one of my biggest mistakes in the past was not to take YouTube seriously in showcasing my works”.
Lee loves the fact that now, he can reach new audiences and has a more direct contact with them – and he can read their feedback immediately.
Another filmmaker who has benefited from Viddsee is Quek Shio Chuan, whose two shorts – Guang and Sunflowers – have become a hit on the website with their captivating and touching storylines.
The 14-minute Guang is a about two brothers. The older brother, Wen Guang, is autistic and often misunderstood. He has to struggle with social interaction as well as finding it hard to perform his daily obligations.
The 30-minute Sunflowers is about a struggling young makeup artist who finds herself working in a funeral home, making the dead look beautiful.
The positive response he’s received from Viddsee has encouraged Quek to turn Guang into his first feature film.
Another filmmaker reaping rewards from Viddsee is award- winning actress Sharifah Amani. Her 22-minute short, Sangkar, has so far been viewed more than 100,000 times.
Sangkar is about a highschool girl who falls in love with her classmate but has to accept a marriage proposal from an old man to help with her family’s dire financial situation. Things get more complicated when the old man is related to the boy she loves.
“Directing shorts gives me a new respect for female
filmmakers,” says Sharifah.
“All over the world, women are often treated as secondclass citizens behind the scenes.A woman has to be tough to survive in such a situation.”
In her next short, the actress wants to tackle the controversial subject of having babies out of wedlock.
“In Malaysia, we do not put importance on sex education.”
When asked when she will direct a feature film, she cheekily quips: “Give me the money.”
|From left: James Lee, Quek Shio Chuan, Sharifah Amani & Ho Jia Jian|