A young filmmaker in millennial era would definitely experience rapid changes and development in filmmaking. A Singaporean filmmaker, Tang Kang Sheng, admits that internet heavily influenced audio visual works. Minikino talked with him at Fame Hotel, Sunset Road-Kuta (10 October 2017) during his visit to international short film festival 3rd Minikino Film Week.
Nurafida Kemala Hapsari (N): First of all, tell us your impression about Bali.
Tang Kang Sheng (KS): A very friendly place. People are very energetic and they stay happy. Especially in this festival, people are very eager to help whatever they can.
N: Is this your first time coming to Bali?
KS: Not really. I went to Bali some years ago. But it was just a short trip, more like business-trip actually. So this is the first time that I can experience Bali fully and visited many places.
N: How did you know about Minikino?
KS: In early 2017, I met Cika (Fransiska Prihadi- Minikino program director) during a film festival in Kuala Lumpur and from then on, I knew more about Minikino. I was interested to join Minikino Film Week, because it feels nice to see how your film being responded to international audiences. This year (2017) is my first time joining Minikino Film Week. It’s very heart-warming to experience this festival, especially because this festival is spread all over Bali. It reached out to any form of people and community. So it’s not like a centered-and-exclusive kind of festival.
N: So what’s unique about MFW that is different than any other film festivals?
KS: I think it’s about reaching out to every form of audiences as much as possible and then giving them an experience of watching films on a big screen. It was something that started to loss in this era specially when we can easily watch anything from television, even from our phones. But watching on a big screen experience is really something different.
N: Now talk about yourself. What kind of person are you?
KS: Well, I’m a Singaporean filmmaker. So I’m always trying to make film about my generations in Singapore. Like, a lot of things about friendships and relationships. I’m quite an easy-going person. So making film gives me a little bit sense of discipline. I like meeting new people also. It’s enriching and you’ll get many new ideas. I also like to learn and experience something new. Well, I’m still a young filmmaker, so I want to learn as much as possible.
N: When did you start making film?
KS: I started making short films around 2007-2008, if I’m not mistaken. At that time I was making it with friends at college. We were still so young, so we made a lot of action films with fighting and guns, like that. Hahaha. But then we’re progressed to make something like how people interact to each other. That’s the kind of theme I started to interest. To put it simply, it’s a kind of drama.
N: Where do you usually get ideas to make film?
KS: Unfortunately, I get ideas from bad experiences. Hahaha. So every time I face something difficult in my life, of course I want to figure it out. I use films as a medium for me to figure it out.
N: Now that you indulge yourself in short film industry, what do you think about it?
KS: Hmm, I wouldn’t say that it was an industry. Because there’s no money to made from short film. I would say it’s a scene. So I think this scene is getting smaller. A lot of kids nowadays become more interested in web-series. Not that it’s bad though. Because short films also getting its way in internet. I think it’s important to keep it that way too.
N: There are so many audio visual products that claim to be a form of short film. What’s your opinion?
KS: I think that’s because the way people express themselves are changing. From my experience, the definition of short films is slowly changing too. But there’s still a fundamental that people have to do it first. Yes, it’s true that there are many kinds of “short films” going around internet. But people should know the foundation first, before trying other stuff. Start from telling a story traditionally with three classical acts: beginning, middle, ending. When you have surpassed it, then you can play around with it to shape your own personal voice. It’s like a say, don’t run before you can walk.
N: Do you have any messages to anyone who wants to be filmmaker?
KS: I think the most important thing to be a filmmaker is never stop learning and keep making film. It’s easy to just talking about it, but doing it is different story. I saw some of (Liew) Seng Tat’s short films (at 3rdMFW) and how he progressed through mistakes. It’s very crucial. So make as much as possible and don’t stop. Don’t forget to screen it to the audiences also.
N: Is there something you want to say to Minikino?
KS: Of course I want to thank Minikino. Keep up the good work! Hope to see you again next year.