A passion he never knew he had
Who knew making a simple wedding video could ignite his passion for filmmaking?
It all started with a pre-wedding video.
After being tasked by his cousin to film a fun video for his joyous occasion, little did Jason Choo Han Pin know that it will soon carve the way towards his journey as a filmmaker.
At 21, Jason rarely dabbled with cameras or videos. However, combining all the creative skills he picked up in Serangoon Junior College, he tried his best to film and edit the videos to the best of his abilities.
Thus, it came as a surprise for the young talent when his humbling video received much applause from the audience, and his cousin’s immense gratitude.
Jason, 26, discovered his interest in the creative field when he worked on his university applications in 2011. After receiving an offer to study Mechanical Engineering at in Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Jason was left with an unsettling feeling in his heart.
“In the end, I just (went) for arts (because) I’m more of a creative person,” he shared.
He subsequently appealed to change courses, opting to study at the School of Art, Design and Media. The following year, Jason specialised in Digital Film, where he sharpened his skills in cinematography.
Jason spent the first few months of school catching up with most his classmates who had film background in polytechnic. His dedication towards filmmaking, specifically in cinematography, culminated in a successful final year project (FYP), Osmosis Of Dad & The Love For Bubbletea.
His FYP was nominated for five awards at the inaugural National Youth Film Awards 2015, which recognises young and talented filmmakers. The 15-minute film, created with a team of six students from his course, recently swept up two awards: Best Cinematography, and Best Original Music.
When asked how he felt about the win, Jason’s face immediately lit up. “For me, the award (is by far) the greatest achievement,” he shared.
Given the tight timeline by the school for his FYP, the team only had a week to film. They struggled to film within their tight student budgets, and they barely slept during that gruelling week of shooting.
However, Jason and his team persevered, and kept themselves going after seeing how their work was finally coming to fruition.
“(During) a shoot, it takes a lot of time to make the shot work. When you achieve (a good) result, somehow you (will) feel satisfied,” said Jason, who also took up freelance gigs during his undergraduate years to gain exposure.
Jason, who graduated a year ago with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Film Making, started his own video production company Magi last November, which specialises in professional high-definition corporate and event videography.
Based on his four years of learning experiences, the self-proclaimed perfectionist shared his three most important aspects needed in the filming team.
Jason believes that a team needs to be decisive, especially during the final phases of filming. Sticking to an achievable time is necessary. “If we fail to stick to the plan, it will compromise the following shots,” said Jason.
Having effective communication is crucial for the team to produce an ideal film. He shared that varying opinions in a team cannot be avoided, but it is the responsibility of the members to collaborate and come to a clear decision.
As with all team projects, it is important to have people who are passionate about the assignment. The project will not feel like a chore when everyone has genuine interest to complete the work.
Opening his company may just a small step for the talented filmmaker, but he is already looking forward to taking up more projects in the future. He shared: “I want to shoot bigger projects, like television commercials for big companies.”
Check out Jason’s work here.