Photo credit: Wong Hui, Grace

The sweet sound of success

Sounding out Ivy Chin, winner of both sound awards at this year's National Youth Film Awards.

Marie Tan
Marie Tan

Published: 1 September 2016, 12:00 AM

She has just graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Filmmaking and has already scored two film awards.

It almost seems like Ivy Chin, who bagged the ‘Best Sound Editing’ and ‘Best Sound Mixing’ awards at the National Youth Film Awards, knows exactly what she wants to pursue in life.

But that was not always the case. She spent three years studying a course she did not enjoy. But the 24-year-old has no regrets, as those years propelled her in the direction of her true passion – sound and filmmaking.

As she trudged her way through polytechnic studying business and finance, Ivy started her own photoshoot projects to hone her skills in photography.


Ivy in her element, working on her film.


After polytechnic, Ivy consolidated a portfolio that included photos from projects that she did during her free time and applied to Nanyang Technological University’s School of Art, Design and Media (ADM).

“Actually, I applied to ADM without them [my parents] knowing. I got in and then I told them!” Ivy revealed, with a laugh.

Her decision did not come as a surprise to her parents as they were already aware of Ivy’s passion for the arts, as well as her weekend photoshoot projects.

But besides her interest in visual arts, Ivy is also musically-inclined and plays several musical instruments.

“I started learning [the] piano in primary school, which wasn’t what I really wanted but I learnt it all the way till secondary school, where I joined band and played the saxophone.

“And along the way, I picked up the guitar on my own,” said Ivy, who has a keen ear for sound.


Ivy clearly knows her sounds. She plays four instruments, including the saxophone.


Although world-renowned composer, Hans Zimmer, is her inspiration, Ivy said she did not incorporate elements of his style into her movie, Blast, because the sounds needed to be more realistic.

Her movie, Blast, displays the strained relationship between a mother and daughter, and how the girl discovers that she is deaf in one ear as a result of her mother slapping her.

“This piece [for Blast] was designed to be realistic and relatable. We’re watching it from the eyes of the character and I didn’t want to dramatise it with extra sound effects,” said Ivy, with a smile.

With the sound in the film mostly portrayed from the daughter’s perspective, Ivy had to make sure that the sounds produced were very specific to the actions of the actors in order to showcase how precisely the sounds were produced.

“For normal films, sound usually accommodates the visuals. But for my film, sound was the major criteria that I worked around and gave priority over the visuals,” Ivy revealed.

And with two wins at the National Youth Film Awards under her belt, Ivy’s confidence has been boosted.


Nailing the sounds for each scene is essential to a successful film.


“It’s also an encouragement, especially winning with Blast, because I was experimental with the sound in the film. I can now be more daring and experiment with something wilder,” Ivy remarked.

Ivy is now continuing her freelance work and is working on two different projects, one of them an upcoming local film.

Her advice to those interested in following in her footsteps?

Ivy said: “Try out all the roles in film production and find out what you really like before diving straight into one role. We will never know what [we are] truly interested in until we do it.”

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