We have produced a video for the National Cancer Institute Singapore (NCIS), bringing attention to their Wellness Coaching Programme aimed at empowering cancer survivors and being a hand for them to hold as they navigate their journey with resilience and hope. At the heart of the video’s visual concept is Sooche Poh, the Director of Photography for this project.
Sooche (Left) with Videographer Jaslyn (Right)
Understanding the Director of Photography Role
The Director of Photography is responsible for establishing the overall visual aesthetic of a production. On set, they guide the camera, lighting and grip teams, navigating them to capture the expected visual objectives of the production.
Tell us about the overarching creative vision you had for this project!
“This project was based on a real-life experience of a man facing a severe battle with cancer who discovered transformative support through the NCIS coaching program and ultimately found deeper meaning in his life.”. According to Sooche, they aimed for a warm and heartfelt tone, respecting the individual’s journey and narrating it with dignity while emphasising the positive impact of the coaching program. Sooche reveals that nature elements such as trees, water, and the sky played a significant role in the visual narrative, contributing to the emotional depth of the story. To capture the nuanced expressions of the protagonist, they relied a lot on close-ups while the use of dolly shots added a smooth and seamless quality to transitions, enhancing the overall cinematic experience.
Can you describe some specific challenges you encountered while shooting this production, and how did you overcome them?
“The interview section proved to be the most demanding.”. Sooche explains that a lot of meticulous planning and attempts goes into authentically conveying someone else’s life story. It took a lot of collaborative effort between the director and the talent for them to achieve the desired emotional depth and resonance. The unexpected pouring of rain imposed time constraints but they adapted quickly. By the end of the shoot, they managed to film everything they needed.
How did you collaborate with the director and other key team members to ensure an aligned vision?
The journey begins with a crucial pre-production meeting. “We try to meet the director and producer, prior to the shoot itself as soon as possible so that we have time to prepare and everything.”. During the briefing, they delve into the project’s objectives, discussing what needs to be captured and the desired visual style and language. According to Sooche, sharing a production deck where they include things such as reference videos and potential music choices contributes to having comprehensive overview. “Subsequently, I liaise with my technical team, briefing the gaffer on the shoot’s flow and technical requirements.”.
Can you share any memorable or favourite scenes or shots from the project that you are particularly proud of and why?
Rather than having a specific shot or scene that she favours the most, Sooche finds that the most cherished aspect of this project lies in the significance of the video itself. Being able to convey the struggles and triumphs of the individual through the medium of the film brings a sense of fulfilment, making the entire project, as a whole, her favourite part. “I feel very lucky to be a part of this meaningful project.”.
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