Most tiring, tedious shoot of all time

I feel ready to keel over and die right now.

We did this scene like 40 times today. It’s a two-and-a-half-page scene, which translates to about 2.5 minutes of actual running time.

First, we did a wide shot with the camera capturing everyone. Because the director is a perfectionist, everything had to be perfect in the entire take or we had to redo the whole thing from scratch. Because it was 2.5 minutes long and involved many kids and many lines and a high energy level, it was very hard to get it perfect each time. We would play each take till the end and then start over again, hoping that the next take would be IT.

The kids were finally bribed with ice-cream if they could do it perfect. But after a few takes and the perfect take didn’t happen, the ice-cream didn’t happen either. Poor kids.

A long time later, when the wide shot was finally a good take, we went for close-ups on every single last one of us (six). For each close-up, we had to again act out the entire 2.5 minutes, for as many takes as it took for each person’s close-up to be perfect. Everyone else had to maintain the same energy level even if it wasn’t his/her close-up.

I only had three hours of very restless sleep last night (woke up every 15 minutes to toss and turn), so I was already ready to keel over and die without the added burden of having to act super energetic and happy 40 times 2.5 minutes. It was supposed to be a very lively scene with fast-paced bantering and lots of laughter.

It also didn’t help that it was a supremely hot and humid day and I was in uncomfortable clothing and we couldn’t turn on the fans in the room because it interfered with the sound. I also had blisters in my feet from wearing new shoes.

Can die.

If not for my indefatigable will to survive in showbiz, I would have just died on the spot. You don’t know what is hell until you try acting happy and excited 40 times in a row at a time when your body and mind are suffering major sleep deprivation.

I was on the set for over 12 hours, starting from 6.45 am, filming a total of four scenes.

It’s all over now!! Whheeee! My bed is looking very welcome.

18 thoughts on “Most tiring, tedious shoot of all time

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    hmmm… was poring through your previous entries cos i had some time today, and i like your writing style! Plus you’re a freelance writer! Whereas i’m only a wannabe writer.. hah.

    Anyway, yeah, acting’s tough! But no worries, just keep plugging away, and soon it won’t be “are you an actress?” but “QIAOYUN!!!”

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    Eww your director is super perfectionist! Re-shooting 40 times really takes the cake o.O

    And cannot switch on the fan??! I feel hot, sweaty and sticky for you already :p I think you need to be rewarded with ice-cream too!

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    You poor girl! Hope you’re feeling better now. Heat can kill….It’s getting real hot and humid here now. There are days that I’d rather stay at home and do nothing than to go to work!

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    Well, Singaporeans are notorious for being perfectionists in even the most mundane of things. And often missing the forest for the trees in the process.

    We can put the usual blame on the education system again I guess …

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    vinyarb: Thanks for your comments and the encouragement!

    uglyfatchick: Yeah, it is. But as a matter of fact, I like perfectionist directors because I personally want to be in a perfect film, know what I mean?

    Elyxia: Haha. Ice cream sounds nice. The weather’s really been too hot lately. It’s a chore trying to keep makeup from melting in this weather. O_o

    Monster: Heh. Isn’t your school/office air-conditioned?

    Miss Loi: Hmm… is the education system really churning out perfectionist kids now? I’m interested to hear your views on that seeing as you’re an educator. Because among most of my peers, I don’t see a lot of perfectionists. Maybe 1 out of 10. But missing the forest for the trees… that one I strongly agree. :P

    darkelfin: Haha… it wasn’t that bad. I probably stank too, lol.

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    Yes, there’s ac here….But people here have no concept of adjusting the ac to the right temperature. The ac in most places is like 15 degrees or something like that. Then when you step out of the shopping mall or office, you’ll feel the heat immediately! Madness! But it’s getting real hot and humid now.

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    According to, perfectionism refers to “A propensity for being displeased with anything that is not perfect or does not meet extremely high standards.”

    Growing up in a system where we’re told that your PSLE results can potentially impact the rest of your life, where a dip in a solitary test result can trigger all sorts of panic button, where students are afraid to make mistakes (I’ve encountered tons of these), where students are afraid to voice out/ask questions for fear of “looking silly” … IMHO all these point to a perfectionist attitude with the (unfounded) belief that a fall can hurt you real bad.

    And the bad thing is that this can easily manifest itself in one’s attitude later on in his/her working life and you get your typical Singaporean middle-management who is cursed with the overwhelming fear of “not looking good” and is generally “displeased with anything that does not meet their extremely high standards”.

    Admittedly I’m guilty of generalizing here and of course there are many who bochap (doesn’t this term sound a tad derogatory?) such things.

    But till the day most of us learn to … umm … laugh it off, I believe our proud kiasuism culture will remain a subconscious form of perfectionism that exists in most of us whether or not we’re aware of it.


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    I am so impressed by your tenacity and iron will to make it in showbiz. I know you’ll make it, because you’ve already “arrived” and “made it” inside.

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    uglyfatchick: yeah tell me about it!!

    Monster: Haha I can imagine. Hope the weather gets better for you soon! Don’t want you to fall sick with the heat!

    Miss Loi: Cool, thanks for the illuminating explanation. I guess you’re right that all school kids want high marks, which makes every one of them a perfectionist. :P But in my opinion, there are two kinds of perfectionism.

    1. Wanting to appear perfect in order not to lose face and to be superior to others.

    2. Wanting a piece of work to be perfect in order to live up to your own standard, to please yourself that you can do it.

    I suppose there are also people who actually have both traits. I think my director belongs to the 2nd group and I respect people like that, although it isn’t always a constructive trait to have.

    Bee: Thanks, cuz! Appreciate your support and kind words! ;)

    darkelfin: Hahaha. Nobody dye hair lah. That kid is a Eurasian and his hair colour is natural.

    This reminds me, I have something to blog about that, but have to consider first in case kena sue. lol.

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