Making Meaning During a Pandemic: Singapore Cancer Society Interschool Competition 2020

Last week, my team and I were pleasantly surprised to win the Overall Winner and People’s Choice awards at the Singapore Cancer Society Interschool Competition 2020. Firstly, we would like to extend our greatest gratitude to our lecturers, as well as the MDIS Media Club for which without them, this film would not have been made.

As the undergraduate team, we had been given the theme of cervical cancer. With that theme in mind, we decided to create a dramatized film depicting the story of an actual survivor. The objective of our film was to raise awareness about cervical cancer, and the essential steps needed to prevent cervical cancer.

Prior to the production, we interviewed a source who had battled cervical cancer in order to base our storyline according to our source’s experience. This would bring truthfulness and authenticity to our film, which we felt would add to the emotional appeal of our film, thus further captivating our audience’s attention. Once we have successfully obtained the audience’s attention, we will then present them with the information we intended to convey; the steps needed to prevent cervical cancer. As a finishing touch, a personalized message from a gynecologist to spread the word about HPV vaccination.

Creating the film was an interesting process for us, as we had little experiences handling filming equipment during that period of time. We had to simultaneously produce this film while learning how to utilize said film equipment to our film’s potential, which was challenging but also a fun experience at the same time. We were very particular about what we wanted the film to be, so a number of issues came up during the process of filming; clips that weren’t to our satisfaction, re-shoots, trying to successfully create a video effect with our little camera experience, finding the right music to fit our film, and so on and so forth. All the whilst, a global pandemic was occurring and we were just moments away from Singapore’s circuit breaker, which meant we were on a very strict time schedule.

To be filming a project amidst a chaotic pandemic was truly a once in a lifetime experience we are sure to not forget. Despite all the setbacks we faced, it’s safe to say that we created a film to our satisfaction, and even won two awards for it.  

This article is contributed by Andini Mahindira Amiraputr from the School of Media and Communications.

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