Poly student's creative agency offers free help to social enterprises
Here are two of the 45 outstanding final-year projects by Ngee Ann Polytechnic's film and media students being showcased at *Scape
As a primary school pupil, Mr Kevin Ng loved playing computer games and even created videos of gaming tutorials.
Today, he is using his videography skills for a different purpose.
The 20-year-old creates videos for non-profit organisations and social enterprises. The companies use the videos to increase their online visibility.
The final-year film and media studies (FMS) student at Ngee Ann Polytechnic set up a pro bono creative agency with two partners in 2012, when he was a freshman.
Creatives For Causes is an agency which matches about 300 volunteers skilled in photography, videography and graphic design with non-profit and charitable organisations that need help with their online presence.
"Since 2012, we have helped about 35 non-profit organisations and social enterprises create material including articles, photos and videos," said Mr Ng.
On Thursday, he presented two videos he made for his final-year project.
The videos, Beautiful Myanmar and My Cambodia, show viewers different aspects of local life in the two countries. They were recorded during a school trip and a youth expedition trip.
"I wanted to capture the unique beauty of each country - not just the monuments but also the people, what the country is really about," said Mr Ng.
"I see the people's expressions and smiles as a way to tell a story."
In My Cambodia, a Khmer girl narrates her dreams and thoughts about the future. A Singaporean student did the voiceover, which was written by Mr Ng.
Mr Ng said making the videos has helped him reflect on his own attitude towards life here.
"When I was there, I saw poverty but the children seemed really happy with their life," said Mr Ng.
"The simple, natural things brought them joy. Throwing a rock in the pond would make them laugh."
"After making the videos, I feel Singaporeans are very privileged but not readily appreciative of our country," added Mr Ng.
"We always want more but we fail to look at what we have.
"Would we be able to find joy in the simple things?"
Ms Anita Kuan, director of FMS at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, said she found Mr Ng's videos very artistic, touching and creative.
"Another lecturer recommended that I watch his videos," she said.
"When I finally sat down and watched them, I realised how talented he is."
Mr Ng plans to apply for the Media Development Authority's scholarship after his National Service, which will begin soon. He dreams of getting his masters degree in Film and Television (Cinematography) at the National Film and Television School in the UK.
In the long run, he aims to shoot travel documentaries.
"I hope to be a better cinematographer - have more knowledge and better control of filming techniques - to tell my story better," he said.
"I want to grab the audience's attention."
"When I was there, I saw poverty but the children seemed really happy with their life."
- Mr Kevin Ng on his trips to Myanmar and Cambodia
This student juggles two jobs
COMPETITIVE: Miss Vanessa Tan ran an anti-piracy campaign for Motion Picture Association as her final-year project.
Miss Vanessa Tan (above).
While most people would be content with doing just one job, Miss Vanessa Tan, 20, has been juggling two jobs while pursuing her diploma at Ngee Ann Polytechnic.
The final-year advertising and public relations student landed a freelance position as a creative director at The AUG Agency last November, after it viewed her online portfolio.
She is also playing her first lead role in a feature film that is still in production.
Good time management is key to juggling both roles, said Miss Tan.
At the graduate showcase at *Scape, she is presenting an anti-piracy campaign she did for her client, Motion Picture Association.
The campaign involved getting students to pledge to support real content instead of illegal downloads. In 1½ weeks, it received 2,363 pledges from polytechnic students all over Singapore.
It is a very simple but grave problem, said Miss Tan.
At her job in the digital agency, she leads a team in coming up with creative collateral, from art direction to logo and packaging.
Working with big-name clients such as Resorts World Sentosa and Genting, and people twice her age do not faze her.
"It is a personal challenge," said Miss Tan. "It was intimidating at first. I was always worried they would treat me differently because of my age. But it taught me to believe in myself."
While some find the advertising industry fast-paced and demanding, Miss Tan feels right at home as she describes herself as competitive.
"What I love about the industry is that the competition pushes me to break boundaries," she said.
"Not just my own boundaries but also the others in the field."
"What I love about the (advertising) industry is that the competition pushes me to break boundaries. Not just my own boundaries but also the others in the field."
- Miss Vanessa Tan