We caught up with Chris, a key local producer in Singapore for ACrew4U and asked him about his career journey so far.
How long have you been working on projects with ACrew4U?
I have been residing in Singapore for two decades now, and in terms of my involvement with the crew, it’s been a considerable duration as well. To provide an estimate, I would say it’s been at least a decade, if not closer to 15 years. This timeframe seems to align accurately with my recollection.
How did you start working with ACrew4U?
You did reach out to me, and I distinctly remember that at the time you contacted me, the positive aspect was that the industry – we’re looking back maybe 10 to 15 years – was somewhat less advanced in Singapore. As a result, there weren’t as many international VIPs present in the country. Consequently, when you got in touch with me, it was relatively simple to locate individuals like me in Singapore, as we were a rare breed.
How long have you been a dop/working with cameras?
Well, I would say it’s been a solid 20 to 25 years – perhaps even closer to 30 – that I’ve been actively engaged in the industry. Initially, my interest was always centred around video, but I began my journey in various roles and eventually gravitated toward my current focus. I spent approximately 25 years working as a shooter, honing my skills in that capacity. However, I would consider myself a dedicated Director of Photography (DOP) for a more concentrated period of about 20 years.
How did you get into the profession?
I began my training in Photography and then expanded my skills to encompass Film and video production. Following that, my initial job was situated in the video library, located in the basement of a building in Soho. This was my first employment opportunity, working within the depths of Mollaneair, specifically for a sports channel.
Subsequently, I transitioned to a cable channel where I was granted the opportunity to delve into videography. This cable network, known as Wire TV, was the United Kingdom’s pioneering cable network. Due to their limited budget, they were open to experimenting with newcomers like me. While my primary responsibility was to oversee their video library, they approached me with an inquiry. Hearing that I possessed video skills, they entrusted me with a camera, leading to my first experience in videography. I embarked on my initial assignment—an interview with Jeremy Irons—which, unfortunately, did not yield the desired results. This experience revealed gaps in my knowledge, particularly in proper handheld camera techniques. Despite the setback, my Executive Producer (EP) remained supportive, preventing any negative repercussions on my job position.
In fact, my EP’s encouragement prompted me to continue progressing in the field. Consequently, I took on roles in shooting, directing, and editing content for the same channel. This hands-on involvement provided a valuable and effective learning experience.
How long were you in that job?
That marked my inaugural professional engagement, setting the timeline at nearly three decades ago. I remained there for a span of approximately three years, serving at The Channel with Screen Spot. During this period, we leased facilities from Mollanet. Eventually, the channel underwent closure, as is often the case in such scenarios.
What aspects of the job do you particularly enjoy, whether it’s Photography or Videography?
For me, the fundamental appeal lies in the diversity of the work. I relish the array of tasks that I get to undertake. My background primarily spans two domains: television and corporate work. Within television, I engage in a variety of projects, including documentaries, entertainment shows, and reality programs. On the corporate side, my involvement encompasses whatever opportunities arise.
The allure truly resides in the variety. I’ve had the privilege of working on numerous celebrity-related projects. One day, I might be immersed in shooting a documentary, followed by collaborating with a prominent figure the next, and then conducting a corporate interview within a client’s office on the subsequent day. This diversity enables me to apply distinct skills and continuously expand my knowledge. Essentially, it’s the prospect of consistently engaging in unique endeavours that holds the most appeal.
Every day brings something different, and that’s what I find most fulfilling.
Are there any aspects of corporate video that you like?
Apart from everything else, it often pays better than broadcast, particularly here. Corporate work, on the other hand, poses more challenges for me. While my true passion lies in TV, the television market here is considerably competitive. Corporate work, I find, provides more flexibility, and allows me to take on diverse roles beyond just being a Director of Photography (DOP). In corporate projects, I assume positions like producer, director, scriptwriter, and editor at times. This multifaceted involvement aids in honing my skills. I haven’t extensively delved into the broadcast sector, making corporate projects more adaptable for me.
At present, I have editing projects ongoing, catering to a significant client. Additionally, for other clients, I undertake end-to-end responsibilities, including scripting, shooting, directing, and editing. This challenge pushes me to perform at my best, which I enjoy. Nonetheless, I also appreciate the simplicity of a corporate assignment, such as conducting a straightforward sit-down interview at someone’s office. This contrasts with the demanding nature of broadcast work, which often involves extensive travel, long hours, and overseeing a team as the DOP, leading to significant stress.
Furthermore, in the corporate realm, I have found a higher caliber of clientele, which I perceive as a positive aspect. Additionally, if you have any photos of yourself actively working with a camera, they would be greatly appreciated. These images, portraying you as a person of action, could be valuable to our profile. Our goal is to create pages akin to a local guidebook, offering customers a comprehensive view of the city. Our focus is to deliver engaging content while showcasing the human side of our crew. We are even considering updating our show reel to emphasize this aspect, as we have observed positive responses to the human angle. Hence, any photographs you can provide would be warmly welcomed.
Photo- from Chris
ACrew4U services in Singapore
ACrew4U can help you with video camera crew worldwide, photographers worldwide, event filming and photo as well as production services for TV and photo and contract staff and services for business. We work as an extension of your team, to back your project like it’s our own and our team has over 20 years experience.