The teaser post yesterday was about the upcoming Jack Neo Movie – Ah Boys To Men and I was fortunate to have an invitation from Mindef Public Affairs Department to visit and watch the actions Behind The Scene at Robinson Road.
Ah Boys To Men is a two-part movie by local director Jack Neo about National Service (NS).
What sets it apart from previous NS movie/documentary is this … the Singapore Arm Forces (SAF) will go to war in this movie … yes, that’s right … Singapore is going to war in this movie.
I don’t know the details but the general drift is that Singapore will come under attack by an unknown enemy in Ah Boys To Men and the SAF is mobilized to neutralize the threat … all of what NS has been preparing Singaporean for is being put to the test … will they prevail and save Singapore?
It’s kind of a reminder to all Singaporeans on why we need a strong and capable armed forces and why NS is important to us.
Below is a recap of what I saw on the set that day which also includes a video of some filming action and an explosion scene.
Robinson was closed to traffic on 19 Aug 2012 from Midnight till 5AM on 21 Aug two days later to facilitate the filming.
We were told it took 3 months to get the approval from the authorities and support from all the building owners along that stretch of Robinson Road.
And boy was Robinson messy after Jteam’s creative crew was done with it … check out the images below to get an idea.
This is not my first time on a filming set but it’s definitely the first time I could appreciate how well oiled the operation was with JTeam’s crew … everyone seemed to know what to do and where to go.
There were of course the professionals … like the camera crews.
There were temporary crew like the extras (pictured above) who “lay dead” under the hot sun and ate dust (literally).
And there were real NS Soldiers from the 4th Battalion Singapore Infantry Regiment too!
Oh and there was this cool Unmanned Aerial Vehicle with an attached video camera to film the set from above during the explosion scene … pretty cool stuff which caught everyones attention.
The next 2 images shows Director Jack Neo in action, coordinating, directing and reviewing scenes.
A little background on the scene that was filmed that day:
- Singapore was attacked by unknown enemy and Robinson Road was bombed.
- An detachment of SAF Soldier arrived at Robinson Road in two Terrex ICV, dismounted and proceeded on foot.
- They were ambushed, a fire fight ensue cumulating in an explosion of a Taxi caused by incoming projectile.
And of course, the highlight of that days filming was an explosion scene and the technicians below are rigging the taxi to “explode” literally.
We were originally schedule to be on set for about 2 hours … we ended staying on set for about 4 hours just to watch and do our own little filming of this scene.
All I can say was … “It was worth the wait”!!
(note: you can catch some of the action and explosion in the video I did at the end of this post)
Oh and sometimes, you get drama on the filming set that wasn’t planned too (image below) like a fire broke out in one of the “smoking rubble” taxi (not the same taxi that was rigged for explosion). Fortunately, the crew reacted swiftly to put the fire out.
Director Jack Neo also spared some of his precious time to entertain questions from us bloggers & media.
I asked him if this will be a serious war film or an exagerated fiction or a comedy that is not to be taken seriously?
His answer was that Ah Boy To Men is grounded in reality with light hearted humor that we can relate to (much in line with his past movies).
Of course the attack on Singapore part is fictional but the response and capabilities of the SAF portrayed are realistic.
Next few images below are not about the movies but just us, on set, having some fun.
Part 1 of the Ah Boys To Men will hit the screens sometime in November and part 2 of the two-part movie will be screening sometime during Chinese New Year of 2013.
But for now … you can enjoy this short clip I put together.
(note : the 1st couple of seconds really have no sound … I forgot to turn it on within my camera … so don’t switch up your volume ok … there are explosions in the clip)
And before I sign off for this post, I’ll like to say:
Thanks to the ladies from Mindef Public Affairs for the invitation again.
Thanks to Director Jack Neo and his producer for having us on set, other than some house rules, we were allow to wonder on the set and do our own “shooting”.