28. 08. 2023
“In terms of shooting style I’m dynamic and adaptable.
Whatever the brief is, I’m always trying to constantly challenge myself.”
electriclime° are delighted to have added talented Singaporean filmmaker Clare Chong to our director roster.
She will be represented exclusively in the MENA and Australia markets, but remain freelance throughout the Asia markets.
Clare has worked her way up through the filmmaking industry, having started out as a production assistant and gained experience in several departments on her journey to being a commercial director.
The filmmaker is known for her works concerned with issues prevalent in mundane life; the wink of an eye, the slight curl of the lips, a twitch in the ears.
Her subjects are often quiet outcasts of society we don’t pay attention to, and her works challenge the viewers’ means of gazing and observing.
She previously worked with electriclime° for computer brand Intel, while she has also shot films for brands such as Lenovo, Olay, Amazon and many more.
Check out our chat with her below.
How did you get started in the industry?
I started out as a production assistant, and over the years I’ve worked in many different departments with the goal of becoming a commercial director. I received a lot of help throughout my journey, people who were willing to give me a chance and take a gamble on me. There are two people that really changed the course of my life, and that’s Gayle Hariff, a first assistant director in Singapore who gave me my first opportunity to work as an assistant director, and Rajay Singh who gave me my first commercial directing opportunity.
It took about 6-7 years to properly start directing commercial films, and I hope that as I progress in my career, I’ll be able to work on many more projects with people all around the world, tackle many different genres, and hard topics that most might often shy away from.
Where do you find your inspiration from?
Everywhere! It’s a conscious effort to continuously go to art exhibitions, events, attend film festivals, music festivals, to read a wide variety of books, and to keep up to date with what is happening on social media and also what other creatives are working on. These are all things that inspire me, and I always save and bookmark whatever I think is interesting so I can look back and draw inspiration whenever I am working on a new project.
A lot of my work also draws inspiration from talking to people, understanding how one reacts in certain situations, how they tackle problems, and how different people interact in different social settings.
Is there a particular piece you’re most proud of?
One of my favourite pieces is titled World Of Kokoro, which was actually shot on a micro budget to promote a local floral shop in Singapore. As we were given full creative freedom, I was really able to push my direction 100% and didn’t compromise on any aspect at all. Every element came together really nicely, and to top it off, it was selected for multiple film festivals!
How would you describe your filmmaking style?
For me performance is key. I spend quite a bit of time in the casting process, and I always conduct rehearsals and workshops for my cast, especially if it is a narrative driven piece. I’m also very meticulous about my production design, wardrobe and make up choices, as these are the key things that really bring the film to life.
I’m drawn to fantastical worlds, dreams, and the surreal, so these elements often find their way into my works. In terms of shooting style I’m dynamic and adaptable, it really depends on the scope of the project.
Whatever the brief is, I’m always trying new styles or techniques to constantly challenge myself.
Why are you excited about joining electriclime°?
I’ve been following electriclime°’s work for a long time, and love the creative output that has come out over the years. Not to mention, I appreciate the amount of thought they put into how their brand is presented. There’s a strong curation of directors, and I’m really looking forward to joining the roster of talents.
I’m excited about the opportunities that I will have with electriclime, and especially in terms of working more internationally as I believe that is what is going to push me, and my work further.
Is there an area of filmmaking you’d like to explore/excites you for the future?
I would really love to work on a car commercial one day! I feel like we often think of male directors as the go to option for car commercials, hence I’d love to have an opportunity to create a car commercial with a female eye.
I’m also finishing up a horror short film now titled EDITH. Horror and gore has always been my favourite genre, and I hope to create more films that would challenge the conventional perception that horror is merely for entertainment. For me, horror is so much more, and is an extremely effective genre to open up discussions that would surround sensitive topics.
There aren’t many commercials that would dare to use horror, but hopefully i’d get an opportunity to work something like that someday.
What’s next for Clare Chong?
At the moment I’m focused on my career as a commercial film director, and hope to explore a greater variety of commercial work.
Aside, I’m in post production for my horror short film, and am also working on a couple more scripts for a short and a feature. In my free time I’ve been learning how to VJ (video jockey), and have created multiple works for events and installations that features my growing collection of CRT TVs, as well as my projection mapping endeavours. I hope to get more opportunities to hone my craft as a video artist and VJ.
I am also passionate about bringing arts to the general population in a more accessible manner, and together with my arts collective called PLAY!, we have worked on multiple projects that are community focused, ranging from installations to workshops, and performances all centred around the act of play. This year, we are working on a more installations and workshops, and focusing on researching and refining our methodology.
There are lots of things that I’m excited about, and by working on a variety of things my knowledge and perception of the world will constantly be growing. I think that one’s love for learning is the most important trait for a creative, and that’s what I try to do.
To see her work, click here.
LOCATION | SINGAPORE
TIME | 11:16
1.3521° N, 103.8198° E