All posts by Kristina Khoo

The Wayoung’s journey…looking forward to the future!

By Lee Kean Wei

First and foremost, I wish to congratulate the students who participated in the KDU Flicks Fiesta Competition. A large number of them came from The Wayoung Final Year Screening, which was held on 12 July 2016 at PenangPAC.

There are at least 3 nominations for each category, which is already a huge recognition! As their lecturer, I feel proud of their achievements. Though we may not know whether they will win any of those awards, their nominations fill me with pride.   

Three of the enlisted films came from the Wayoung, and they are also the top three short films in my heart. Why do I say so? Well, their topic of choice and content are special and outstanding with great technical skills such as angle and camerawork, not to mention editing skills. If you were to compare their broadcasting productions from the first and second assignment, you can see huge progress being made.

I begin with “Akar Pula”, produced by Urban Films. For me, it feels very much like a Yasmin Ahmad production, which speaks of the cohesion of races and cultures in a beautiful manner. I really admire them for choosing this topic, as some may say that traditional cultures are dying, but do we really take steps to protect them? Culture will change as time flies, so these students had the awareness of highlighting the Malay culture to grab people’s attention that we are losing our own Akar Pula. They took it from a different angle, which is a Chinese girl’s view towards a Malay Akar Pula. I am deeply impressed by this unprecedented twist of plot, with such great perspective of preserving Malay cultures.

Many youngsters may be glued onto their phones, having more focus on Facebook likes and catching Pokemons than their own culture. From a technical aspect, I can say that the colours are refreshing, which makes you feel like watching it again and again, with good camerawork and colour collection. I would also like to highlight the fact that this short film had professional actors and actresses starring, and all free of charge for only a college students’ production! They completed the story in a direct manner, and this film helps the audiences think about the dying side of cultures. It also sends a strong message that we need to actively preserve our traditions.

Secondly is “A Silent Love”, produced by The Fleek. I believe this short film has touched many of those who came for The Wayoung screening. The story is about a child being bullied in school who ended up venting his anger at his grandmother, and finally learning the sign language after seeing his grandmother pleading to her boss. What we look for in a movie is how the story is being constructed, and for that they built this short film in a very comfortable manner so that it can generate deep feelings. The pre-production, production and post-production stages required meticulous details. I am indeed glad and touched that they managed to present these three points which I always emphasise during lectures.

The key is this; if you do not arrange your story properly, then you cannot proceed with the next stage. Their detailed preparation was shown in the scene of the school teacher hitting the boy, and the angle suddenly changed to his grandmother working in the kitchen. Normal films will definitely show you the caning scene which may cause negative effects. With the change of angle, they have shown mature editing skills that reaches commercial film standards. Besides that, songs are also important as they have to blend with the film. The Hokkien song which was used creates emotions and the flashback method reduced the crowd to tears. It was that tiny spark, which brought the entire short film into a whole new level.

Thirdly is “The Lunchbox” by Haze Productions. Personally, I think that the film is a major breakthrough among broadcasting students in the college. It has fulfilled one of my dreams, that is to have films that will provoke people’s thoughts. The story can be a little tough to understand, but it trains an active audience to start questioning themselves: What is the story all about? What are the values behind it? The filming angles and editing looked very natural, and their cast looked professional in carrying out the plot and emotions of the story. Though there were a limited number of cast members, they pulled through it wonderfully. I am amazed by their ideas to have a story which speaks of human lives.

From the Wayoung screening, I can see and confidently speak of the limitless possibilities they have. Everybody can get creative and produce something they can call their own. Producing can come in the form of thoughts, and thinking should not be restricted. In the near future, I look forward to future invitations by their batch for probably The Wayoung 2.0, and I wish them the very best of luck for their future career!

And to all Han Chiang College students who intend to major in broadcasting, I have something simple to say. You have lived your life for almost 20 years, there is bound to be incidents that will happen every day. Some of these incidents can be used as a story for your short film. Are you going to let it pass through your lives? All these can be transformed into content, as your own life is already a short story by the things you encounter! Observe these happenings and turn them into a story plot. And never forget, that as humans you have limitless possibilities!

The Wayoung Official Trailer 2016

Photojournalism – Not what you think

By Chiang Chee Keat

Striving in the 21st century, media practitioners especially photojournalists play a vital role in making sure the public receives the right and accurate message through a mixture of visuals and words. One has to know that visuals such as photographs and words should complement each other. Although there is a saying, a photograph is worth a thousand words; however, without a good caption or cutline, the photograph will have no meaning. It is always sad that the public thinks that photojournalism is a laid-back job and needs only to deal with photograph-taking. This is a false perception whereby a photojournalist’s job is more than that.

 

 

Take for example a photojournalist assigned to an evacuated town to capture the aftermath of a catastrophe such as an earthquake. A photograph of a calendar captured in a victim’s house can be very meaningful. It tells the date when the earthquake struck the place and that victims were forced to flee for their lives, thus leaving their homes behind. This photograph will need words to describe and explain the incident. In this case, a caption – not just an ordinary caption, a good caption. Without good caption to comprehend the photograph, it will be just a plain photography of a calendar.

Besides, the work of photojournalists is not as simple as taking photographs and writing captions. This is because they always find themselves caught in an ethical dilemma during assignments. When accidents happen, aid should be provided first before taking photographs. This is always a major issue faced by photojournalists. For instance, the famous photojournalist Kevin Carter, a Pulitzer Prize recipient for feature photography, depicting Sudan’s famine in the year of 1993, caught himself in a situation on whether he should provide assistance or take photographs. He chose the latter and he captured the photograph of a vulture preying on a hungry kid and he suffered from his decision as many criticised his actions. Three months after he received the Pulitzer Prize, he committed suicide as a result of depression.

All the above make the work as the lecturer for the course of photojournalism interesting yet challenging. The first and foremost is to change the perception of students towards photojournalism. Therefore, during classes, students are exposed to how photojournalists work. They are taught real case studies that happen in Malaysia and overseas. This is also to prepare them with what is coming ahead if they were to venture into photojournalism.

Developing good photography skills is the next thing to look into. It is essential that the students are taught with the proper techniques in handling a digital single lens reflex camera (DSLR). Thus, learning how to deal with shutter-speed, aperture and ISO in tutorial classes is inevitable. The teaching of basic composition, lighting and close-up also helps students to capture good news photographs. Only after that, students are given the chance to practise their skills through a series of outings.

Lastly, learning to write good captions is important. In this segment, students are taught on how to write good captions for photographs. For this, students in the class are given ample exercises in writing a good caption. They are also taught the dos and don’ts when writing captions. As the result, they can write better captions rather than just stating what is already obvious to the readers.

 

Knowing when to work independently as a student

By Wahida Asrani

When I was an undergraduate student years ago, I always had problems convincing my lecturers to agree with my views, especially on the projects or assignments. They would agree with your ideas if you came up with solid justifications and reject some, which they thought were not good enough. It was hard to meet them very often as they were busy with classes or meetings, hence it left me with no choice but to accept their views although I felt I could proceed with mine if I had more opportunities to consult them. At that time, rather than being spoon-fed, students worked hard to ‘impress’ lecturers with their own ideas, but without ignoring the lecturers’ views to improve their work.   

It was about 10 years ago. Now, being a lecturer myself, I could see the patterns have changed. Students would either solely rely on lecturers for every single thing (very often I would encounter this scenario: Miss, I can’t find the information!; How to cite this page?; Can you check my assignment draft? So how-ah, Miss?) or totally ignore you and do everything on their own (which is good, but practically not all the time).

This is the dilemma faced by many lecturers – it is either we overdo it, or not give enough advice. As much as we want to give the best to the students, there is always a limit to everything. I often hear my students complaining about some lecturers, whom for them are hard to ‘approach’ or ‘not helpful’. For me, this is a common misconception about lecturers.

 

Wahida was the lecturer advisor to students who organised Pace of Hope, a PR project

 

Our role is not only to give lectures, but to take note on the students’ progress. We try our best to equip students with skills that they can apply in the future. If you encounter any problems with your studies, do not hesitate to talk to your lecturer, or the ideal person is your academic advisor. However when it comes to assignments, it is your responsibility to deliver the best. It is good to check if you are on the right track, but not all elements in your assignments must be consulted, as it will definitely leave lecturers with nothing much to evaluate your work.

On a different note, it is great to see students who are independent. These students are those who will just come to see the lecturers when it’s time to hand-in the assignments. I always encourage students to stand on their own two feet, but if you are not confident with whatever you are doing, do seek advice from your lecturers or else you won’t get a ‘pleasant outcome’. However, do not be overconfident to the extent that you feel lecturers’ advice is not needed, especially if you are working on big projects or events, which require students to always keep their lecturer-advisor updated on many aspects. A lecturer-advisor plays a big role in advising students to ensure the project is adhered to the college or university’s policies and other areas of concerned, which students may overlook.

I believe today’s youngsters are wise enough to make some decisions on their own, rather than depending on other people. Trust yourself more, but at times, do seek advice from the right people if you need to, or if you are supposed to. This applies in your college life as well.

Celebrities in college

Local artists 东于哲 (Thomas and Jack) conducted a sharing session at Han Chiang College and even had the opportunity to meet their fans. Han Chiang News did an exclusive interview with the talented duo, who shared their experiences and challenges faced in the entertainment industry them.

 

Han Chiang College occasionally organises meet and greet sessions with celebrities. Students do not only get to meet their idols, but also find themselves involved in various productions with the stars.

A visit from Yuan Ze University

A total of 25 lecturers and students from Yuan Ze University Taiwan visited Han Chiang College on 14 July 2016. The business students were given a tour around campus and also shared their university life and culture with Han Chiang students.

 

Han Chiang College receives many visitors from universities abroad where both parties often partake in knowledge sharing and discuss the possibility of future collaborations among students and staff. Why not check out the School of Business & Management for more course information.