Tang Wan Xin (middle) with James Hia (left)
Tang Wan Xin is the director behind ‘The Outcast’, the second episode of ‘Queen Of Hearts’. The recent graduate of LASALLE College of the Arts is inspired by unconventional characters and found herself drawn to the story of a young girl’s idolisation of a celebrity influencer.
Wan Xin shared how she got into the mindset of the ultimate fangirl and her thoughts on shooting with the iPhone.
Q1. How was the collaborative process of making this film for you?
It was my first time directing a more commercial project so it can be daunting. The team was great – highly communicative and kind. It helped that I had worked with James Hia (cinematographer) before, so we understood each other’s working process.
At the end of the day, it’s simply having to trust your team and have fun!
James Hia (cinematographer) with Athena Wee (who plays Yiting)
Q2. How did you get into the psyche of Yiting?
By researching and talking to teenagers. When I first read the script, her character intrigued me. I can’t claim to share the same idol obsession since I am horrible with social media, technology and current trends (I know the irony), but I saw her obsession as passion. And that is something familiar to me.
People may find Yiting’s obsession with Tori Leong, or with local celebrities, weird but how different is it to those who are obsessed with K-pop idols or Hollywood stars? The only difference is the level of fame of the idols. The fact is, a fan’s emotions to their idol of choice is similar regardless of where they originate from.
Tang Wan Xin and her team shooting in a female toilet
Q3. What are your thoughts on mobile filmmaking?
I love the small size of the device, and how portable and flexible working with it is, mainly while shooting in big crowds. Since it’s discreet, you don’t have to worry about attracting attention, which could ruin your shot. It’s quite a liberating experience.
Q4. What do you hope for viewers to take away from this series?
Don’t spend too much time on social media. Just kidding! I always believe there are two sides to a story. Put aside your judgment and try to see the other person’s point of view by practising more empathy.
A key confrontation scene between Cheryl Lee (Cobie) and Yiting (Athena Wee)
Q5. What’s next for you?
I am currently travelling around Indonesia trying to find locations for my next short ‘Happy New Year’ which explores the allegory of barbarism and the state of human nature.
‘Queen Of Hearts’ is a new Viddsee Originals web-series about cyberbullying, filmed entirely using the iPhone. Created by showrunner JD Chua, he worked in collaboration with other Viddsee filmmakers namely – Alistair Quak, Benjamin Low, Tang Wanxin, Rifyal Giffari and Joann Nicolette. Watch all 5 episodes of the series here.