Members of Hosaywood: Wesley Wong

Better known as Merlion Tan, Wesley Wong found fame with his convincing portrayal of a down-and-out wannabe filmmaker in Zo Gang & Zo Hee.

Trained in film & video production, Wesley was not considering a career in acting until his talent was unearthed in Zo Gang. He was even mistaken for a real lawyer by an audience member!

Read more about the man and his many passions:

Give us a brief bio of yourself?
I’m currently teaching video courses in Singapore Polytechnic. I love good movies, but generally wouldn’t mind bad ones, just for the experience of learning what NOT to do.

What are some of your favorite films/ actors / plays?
Too many to name for films and actors. But plays – in terms of plays (made into films) I like “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and in recent memory “Closer”.

Why do you like films and filmmaking?
Visual, aural? Its all good! Movies are stories, which stem from life’s experiences. Without ups and downs, then we will have boring lives and so would the stories be.

Was it your first time as a lead actor in Zo Gang?
Probably, unless you count the time I was on a TV game show.

What did you think of the role?
Merlion Tan is sensitive to the local film scene. He needs inspirations to make his own film.

Tell me about your experiences during the filming process for Zo Gang & Zo Hee?
It was a fun time. Except it was tiring, like all shoots.

Any comments from your friends on your performance in Zo Gang & Zo Hee?
My girlfriend found it amusing, so much so that she commissioned the sequel of sorts, Zo Hee. That’s how we met. She ended up being in it too.

Any fans? Reaction from the local audience?
One audience came up to me after the screening once, and said that she had some legal questions, thinking I really was a lawyer! I wonder if that means the acting was good, or did it fail since it didn’t convince her that I was an actor portraying a role.

You also crewed for the films. Do you prefer being infront or behind the camera?
Being behind my own equipment seems more comfortable for me because I have practice. Acting worried me because I did not know how others were framing me and i felt that I did not have control.

You went for a film festival in Berlin where Zo Gang was screened. How was it?
It was a great tour with many of the finest new filmmakers around. We had fun. Was surprised that the Berlin audience could get some of the Singaporean jokes. I have always felt that comedy is the hardest to do, although I like to think I’m rather witty. Totally surprised at some of the jokes they reacted to.

Tell us what you are doing now?
Unfortunately teaching is taking up a huge chunk of my life right now. Not much time for anything else.

Interviewed by Cyan. Watch Wesley’s performance in Zo Gang here.

Members of Hosaywood: Linda Low

As one of the three highly acclaimed actresses in Zo Peng, Linda spouts army lingo with surprising ease. Her performance as an ORDeed NS’man’ was brutally honest – down to the last Hokkien word.

Now, the shocker: Off screen, Linda is an articulate and passionate ‘engrish’ teacher.

The energetic fireball is also actress, crew & calefare in the other Hosaywood films. A lady with heaps of talent and passion for performance arts *drum rolls* we present you a hilarious interview with Linda Low:

What are some of your interests?
Eat, sleep, kpkb (kao peh kao bu)

Any favorite films/actors/plays?
I am into slightly experimental theatrical productions and the occasional musical. Japanese troupes are usually quite interesting. Local theatre groups are fantastic too! Love the Dim Sum Dollies, and the scores of local actors who make each production an interesting experience.

I also love hilarious movies like Detroit Metal City, sentimental ones like Love Actually, and occasionally, angsty ones like 12 Storeys (but usually I steer clear of depressing films with long cuts, still shots…).

Tell us about your role in Zo Peng?
Jacen was the friend of a friend, who knew that I was a solid slacker with a penchant for constant snacking. I didn’t have to try very hard to get into character. The only difference is that I’m a sucker for Popeye’s instead of the army OETI fried chicken.

What did you think about the script?
Wah piang eh, hua-yu (and Hokkien) cool lor!

How did you prepare for the role?
Refer to “hobbies”. Plus intensive rehearsals lasting a week focusing on appropriate language use (ie, Swearing 101).

Experience during the filming process?
It was an unforgettable experience! Being in productions make me feel alive. We were (fine – I was) really snacking throughout. Chocolates, fruit, “Mental” mints (which were not allowed to be named “Menses”)… Unfortunately I constantly flubbed my lines, but thankfully everyone was really patient with me.

Your thoughts on the film ‘Zo Peng’? Did you like it? Anything that you think could be done better?
Zo Peng was filmed in one night (which ended in a downpour), using the barest minimum amount of equipment and manpower, so I think it turned out really great. By using females, it gives a fresh perspective to the longstanding grouses of NSmen. In addition, I feel the static shot in all the scenes reflected the characters’ angst at their inability to escape their current situation. If I could turn back time, I’d definitely have practiced swearing more…

On your star power after the film was screened – Any fans?
Standing, wall, or battery-operated?

What’s coming up these days?
Hopefully I’ll be involved as a volunteer performer at Esplanade’s Flipside in late May.

Any interesting projects that you’ve heard of recently?
The arts scene in Singapore is more vibrant than anyone thinks it is. There’s always something going on somewhere. We just have to find the time to explore and have fun! (Meanwhile, I’m slated to catch Shakespeare in the Park in May, plus 4 productions in the Arts Fest, not forgetting all the free screenings, art exhibitions…)

Interviewed by Cyan. This is the first of a new series featuring behind-the-scenes heroes of Hosaywood. Watch Linda turn into a Hokkien peng here.

Zo Hee @ PROJECT: slingSHORT, Singapore

Zo Hee will be screened at Project: slingSHORT, Sinema Old School on 2nd of May 2009, 8.00-10.00pm.

Tickets will be $15 each. All proceeds will be donated to projectION, a social initiative in collaboration with Sinema Academy of Motion Pictures.

See more details and the full line-up here.

Rudra sneak 3

In post-production, Rudra’s music video ‘Hymns from the Blazing Chariot’ is based on The Bhagavad Gita, a sacred Sanskrit Hindu scripture.

Before the start of the climactic battle at Kurukshetra, Pandava prince Arjuna is filled with doubt on the battlefield. Realizing that his enemies are his own relatives, beloved friends and revered teachers, he turns to his charioteer and guide, Krishna, for advice.