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New Media Hub for Budding Film Makers

Dated: 18 March 2003

In the past, it was hard to have a go at film-making because the equipment and film stock required for shooting were expensive. This, coupled with the long and complicated learning curve for beginners, made it tough for film-making enthusiasts to start on their first few projects. The absence of a professional training programme here also meant that would-be film-makers had to seek training overseas or learn on the job.

Digital video, with its affordability and ease-of-use, has made film making a possibility for many beginners. At the same time, Media Hive and Canon Marketing (Singapore), with support from the Media Development Authority (MDA), have collaborated to give the industry development a further push by filling the remaining gap through providing professional training and development programmes in film-making at the newly opened Digital Media Hub.

"At the Digital Media Hub, we hope to provide a place for anyone who wishes to immerse themselves in the exciting world of filmmaking and digital media," said Executive Director of Media Hive, Jonathan Foo. "We begin first of all by introducing them to Canon digital video."

Jonathan, who is also the managing director and executive producer of Mega Media Pte Ltd, is an established film-maker, known for his works in numerous TV productions and feature films like 'The Teenage Textbook Movie' and 'Song of the Stork'.

The Digital Media Hub

The Digital Media Hub encapsulates the entire value chain of film making - from pre-production, production, post-production to distribution. A centre for the development and advancement of digital media, the Hub provides comprehensive training programmes by experienced industry players. These courses give more than just theoretical training, as they put participants in hands-on training programmes that range from three days to 13 weeks.

"The Digital Media Hub is a gathering point for digital media enthusiasts and professionals," explained Mr Tony Chow, Principal at Digital Media Hub and Managing Director of Media Hive. "At the same time, we are offering hands-on, project-based training that helps build a more creative film-making community."

Tony added that the Digital Media Hub is already an 'Authorised Training Centre' for some of the world's most popular media applications from solutions providers like Alias Wavefront, Apple and Canon. Tony is a well known figure in the media industry here as producer and writer of many television productions. Currently, he is also the president of the Association of Independent Television Production Companies (Singapore).

Both Jonathan and Tony also double up as trainers at the Hub, sharing their experiences and know-how in film-making and production with course participants, along with several other experts. Each of the trainers brings with him experience and knowledge from different areas including producing, scriptwriting, animation, cinematography, and research.

The Digital Media Hub is also officially Canon's digital camera and video training centre where all its users will be offered free training on the finer aspects of photography and videography.

Mr Seto Lok Yin, Director (Industry Development) at MDA said, "MDA is pleased to support three of the courses that Media Hive is planning to launch in March 2003. They are: Practical 16mm Production course;Digital Filmmaking workshop;and Introduction to Final Cut Pro 101. These courses address the current training gaps in the local filmmaking industry. We hope that the courses would help augment the pool of filmmaking talents in Singapore, in turn helping to contribute to the growth and competitiveness of the local media industry, and ultimately position Singapore as a global media city."

Film Incubator Programme -- To Fund Up To Eight Digital Films Annually

The Digital Media Hub is also providing an incubatorship programme to help young and talented film-makers realise their film, by co-developing projects with potential. The Film Incubator Programme (FIP) will be able to offer up to eight new aspiring film-makers the opportunity to make their first feature film on digital format, and a minimum of five films is expected to be funded annually. The budget of each film is estimated at S$100,000.

Once launched, there will be an open call for scripts under the Programme, where film-makers will also be able to pitch their projects and commercially viable scripts will be selected for funding. Media Hive and the Singapore Film Commission (SFC) is working together to launch this programme by May 2003.

"The Film Incubator Programme can give first time film-makers a level playing field to start from so that real talents without financial backing can also get a chance to get their films made," said Jonathan. "With the support of Canon professional film making equipment (Canon XL1s and Canon XM2), a huge bulk of the costs is already settled."

Mr Seto Lok Yin, who also serves as Director of SFC, in supporting the initiative, said, "Besides nurturing young Singaporean filmmakers, the Film Incubator Programme will also help to generate more Singapore-made media content. Over time, our filmmakers will hone their skills of story-telling through film and digital media. Done well, these films should also be able to travel to overseas markets."

Industry Assistance from Canon

Always a committed supporter of the development of the local film industry, Canon is contributing equipment to hive off the initial start up costs for the Digital Media Hub. Canon is providing equipment necessary for training at the centre. These include digital imaging products like projectors, digital cameras, photo printers and digital video equipment.

Canon will also tap on its wide distribution network and aggressive marketing programmes to publicise the initiative to reach out to the man on the street. With its massive user base, Canon will provide Media Hive with a huge databank of potential filmmakers and digital media users.

According to Mr Melvyn Ho, Senior Director and General Manager, Consumer Imaging and Information, Canon Marketing (Singapore), "We are enthusiastic about helping to build a film-making culture in Singapore and to help in the training process."

Melvyn added, "We can only expand the digital video segment when we have a vibrant film-making culture."

Canon's contribution is significant to the initiative. As the leading partner of Media Hive in this project, Canon has already committed S$300,000, and S$200,000 more is being earmarked. Through the Digital Media Hub, Canon has initiated and will be sponsoring the first digital short film competition here in the fourth quarter of this year.

Indeed, digital video is steadily going mainstream in the film industry. For instance, quality international productions that have been shot on digital video include Steven Soderberg's 'Full Frontal' and April Sugarman's 'Cumulus Nimbus'. Closer to home, we also have one of Jack Neo's first few productions, 'Hitman in the City'.

Significance of this New Initiative

MDA and SFC have been actively providing support to industry players and helping to create a vibrant media industry in Singapore. There are about 1,000 films imported into the country each year, and only five locally made feature films last year. The authorities and industry players believe that the initiatives of Media Hive and the Digital Media Hub will be a catalyst for the development of the local media industry. Eventually, the goal would be to create a thriving film-making culture in Singapore, and an infrastructure that allows budding talents and professional film-makers to develop their skills and expand their potential.

Media Enquiries:

Citigate Dewe Rogerson, i.MAGE Pte Ltd
Vincent Leong / Sophia Heng
Tel: 6534 5122 (O)
HP: 9 781 0546/ 9 781 4195

Editor's Note:

About Digital Media Hub

The Digital Media Hub, located at 32 Maxwell Road #01-05A WhiteHouse, is a collaboration between Canon and Media Hive. It is a place for anyone that wishes to immerse themselves in the exciting world of film-making and digital media. The Digital Media Hub offers hands-on, project-based training towards creating a more creative community.

It is a centre for the development and advancement of digital media;a gathering point for digital media enthusiast and professionals;a facility for media training and learning within the traditional and digital mediums;and a place where talent and technology converge. For more information, visit

About Media Hive

Media Hive is a dynamic industry recognised organisation that is committed to quality education in the film video and television industry. Media Hive encourages creative and original content for film, video and television and fosters an innovative, representative and diverse screen culture. It provides an environment that leads to the development of emerging film makers and media industry practitioners. Media Hive's training programme and digital production facilities form a key resource for the Singapore media production industry. For more information, visit

About Canon Inc.

Canon Inc. is a global leader in photographic and digital imaging solutions. Its global network now includes 153 companies, employing some more than 86,000 people. It is dedicated to the advancement in technology and innovation and commits 10% of its total revenue each year to R&D. Since 1985, Canon has acquired 19,902 U.S. patents, and for the last decade, remains among the top 3 companies to earn the most number of patents. Canon continues to be ranked as one of the world's largest corporations since 1993, by the Fortune Global 500 Ranking. Guided by its kyosei philosophy, which focuses on "living and working together for the common good," Canon delivers high-performance and user-friendly products and solutions to improve efficiency both in the office and home environment. For more information, visit

About Media Development Authority

Media Development Authority (MDA) was formed on 1 January 2003 from the merger of Singapore Broadcasting Authority, Films and Publications Department and Singapore Film Commission. As the promoter and regulator of the media industry, MDA will work towards developing a vibrant media industry in Singapore and nurturing a Creative Media and Connected Society.

About Singapore Film Commission

The Singapore Film Commission (SFC), a government agency, was set up in April 1998, in response to the rapidly growing Singapore film industry. From 1 January 2003, the SFC became part of the Media Development Authority. SFC's mission is to "nurture, support and promote Singapore talent in film-making, the production of Singapore films, and a film industry in Singapore." More details at SFC's website,