|Produced by The Moving Visuals Co. for Mediacorp Okto|
Of the smiles we left behind
Smiles we gave to one another
For the way we were
Can it be that it was all so simple then?
Or has time re-written every line?
If we had the chance to do it all again
Tell me, would we? could we ...?*
It was fun when I had to stand in front of the video cameras again and discuss things 60s, this time around with veteran Singapore actor and pole dancing extraodinaire Tan Kheng Hua (image right). We were not discussing Grease the movie, but grease on the head, namely Brylcreem the crowning glory of local boys from the 60s.
|Brylcreem Ad in the 60s (Google)|
Grease, Guitars and Girls:
Daphne Koh, producer for Memento Singapore, who read this blog invited me for an interview for a documentary to be made by The Moving Visuals Company a local film house. We met at Burger King in Novena Square and talked the morning away about local 60s band boys and their interest in guitars, girlfriends and grease.
We discussed at length the popularity of Brylcreem, Tancho Pomade and Yardley of London and how a combination of the three slicky stuff kept the band boys' hair in place weathering all storms. Actually the cream was more to keep their hair tidy when they appeared for stage performances. They also wanted to look good in front of girl friends. The topic on hair cream and other Singapore 60s memorabilia featured in a four-part documentary that will be televised on Mediacorp Okto (Channel 108) again soon.
The Shoot with Kheng Hua:
As usual my nerves got the better of me when I faced the cameras at Petain Road with its row of peranakan terrace homes. But with experienced Kheng Hua beside me I felt comfortable as she led me with her giggles and laughter. We started off camera by discussing 60s music and when I was more relaxed this charming host of the series took command of the scene shots with her constant chatter, eloquence and natural ease.
|Produced by The Moving Visuals Co. for Mediacorp Okto.|
With professionals around nothing can go wrong, so they say. Nothing went wrong but a large truck nearly spoilt our schedule when the driver decided to park it right in front of our shoot as he went for his breakfast. Rather than wait for him to reappear our party changed venue as I gave my soliloquy about Elvis' hairstyle before the cams. Yikes!
I learnt a bit of Drama 101 at the Uni in Canada a long time ago but I think Kheng Hua taught me more. She's definitely just as great a teacher as she is an actor.
|Shooting 'Momento Singapore' at Petain Road (Andy Lim Collection)|
**Indian (Mamak) or mini-sundry shops are a thing of the past in Singapore and used to be scattered all over the island. There are possibly about four shops left today and this Desker Road shop is one.
They sell small items from sweetmeats, snacks and stationery to drinks, cigarettes, newspapers and of course, hair-cream. If you're lucky you might even see a bunch of bananas hanging from the ceiling. All you need to do is pluck one and pay the Indian shopkeeper 5 cents. In the 60s that is...
*(Partial Lyrics: 'The Way We Were' Songwriters: Alan n Marilyn Bergman, Marvin Hamlisch).
About film house: http://movingvisuals.wordpress.com/
Image 1, 3 from: 'Memento Singapore', a documentary.
Image 2 from: Google Images
Image 4 and Original Article from: Andy Lim Collection.