Hello everyone! We are a group of Digital Film and Television students from Temasek Polytechnic and we are raising funds for our Final Year Project, a 20 minute short film titled "The Wheel".
Below are more details, please do take your time to read and understand!
After his student commits suicide, a tutor must escape the wrath of the student’s father or else he will be tortured to death.
A 30-year-old, home tutor Roy is hired by David, a strict father. In order to help with his son, Nathaniel’s, dropping grades. Roy gives his all in tutoring Nathaniel. Upon noticing a peculiar wheel in the house. Roy learns of David’s use of it to teach Nathaniel. Soon after, Nathaniel receives his prelim results, very disappointed. Nathaniel decides to take his own life.
Roy is blamed for the death of Nathaniel and is kidnapped by David. David threatens and forces Roy to play THE WHEEL, torturing Roy whenever he can’t answer a question. The significance of the wheel in David’s life is revealed. Roy manages to escape and find an embalmed Nathaniel in David’s basement but David catches up with Roy and drags him back to the torture room.
As David prepares to kill Roy, Roy asks David one last question regarding Nathaniel. David fails to answer as Roy begins to question David, even more, about Nathaniel. David breaks down as he realises he doesn’t know anything about his son and his family dated tradition of teaching is causing an endless cycle of abuse. Remorseful, David breaks the wheel, Roy attacks David out of self-defense, leaving David injured. A new day begins, Roy comes home and now plays the wheel with kidnapped David.
4. Story Themes and Objectives
From the Writer,
The idea of using a spinning wheel as a motif came to me while I was recalling my childhood experiences, like going to the Pasar Malam and playing it with my family. I wanted to do something that people will remember, and the spinning wheel is a game I believe people have played at least once in their lifetimes. One of the main themes of this story is parenting as we get to see the father putting a lot of pressure on his son to succeed; the pressure that many of us have felt in our daily lives.
One of the other themes is vengeance as the father kidnaps and tortures the tutor to avenge his son’s death. The harshness of education is explored as we dive into the extreme ways of educating a child. There have been one too many cases of suicide due to the pressure to out-perform one another due to the rigour of our education system.
The concept of legacy is prevalent in the context of Singapore. More often than not families carry the burden of tradition, passing down from generation to generation. This film delves deep into the subject matter, through the use of our own MacGuffin. The Wheel is a physical metaphor of a tried-and-tested method being broken into pieces. The film takes a common underlying problem to the extreme through the medium of film.
One of the objectives of this film is to help the audiences relive their old memories of playing this game as well as letting them view this normal game in another light which is unexpected (normally seeing ‘Wheel of Fortune’ but this is ‘Wheel of Knowledge/Torture'). Another objective is to prompt the audience to think and realise the importance of proper parenting because there is only so much abuse one can withstand, especially at the age of 12, when a child is still vulnerable and in need of adequate love and care from their parents. With the right parenting method, children are able to grow up blissfully and reciprocate it to their own children in the future. The quote “Like Father, Like Son” is fitting for this story. Another objective is to help bring families closer as they consider and reflect on the estranged father and son relationship in the story.
5. Director's Message
From the Director,
With The Wheel, I want to create a film that incorporated and embody themes and subject matter that hold close to my heart. Education, Family and Tradition. The film takes place in the current time. Where the only constant is change. With our titular character, David, the physical embodiment of tradition over time. His unjustified actions beget deeper consequences. His fierce reluctance of letting go of the old ways forces him to come to terms with the only thing that he was meant to protect, his son. An irony of Shakespearean proportion.
The film dwells on current and future issues. The rampant child suicides rate and questionable education system. The film does not shy away from sensitive topic neither does it bode with a 'holier than thou' message. It merely displays the truth behind the curtains. Largely influenced by cinematic greats like Kubrick and Bergman. I hope to achieve the same level of detail that classic films reflect in the cinematography aspect while keeping the story a largely modern one.
Man Vs Time. An Underlying Theme of this film. Especially in Asian countries, specifically Singapore. Where we often turn to outdated tradition as a guideline or in extreme cases, the law. This ancient battle has existed for many generations. With this film, we will display the lengths and depths one might go to achieve success by tradition. David's Story is akin to Tragedy tainted by the malevolence that his son might never be as good as him. Yet he doesn't want to accept this
The film plays with the audience, anticipating their every move. Feeding you piece by piece. Of a much larger puzzle. One that you must solve yourself.
Thank you all for your time reading this, we hope that you could fund us and we really appreciate every donation to help us fulfill our dreams.
Director: M Shahaff
Producer: How Hongyu Kate
Assistant Director: Hyqal Azman
Director of Photography: Ahmad Adham
Camera Assistant: Aiman Nadzri
Sound Recordist/Designer: Jordan Ong
Editor: Edward Tang
Production Designer: Nur Effa Syaqilla
Set Decorator: Tasha Joann Hamid