OE Blog

Nov 25

Contributed by Amir
Office of Quality Management

Every year on the calendar, an event called NUS Excellence Day is celebrated. More than just an awards ceremony that recognises achievements in service, operational and environmental excellence, it is also an opportunity for staff from all across campus to come together, and catch up on friendships and re-establish networks. There are very few events like NUS Excellence Day, but there is a particular portion of the event that is my favorite- the screening of the Opening Video.

I have been involved with producing the Opening Video since the beginning, and have always been proud that we are able to tell colleagues: “We made the video ourselves“. From story-boarding, to filming, right down to special effects and post-production; we created the Opening Video in-house. Without a doubt, the Opening Videos of earlier years were amateurish. They were just photo montages, with cheesy music tagged on for added measure. We learned, though, and evolved. Instead of being a solo effort, I now have a fantastic team to work with, and the quality of the Opening Video has shot up exponentially. Since last year, we began to experiment with Digital SLRs (yes, those hulking cameras whose lenses resemble rocket launchers) to shoot high-definition video. The results surprised us, and we never looked back.

Because the media team only comprised of three individuals- a meager number- work on the Opening Video of the 3rd NUS Excellence Day had to begin almost a year ago. The Opening Video’s theme is “It’s the little things that make us great“, so we traveled around campus, capturing moments and snapshots of working life in NUS. It was fun working with NUS colleagues whom we never met before. The university is so large and populated by such diverse individuals, every single session became an adventure. Here are some of the interesting challenges we faced in creating an Opening Video that we hope you will find unforgettable on 22 February 2012.

Shooting the flags
Amir, who is a member of the media team, getting down and dirty to prep the camera for an extended recording of the state and university flags in front of University Hall.

Capturing the state and NUS flag
Despite waiting in the hot afternoon sun for more than an hour, the wind refused to co-operate. The state and university flags outside University Hall remained limp for an uncomfortably long time.

Panaroma from UHall
Zhou Qi, who is a member of the video production team, uses a camera to take a panoramic swipe of Kent Ridge’s breathtaking fauna from the rooftop of University Hall

NUS entrance
We set up on the curb at Entrance B into the University, in the middle of a blazing day. Fantastic sky, but energy-sapping heat! Waited quite long for a public bus to pass so that we could include it in our video. Barely avoided sunburn. Talk about sacrificing for the art!

Filming the CHANGE scene
Filming this scene, in which our actor, Rama, had to arrange some bricks to form the word CHANGE, was particularly challenging. To make the brick letters reflect better, we used a glass panel that was polished to death. Then we spent a long time trying to position the lights so that it did not reflect off the glass.

The PAPER ONLY scene
Exchange student, Nadia, waiting for filming to start, while we adjusted for the camera’s focus and exposure.

Switch me off
Val, who is a member of the video production team, volunteers to be a test subject while I adjusted the focus and exposure of the camera.

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