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Producing 101: In the Classroom with Singaporean Filmmaker and Director, Huang Junxiang

In the second seminar of the Business of Film course, students were treated to an enlightening session featuring Singaporean filmmaker and director Huang Junxiang. Junxiang has an impressive portfolio of feature films, including In the Room (2016), Apprentice (2016), Ramen Teh (2018), Buffalo Boys (2018), and Tiong Bahru Social Club (2020). Notably, he also served as the producer for HBO Asia anthology series Folklore (2018) and Food Lore (2019). His most recent work, In My Mother's Skin (2023), made its debut at Sundance and was subsequently acquired by Amazon Prime. Junxiang has also received acclaim as an award-winning director with the short films Give Yourself a Chance (2012), I Will Die (2014), and Piece of Meat (2019).

During the session, Junxiang shared insights into his career journey, highlighting his evolution through various roles in the film industry, such as Assistant Director, Line Producer, and Associate Producer. Among the captivating anecdotes he shared with the class was the intriguing tale of how the production team had to enlist the services of a bomoh for the making of Buffalo Boys in Indonesia.

On the set of Buffalo Boys (directed by Mike Wiluan, 2018), which was shot in Indonesia. Junxiang had to manage over 300 actors, stuntmen, and crew from different countries, as well as deal with rival gang members.

As he was speaking to students preparing for their assignment, Junxiang gave many useful tips to help them in their preparation including how to package a film, which involves proposing who should direct and star in it, based on who would best serve the vision for the project. He also provided invaluable advice on the art of pitching a film, emphasising the crucial importance of understanding one's target audience. 

JX_2_Stages of film production
Junxiang giving the students an insight into the stages of film production, peppered with set photos, film clips, and anecdotes
A photo of the cameraman on the set of Apprentice, which was shot in a disused prison in Australia

Shafiq Asyaddad Teague, a Biomedical Engineering with Film Studies student said, "Junxiang’s presentation was very informative and gave me a very insightful perspective on the ins and outs of film production. Thank you, SUSS film faculty, for this opportunity!"

Kenneth Xu Junzhi, a Communication with Film Studies student also agreed with Shafiq, adding that “Junxiang was very generous with his sharing, and his interesting experiences were both insightful and educational, especially for someone like me who wishes to be involved in the film industry.”

Group photo of Junxiang (standing in back row, second from right) with the students from Business of Film class.

This is the third industry talk for the year, stay tuned for more! Check out Film Studies at SUSS, with courses on cinematic language, the film business, scriptwriting, smartphone filmmaking, streaming and more. 

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