SUSS Film Studies students taking the Reinventing the Business of Film course had the opportunity to meet Juan Foo, film producer who dropped in for a Film Studies sharing session. Juan has been in the film business for over 20 years where his portfolio includes “Return to Pontianak”, “Dirty Laundry”, indie-cult film “Perth” and the National Youth Film Awards (NYFA) nominated short film “Bayang-Bayang Nenek Moyang”. He was also the associate producer for films such as “Road Less Travelled”, “Talking Cock the Movie” and “Unarmed Combat”.
Producer Juan Foo speaking to the class, with a collage of the two films he produced.
Juan explained that the producer shepherds the film from beginning to end. The producer finds the story, looks for funding and assembles the creative team and cast. Producers often work for years on a project and they are careful to choose projects they truly believe in, as passion and perseverance will be vital to keep a project moving in the face of many setbacks.
Juan produced the film “Circle Line”, which faced many challenges and has also been affected by the pandemic. Nevertheless, he is still excited as it is Singapore’s first creature feature — in the MRT!
The film Circle Line produced by Juan was released in 2020.
Terence Wong, SUSS Finance with Film Studies student said, “The talk with Juan Foo was extremely enriching and interesting, as it was my first time meeting a Singaporean producer. During class, we learnt about the business and financing aspects of producing a movie, such as optioning a film, pitching and packaging it. It was great to have a producer come in and give real examples of how he produced and released films, as this really helped to deepen my understanding of what was taught in class. Juan was open to all questions and was so willing to share about his experience in the film industry over the years. My favourite part of the talk was when Juan explained that as a producer and storyteller, he finds meaning and joy when he sees his audience enjoying the movies that he produces. That human and emotional connection between the film and audience is very special.”
Muhammad Ameer Hamzah bin Muhammad Javed Wadood SUSS Communications student, shared, “My interest has always been in the storytelling and filming process itself, so the talk with Juan Foo was a remarkable look into the intricacies of producing a film. I gained a better understanding of how stories are selected or shortlisted to be made into films. I would love to watch more local films and gain an even greater insight into the inner workings of producing film. It was definitely an enjoyable experience!”
Group photo of all the students with Producer Juan Foo!
The session with film producer Juan Foo was so interesting that everyone stayed on until the lights went out at 10.30pm. For SUSS Communication with Film Studies student, Selvia, meeting Juan was a great opportunity and she also learnt about the challenges the local filmmaking scene is facing.
This has been the fourth industry talk for the year. Find out about the SUSS Film Studies minor, with courses on cinematic language, the film business, scriptwriting, smartphone filmmaking, streaming and more!