Schizophrenic Episode: MV Filming at Singapore Botanic Gardens in 2013


That period
Each day I felt like I was caught in the middle of a battle between the good and evil forces
That day
My dad drove me in the car
I listened to the subtle changes in his voice
At one moment, his voice was youthful like that of a young lad
Another moment, his voice turned hoarser and deeper
Interchanging between each other
He didn’t sound like the old dad I used to know for sure
He was rushing for some reasons
That panic in both of us as he couldn’t find the right entrance to alight me at
As if “he” had been entrusted with an important duty to get me safely to the right place at the right time
So that I could lay in good hands with the right forces
For a MV filming project with a group of my course mates for a visual communications module
At Singapore Botanic Gardens
With our DIY Merlion head prop
For a then-popular “Ah Boys To Men” movie soundtrack
Which we changed the lyrics to
To sing our love for Singapore
My dad alighted me at our stipulated location
After a few wrong turns
So which side of reality did I end up on?
Met up with my group mates
Grabbed a quick lunch at a cafe nearby
Before we got started with our filming for the day
But something didn’t feel quite right
Filming progress was slow
We were clueless of what we actually wanted to do
And how we wanted to film it
I was not well, mentally
Passerbys looked at me
What are they trying to say?
What do they want?
My group mates looked like they were hiding something from me
I couldn’t think clearly
I didn’t know how to contribute
They were all not being decisive
Hours passed
We were not making much progress
Frustration built up within me
I took the Merlion head
Threw it on the floor
The rest were surprised
I felt sudden lightness
Something heavy left me
I realised I wasn’t angry at all
It wasn’t me
Filming continued
I felt my limbs being controlled
Involuntarily moving or shifting position every few seconds
Couldn’t stay still
Dark clouds gathered
Rain poured
Filming stalled
We took cover at a pavilion
We sat together with a mix of other locals and foreigners
Speaking different languages
They came from all over the world
Gathered right here with a hidden agenda
To get me
I looked at my friend beside me
She looked fishy
Like she was keeping a secret from me
I couldn’t hold it in anymore
I asked her what are you hiding from me?
Who exactly is xx (an unknown person’s name that had been occurring repeatedly in my head at that time)??
She said she doesn’t know what I’m saying
Rain stopped.
Filming continued
I said I’m tired
I need to take a rest
They said okay
I stayed back alone at the pavilion
I lay my forehead on my forearm
I closed my eyes
What felt like mere seconds later
Someone tapped me
I looked up
It was my sis who was crying
And then there was my mum
There was my dad
My sis had just told my parents what I confided in her a few days ago
About hearing voices in the performance videos of SNSD that I watched
She was scared
They were worried
They came to look for me to take me home
But I was more scared
All their faces looked dark
Like a dark layer over their faces
Like they were possessed by some dark entities
Had their bodies been taken over by Indian spirits or what?
My sis kept crying non-stop
But it looked really fake in my eyes
They told my other group mates that I had to leave early
They understood
And off we went in the car
My father drove us to a medium’s place
I couldn’t remember which one
But in the days after
He brought me to many different temples, worship places, mediums’ places…
Hoping to ward off the spirit that I said possessed me
They said I was fine
Just mildly depressed
But the same feelings of fear and depression remained

I don’t think I had kept the final copy of the music video that my group eventually submitted for our project, but what I remembered was I didn’t appear at all / had very insignificant scenes in the final cut of the video that my members later edited as I was unable to participate in their further filming thereafter due to my mental condition. But I managed to find a draft of the lyrics that we had edited together for our cover of the song that we had to pre-record before the filming took place back then.


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