Sunday, November 2, 2008


is a film about memories and letting go.

It is also a film that is the most emotional and sincere one that I have ever made. The making of this film taught me so much lessons about life and being a Buddhist that I thought I would share with everyone.

Firstly, I feel that being a Buddhist renders me the 'wisdom' and sentimentality in exploring human emotions. I use 'wisdom' instead of wisdom because of my unenlightened mind. But the wisdom of the Buddha is a guiding light in my life and enable me to explore themes on humanity, without me dwelling too much within depressing themes. Buddhism breathes humanity within my heart. It makes me wiser, more loving and more compassionate. It helps make my mind and my heart more sensitive to the people around me and it teaches me to appreciate all the things in life. Because life is really like a beautiful flower, that will one day rot and wither.

Secondly, Buddhism gives me the confidence and courage to do my best! Now theists have so much strength and confidence in life because they knows that their God have a vision and mission for them, and their life is guided and protected by their almighty God. But in the absence of an Almighty God, a Buddhist still can live a confident and courageous life! The Buddha taught me to do my best in everything in life and not to be fearful to failure, because to do your best is the greatest achievement one can gather. Failure is not measure by the amount of money you earn or the fame you receive. Success is measure by your own and by yourself. For this final film project, I initially shot a film about a father and son and acted by our Uncle Audrick and Vicky. I love the story, but sadly, some of the shots did not turn out well. I was uninspired with the rough cut. But with less than a week for the submission of the film, I decided that I should take a risk. I knew that I have not offered my best to this craft yet. So in the wee hours of the morning, I took an hour to write the script, found actors and shot in a few hours later with only 1 camera man, and using whatever light source we can find. The resulting effort is Starlight, which I find it more satisfying than any other film I have ever made.

Thirdly, the making of Starlight reminded me that every living being is interconnected and we all need to depend on one another. No man is truly an island. This film is possible because of the selfless efforts of the people around me, namely my parents, who waited for me to come back home at 2:30am in the morning to fetch the car and prepared me a cup of milo. My friends from Hall 6 who did not discourage me but cheer me on to take the risk. My actors, who are also my friends, who agreed to act in the film, despite me informing them at 3am in the morning. And my friends from school, who supported me. Not to forget the monks and laity of Wat Kancanarama, who gave me so much spiritual support and even acted in the film themselves... and the Thai people of Golden Mile Complex, who let me use their shops to film and even treated my cast and crew to Thai coffee. For all of them I am grateful because everyone of them contributed to this student filmmaker who could not afford to pay them anything.

And so my brothers and sisters... I hope you have enjoyed my short little sharing and my message for you guys is to persevere in whatever you want to do. Don't give up easily but always do your best... Always be humble and realistic. Be appreciative of the people around you and be grateful to your parents and those who have lent a helping hand in times of trouble. Do also be an island upon yourself and also render your fellow friends a shelter in their darkest hour. While there will always be some dark clouds looming above but be aware of it and be wise to rise up for the sun to finally come shining.

May all be well and happy,
Shi Xiong

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