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A documentary about Foreign domestic workers

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A documentary about Foreign domestic workers

Postby ThuyChi » Sun, 26 Feb 2012 10:20 pm

Hello everyone :)

I'm working on a documentary project called 'The Maids". We're still in pre-production stage though... Trailer as below

http://youtu.be/-skkmWMGTLM

I'm thinking of proposing it to be a TV series instead of one on YouTube only, but I'm not sure about audience responses to this... What do you think about such a documentary? Do you think Singaporeans and people in general will be interested in this? I'm looking to make around 10 episodes, 30 mins each.

*ahem* I'm collecting audience responses, sorry if you feel like I'm wasting your time :oops:

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Postby BillyB » Sun, 26 Feb 2012 10:44 pm

You've gotta include some orchard towers footage, or else I'll be switching over to 'the Singaporean workshop on how to be charismatic'.....

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Postby ThuyChi » Sun, 26 Feb 2012 10:54 pm

BillyB wrote:You've gotta include some orchard towers footage, or else I'll be switching over to 'the Singaporean workshop on how to be charismatic'.....


Errrr you mean the Lucky Plaza? Haha I did shoot some footage of that when I was at the place to meet some of the girls.

Uhm and I do admit the trailer kinda lack a nice charismatic voice/character :?

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Postby the lynx » Sun, 26 Feb 2012 11:49 pm

Nope he really meant it when he said Orchard Towers. Go there at night and you have more info to amass from.

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Postby ThuyChi » Sun, 26 Feb 2012 11:55 pm

the lynx wrote:Nope he really meant it when he said Orchard Towers. Go there at night and you have more info to amass from.


That'd be too juicy for the audience, no? :lol: I doubt we can ever make it to broadcast TV with that :P

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 27 Feb 2012 6:52 am

ThuyChi wrote:
the lynx wrote:Nope he really meant it when he said Orchard Towers. Go there at night and you have more info to amass from.


That'd be too juicy for the audience, no? :lol: I doubt we can ever make it to broadcast TV with that :P


So, if you are not going to portray the subject matter truthfully, then why bother? It won't be fantasy nor will it be a documentary. Instead, it will just end up being another piece of garbage journalism put out by the STB so don't waste your time. A Michael Moore you apparently are not.

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Postby nutnut » Mon, 27 Feb 2012 8:53 am

I have to agree with the general consensus, there are a lot of contentious issues with the whole maid employment thing in Singapore, having happy maids saying they love their employers and employers saying they love their maids is great, but you need to see the subjective side, like, Indonesian maids who go to Batam for the weekend and sleep with FT, the guys who frequent Lucky Plaza on a Sunday and try and force maids into prostitution by threatening to tell their employers that they are sleeping around and all the other hellish things that a maid will not tell you.

If a maid went on camera with a story like half of the ones they have, then they fear being thrown out of the country by their employers or agencies at best, since a lot of employers can be unscrupulous individuals.

I am sorry to say, but if your documentary is not going to address such things as Orchard Towers/Paramount/Maid Sex industry (as a single example) and is going to tell the story that your trailer looks like, then you may well be wasting your time from my point of view.

I am sure that MICA will love you though....
nutnut

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Postby the lynx » Mon, 27 Feb 2012 9:11 am

Actually, FWIW, it has already been covered by Cheryl Fox few months ago in CNA called Bad Romance (but that's just to cover specifically the scope of interpersonal life of FDWs) so subjects on relationships with fellow FTs, unwanted pregnancy (and consequent abortion), legal issues etc has been addressed. (can't share a link here, URL would be censored for copyright reasons)

So unless you're gonna cover something different and substantial, it ain't gonna work.

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Postby nakatago » Mon, 27 Feb 2012 9:14 am

Someone once posted a link to a forum for maid employers and the arrogant, entitlement complex alone of some employers would warrant a deeper investigation in the domestic help industry.

Technical details aside, the trailer just seem to be depict all rainbows and unicorns. And we all know that's not the case. Heck; aside from the prostitution the others have pointed out, just go to hawker centres or eating establishments on Sundays and observe families eating out with their maids. There's another angle for your story.

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Re: A documentary about Foreign domestic workers

Postby Strong Eagle » Mon, 27 Feb 2012 11:04 am

ThuyChi wrote:Hello everyone :)

I'm working on a documentary project called 'The Maids". We're still in pre-production stage though... Trailer as below

http://youtu.be/-skkmWMGTLM

I'm thinking of proposing it to be a TV series instead of one on YouTube only, but I'm not sure about audience responses to this... What do you think about such a documentary? Do you think Singaporeans and people in general will be interested in this? I'm looking to make around 10 episodes, 30 mins each.

*ahem* I'm collecting audience responses, sorry if you feel like I'm wasting your time :oops:


I just watched the trailer... what do you expect the maids to say on TV? You want a real maids documentary, you leave them out of it, and you do your own research. Find the maids washing the master's car(s) at 6 AM, 7 days a week. Find the maids on Sunday, washing, cooking, ironing, yard work... never a day off. Find the maids still at work at 10:30 PM at night, only to get up at 5:30... to wash the cars. Find the maids that have barely habitable living conditions.

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Postby ThuyChi » Mon, 27 Feb 2012 2:30 pm

Hi

Thank you people for your input! :)

Yes, the main reason why this series was proposed at all is because of the horror stories we heard about maid abuse. I witnessed a few of them and really wish to bring this to light. Got a friend who works in a maid agency, did get a few girls who talked about how they were abused, or some of them tell stories about their friends who go and become weekend prostitutes (This prostitution is the thing that amazed me the most, since I'm a woman and I don't really take my "walk" at Orchard Tower, Geylang or Changi :lol: ). The main thing is, it is impossible to get them on screen. They don't mind talking to me, but like you guys said, they prefer not to show their faces. And I'm still struggling to find a way to make this documentary work... Any input?

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Postby nutnut » Mon, 27 Feb 2012 2:41 pm

how about the old filming them in darkness with actors voice? and then filming candid shots in and around Orchard Towers, Geylang and Changi?

I imagine you'd get maids to talk if they were not on the screen themselves?
nutnut

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Postby ThuyChi » Mon, 27 Feb 2012 2:58 pm

nutnut wrote:how about the old filming them in darkness with actors voice? and then filming candid shots in and around Orchard Towers, Geylang and Changi?

I imagine you'd get maids to talk if they were not on the screen themselves?


I tried. A girl told me that she doesn't mind talking to me, but she doesn't want her voice recorded, or her face on the screen. She's afraid her ex-employer hears her voice on the TV and sue her later. The other helpers just say no. Those that I did manage to get on-screen are the ones that are lucky enough to get good employers and their employers give them an "ok" to be interviewed and filmed.

Haha, maybe I should brush up my skills in persuading so I could do what I want :P Because it'd be wrong to secretly record their voice (I did, but feel so guilty, like I'm violating their trust in me)

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Postby nakatago » Mon, 27 Feb 2012 3:00 pm

Can't you get one of those robotic voice changer filters?

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Postby ThuyChi » Mon, 27 Feb 2012 3:02 pm

nakatago wrote:Can't you get one of those robotic voice changer filters?


Thank you for the idea :) Do you think you prefer a narrator voice reading out the stories, or you want a filtered robotic-ish voice? I'm thinking of recording it down on paper, and let a narrator read the stories instead.


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