CapitaLand Staff Try Their Hand At Movie-making For the Environment and Charity

Behind-the-scenes of the three Rs video for Green for Hope @ Primary Schools roadshows

Issue: Aug 2011

Reduce, reuse and recycle – the video calls for everyone to save Earth from Global Warming by practicing these three Rs
Reduce, reuse and recycle – the video calls for everyone to save Earth from Global Warming by practicing these three Rs. Click to watch the three Rs video and the making of the video

Since launched in 2008, CapitaLand has tried to make every year's Green for Hope @ Primary Schools special and memorable. That's because creating awareness amongst children about the importance of recycling requires imagination and innovation. Thankfully, CapitaLand staff is short on neither. This year, to up the ante, they produced a video to drive home the message instead of putting up the usual live skit at the primary school roadshows.

"It is heartening to see our staff give their all, often staying well into the night and putting in so much of their time, effort and imagination to produce the video. With this video, there is scalability in audience reach. We can reach out to schools and the children that we cannot put up the roadshows for,” said Tan Bee Leng, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at CapitaLand Limited and General Manager of CapitaLand Hope Foundation.

To kick start the fourth run of the Green for Hope @ Primary Schools, CapitaLand staff volunteers conducted a roadshow at six primary schools (Bukit View Primary, Edgefield Primary, Eunos Primary, Nan Chiau Primary, Nanhua Primary and Seng Kang Primary) to increase awareness of the Green for Hope project and reinforce the habit of the 3Rs: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. At the roadshow, staff volunteers engaged the children through quizzes related to the content in the video. The children were given CapitaFrog plush toys as quiz prizes. The CapitaFrog mascot also made an appearance to teach the children the hand signs for the 3Rs to help them remember the key message of Green for Hope.

All the primary schools in Singapore have pledged to take part in the Green for Hope @ Primary Schools 2011
All the primary schools in Singapore have pledged to take part in the Green for Hope @ Primary Schools 2011

Green for Hope @ Primary Schools is part of the Green for Hope initiative that aims to engage our future generation in reducing, reusing and recycling. The annual project is supported by the National Environment Agency (NEA), the Ministry of Education (MOE), and all four national public waste collectors. This year, between 1 July and 31 December, CapitaLand Hope Foundation (CHF), the philanthropic arm of CapitaLand, donates S$2 for every kilogramme of waste the participating schools recycle. The money goes to the school's welfare fund to help underprivileged children. Each school can receive up to a maximum of S$10,000 (equivalent to 5,000 kilogrammes of recyclable waste collected).

This year, to encourage the schools to go the extra mile, CHF is giving more to the top three schools with the most recyclable waste collected: S$8,000, S$5,000 and S$3,000 respectively. In addition, schools that hit the target of 5,000 kilogrammes of recyclable waste collected will get an additional S$1,000.

The cast of seven rehearsing to make sure everything is right before recording the video
The cast of seven rehearsing to make sure everything is right before recording the video

Casting Calls

Two months before the 3Rs video was slated for completion, a talent recruitment call was made in the CapitaLand offices in Singapore. The CSR team wanted to make it an entirely CapitaLand production from the video filming, acting and costumes production. On top of the cast of seven, there were three video and costumes crew required to bring to life the skit that was written also by CapitaLand CSR staff.

One of those who responded to the call was Corporate Communications Senior Executive from CapitaLand China, Heidi Wang, who is now on an exchange stint at the CapitaLand HQ in Singapore. She had volunteered many times when she was working back in China. But this time around, it was different.

"This is the first time I am volunteering while working abroad. I feel it is very different because everything is done in-house by volunteers, from the costumes to the production. I think it's a great idea to let the staff do it all,” said Wang who took on two roles in the skit.

Another volunteer and novice thespian was Roy Liang, a Management Executive with The Ascott Limited.

"I think to be able to participate in a volunteering project in this company does not just help the company but also help myself. I think as a young executive, sometimes we tend to get too engrossed in our work, and if a company like CapitaLand has such an initiative to constantly remind us to give back to the community then I think it is also a good time for me to reflect and to remind myself that I need to constantly give back to society. I am definitely enjoying my time when I volunteer with my group of friends here and it's a great experience to be here with everyone else,” said Liang.

All Hands on Deck

To visualise the story of Earth calling for help to battle Global Warming, deft hands were required to make the costumes and props. It was no small challenge to ensure that even in this, recycled materials were used.


Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Video

"We tried to find as many recycled materials as possible to fit the theme. For example when we were doing the drink can costume, we had to find a suitable recycled material that is light and durable to form a permanent cylindrical shape. We chose corrugated cardboard which had the necessary properties,” recalled volunteer costumes creative director, Janet Yeo who is Senior Secretary of the Finance Department of CapitaLand Limited. "I am very pleased with the finished props as it turned out beyond our expectations.”

Setting a good example in tune with the theme of Green for Hope are the creative directors, Janet Yeo and Maria Kozhanova who used recycled material to create the costumes and props
Setting a good example in tune with the theme of Green for Hope are the creative directors, Janet Yeo and Maria Kozhanova who used recycled material to create the costumes and props

Another volunteer costumes creative director was Maria Kozhanova who is Business Development and Asset Management Executive with The Ascott Limited.

"The biggest challenge was creating the Mother Earth costume. To create the base for the paper marche, we used food covers. We had to stitch two together to create the round shape. To ensure that the first layer of the newspaper stuck well to the base, we had to find very strong glue that was suitable for both paper and plastic. As we had to put many layers of newspaper and we had time constraints, we used hairdryers to speed up the drying process for the glue. Many colleagues gave us encouragement and support especially when we had to stay late in the office,” she said.

Channelling her creative juices to the video production is Patricia Ng who was the director, cameraman and editor all rolled in one
Channelling her creative juices to the video production is Patricia Ng who was the director, cameraman and editor all rolled in one

To make sure filming time was not wasted, the cast met for one rehearsal and then it was all systems go. Although the skit is only about five minutes long, it took a half day location shooting at Wilkie Edge sky garden and Citadines Mount Sophia apartment plus an additional week at the editing table to complete.

"I volunteered to be the videographer and editor because I had some experience in this area and the end product was for a good cause,” said Patricia Ng, Corporate Marketing Manager of CapitaLand Limited. "It was challenging as the volunteers were not professional actors, thus acting the scene over and over again for different shot sizes ensuring that actions and lines were consistent was not easy. But the cast were very professional in their attitude. We all enjoyed the production process.”

The hard work put in by all has not gone unnoticed.

"Corporate philanthropy at CapitaLand is more than just giving out donations, it's about giving time and attention to our children beneficiaries as well. The deep dedication and strong commitment of our staff volunteers embody the true spirit of corporate giving at CapitaLand,” said Tan.

 


The Making of Three Rs Video

 

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