After 10 months of scriptwriting, midnight shoots and tedious editing, Temasek Polytechnic's (TP) digital, film and television graduates' short film, Vengeance Is Mine, clinched gold at the 18th Digicon6 Asia Singapore Awards.
The 15-minute film is a thriller about a husband who finds a package containing the finger of his mistress on his doorstep.
Calling themselves Dark Owl Pictures, the team is made up of director Siti Rahmah, 22, producer Nur Shahira, 21, director of photography Matin Akmal, 21, editor Maria Tan, 23, and production designer Joycelyn Yeoh, 23. They graduated from TP in 2015.
Vengeance Is Mine started out as the group's final-year project in TP.
Miss Rahmah told The New Paper: "Before we even started on the script in April 2014, I had 17 versions of the story.
"I got together with my groupmates and discussed how to make the storyline more thrilling and realistic."
Their script went through 27 drafts, after much vetting from their lecturer and mentor Andrew Ngin.
In post-production, the team had to brainstorm how to produce the sound of a shovel smashing into a head for a particularly gruesome scene.
Miss Rahmah said: "I initially wanted to try a melon instead, but we decided that a smashing a cabbage would sound better."
They also made many props from scratch, including the severed finger and a coffin.
When the short film was done in February 2015, Mr Ngin was so impressed with his students' work that he sent it to take part in the 18th Digicon6 Asia Singapore Awards, an annual short film competition held across Asia.
Miss Rahmah flew to Japan and represented the team at the award ceremony on Nov 19 last year.
"When they announced that Vengeance Is Mine won gold, my knees were shaking. I was trying so hard not to trip as I went up on stage," she said.
Mr Ngin, who has worked on local television shows such as Fighting Spiders and Growing Up, said he was surprised by the win.
He said: "Doing a thriller is not easy, because it relies heavily on story-driven suspense.
"They had to use their storytelling to keep surprising the audience."
This article was first published on Jan 4, 2017.
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