Crew behind pioneer generation videos gets teary during filming

It is a love story that will tug at your heartstrings and make you reach for that box of tissues.

A three-minute video titled Love Of A Lifetime has been making its rounds on social media, attracting over 3 million views online.

It tells the touching love story of an elderly couple through the decades.

Set against the tune of Teresa Teng's ballad Just Like Your Tenderness, the video features activities of a bygone Singapore such as tree-climbing and longkang (Malay for drain) fishing.

Commissioned by the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) and produced by creative company Tribal Worldwide, the Chinese New Year video is a tribute to Singapore's pioneers.

It is also part of MCI's ongoing Pioneer Generation Package campaign to convey the benefits of the Pioneer Generation Package and MediShield Life to pioneers.

The video's director, Mr Roslee Yusof, 40, from FreeFlow Productions, told The New Paper that filming took two-and-a-half weeks to complete.

"Our team of writers spoke with some pioneers and we learnt about the many personal experiences and values that they hold dear.

One of them is love and commitment that can stand the test of time and (life's) trials," he said.

"This inspired our video and set the stage for a story of undying love, as well as lifetime care and commitment."

He revealed that his team's biggest challenge was to recreate the hospital setting which forms the backdrop of the story's flashbacks, as they were not able to secure a location for filming.


"We built our hospital from scratch in the former People's Association building in Kallang. Everything from the beds to the medical equipment to the posters were created by the art department," said Mr Roslee.

"The building had no electricity and no working washrooms. So we had to bring in portable air conditioners, toilets and generators."

Mr Roslee also sang praises of veteran actress Li Yin Zhu, 67, who played the role of the loving wife.

Li, who is known for her motherly roles in television dramas such as The Little Nyonya and Samsui Women, even had the crew moved to tears.

"In the scene where she reunites with her husband, we didn't do a rehearsal. We just let the cameras roll. After we got the take, I saw teary eyes all around," he said.

Minister of State for Communications and Information Chee Hong Tat was also heartened by the response to the film.

"Since the video's launch on our Facebook page and YouTube channel on Jan 28, it has gathered more than 3 million views.

It shows the importance of striking the right emotional chord with audiences especially when we are conveying public messages," Mr Chee, who is also Minister of State for Health, told TNP.

He added that the trend of an online audience sharing video links in their family group chats on Whatsapp has also contributed to the success of the Pioneer Generation Package campaigns over the last two years.

"We are also airing the film during prime-time slots and that would allow us to reach a wider audience," he said.

Ms Karen Tan, senior director of the public communications division at MCI, said: "We are constantly innovating new ways of communications. This is the first time we are trying out a mini-movie format to reach out to our audiences."

Mr Roslee hopes the video will strike an emotional chord with viewers.

"Love and devotion to family moves me and I hope that after watching the film, viewers will take some time to cherish their loved ones," he said.

Other promo videos


DBS Bank debuted this three-episode series on Feb 4.

Inspired by a true story, it follows a group of bankers as they help a start-up owner obtain a loan when other banks are not willing to take a chance with her.

With the aim of putting to rest the notion that banking is boring, the series has attracted over 18,000 views on Facebook.


This video by the Ministry of Manpower, which was released on Jan 18, tells the story of a mother and son who have difficulty making ends meet.

When the mother falls ill and struggles with a difficult boss at work, the filial son shares her burden by working at a fruit stall.

Aimed at highlighting workers' employment rights, the four-minute video has more than 1.6 million views on Facebook.


Released in mid-January, this three-part series by and the Ministry of Communications and Information follows a watch repairman, a bus driver and a security guard as they prepare for their retirement.

On their last day of work, they advise their younger counterparts to make plans for retirement as well.

Each part is narrated in a different language - Mandarin, Malay and Tamil - and the videos have each garnered over half a million views on Facebook.

This article was first published on February 23, 2016.
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