Why I’ve Gone Adventurin’
I am Rachel Quek Siew Yean, a third year student at Yale-NUS College, and majoring in Global Affairs, a combination of Comparative Politics and International Relations.
I love ice cream— mostly green tea ice cream— but I still get excited when I see ice-cream shops or the ice cream uncles/aunties on their ice-cream-mobile parked near the streets. I have a passion for filmmaking, film analysis, photography, and learning about the culture, literature, politics, and food (hehe) of our beautiful Southeast Asian region.
“Me looking too happy in Japan, the land of great green tea ice cream”
So why Gone Adventurin?
I wanted to learn from the best. I have always loved the art of storytelling through photography and moving images; but the art of storytelling is extremely challenging as it involves the strategic use of visuals and sounds to effectively communicate a story. While I have made a few documentary and fiction films in college, I realised that my films were lacking elements of powerful storytelling. I found Gone Adventurin’s documentary films and was so impressed by their powerful storytelling and beautiful cinematography. I jumped at the opportunity to apply for the internship position because I wanted to learn as much as possible about storytelling, social entrepreneurship, and Southeast Asia from them.
I am in the fifth week of my internship with Gone Adventurin and I have been incredibly lucky to have learnt from each of the Gone Adventurin team members. They are not only willing to share their knowledge and experiences with me, but also challenge me to take on projects that are beyond my comfort zone. I remember feeling overwhelmed with my inability to handle the Canon C100 within the third week of my internship but Victoria challenged me to operate the Canon C100 almost everyday and supported me when I made mistakes with the camera settings or when I overlooked certain details during the film shoot. What is amazing to me is that I grown so comfortable with using the Canon C100 that I can now go on film shoots on my own!
“In the third week of my internship, carrying the Canon C100, tripod, and monopod is a workout!”
I love how the Gone Adventurin team welcomed me with open arms and made me part of the team on the first day of my internship. Jacqui refused to call me as the ‘intern’ and assigned me to the role of production manager for the Singapore Eco Film Festival (SGEFF). I am in charge of producing five short documentary films based on the themes of SGEFF— consumerism and waste, farming and food, climate, air quality and haze, and wildlife and conservation.
My internship is so unique because I am given the independence to document stories that are close to my heart, balance between playing the roles of a producer, director, and an interviewer, and talking to inspiring people who are passionate about playing a proactive role in solving social and environmental problems in Singapore and the world. I love the feeling after filming the interview with these people because they do not only make me think about my day to day decisions and how these decisions impact the environment or a vulnerable community, but also make me think about how I can play a proactive role in solving some of these issues.
Me with my camera equipments on the way to a fish farm near Pulau Ubin
Victoria and me shooting on the fish farm!
I have four more weeks to work on my documentary films, and I am looking forward to sharing stories on water pollution, sustainable fashion, sustainable packaging, haze, and food waste in Singapore and inspiring you the way these people (including the Gone Adventurin team) have inspired me.
If you see me walking on the streets of Singapore with a camera (and maybe an ice cream), please don’t be shy to say hi!