Interview with Filmmaker Guo Xiang Khoo (CIRCLES)

CIRCLES, 4min., Singapore, Music Video
Directed by Guo Xiang Khoo
Circles is a music video of a song composed by Charlie Lim. He is visualized as a pixel art character journeying through a surrealistic pixel art landscape to find his love.


Interview with director Guo Xiang Khoo

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I think the main motivation is that I’ve always enjoyed Charlie Lim’s music. I got to edit one of his music videos by chance and we started talking about working together. Eventually, we shared music and concepts together to create Circles.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

The ideation to storyboard took about 3 months and another 6 months for the crew to complete the animation. A lot of the process was the back and forth of bouncing ideas to each other on how to make an unique pixel art effect.

3. How would you describe your film in two words!?

City Dream!

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Finding the talented crew members. It wouldn’t be possible without pixel artists like Shu Yun and Michelle to create unique pixel art and an incredible compositor like Irsyad Ishak to implement the assets together with a 3D camera. Khairun Nisah, my project lead, also contributed immensely to the direction and storytelling. Of course, I have to mention Charlie and his amazing soundtrack.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

I was really touched. It was the first time I heard comments straight from the audience and I’ll really take this experience to heart. I hope to make better films in the future and submit to Experimental, Dance & Music Film Festival again for more feedback.

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

I always thought about what would happen after 10,000 years and if the human race would go extinct. In that scenario, if aliens visited Earth and created an archive of our society, what would they be thinking?

I had the thought that if I became a filmmaker, I’ll be able to leave a story behind for the generation after me and perhaps, the would-be aliens.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind.

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

I think the current elements are perfect so far. If I have to nit-pick, probably having a chance to converse with fellow filmmakers and industry experts to expand more connections.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

FilmFreeway functions quite well. My experience has been mostly to submit and attempt to forget about the submissions so I don’t check the site every day.

10. What is your favorite meal?

Spicy hotpot with sliced beef and vegetables, accompanied by beer!

11. What is next for you? A new film?

I’ve been creating short forms most of the time and I hope to challenge creating a feature film next!

By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival www.wildsound.ca

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