[GV25 Film Shorts] The finale: I didn’t win and here’s how I dealt with it

With Alvin (the best friend who looks like a bird).
With Alvin (the best friend who looks like a bird).

I thought for a rather long time before deciding to pen this post, but I guess if my aim is to share my experiences so that others can glean some insight from it (since I’m definitely not self-aware enough to itemise the insights), I should share some closure on the short film.

So here’s the gist – I joined the GV25 Film Shorts Competition, and my short film is Raffles v Utama: Dawn of Singapore. The winning film was Chiak, a short film about dementia.

The finale took place over a month ago, on 30 October to be exact. My short film is at the end of this post, by the way.

With Tree Potatoes.
With Tree Potatoes.

First things first – yes, I was upset

To put it bluntly, I joined the competition to win. I mean, who joins competitions to lose, right?

So just to make it absolutely clear (since I haven’t really spoken or written about it, except to my cast and crew, and closer friends) – yes, of course, I was upset. Disappointed. Sad. Bummed out. Sian. Miserable.

Pick your favourite word, but I think I’ve probably illustrated how I felt about it then, although I’m over it now. 😀

With Wilson (production assistant).
With Wilson (production assistant).


So when I posted pictures about it (since I had already taken photos, and I troubled people to take photos with me, well, why not right?), there was this very unfortunate side effect of having a lot of people like those photos.

Also, because I had taken a photo with the winners, some people had the impression I won. Which I had to clarify. Much to my chagrin.

So those weren’t great circumstances. Fortunately, I had friends who explained things for me so I didn’t have to.


The winners. They're genuine and sincere folk.
The winners. They’re genuine and sincere folk.

I like the winners

This is probably not going to sound convincing at all, but I like the winners. They’re friendly, even though we’ve only met twice.

The first time we met was at GV’s head office. While some media outlet was interviewing the third group, we were left alone in the conference room to wait (I can’t remember why we were waiting). So we started chatting.

The second time we met was at the finale itself, when we all had to sit at the front of the cinema, and we were still talking again.

I have no idea who the third group is. The first time we all met up, I swear there were two guys there (at GV’s head office). At the finale event, two ladies turned up.

Everybody at the event.
Everybody at the event.


I spent quite a bit of time sitting around feeling sorry for myself, and thankfully my cast and crew were pretty supportive. But I felt that I had let everyone down. After all, I had asked for a huge time commitment in return for virtually nothing, and after all that, I didn’t have anything to show for it.

Yes, the artist in me is fulfilled, somewhat. But I remember a gem of wisdom that goes something like this:

If many people enjoy your work, it’s art; but if you are the only person who enjoys your work, then you’re just pleasuring yourself.

For the sake of maintaining a PG13 rating on this site, you’re going to have to understand that saying metaphorically.

With Syawal (Sang Nila Utama).
With Syawal (Sang Nila Utama).

The pointless phase

I suppose every creative has to go through this at some point, and it sounds so cliched.

But yes, at one point I was wonder what was the point of it all. I mean, who’s really going to watch it, who’s really going to get it, and who’s really going to benefit from what I’ve done?

Admittedly, it’s a little self-absorbed. But the whole point is to create some sort of impact with your work. And if you don’t feel that you can achieve that objective, what’s the point of continuing?

To some extent, I wanted to create change, but that certainly didn’t happen.

So I wallowed in self-pity for awhile.

With Ning (Xing).
With Ning (Xing).

It’s hard to mope and keep deadlines

Even worse, I didn’t do work for a while (by a while, I mean 2-3 days, not years).

I’m very, very thankful to all the people who let me off and not deliver the projects that were due that week. I explained I was moping, and it was unprofessional (it is unprofessional and if you’re ever in my situation, please don’t do this), but the fact is that it’s hard to mope and keep deadlines.

So after awhile, well, back to work.

Thank you editors, bosses, employers, and clients. You know who you are.

And in a way, I’m thankful that I had my work to sort of pull me out of it.

My lovely cast (literally because they are all so much better looking than me)
My lovely cast (literally because they are all so much better looking than me)

Family matters

Things happened. I’m only putting it out here because, well, were it not for that then I think this post would have come a lot sooner and I’d have been a lot happier, a lot sooner.

I hate to be so vague about this but I feel that a)I should explain why I took so long to get over this and b)private matters should stay private.

It’s also illustrated how important family is when it comes to the creative field because it’s difficult to get anything done when that’s jeopardised.

No health issues are involved, just to clarify.

Explaining the premise.
Explaining the premise.

So I’ve put it all out there

And here it is. I didn’t deal with it very well, and I didn’t handle it very well, and I wish I had.

Maybe I’m going to come across as a spoilt whiner who must have everything his way, but hopefully another spoilt whiner will learn from this.

With Lee Yan (editor) and Aileen.
With Lee Yan (editor) and Aileen.

Reframing perspectives

This sounds like corporate jargon, but really, I took a look at it from another perspective. And these are all the things I value from the project.

  • the new friends I made
  • the fact that I have a short film out there on the site of a reputable organisation (Golden Village)
  • the kindness that so many people have shown me over the course of this project
  • the fact that not many people would go and make a comedy in the first place

Thank you everyone, for helping me out in achieving my biggest passion project for 2017.

I couldn’t have done it without all of you.

With Alvin (the best friend who looks like a bird).
With Alvin (the best friend who looks like a bird).

So here it is!

Here’s the final product – I hope you like it!

The whole project’s been a blast.

Follow my GV25 Film Shorts Competition Journey!

[GV25 Film Shorts] So I’m in a short film competition…

[GV25 Film Shorts] I met my mentors (Tree Potatoes)! Rewriting in progress

[GV25 Film Shorts] I found all my cast! Plus more help appeared

[GV25 Film Shorts] Equipment check and feelings of inadequacy (not that kind of inadequacy)

[GV25 Film Shorts] Secretly kancheong during that nobody would laugh during the script read

[GV25 Film Shorts] Prep before the big day and whining about carrying equipment

[GV25 Film Shorts] The very, very, very long shoot days that we pulled through [Part 1 of 2]

[GV25 Film Shorts] The very, very, very long shoot days that we pulled through [Part 2 of 2]

[GV25 Film Shorts] Editing and the great escape from post-production hell

[GV25 Film Shorts] Animating 16-bit Final Fantasy games and mysterious photo shoots for posters

[GV25 Film Shorts] The finale: I didn’t win and here’s how I dealt with it

Raffles v Utama: Dawn of Singapore

And my hashtag is #RafflesVUtama if you want to check it out on Instagram!

Follow Marcus Goh (me lah) on Facebook and Instagram for more (presumably) good updates!

I’m a a Singapore television scriptwriter who’s written for Crimewatch, Police & Thief, Incredible Tales, and Point of Entry. I’m also a Transformers enthusiast and avid pop culture scholar. You can find me on social media as Optimarcus and on my site.

Send me an email if you want to get in touch!


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  1. This post is so heartfelt. Thanks for sharing honestly how you felt about not winning (debatable)… the top prize. It was brave and BIG (figuratively, not literally) of you to write about how badly you handled it all. This could help others who might be in a similar situation as you. Whatever it is, you dared to dream and you took the effort to realise that dream. I salute you for that. Hey, you are a winner in many other aspects.

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