imaging inspirational films
New film: "Shopping Angels"
Overcoming pandemic fear by helping the vulnerable
“Shopping Angels” is an independent short film project developed during the early days of Covid19 in Singapore. Supported by SG UNITED and IMDA Singapore the goal was to create stories that would inform and inspire the population to tackle some of the issues the nation was facing. The film project got postpone two times due to the circuit breaker. After months of partial confinement, in June 2020 we were allowed to film following a strict health and safety protocol. It is a project we will not forget for many reasons. We found many hurdles on the way but it was great to be working again in a team.
SYNOPSIS: Set during the first few weeks of the coronavirus spread in Singapore, “Shopping Angels” is based on real events triggered by irrational “panic buying. It follows the life of the young Merlin, a young Singaporean that has decided to voluntary quarantine himself. Every day he follows a strict routine enjoying the isolation. Merlin meets Lucy, a girl of his age that has moved next door to take care of her ill grandmother Yvonne. He learns to overcome these fears through caring for others, in touching and sometimes comical results.
Darren Guo Chengwei - Merlin
Wendy Zhuo - Lucy
Estella Kwok - Yvonne
Hakim Kasper - Bryan
Hazim Saini - Martin
Syukii Wan - Silvia
Writer/Director: Miguel Angel Almagro
1st AD: Tanya Kneale
Cinematographer: Darius Shah
Production Designer: Chris Pellizzari
Line Producer: Angelus Iszar
Production Coordinator: Zahid Zameer
Short film: 24 min / Shot on RED CAM / UHD 4k / 2.35:1
Sisters Islands: based on the Singaporean legend
The legend about kidnapping echoes with the current children trafficking issue
Accordingly to the World's Children Organisation 1 in 4 victims of trafficking are children, who are trafficked for labor purposes or for sexual exploitation. They are forced to perform domestic household services, work in factories or agriculture. Though millions of children are trafficked, there is a much larger number of children involved in child labor that is not considered trafficking. There are an estimated 168 million child workers around the world.
The first time I read about the legend, I was captivated by the special bond that united the sisters. I was also moved by their bravery actions triggered by their love to stay together. The story also has an important element about transcendence of human life in nature. Instead of covering only part of the legend I wanted to explore what current generations would take from this legend. I created a parallel story where two brothers revisit the legend from their own experience in the present.
Languages: English, Malay, Bahasa
FESTIVAL SELECTION & AWARDS:
24TH Sedona International film festival 2018
New filmmakers NY - April 2018
Lift-Off Film Festival Global Network 2018
New filmmakers LA - May, 2018
Award of Merit Indiefest 2018
Winner Audience, Family & Social International Film Festival White Whale Festival 2018
Director/Producer: Miguel Angel Almagro
Cinematographer: David M. Belmonte, & Miguel Almagro
Underwater cinematographer: Nihal Friedel
Original music by Teo Wei Yong.
20 min / Shot on RED CAM / UHD 4k / 2.35:1 / DCP
Universal Studios: Halloween 9
5 Houses of horror
In every job there is a challenge. In this on it was to include 5 houses of horror inside a 2 min. video. Director and producer Miguel Angel Almagro came up with the concept and story connecting the victims with the main character: The Undertaker. We decided to film the story like a film trailer and tease the audiences to the live show at Universal Studios Singapore.
We presented to the agency and client film references like Se7n, Evil dead, The Forest, Shutter Island. This was very important to set the mood and also the level of quality that the director wanted to achieve in every scene. The selection of the locations and cast was very important. Because we had only budget to film 2 days we had to recreate a prison cell and an abandoned circus tent inside The Undertaker warehouse location and we had to create a motel room from scratch.
We used Castle Island Pictures RED CAM. Cinematographer Juffrie Friday selected the COOKE lenses S5i. We achieved a cinema-quality image for this Film Trailer. It was a lot of fun and we are now teased to do more horror films productions.
Cinematographer: Juffrie Friday
Client: Universal Studios
2 min 28 sec / Shot on RED CAM / UHD 4k / 2.35:1
Road safety campaign: Start your impossible with Joseph Schooling
He may have achieved one of his biggest goals in the pool, but Joseph knows that out on the roads, there's still work to be done. That's why he is an active champion of road safety in Singapore, and in particular, safety awareness and the education of children. With only 2 weeks for prep. the Singapore based film production company Castle Island Pictures achieved an impossible mission. Due to Joseph's tight training schedule to prepare and compete at the Asian Games, we had only 4 hours to film his scenes for the latest Road Safety campaign sponsored by Toyota. Working under a lot of pressure with Director Jochen Schmoll, specialised in action sports and cinematographer Max Penzel, we manage to film the five locations with Schooling inside the 4 hours window.
Director: Jochen Schmoll
Producer: Miguel Angel Almagro
Cinematographer: Max Penzel
Award winning underwater cinematographer Nihal Friedel, used two underwater jets to follow Schooling, using his RED camera and Gates housing. Nihal is a Master diver, we worked together before and we knew he could get those difficult shots in a very limited amount of time. Other challenging scene was the “road accident”. We had to stop the shooting for heavy rain. The stunt drivers did a great job driving on a wet surface. Bryan Lee, expert drone operator capture the action with precision following the car from above at different levels. Working on a complex production, large crew, celebrities and tight schedule you can’t afford to crack under pressure. Trusting the team and yourself is vital. After several days of heavy drinking coffee and poor sleeping, I said to the director that if we would safe just one life with this road safety campaign it would be worth all the effort.
2 min / Shot on RED CAM / HD / 2.35:1
START YOUR IMPOSSIBLE