Hope for Singapore's media industry in 2009

Written by Michael Lim
Monday, 01 January 2009

(From the Publisher - The following is quoted from a forum article contributed by the author himself and is about hope for the media industry in Singapore). I don't think there's ever an easy solution or a simple answer to making the Singapore Media industry better. What's more hopeful is what the 'promise' of what the industry can bring to the people in it, who want to be a part of it and want to grow with it. On the paper level, it's about developing an industry which combines art, science and business. It's about jobs. it's about growing companies that can sustain these jobs whether being itself local or international. It's about being a part of a very competitive worldwide industry where the dominant forces exists within the billions of dollar studio structure with a 100 years of history. it's about nurturing and expanding the talents who want to become part of it and who are already part of it.

On the 'promise' level, what can we hope for at best. a good career ahead, a good pay or good projects to work on. Let's talk about career, what is a career?, something you aspire to dream about, something that motivates you to wake up every morning and thank your lucky stars that you in it or something that feeds you or gives you the money enough to enjoy the good things in life such as a home, a car, a family. Most people look at a job as something 9-5. when I look at what a career constitutes it is HONESTY: in the sense that this is my honest choice to be in it and can I live with my choice and for how long. This is me! If you've ever felt that amount of satisfaction then it is a great feeling but with it comes a commitment as well, not to give up when the going gets tough or how do I survive this downturn. if this is it, then you've made your choice to have a career in it and not to see it just a job.

With this new found decision to have a career in it then with it comes the price of searching for knowledge. The search for knowledge is neverending, it is never going to be 100 percent fulfilled nor should it ever be because without this thirst for knowledge, you can never improve yourself or be opened to new ideas or concepts. where is this knowledge to be found? well if you have to ask this question, the real answer comes to communication, resourcefulness, boldness and making mistakes.

With knowledge, comes the point of experience. with the knowledge applied, you will gain experience, experience gives you further knowledge and so on. It is a snowball effect and with it hopefully good projects and good experiences will be had. In this industry there may be employers who will expect you to sit for hours expecting you to churn out work, there may be employers who will exploit that fact that you are young and inexperienced, who want more out of you then sometimes you can or are able to give. they push you hard and they will be hard but is this right or is this fair. I can't speak for yourself but if you are learning and improving, judge for yourself. if you are making the headway to gaining the right experience then maybe it's worth it or not. Take your stand or not but remember it's your choice. Yes, there are also good employers or good people to work for, hopefully there will be more to come in this Singapore industry and that's part of the 'promise' that you hope for as well.

But where are the opportunities? Opportunities lie in improving yourself, knowledge again, being persistent, creating networks , experience and sometimes luck. You want to do a good showreel, do one and ask for feedback. There are plenty of examples around of good showreels. Its not a complicated science.

There is no such thing as a perfect resume to create, there is the resume in your hand. What you put in it is now and in the future it is your decision, you made the choices in your reel, you had final cut. You are the major stakeholder in your life, you are the major brand name that you hope the company will buy into.

But where is the 'promise' the fabled land, the industry that you long to be a part of. Look in the mirror, you just found it. It's you. You are the industry. Make it a good one for yourself and for others and the rest will follow. The industry is not a year, a company, a job digit or a profit statement. The industry is about people like you and me all wanting or having a career in it. Be inspired and aspire to it.

Take advantage of whatever is available to you to make it a 'promise' not to just yourself but to the community that you are a part of. This is OUR industry and it is the ONLY ONE we've got. Be proud of it no matter how hard it seems and no matter what job you do, make it something special.

Michael Lim
Writing on behalf of the Singapore ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter