Tough juggling team of over 400 on set of NDP theme song
Film producer of NDP 2016 theme song films music video with one-take approach
Imagine a display space of 6,500 sq m, and a cast and crew of 429 people.
Now imagine having to be in charge of managing and coordinating all of these.
Oh, not forgetting the several buses on set and the 250 lanterns that will hang from the ceiling for a certain shot.
The 3min 27sec music video (MV) was filmed with a one-take approach, meaning the video appears to have been taken as one long shot, so everything has to be synchronised precisely.
"I was even worried that we would not be able to finish in time," said Mr Huang Junxiang, the 27-year-old film producer for this year's National Day Parade theme song.
The theme song, titled Tomorrow's Here Today, was written by producer-songwriter Don Richmond and performed by local band 53A.
Mr Huang was the associate producer for last year's prison drama Apprentice by film-maker Boo Junfeng.
As film producer for the NDP theme song, Mr Huang was in charge of searching for talents to star in the music video.
His role included coordinating the rehearsals and props used, which he admitted, was one of the most challenging tasks.
The music video, which took four months to plan, involved 58 dancers, 50 drummers, 158 full-time national servicemen from the army, 113 extras and 50 production crew.
The 15m by 15m set took four days to set up and filming took place over two days. Rehearsals were 12-hour days.
"The sheer logistics of it all was overwhelming. Everyone's schedules were different so time was a challenge,"said Mr Huang.
He also had to find the right people as they were looking for people who could perform a very specific set of choreography.
Having so many people on the set was special for Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Shane Lim, 36, chairman of multimedia for NDP 2016.
"People are the cornerstone of making the MV a success," he said.
"Everyone knows how they contribute to the success of the MV. It captures and portrays how, as Singaporeans, we'll come together to take Singapore to the future."
For one of the volunteer actors, Third Sergeant (3SG) Tan Fu Yu, seeing youthful talents from different races working hard for the video was a blessing.
"It symbolises unity, as being multiracial is one of the identities of Singapore and that means a lot to me," the 19-year-old said.
This is also the first time the NDP theme song has adopted a one-take approach.
"One-takes were done before but the scale of this video and how we executed it is very unique for NDP," said Mr Huang.
"Every shot had to be very precise and I'm incredibly blessed to work with a fantastic team."
The creative team chose to use the one-take approach as they wanted something more technologically advanced, which ties in with the theme of this year's parade - Building Our Singapore Of Tomorrow.
LTC Lim explained: "It is bold. There was a lot of innovation and coordination involved, which captures the essential elements needed in building our Singapore of tomorrow."
Praising the crew, he added: "(There were) timeless hours spent on cinematography, editing, colour grading and script-writing, just to make sure everything was on point."
"Immense amount of detail was required to reach where we are today."
He had 'free rein' to write NDP theme song
The spark for this year's National Day Parade (NDP) theme song came in the shower.
Producer-songwriter Don Richmond said he had been taking a shower when he realised Tomorrow's Here Today was a "great idea for a song".
If one was going to build the future of tomorrow, one had to start today, Richmond, 39, said.
The song is performed by local band 53A.
Richmond said he did not feel any pressure from the NDP organisers.
"I think for Dick (Lee), he had a lot on his shoulders to carry... I was lucky enough to not have that kind of pressure," he said.
After he was given the theme of Building Our Singapore of Tomorrow, Richmond said he was given free rein to write.
Richmond, whose father is veteran radio presenter Brian Richmond, described the song as a fun, upbeat and digestible pop song. It took a month to write - five to six days for the first draft and three weeks to refine the lyrics.
Richmond said: "The best way to be creative is to say 'What can I do?' and not try to please everyone."