Everyone has a story. Ours starts sometime in 2000 when we decided to start a company. We named it Freestate Productions. It was meant to liberate some of our ideas...hence the name freestate. We hoped freestate to be a medium by which we could express ideas liberally.
“Freestate” - A free state of mind, one without walls or restrictions and the ability to realise any idea.
We like to think that anything is possible.
Making short films was a thing we were very passionate about and something we continued to develop from our student days at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia. Our early success included Pokol - nominated Best Experimental film and writing at the 12th Western Australian Screen Awards 1998 and The Living Wall which won Best Experimental film and Best Editing Award at the same festival. The Walk and The Wait were selected in the WA Lesbian and Gay Film Festival 1997.
As students at Edith Cowan, we were fortunate to have fantastic and influential teachers. One of those, our photography lecturer, had a huge influence on our work and us. Working with film and mixing chemicals in the darkroom was still the standard practice of the time. Our fascination was black and white photography. We found working in the darkroom a magical experience and at present we continue to shoot with black and white film and to work out of a traditional darkroom. In some ways, with the digital age, some of the tactile sensitivity of the medium is lost. We feel combining and experimenting with old and new techniques are a good way to improve our craft.
Back to our story as a young production house in 2000, Freestate carried on focusing on making short films and Sometimes I feel like chewing a gum was nominated for Best Short Film at the 1st Tiger classic New Directorʼs Showcase in 2001.
I have to thank my Uncle Barry, who made super 8mm home movies in the 70s and handed over a bunch of super 8mm films to us. One particular reel was so remarkable that we had to use it in our film. Happy Birthday Sharon , a short film which we mixed Super 8mm film and digital format for the first time,was well received and got the Audience Voice Award at the 2nd Singapore Shorts Film Festival at Substation in 2002. In 2003, it won the Best Short Film Award at the 2nd IF Istanbul Independent Film Festival. We took Happy Birthday Sharon to VideoBrasil, 14th International Electronic Art Festival 2003 where it was screened as part of a selection of films from Singapore.
We were fortunate to collaborate with creative friends on various projects for broadcast. One of our first commissioned works was a lifestyle programme called Bare Beauty. It ran for 3 seasons, was very well popular with audiences, and for the first season was runner up for Best Cinematography, Asian Television Awards 2006. Another programme Exotic Escapades, a travel lifestyle programme, was a finalist for Best Infotainment Programme, Asian Television Awards in 2007.
We also had the opportunity to work on exciting projects for various galleries and museums like The Army Museum, The National Museum and the recently opened National Gallery Singapore. In 2007 we worked on the new revamp of Fashion Gallery exhibits at the National Museum of Singapore. The Musuem was heading into a more modern, visual gallery and Freestate produced a range of documentaries on youth, music, women, beauty and fashion.
For the National Gallery Singapore, we produced an assembly of documentaries about art history in Singapore and in South East Asia.
Having expanded our role as educators, and the intention of sharing our passion for film and photography, we have started running Super 8mm filmmaking workshops and Black-and-white darkroom printing and techniques workshop. We welcome all levels of photography and film enthusiasts from the basic beginners to the more skilled practitioners wanting to hone their craft.
If you are interested to know more on the workshops please go to our workshops page or email us and we would be happy to help you. We have an older website which we thought would be nice to keep as it is. Our old stuff and work can be viewed here, be warned itʼs running on the old flash program.