THEY are local celebrities coming together for a
But instead of raising money for charity, Edmund
Chen's brainchild – Mission Easy – is a project
that allows celebrity mentors to help ordinary people
realise their showbiz dreams.
Chen is financing the whole project with the help of
According to the actor-producer, the celebrities are
paid a tokensum that he likens to merely covering their
Chen, 49, told The New Paper: "For the first time in
Singapore, I'm going to have a platform that will consolidate
all local talent here."
His vision, he shared, is to have a one-stop shop for
Hollywood agents who want to hire local talent, and all
they need to do is to "click onmywebsite and everyone
will be there".
He insisted his aim is not profit: "I forked out quite a
big sum from my own pocket because I want to do my
part in helping people kick-start their careers in the
Chen declined to reveal how much he has spent on his cause. The free two-day workshop that took place
last month at Seven@Iluma, saw Chen teach acting,
directing and script-writing to 150 selected participants
Chen himself has just finished co-producing and
acting in a local horror flick Red Number, which is
slated to open here in a few months' time.
Chen said that a thousand people had written in
when he called for entries two months ago on the
Mission Easy website. They had to say whythey wanted
tobe part of the project.
Besides teaching the amateurs, Chen also observed
them closely to see who had the chops and "right
attitude" for showbiz.
After the workshop, six teams of between six and 20
each were tasked to act in, direct and produce their
ownlove-themed short film shot in Singapore.
He did not put any restriction on the language to be
used, and Chen was treated to an interesting range of
scripts in several languages.
Already, there have been English, Mandarin, Teochew,
Cantonese, Hindi and even Russian and Polish in
Said Chen: "I want to promote the local entertainment
scene but I also want to make sure everyone will
watch and enjoy the movie.
"So no matter what language you speak or understand,
there's something for everyone."
Once the films are completed, Chen will piece them
together as one movie entitled, Love, and screen it for
freeon his webTVchannel ECTV.
He said that he will also look into free screenings of
the movie at mallsand other public spaces.
With the exposure, Chen hopes that it will help the
aspiring showbiz newbies gain recognition in the entertainment
The current 18 celebrity mentors – some of whom
will also act in the films – include Ericia Lee, Ezann Lee,
Jessica Tan, Nick Shen, Vincent Ng, Alaric Tay and
Also involved in the project are singer-songwriters
such as popular xinyao artiste Jiu Jian and directors
such as Chen's sister, Dr Loretta Chen.
Chen said that the list is still growing as he wants as
manyartistes to join his cause.
Filming has commenced, and he hopes to have the
films completed by end of the month.
Fulfilling experience for all
One of the participants of Mission Easy, Ms Icy
Wang, 21, a product designer, said: "The short film took
three days to shoot and while it was gruelling 12-hour
days, I learnt so much so I'm so thankful for this opportunity."
As for accounts officer Ms Tomato Lee, 24, who has
been an aspiring actress since she was a teenager, this
was a dream come true as her chubby figure had prevented
her from being picked at past auditions.
Admitted Ms Lee, who is 1.62-m tall and weighs
70kg: "Ihad an inferiority complex andwithout Mission
Easy, I don't think I would have ever been given a
chance to act.
"Meeting Edmund in person was also exciting for
meas he's afamous celebrity."
Said Chen: "What was interesting for the celebrity
mentors was that I got them to do something outside
their comfort zone."
So how has the Love experience been for the celebrity
Said Jessica Tan, 29, who plays a jaded, rich middle-
aged lady in her film: "I wanted to be involved in
Love as it's a great way to meet people from all walks of
life, all bearing thesameinterest, film-making."
The former Miss Singapore Universe confessed to
being a "dreamer", so being able to help someone fulfil
theirdream is "extremely satisfying".
For actress-host Ericia Lee, 33, being a part of Love is
a chance to direct a film.
She said: "From being in front to behind the camera,
it's a wholenewexperience.
"I've learnt a lot and now appreciate the complexity
of a director's role."
Not a person used to dishing out instructions, Lee
initially hada hard timeon set.
"Luckily I hada great team and I hadlots of help."
Actor Edwin Goh, 17, of Channel 5 drama Fighting
Spiders fame, plays an asthmatic boy from another
He said that he was up for the good cause because
he was familiar with the whole team and so was "very
willing to help out".
Actor Nick Shen, agreed that Mission Easy is ameaningful
Said Shen, 34:"We will be coming up withnewideas
and opportunities as a team to make Singapore a
blooming film industry.
"I also want to sharemylove for acting."
Singer-songwriter Jiu Jian felt that since he has
slugged it out in the music industry for the last 20 years,
hecould passon valuable advice to the project's participants
about his work experience.
Hesaid: "When Edmundinvitedmeto be one of the
celebrity mentors, I agreed because we have known
each other for 17 years.
"I can see Edmund's passion for creating a platform
for movie-making lovers."
Dr Chen, 35, creative director of international creative
consultancy firm 360 Productions and adjunct professor,
joked that she was bound by "blood ties to
support my brother".
She said: "Mission Easy really wants to reach out to
the masses who have a dream, a desire and a passion to
reach out andcommunicate through art."
Back row from left: Nick Shen, Jiu Jian, Edmund Chen, Alaric Tay, Vincent Ng
Front row from left: Dr Loretta Chen, Ezann Lee, Ericia Lee, Jessica Tan
Source: May 14 2011 l THE NEW PAPER
Edmund Chen Mission: Make your showbiz dream come true
Newbies put to the test