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"Be With Me" Launch Party on 30th August 2005

Love. Hope. Fate. Be with me, my beloved...

Bar None at the Marriott was the location of the launch party of Eric Khoo's latest movie, Be With Me. Winning accolades overseas, it was time for the movie to return home in preparation for a local premiere on the 8th of September.

The party started off in a quiet manner, a low key affair. Perhaps the movieXclusive team was early to soak in the quiet before the storm. Samantha Tan was practicing on the electronic keyboard (more on that later), and so was Kevin Mathews on the guitar, fine-tuning and preparing for their performance later on in the night. Director Eric Khoo was surprising early as well, but had spent at least 20 minutes on a one-to-one interview prior to the party proper.

When Ezann Lee arrived, the photographers appeared too and she and Samantha were promptly whisked off to a corner sofa for picture opportunities. Soon, more cast, crew and guests dropped in, and it was time to begin the fanfare.

The night started at 8pm, with the screening of the trailer, which most should already be familiar with, the one with many close up shots of the casts' faces. The second clip shown comprised of a series of scenes from the movie played against the background of the Be With Me instrumental theme from the soundtrack. And finally, a production clip was featured which had interviews with the producers and director, who explained that Be With Me is a film about the 3 stages of life. The teenage years (Samantha Tan, Ezann Lee), the adult years (Seet Keng Yew and Lynn Poh), and the old (Chiew Sung Ching and Theresa Chan). The clip also featured Elizabeth Choy and an inspirational statement from the lady who inspired the film, Theresa Chan, which drew thunderous applause.

Like Eric Khoo's 12 Storeys, Be With Me also has an excellent local soundtrack to accompany the film, and music has always been integral part of silent movies. From the preview and stage performance tonight by the artistes featured on the soundtrack, the movieXclusive team safely conclude that it doesn't disappoint, especially when the cast too had a hand in some of the tracks.

The main theme was played and sung by Christine Sham on the electronic keyboard, and Kevin Mathews himself performed a track called "Keep the Faith" on his guitar. Keng Yew (the security guard pining after Lynn Poh's character Ann) had a duet of sorts aptly titled "Finding Love" with Mathews on the guitar, before Samantha Tan performed a differnt rendition of the "Happy Times" track with little lyrics. The performance rounded off with Lynnette Seah on the violin and Christine on the electronic keyboard performing the closing theme.

Before the night ended, the cast of Keng Yew, Samantha Tan, Ezann Lee, Lynn Poh and Chiew Sung Ching were invited on stage to say a few words about their experience in the production. While most of them were not hesitant to give their kudos to the director for the opportunity to star in his film, Sung Ching ended off hilariously with mock exasperation that this will be his first and last time working for Eric!

In 40 minutes, the party was over, but the revellers continued the night at Bar None. MovieXclusive took the opportunity to speak very briefly with director Eric Khoo, who had a hectic night with many interviews and photo requests, and hosting the many guests. He shared with us that Be With Me was actually a much personal film.

But I guess the highlight of the night was the 2 teenage female leads, who were also kept busy with countless interviews and photoshoots. But they were still all smiles as Team movieXclusive managed to catch up with them on a quick joint interview.

mX (To Samantha Tan): Michelle Goh, Lum May Yee, and now Samantha Tan. How do you feel being the "It" girl in an Eric Khoo movie? The previous 2 stars made waves for their performances. Any undue pressure?

Samantha: Actually no. The other 2 are established stars in their own right. They are there (points up in the air), while I'm starting out and just here (the other hand place significantly lower). It's challenging to act in a movie without dialogue, especially so as this is my first. So no pressure, really.

mX (To Ezann Lee): You've certainly had experience from TV, with drama serials and as a programme host. How different or difficult was it to make the transition from small to silver screen?

Ezanne: The challenge here was the lack of dialogue, which means you've got to rely heavily on bringing out the emotions through body language and facial expressions...

mX: Yeah, the trailer had quite a bit of close up facial shots.

Ezanne: Exactly. Also on TV, you have dialogue to help help the viewers understand what's going on. You've also got to go through the same scene a couple of times with different camera shots. Here, as long as it's no "NG", it's a wrap!

And it's a wrap from the [email protected], thanking Samantha, Ezanne and director Eric Khoo for their time in doing the quick interviews.

Be With Me premieres 8 Sept 2005.
The soundtrack is in stores now.

Reported by Stefan Shih | Photos & Layout by: Lokman BS

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