Mediacorp recently constructed a lift specially for the Chinese Drama, “Dear Neighbours” (我的左邻右), which was aired on Channel 8 from 23 May to 17 Jun. The Senior Art Director for the production, Chen Jiagu, designed the lift to help enhance the set and tell the story of four families staying on the 21st floor of Glorious Park (美好苑). In the show, Glorious Park is a timeworn condominium that holds many fond memories for its residents. The lift, a place where the residents interact and communicate, have naturally become part of the main setting where the characters appear in.
While the filming of the show took place in the actual condominium, our team decided to reconstruct a separate lift for filming. There are multiple reasons for this. Firstly, the original lift was too small and allowed for very limited camera angles. Secondly, it would be a hassle to film as we would not be able to control the opening and closing of doors. Lastly, as the actual condominium is still home to a number of residents, filming in the actual lift would pose as a huge inconvenience to them. The whole process from designing, constructing to filming took about nine days.
Design and build
During the design and construction of the lift, Jiagu faced many challenges. One of challenges faced was to ensure that the constructed lift looked exactly the same as the existing lift. To ensure that the audience would not notice any difference, the materials and finishes used in the construction had to be sourced and selected carefully.
Beyond simply making the lift look similar, Jiagu also had to consider many other technical things, such as the camera angles, buttons, and screens used in the lift. This required extensive planning before the construction process. Jiagu first started with the drawing of the floor plan. Following that, he and the sponsor team proceeded with the selection of construction materials. On the construction day itself, they tested the technical aspects of the lift, such as the opening and closing of doors to the LED screen that displayed the respective levels. While it was a long and meticulous process, the lift was finally created to much success.