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  • Writer's pictureFaye Bradley

Kelly Chen & Sing Sing Rabbit On Their Award-Winning “The Day When We Fall In Love” Collaboration – Interview

INTERVIEW


Sing Sing Rabbit and Kelly Chen's collaboration on the music video "The Day When We Fall In Love" became a cinematic triumph this May, winning an unprecedented 12 Telly Awards. This sci-fi masterpiece not only showcased their visionary prowess but also highlighted their knack for narrative finesse and cutting-edge visual innovation.


Overcoming the challenges of producing such an ambitious project in Hong Kong, the duo partnered with studios like Votion Studios and Bad Clay Studio, utilising XR technology and VFX to realise their expansive vision. In an exclusive interview with CSP Times, they shared insights into the collaborative process that led to this extraordinary cinematic journey.


This article is available to read in Chinese (HK).



Images provided by Under the Pillow.



Kelly Chen:


Congratulations on "The Day When We Fall In Love" winning 12 Telly Awards! How do you feel about this achievement?


I'm so excited! It was unexpected for the music video to win 12 Telly Awards, which are considered the television version of the Oscars. Many thanks to Sing Sing Rabbit & A.T. for their dedication and meticulous planning in reshaping the concept for this MV!


You played Captain K in the music video, which is different from your usual roles. What excited you the most about portraying this character?


The concept of this MV is a sci-fi galactic journey. I play Captain K, who assists in finding hopeful individuals. The most thrilling part was how well the costumes matched the character – they were very futuristic and stylish. This music video takes viewers on an interstellar journey.



Which scene did you enjoy shooting the most? Why?


During the MV shoot, the most memorable moment for me was standing on the spaceship and looking out into deep space. Seeing the interstellar views was truly mesmerising and helped me immerse myself in the role.


To portray Captain K, what preparations did you make? Did you face any specific challenges in this fantastical setting?


Since I hadn't acted in a sci-fi MV before, I watched some sci-fi films as references before portraying Captain K. The most challenging part was transitioning quickly from being Kelly to embodying Captain K and adapting to different scenes during filming.



What attracted you to collaborate with Sing Sing Rabbit on this project?


Sing Sing Rabbit had previously composed music for me, and I really liked her style. When she approached me during the pandemic to collaborate on a song, I had the time, so everything aligned perfectly for us to work together.


What are your current top five favourite songs?


My current favourite songs are: "Feng Hua Xue", "Favorite Concert", "Hua Hua Universe", "My Loved Ones", and "The Value of Romance".



What five items do you always carry in your handbag?


I always carry lipstick, a small water bottle, hand cream, a wallet, and a pair of sunglasses.


What are your current top five favourite travel destinations?


My favourite travel destinations are New York, Japan, Paris, London, and Milan.



Sing Sing Rabbit:


Congratulations on the success of "The Day When We Fall In Love"! What inspired you to collaborate with Kelly Chen on this project?


Thank you! It's a long story. In 2019, I officially started my music career in Japan but soon faced the pandemic like many others. I didn't want to stop, so one day I had a bright idea to collaborate online with artists I admired and found interesting. Luckily, I found HIPPY, a singer from Hiroshima, Japan, and started the "When Sing Sing Rabbit Meets..." project. We received great feedback. Around the same time, I was planning another original song and wanted a unique female voice. One night, while supporting Endy's song for the Hong Kong Film Awards, I saw Kelly returning to the limelight. It was like a light bulb moment. I had previously worked with Kelly in 2013, and she had influenced my own creations since high school. I first attempted to invite Kelly to collaborate in 2016, and finally, in a wonderful twist of fate, she agreed to collaborate in 2022. It was truly magical.



The music video showcases your creative style. What inspired the concept of this interstellar love story, especially the roles of Captain K and Pilot Rabbit?


"The Day When We Fall In Love" is a song that tells the tale of the universe coming together for magical encounters, much like how Kelly and I met. The story was co-created with director A.T. I think Kelly is definitely an extraordinary extraterrestrial for me, so naturally, I conceived the character of Captain K, an interstellar figure. She is a Starwish tribe member who has been cruising the universe, fulfilling heartfelt wishes with superpowers. Pilot Rabbit is the pilot of the spaceship and Captain K's best companion. I thought they had great chemistry!


The video won several Telly Awards, including for visual effects and animation. How did you integrate these advanced technologies into such a large-scale production in Hong Kong?


I believe in daring to think and believe there are opportunities to achieve it. No matter what, you'll find a way to make it happen! For this collaboration, a director friend suggested we use an XR studio to shoot this sci-fi film. I started researching online and luckily found Votion Studios in Hong Kong, which not only sponsored the MV but also provided extensive XR technology expertise. This was crucial for constructing the entire universe. We then worked on the spaceship cruising animations. We first approached concept artist JIMI, who had previously collaborated on a Netflix series animation and VFX for Bad Clay Studio to create the spaceship cruising scenes and some special effects. This collaboration made the MV stand out. None of us in the team had used XR technology for filming before, so it was all very new and exciting. I'm grateful for the trust from all units. This MV wasn't just about money but about everyone's belief in making something extraordinary.



Can you share with us your experience in collaborating with Kelly Chen and A.T., especially for such an ambitious project?


Let's talk about A.T. first! He has been my music producer for many years and also the director of this MV for the first time. Thanks to his dedication and vision for this MV, everyone said it was like watching a Hollywood movie when the work came out. It was amazing to see such high standards achieved in Hong Kong. I am very proud of him. Why did a piece from 2005, which had already been idled, suddenly reappear? It was A.T.'s inspiration to integrate the best parts of my many changes to create the current version.


This revival gave me the opportunity for an unexpected collaboration with Kelly. Whether it was A.T. wishing to thank Kelly in person for agreeing to collaborate or our magical encounter at a dessert shop on the day of the call for prayers, I believe many people may no longer be able to build a vast scene of the sand dunes. We put a lot of effort into the early stages of creation, sourcing, monitoring, and rehearsing, and the trust and persistence of each unit enabled this MV to shine.



As for Kelly, it was like I had dreamed of working with Hong Kong's top star and even all of Asia, the pressure was huge, but because of this, the power that can't be seen by the naked eye was bursting out. This time I also acted as the styling position of the MV. The Hollywood movie returned from abroad also used unique and stylish clothing, but of course, it was also expensive. What if I sent it over and didn't fit? But when Kelly was fitting, the clothes were surprisingly fitting, and she liked it very much, which relieved me.


Kelly really is Captain K and has the superpower to fulfill others' wishes. I have spent time together recording, producing MVs, releasing songs on the big screen of the theatre, and spending some intimate and enjoyable times. Maybe she doesn't know that A.T. and I privately call her "sister at home" because she is a big sister who loves to take care of and rarely promotes younger siblings. Nevertheless, I still feel very nervous every time I see her, and this collaboration is unforgettable in my life.


The music video showcases diverse landscapes and imaginative props. How did you and your team bring these fantastical elements to life?


Thanks to the MV's art director Chuck (she is Japanese) and her small props team for helping to present the props that I and A.T. want to remodel and customise. In order to make unique props within a limited budget, I spent a lot of time searching online and modifying them. I think my favourite remodelled props are the Starwish Tribe's "Wish Converter".


There is a plot where Pilot Rabbit collects Emma's wish light waves from outer space and gives them to Captain K. The light waves need to be put into the Wish Converter to understand the wishes of creatures from different planets. One day I saw a children's washing machine toy online and thought it could be used for remodeling. In addition to toys, many other props use vintage utensils, such as Emma's first-generation Sony cassette player and the red work table in her room, which are all remodelled from 1970s vintage tables. Captain K's custom search device and Pilot Rabbit's custom hat took a lot of time to research, design, and customise, and every detail was meticulous.



Your career covers collaborations across different entertainment industries. How does "The Day When We Fall In Love" compare to your previous projects?


"The Day When We Fall In Love" was more challenging, shocking, and satisfying than previous collaborations. First of all, having Kelly on board was already shocking. She made us push ourselves to the highest level in every inch of inspiration and strength. So there was a bit of a "nothing is impossible" situation. Although previous collaborations were presented in different mediums to showcase my and the team's creations, they may not have been so extensive. But this collaboration allowed me to delve into multiple fields and unknown territories, covering music, animation, XR technology, fashion, visual effects, styling design, movie-style poster design, promotion, and exhibitions in Hong Kong and Japan. The project has exceeded my expectations.



What can fans expect from your future projects? Can you reveal any upcoming collaborations or releases?


"When Sing Sing Rabbit Meets…" will continue to connect with different interesting partners. We have confirmed collaborations with the Japanese Hiroshima singer HIPPY. Additionally, a solo version of the Japanese song "恋花" (KOIBANA), which was earlier sung with Zhou Guoxian, will be released in July. I am also currently working on and planning a series of English songs that are more dance, funk, and upbeat, continuing to diversify Sing Sing Rabbit's music for fans. Besides music, I will also continue to release different books, exhibitions, and explore ways to produce a major Sing Sing Rabbit movie.


You are known for your unique performance style. How do you view the role of "The Day When We Fall In Love" in your artistic development?


"The Day When We Fall In Love" music video has won us several international awards and gave us the opportunity to screen for the first time at the Cinequest Film Festival in the United States. On the screening day, most of the audience were foreigners, and despite being a Cantonese song, we deeply felt from their applause and laughter that music and visuals truly transcend borders. The experience of participating in the film festival has indeed opened doors to the international stage, allowing more people to hear and see, and has definitely taken my artistic development to another level. This experience has also unearthed talents within myself that were previously undiscovered.


Follow Sing Sing Rabbit and Kelly Chen and their upcoming projects on Instagram

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