Director Daniel Yam's short film on Viddsee inspired by his parenting experience

In Daniel Yam's short film, Time, Adele Wong plays a mother who realises that she should cherish the time with her son, played by Ryan Soo (both above), during his growing-up years.
In Daniel Yam's short film, Time, Adele Wong plays a mother who realises that she should cherish the time with her son, played by Ryan Soo (both above), during his growing-up years.PHOTO: VIDDSEE
Daniel Yam.
Daniel Yam.

Daniel Yam's latest short film came from a self-realisation that he was impatient with his daughter

Cherish the moments with your loved ones - it is an important, if cliched, message that local director Daniel Yam hopes to convey through his latest short film, Time.

In the 81/2-minute film, a busy working mother (played by Adele Wong) is seen constantly pushing her young son (Ryan Soo) to hurry through everything from getting out of bed to walking to school. It is only when she talks to her own mother (Chue En Jye) one day that she discovers how precious it is to treasure a child's growing-up years.

Director Yam, 42, says that the story was inspired by his own experiences with his five-year-old daughter, Chevelle, an only child.

Speaking to The Straits Times, he says: "I used to always hurry my daughter for everything - if we're walking to school, she would suddenly stop because she discovered a snail and I would just drag her away from it.

Get The Straits Times
newsletters in your inbox

I'm not sure when it dawned on me that I was being too impatient and that I was a bad parent. So I put all those feelings into this film - it's a cautionary tale of sorts to other parents, if you will."

The film-maker, who is married to a content producer, tries as much as he can to be more patient with his daughter, although he says that "things are easier said than done".

He adds: "Well, the school holidays have just started, so I want to do more things with her during the day. I'm limiting my work to the night, when she's asleep."

Time is the first original production by Viddsee, a home-grown video-streaming platform focusing on short films from all over the world. The new film is featured on Viddsee's Singapore Film Channel, a Web channel dedicated to showcasing Singaporean short films.

Some of Yam's previous short films such as Ripple (2014) and Gift (2014), are also available for viewing on the website. Many of his films have garnered millions of views as well as positive comments.

Ripple, about kindness and paying it forward, went viral with more than 400 million views worldwide, and has been featured on websites such as The Huffington Post.

Yam, who started out making corporate videos, has come a long way from the time he made his debut short film An Unconventional Love Story (2013), in which a woman played by actress Pamelyn Chee bumps into her childhood crush. The film has more than one million hits on YouTube and more than 13,500 likes on Viddsee.

He says with a chuckle: "I was so excited when I made that film, but it was rejected by every single film festival that I sent it to. However, the guys behind Viddsee saw it and liked it and put it up on their platform.

"Just when I started to think that maybe I didn't have what it takes to do this, I'm glad that the film found another audience online."

Yam is busy working on his second feature, a musical biopic about singer-songwriter Dick Lee.

He adds: "I hope to keep making more heartwarming films that touch people's lives in some way. If audiences can relate to my films in some way, relate to the characters' struggles and find courage in their lives to change things, I would be happy."

•Follow Yip Wai Yee on Twitter @STyipwaiyee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 31, 2017, with the headline 'Treasure time with loved ones'. Print Edition | Subscribe