Phan Vu Diem Hang, 24

Herworld (Singapore) - - HW -

“I’m on a film set. Af­ter a long day of shoot­ing, I’m sur­rounded by an ex­hausted crew aglow un­der the harsh lights. My name is Hang Phan, but my close friends call me Hakki. As an as­sis­tant pro­ducer for a film pro­duc­tion house in Ho Chi Minh, a typ­i­cal work week for me is any­thing but typ­i­cal. Some­times, I work 18 hours a day, six days a week. Other times, my sched­ule is much more re­laxed and I can head out to a nice bistro for a chill evening.

My job is to man­age the fi­nanc­ing, plan­ning and coordinating of projects like mu­sic videos or fea­ture films. This in­cludes ev­ery­thing from edit­ing the script and cast­ing the ac­tors to colour-grad­ing and film­ing be­hind-thescenes footage. In short, I’m re­spon­si­ble for any­thing re­quired to bring the pro­duc­tion to life.

This sort of work doesn’t fol­low a nine-to-five sched­ule. Dur­ing the pro­duc­tion stage of a fea­ture film, I have no per­sonal time un­til all the film­ing is com­pleted. Thank­fully, once we move on to the post­pro­duc­tion stage, my time is freed up (just a lit­tle), and I can fi­nally sneak in

a cel­e­bra­tory drink af­ter work.

While the nightlife scene here is vi­brant, with clubs, bars or karaoke lounges at ev­ery turn, I’m not a big fan of the blar­ing, chart-top­ping mu­sic that plays in pop­u­lar nightspots. De­pend­ing on my mood and the weather, I usu­ally head to Anan Saigon – a fu­sion Viet­namese bistro with a pretty rooftop view – for a re­fresh­ing cold beer, or a cosy iza­kaya on Le Thanh Ton Street for re­fresh­ing umeshu on the rocks and light Ja­panese snacks.

I get a base salary each month, but what I take home varies from project to project be­cause I han­dle dif­fer­ent re­spon­si­bil­i­ties for each one. This doesn’t stop me from liv­ing quite com­fort­ably. Once the rent and util­ity bills are out of the way, I spend most of my in­come on din­ing out. But I al­ways set some sav­ings aside for my next trip abroad or other fu­ture plans. With­out the sta­bil­ity of a ‘nor­mal’ of­fice job, and with ris­ing in­fla­tion rates, I worry about the fu­ture. Will I be able to sus­tain my cur­rent lifestyle, and will I be able to sup­port my par­ents in the fu­ture? For now, I hope to ac­cu­mu­late enough ex­pe­ri­ence from my cur­rent job to start a busi­ness of my own within the next five years.”

When she's not on a movie set, Hang Phan (be­low left) is usu­ally cruis­ing the city's lively streets with her friends.

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