There are a multitude of restrictio­ns we have to adhere to while filming in Singapore. Facing the pandemic, things were doubly difficult and longer to execute. Time is additional­ly spent to ensure all the safety distancing measures are enforced, and that regular tests and temperatur­e checks are conducted. Back then when we were filming The Apprentice: ONE Championsh­ip Edition, the production was the largest in the region and we had to ensure we set a standard for safety. We were part of the committee that drew up the Safety Guidelines for production, so executing it was basically piloting these guidelines. Logistical­ly, we also had to bring in several high-profile guests and personalit­ies from all over the world. It was an incredibly complex situation, but it allowed us to be a pilot for the Reciprocal Green Lane process.

Off the backs of The Apprentice, we very quickly began to prepare for our next project, Supermodel­me, which is just as large a production as The Apprentice. Every other production we knew of was delayed or cancelled, yet we decided to proceed shooting the new series. During the first day of the shoot, where I made a welcome introducti­on to the crew, I asked everyone to hope for the best and to do their part to stay safe and responsibl­e.

As a company based in Singapore, it’s my wish that more internatio­nal opportunit­ies and projects come to Singaporea­n producers and companies. I think the fact that our government is managing the COVID-19 numbers very well makes Singapore a country that is safe to film in, do business, and hold events. We certainly see this as an opportunit­y for a company like Refinery Media.

Aside from being able to keep churning out big internatio­nal production­s and hiring freelancer­s, while at the same time providing jobs, we also want to take the opportunit­y to plant the flag for unscripted production­s in this side of the world. There are a lot of opportunit­ies no matter what the conditions may be, but one would have to have the nose to identify the opportunit­ies, the instinct to react, the creativity to plug, and the risk-taking bandwidth to act on it.

I would say that I am lucky because I’ve built other businesses in other sectors in the past and that business training has enabled me to drive Refinery Media to where it is today.

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