A Singaporean death row guard helps a young woman accept her fate despite a bizarre contradiction - he is her executioner.
A BETTER PLACE THAN THIS
is a short film about a Singapore death-row guard who tries to help a young woman convicted of drug trafficking come to accept her fate despite a bizarre contradiction - he is her executioner.
The film was inspired by the real life executioner Darshan Singh who since 1959 estimates he has hanged up to 1000 condemned men and women, each at the crack dawn on any given Friday. But far from a sadistic mass-murderer, in interviews Darshan comes off as a charismatic and spiritual man, filled with equal amounts of humility and humour. He felt a spiritual bond with his common man and took it upon himself to counsel the men and women on death row, even befriending his eventual victims. He listened to their hopes, fears and dreams, and helped them come to grips with their fate. Some would accept only Darshan as their executioner and even included him in their final will and testament, entrusting him until the utterance of those ominous words: “I am going to send you to a better place than this." For more in formation on Darshan, see Alan Shadrake’s book Once a Jolly Hangman.
We shot A Better Place Than This on beautiful Kodak Vision 3, Super-16 in Los Angeles and Singapore. We are looking for finishing funds to move us out of Post Production and into a festival near you!
Daniel was born in Singapore and raised in Singapore, Jakarta, Sydney and Los Angeles. While reading Philosophy and Journalism at the University of Sydney he was extremely active in Sydney’s theatre scene before moving onto distribution at ICON Films Australia in 2007. He subsequently lived in Beijing as a freelance journalist and wrote for such publications as YEN, Dazed & Confused, The Sydney Morning Herald, Arena UK and Vice Magazine. In the midst of the Olympic Games, he returned to Los Angeles to pursue an MFA in Film Production at the University of Southern California. Most recently his screenplay for the short Blackbird was a Semi-Finalist for the 2011 Student Academy Awards for Best Dramatic Short.
We were fortunate to win these awards before even starting Principal Photography:
2011 Jeffrey Jones Award for Screenwriting
2011 FotoKem Award
2011 Panavision Young Filmmaker Award
Kodak Film Stock Grant
So where exactly would your generosity go? Here are a few things:
Composer: our talented British-Iranian composer Ram Khatabakhsh needs to eat. Especially since we’ve kidnapped him from his native London. His skin isn’t used to all this Californian sun.
Music Recording Facility (A big space with awesome acoustics and lots of little knobs and stuff)
Musicians (Amazingly talented people to fill that acoustic space with)
Music Mixing Engineer (A tech-savvy person to help the musicians sound their best)
Sound Mixing facilities (A giant room with a projector and loads of buttons that slide up and down)
Sound Mixer (A talented human being to push those knobs and things)
2K Negative Scan (The final step of scanning the picture locked negatives to ready it for VFX and Colour Correction)
35mm Blow-Up and/or Digital Cinema Package (the final final final exhibition output of the film)
The Hangman - Reza Safai (Circumstance)
Sophie - Tania Nolan (Spartacus: Blood and Sand)
Chen Wei - Archie Kao (CSI)
Terrence - Kamuela Kim
Liu - Alexander Chen
Fandi - Kamil Haque
Thomas - Jonathan Oldham
Sophie’s Mum - Wendy Wilkins
Writer / Director: Daniel Grove
Producers: Catherine Aeppel, Adam Lewin and Liz Singh
1st Assistant Director: Michael Koerbel
Director of Photography: Fady Hadid
Production Designer: Christina Brenton
Costume: Brett Kreidberg
Sound Supervisor: Kari Barber
Script Supervisor: Nicole Rivera
Editors: Gabriel Renfro & Jordan Ledy
Thank you in advance from the Cast & Crew of A Better Place Than This.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
pledged of $15,000 goal
seconds to go
Mar 19, 2012 - Apr 21, 2012 (33 days)
Pledge $10 or more
A Shout Out on our Kickstarter & Facebook “Wall of Thanks” and a "Thanks" in the End Credits.Estimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $25 or more
A "Special Thanks" in the End Credits and a personal Note of Thanks from the Director. And all of the above.Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $50 or more
A Video Poem written and recited for you by the Director and posted on our Facebook Page or an Official Festival ABPTT Postcard with a handwritten Poem by the Director mailed to you from a Festival somewhere in the world. And all of the above.Estimated delivery: Aug 2012
Pledge $60 or more
A private pass-protected HD Vimeo link of the film once complete. And all of the above.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $100 or more
An Official DVD of ABPTT signed by Director & Principle Cast And all of the above.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $200 or more
A Singapore Changi Prison Death Row T-Shirt from the Official ABPTT Wardrobe. Chinese Hell & Heaven Money (so you can be rich in the afterlife). And all of the above.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $500 or more
Your very own working noose (seriously). And all of the above.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $1,000 or more
Professionally Printed Storyboards. Copy of the Original Soundtrack. A signed ABPTT Festival Poster And all of the above.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $2,500 or more
An Authentic Singaporean Dinner hosted by the Director and attended by Principle Cast and Crew (pending availability) at a time convenient to you in Los Angeles. And all of the above.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $5,000 or more
2 x Tickets/Passes to a Private Screening or Festival nearest to you. And all of the above.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012