THE MOVING VISUALS CO. was started by Khim Loh and Galen Yeo in 1998, and was among the earliest independent TV production companies in Singapore. With their combined experience in production and post production, the team initially began in documentary and factual production, and have gradually expanded the company’s portfolio to other genres.
It has been an interesting road for TMVC. Now past its first decade, the company continues to look for new challenges to grow. “Our strength has always been in our versatility,” says Galen. “As a local company, we were known to push the boundaries.”
TMVC was the first Singaporean company to work with National Geographic Channel, securing a commission to cover the Thaipusam festival in the Batu Caves of Malaysia. This was followed by a 3 part series – Indonesia: Beyond the Reefs that was directed and shot by Robert Chappell. This film would win an award at the FICA Environmental TV Festival in Brazil. Bob has also worked with TMVC on other projects including Healers: Journey Into Ayurveda and Corporate Films for PSA. Now based in the USA, Bob’s notable credits include filming the Oscar winning documentary The Fog of War with director Errol Morris.
Another landmark TMVC production was Kachang Puteh to Popcorn: The History of Singapore Film which was the first history of Singapore’s film industry. This was produced for Singapore TV 12 (now known as Okto), and directed by Peter Lamb, who remains our longest serving director. It also marked the first of several projects centering around TMVC’s interests: Singapore & Asian history and popular culture. Peter would go on to direct the acclaimed series Site & Sound (which aired on Channel I Mediaworks and Arts Central) as well as Lost Images, which features the Ivan Polunin collection.
Other notable work during this period included Hungry Ghosts of the Chinese World for National Geographic Channel; and our long running arts magazine series called Yi TV (aka Art TV) for Mediacorp 8, which marked our foray into Chinese production.
Gradually, under producer Chien Chiu Ming, TMVC set up a Chinese department and remains one of the few companies in the region to offer both English and Chinese language production capabilities. The Chinese department has produced over 30 different series to date.
Children’s shows have a special place in our hearts. Our first children’s series was Count TV, an entertaining show based around Math which aired on Kids Central. This was succeeded with Hobby TV which starred funny hosts Randall Mayhall and Chua Enlai. Then, Jobs for Juniors saw us moving into kids reality programming. JFJ as affectionately known – ran for three successful seasons. These shows remain our favourites. Our kids room makeover series Groom My Room remains one of the longest running series on Singapore television – with 5 seasons and a spin off series Groom My School.
TMVC continues to be active in producing content with both Okto and Disney Television.
Go Warrior was a landmark mini-series for TMVC and saw director Galen Yeo filming in the far flung corners of Russia, Korea, Brazil and Japan with host Roland Osborne. Commissioned by Discovery’s channels worldwide, this was a groundbreaking martial arts travel adventure that has been since adapted and imitated from on other channels. We’re happy to report that Sensei Roland remains one of the coolest guys around and has since done plenty of TV.
TMVC opened up its Beijing office in 2005. “When people think of Asia,” says Galen, “They think of China or Japan.” TMVC has since produced several shows in China including China Fast Forward – a series for Discovery Travel & Living filmed in 8 different cities; Ancient Chinese Sports which commemorated China’s contribution to sports; Rome: The Lost City of China – which explored a controversial theory of Chinese villagers being alleged descendants of Roman soldiers. This was done in conjunction with Australian author David Harris, who first explored the historical mystery.