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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Virtual Bonds

  1. FADE IN

  2. Act 1

  3. INT. STUDIO - 14:00

  4. Lying in a sofa with his mobile in hand, PETER strolls through messages.

  5. PETER (V.O.): Oh, Mingming has mentioned me...

  6. Opening a WeChat chatgroup called "Joy Luck Club", Peter checks Mingming's message to him.

  7. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): Where's the video for 2024?

  8. Pausing.

  9. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): In response to Mingming's Happy 2024 greeting card to all, I sent mine.

  10. Pausing.

  11. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): I didn't expect Mingming would ask me for anything.

  12. Checking his previous communications.

  13. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): I had a new year song "Very Good Wishes" and I sent the Mandarin version of it to all years ago.

  14. Act 2


  16. INT. STUDY - DAY (2019)

  17. Peter is reading WhatsApp messages on his mobile.

  18. PETER (V.O.): Uncle Jimmy in LA recommends me to join his singing friends' chatgroup?

  19. Reading.

  20. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): Earlier, I shared my MVs with him. And he thinks his friends may also appreciate my stuff.

  21. Later, Peter finds himself a member of a WeChat chatgroup called "Joy Luck Club".

  22. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): How nice! Many regard joy and good luck as their "rights".

  23. Reading.

  24. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): The administrator tells Club members that I'm Jimmy's relative in Hong Kong.

  25. Later, on Father's Day, Peter shares his MV entitled "Ah Dad" with the group.


  27. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): That's how it began. I haven't met any of the Club members in person, I see their profile pics.

  28. Pausing.

  29. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): In early 2021, my singing and dancing Uncle Jimmy passed away rather unexpectedly.

  30. Pausing.

  31. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): Sadness and bad luck betray our "rights".

  32. Pausing.

  33. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): And the Club's interactions become fewer.

  34. Searching YouTube, Peter finds the English version of his MV "Very Good Wishes".

  35. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd):Let me send this to Mingming and others. I wrote the English version first.

  36. Pausing.

  37. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): Yesterday, I made the 2024 version of my "Happy Birthday to You" song. I'd send it too.

  38. Peter sends the links to the Joy Luck Club and thanks Mingming for her support.

  39. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): Let me have an afternoon nap, as I left home at 7:30am this morning for a HKUST meeting.

  40. Waking up later, Peter sees on screen a response from Mingming:...I love the happy birthday cartoons...

  41. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): This is the first feedback I've got!

  42. Pausing.

  43. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): The first recipient was my nephew who had his birthday anniversary yesterday...

  44. Thinking.

  45. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): Let me do a little thing for Mingming.

  46. Prompting an AI drawing bot, Peter gets images in ancient costumes one after another.

  47. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd) The bot must have associated Mingming with the Ming dynasty.

  48. Finally, Peter stops at one AI drawing and compares it with Mingming's profile pic.

  49. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): This is just an acceptable one to symbolize Mingming.

  50. Peter sends it.

  51. Act 3

  52. INT. STUDIO - 20:00

  53. Working on a laptop, Peter inserts an AI drawing entitled "...Mingming." into a draft.

  54. PETER (V.O): Nurtured by a WeChat chatgroup, I feel a sense of connection and closeness with Mingming.

  55. Pausing.

  56. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): Sharing my MVs and AI drawings with the Joy Luck Club strengthens our virtual bonds.

  57. From the bluetooth speakers, we hear a 1966 song by Dave Berry called "Little Things": Little things, that you do, make me glad...

  58. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): Applying ArtTech, my new way to express my works and myself create meaningful relationships even in the absence of physical proximity.

  59. Peter smiles warmly.

  60. FADE OUT

  61. THE END

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