Duration: Approx. 6 mins

Language: English.

Starring: Isabella Chen, Alan Ye

Written and Directed by: Michael Tay

Date of release: April 2007 (limited)


A bomb specialist was sent to diffuse a bomb only to realize that the helpless hostage that is strapped to it is his ex-lover. The race-against-time rescue mission soon gets stranger as it slowly transforms into an erotic and surreal excursion into a demented woman’s psyche.


First Take, “Moving Images” program, Substation Theatre, Singapore, 2007 – Premiere Screening

Film Stills:

Director’s Notes:

A film critic who once reviewed Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo once said this about his film. “For a film that has no sex, this one has a lot of sex.” Because the chemistry between the two leads is so strong, it almost feels sexual and intimate.

From the way a scene is played out between two leads, a lot can be assumed by the audience about their relationship and their insecurities. Detonator was conceived during my directing class when everyone was given the same script with the same lines but no names and no indication of the setting or where the lines were originally taken from. We were told to show it in our own way.

Hence, baring in mind what is said about Hitchcock’s Vertigo, I set this piece up to look erotic and provocative yet at the same time there is no sex and no reveal of the flesh. A lot is insinuated but not deliberated. Yet at the same time, the assumptions derived from Detonator can highly suggest a lot to the audience about the kind of relationship the two leads were having.

It helps that the scene played off in Detonator runs on a device. A ticking bomb that is ready to blow. The suspense of diffusing the bomb becomes the pacer for the scene. When the argument between the two leads start to escalate so does the timer on the bomb tick faster.

This piece is where I probably learn to find my style and the first short film where I actually utilized a green screen .


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