On 23 May 2022, Dear Straight People premiered ‘Getaway’, Singapore’s first gay BL (Boys Love) web drama series.
Comprising 5 episodes, ‘Getaway’ chronicles the highs and lows of Singaporean Sam, who jets off to Bangkok in search of his exiled gay uncle after his coming out to his conservative dad goes horribly wrong.
In Bangkok, Sam stumbles upon Top, a hopeless Thai romantic unlucky in love. Together, they search for Sam’s uncle but their search leads them to something more.
Based on an original story from a gay creator, Getaway sets itself apart from other BL dramas by boasting an openly gay director alongside an openly queer cast from Singapore and Thailand.
Getaway premiered to great success, earning numerous media features on Singaporean and international publications, a barrage of positive comments and over 900,000 views (and counting).
Dear Straight People,
Here are 12 interesting facts about Getaway you might not know!
Warning: Mild spoilers for Getaway ahead!
1. The First & Last Scene Of Getaway Centers On Family In A Poetic Arc
One of the aims of ‘Getaway’ was to promote understanding of the issues that the LGBT+ community in Singapore faces.
For many Singaporeans, their biggest concerns when coming out is whether their family is going to accept them or not. As such, the theme of family features heavily in Getaway, since families play a pivotal role in Asian culture.
In Getaway, the first scene depicts an explosive coming out scene, where the Lim family is torn apart from the revealation of Sam’s sexuality.
In a poetic conclusion, the last scene shows the reconciliation of the entire Lim family, as the exiled gay uncle finally reconciles with his estranged brother.
2. The Slap In The Coming Out Scene Was Not Part Of The Script
The slap in the first episode was not originally part of the script!
It was only added after Steven David Lim jokingly suggested it.
Another fun fact: The slap was real! Steven did actually slap Sean in the scene.
3. The Entire Series Was Shot In 2 Days
Due to budget constraints, all 5 episodes of Getaway were shot in 2 days.
This meant that for many scenes, actors were only given a few takes to get it right – an incredible amount of pressure for the entire cast.
4. A Crew Member Fell Asleep During The Filming Of A Sex Scene
Due to a very tight timeline, the entire team shot for two consecutive days with very little breaks in between.
The very last scene that was filmed was the sex scene between Top and Sam. By then, the production crew was so exhausted that a crew member actually fell asleep standing, resulting in a loud crash that shocked the entire set.
5. Snooker Was The First Person Confirmed For Getaway
Paween ‘Snooker’ Nalieng is best known for his role as Big in the popular Thai gay drama series ‘Gay Ok Bangkok’. Produced by LINE TV, ‘Gay Ok Bangkok’ spawned 2 seasons, which averaged 1 million views per episode.
Snooker was the first cast member who signed up to be part of ‘Getaway’. The role of the charismatic Top was written specifically for him.
Getaway marks Snooker’s acting comeback after a 5-year hiatus.
6. The Hotel Manager Is Played By The Actual General Manager Of The Siam
The main sponsor of Getaway is The Siam, a private urban luxury resort located in Bangkok’s Royal Dusit district that overlooks the Chao Phraya river.
The role of the hotel manager in Getaway is played by Nick Downing, the actual General Manager of The Siam. So if you decide to book a stay at The Siam, you might actually see Nick in person!
7. Getaway Is Supported By Gayhealth.sg, Who Produced Singapore’s First Gay Web Drama Series
Gayhealth.sg is one of the supporting partners of ‘Getaway’.
Incidentally, Gayhealth.sg produced People Like Us, which made history as Singapore’s first gay web drama series. Raw, gritty and uncensored, People Like Us follows the lives of 4 gay Singaporeans as they navigate lust, love, and life.
Another fun fact: Steven David Lim is a cast member for both People Like Us and Getaway.
8. Getaway Features 2 Original Songs From LGBT+ Artists
As part of its objective to showcase LGBT+ talents, Getaway boasts an openly gay director alongside a queer cast from Singapore and Thailand.
Queer cast aside, Getaway also features 2 original songs from openly LGBT+ artists.
The first original song is ‘Welcome To My World’, performed by trans artist Zymone in the second episode. Not your average drag queen, Zymone is a singer who can actually sing live! She was an alumni of The Voice Thailand season 5.
The second original song is ‘Loved You So’, featured in the season finale of Getaway. Written and performed by Singaporean artist Lewis Loh, Lew previously appeared in Dear Straight People’s Out Of The Closet series
9. Getaway Attracted An International Audience
Getaway attracted a very international audience, which is unprecedented for a Singaporean YouTube production.
Getaway seemed to have struck a chord with the Spanish community in particular, as evidenced by the many Spanish comments on the episodes.
In fact, the Spanish and Italian subtitles are provided by volunteers, who wrote in wanting to provide subtitles for ‘Getaway’ so that they can share the series with their respective communities.
One theory for why Getaway attracted an international audience is because Getaway boasts an ensemble cast from Singapore and Thailand, and the contrasting accents in the series alone gave the show an international flavour.
10. The Getaway Team Got Invited To The Google And YouTube Office
The Getaway team scored an invite to the Google and YouTube office to speak about the importance of projects such as ‘Getaway’, which help to promote visibility, understanding and acceptance of the LGBT+ community in Singapore.
11. A Total Of 3 Scenes Were Cut From Getaway
Due to time constraints, a total of 3 scenes were cut from Getaway.
- There was supposed to be a scene of Top getting ready for his date with Jom in the 1st episode, to illustrate the amount of effort he puts into preparing for dates since his character desperately wants a boyfriend.
- In the pool party scene, there was supposed to be a scene of Sam being the only pool party goer refusing to take off his shirt as he’s intimidated by the physiques of the shirtless pool party goers, which foreshadows his decision in the season finale.
- In the final episode, there was supposed to a scene of Dave and Top talking in their room to illustrate their close friendship.
12. Singapore Sponsors Were Concerned About Legal Implications Of Supporting Getaway
While many Singaporean companies expressed interest in Getaway, many were concerned about the potential legal implications of supporting a project like Getaway.
This illustrates just how difficult it is for LGBT+ projects to get support and funding within Singapore, a by-product of anti-LGBT media censorship laws and Section 377A.
SUPPORT LGBT+ MEDIA WORKS IN SINGAPORE
It’s challenging to be an LGBT+ filmmaker in Singapore to say the least.
While YouTube provides us with a platform to display our works away from Singapore’s media censorship laws, it is excruciatingly challenging to secure funding for LGBT+ productions as strict media censorship laws deter companies in Singapore from supporting LGBT+ projects.
Encouraged by the positive reception to the 1st season of ‘Getaway’, Dear Straight People hopes to produce a 2nd season of ‘Getaway’ to further promote visibility, understanding and acceptance of Singapore’s LGBT+ community.