Jack Neo Explains Why His Movies Have So Many Product Placements


Jack Neo has made his mark as an eminent filmmaker in the movie industry.

Though many may nitpick about product placements in his movies, he now explains that it’s an inevitable part of movie-making.

“Money was The Biggest Issue.”

In the second season of Quan Yifong’s talk show, Hear U Out, Jack Neo recounted his experiences with filmmaking. While delving into the authenticity of his Ah Boys To Men movies, he highlighted that “money was the biggest issue” in making these movies.

Despite featuring expensive sets—tanks, bombs, troops and planes—Neo was filming on a limited budget.

In the show, he said, “We filmed the first two instalments on a shoestring, spending $1.5 million on each movie.” This, according to Neo, is “very little”.

Though the movies did well at the box office, Neo admits that it wasn’t easy to “break even” the costs. “It’s hard to turn a profit,” Neo said in attesting to the challenges of movie-making.

Upon further elaboration, he mentioned, “Hence, product placements are unavoidable; we need sponsors to help balance the budget.”

Jack Neo Looks Back on Life

In hopes of battling his sense of inferiority from not doing well in his O-level national exams, Neo looked to his other talents.

He recounts his experiences in the army; and how he took the chance to sign on in the Singapore Armed Forces. After serving as an infantry lieutenant, his Company Sergeant Major notified him of his transfer to the Music and Drama Company (MDC). From there, his acting career took off.

Upon discovering his scriptwriting talents amid his career, he paved his way to movie production.

“Cinemas are Not Doing Well”

At the episode’s end, he expresses his hopes for more people to make their way to cinemas to support the movie industry. This is because cinemas are making less profit amidst changing preferences.

There is truth in his statement, as in the example of Filmgarde’s closure.

“Everyone’s support for motion pictures will keep our movie industry alive and help it flourish,” he adds.

You can watch the talk show episodes here:


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Lest you’re not aware, Neo has recently released a new movie called Ah Girls Go Army, and let’s just say that reviews haven’t been entirely positive.

You can watch this video to understand why people are hating on the movie:

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Featured Image: mewatch.sg