The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) has launched an interactive YouTube series as part of its #SparkTheNext campaign. Done in collaboration with homegrown media publisher TheSmartLocal (TSL) and local production house Night Owl Cinematics (NOC), the YouTube series titled FilterSpell aims to drive awareness for MCCY's SG Youth Action plan.
Similar to Netflix's Black Mirror: Bandersnatch concept based on different outcomes based on a single decision made, FilterSpell follows a group of friends from TSL and NOC as they search for answers to a lunacy induced by the use of Instagram filters. With 10 narrative branches, viewers are given control over the story’s development by making choices for the film’s characters, at different moments, that result in a variety of consequences.
The film, now up on TSL and NOC’s YouTube channels, runs for three minutes on average with about one hour of footage if viewers go through every option. Watch it here:
Both TSL and NOC also aim to engage Singaporean youth, through interactive decision-making, to uncover important values such as inclusiveness, fairness, care, sustainability and progress, which also form the basis of MCCY's Youth Vision 2025. The spot has since received overwhelming positive praise, with youths praising the creativity, effort and how it helps youth think about values important to them, according to both parties. The film has garnered over 61,000 views at the time of writing.
Bryan Choo, TSL’s managing director said to Marketing that both TSL and NOC did not use paid amplification to drive views, and that all views are organic. According to Choo, the combined views from all the videos (on both TSL and NOC's social channels) exceeded a million in over a day.
“We wanted to encourage young Singaporeans to participate in charting their Youth Vision. We thought the best way to do this was with a lighthearted interactive video that highlights values they deem important. We are very grateful to MCCY for believing in FilterSpell, giving us the support we needed. Also, we are thrilled to be working with NOC for the first time. I believe we played on each other's strengths well,” Choo said.
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TSL plays to its expertise with the film, as recently the media publisher made its first foray into network programming through the launch of mini series Alternate Beginnings. Inspired by Netflix’s Black Mirror series, Alternate Beginnings is supported by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). The four-part mini series takes viewers on a time-tangled journey through three relationship types that are relatable to Singaporeans - the ideal partner, the partner you settled for to avoid hurt and the partner who had a different direction in life.
Separately, MCCY joins the National Council Against Drug Abuse (NCADA) of Singapore in sparking conversations and spreading awareness to youths through the use of an interactive short film. “HIGH”, produced by local director Royston Tan, follows the journey of main protagonist, and allows viewers to make choices on his behalf to uncover the various endings and possibilities within the story line. In light of the evolving global drug situation, this campaign was aimed at exploring the challenges and choices relating to drug abuse that youth may encounter.