FilterSpell (TSL x NOC Original Movie)

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A collaboration between TSL, NOC and MCCY.

FilterSpell is a Singaporean "Choose Your Own Adventure" movie that was jointly produced by TheSmartLocal (TSL) Media Group and Night Owl Cinematics (NOC). The movie was a collaboration between the two local production houses and the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY).[1] FilterSpell premiered on YouTube on 26 April 2020.[2][3] The show stars Fauzi Aziz, Zhin Sadali, Adria Tham, Xenia Tan, Aiken Chia, Sylvia Chan, Aiman Haikal and Nina Tan. It also features a supporting cast of characters from both TSL and NOC.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Format[edit | edit source]

FilterSpell is an interactive film inspired by the Netflix production, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch that was released in 2018.[4] FilterSpell has 10 narrative branches. Should the viewer decide to go through every option, FilterSpell is approximately an hour long.[5] While FilterSpell has a comedic element, each of its endings aims to educate viewers against improper social behaviours. The following is a list of possible endings in FilterSpell.

Endings Description
“Unsustainable Uncle” When Nina chooses to throw out the Cinderella dress, it follows her home to attack her and it is “Game Over” for the viewer.
“My Unfair Lady” When the NOC team lets Nina enter the club on her own, Nina either faints from her drink or forgets about her friends after meeting a man.
"Exclusive Ex" When the TSL team chooses not to approach the first group of youths, they are tricked by a mischievous group of schoolgirls.
"Unprogressive Bully" When both the teams make fun of Tako instead of encouraging him, Zhin is pushed away and accidentally blows into Fauzi's eyes, causing him to blink and freeze forever.
"Heck Care Human" When both the teams fail to save Xenia, they are forever condemned to live with their curse.

The endings are meant to reflect the following values: sustainability, fairness, inclusiveness, progress and care. These are the five values that underpin the SG Youth Action Plan's Vision 2025.[6][7]

Plot[edit | edit source]

When the NOC team (Sylvia, Aiken, Aiman and Nina) visits the TSL office for a shoot, they are unknowingly followed by a fan who then requests for a photo. When the group fails to take a photo with her, her eyes flash red in anger as they walk away. The group starts filming a video in which the concept is to try Instagram filters.

Sylvia and Fauzi trying out the Medusa filter.

During the shoot, Sylvia is frozen after trying a “Medusa: Try Not To Blink” filter and Nina transforms into Cinderella when she tries the “Which Disney Princess Are You” filter. When Nina tries to give away the dress, she realises that she is unable to remove it from her body. In the studio, the other members are each inflicted with strange side-effects. They decide to split up to find a solution to their problems.

The TSL & NOC stories[edit | edit source]

While the TSL team (Fauzi, Zhin and Adria) stays in the office, the NOC team ends up at a club where they are stopped from entering. The group challenges the club's bouncers to a dance-off and they are then brought to the CCTV room which leads them to a piece of evidence. Meanwhile, the TSL team tracks down Chow who seems to be afflicted by the same curse. They then journey to Bishan Park to find out more about the mystery fan. At the park, they encounter a group of youths. When they help the group to change their car tyre, they receive a clue about where to find the "Die-Hard YouTube Fan".

The final act[edit | edit source]

The "die-hard" YouTube fan. Photo from source.
The cast confronting the fan. Photo from source.

After following their respective clues, the two teams reunite in an unknown building. They then spot the fan who had presumably cast the spell on them. After giving chase, it is revealed that the "fan" is actually Xenia who has been cursed for treating her fans badly in the past. When Xenia falls off the roof, the viewers are given the option to save her or to leave her hanging. Choosing to save Xenia will lead to a Good Ending where she reverses the spell and everyone returns to normal.

Production[edit | edit source]

FilterSpell marks the first-ever collaboration between TSL and NOC.[8][9] It was directed by Julian Reyes, Virus Tan, Bryant Lee and Ryan Tan. The story and script were written by Hafeez Harris, Samantha Ngain, Jereld Ang, Julian Reyes and Felicia Tung. The video series has been uploaded onto both the TSL and NOC YouTube channels where the only major difference is in the opening scene. TSL has also released an official trailer[10] and a "Behind-the-Scenes" video on their platform.[11]

Collaboration with MCCY[edit | edit source]

FilterSpell was released in April 2020 as a part of the MCCY’s #SparkTheNextCampaign.[12] Speaking to MCCY, Bryan Choo (the founder and Managing Director of TheSmartLocal Media Group) said the following about the collaboration:

“We wanted to encourage young Singaporeans to participate in charting their Youth Vision. We thought the best way to do this was with a light-hearted, interactive video series that highlights values they deem important. We are very grateful to MCCY for believing in FilterSpell and 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."[13]

References/ Citations[edit | edit source]

  1. Farzanah Farveen. "MCCY unveils Netflix Bandersnatch style interactive YouTube film". Marketing Interactive. April 28, 2020. Accessed on 26 August 2020.
  2. TheSmartLocal. "TSLxNOC: Filterspell (Choose Your Own Adventure)". YouTube. April 26, 2020. Accessed on 26 August 2020.
  3. Ryan Sylvia. "What Type of Singaporean Are You? | Interactive Video Adventure". YouTube. April 26, 2020. Accessed on 26 August 2020.
  4. Farzanah Farveen. "MCCY unveils Netflix Bandersnatch style interactive YouTube film". Marketing Interactive. April 28, 2020. Accessed on 26 August 2020.
  5. Chin, Nigel. "Be in control of the characters' next steps in FilterSpell by Night Owl Cinematics and The Smart Local". Youth.sg. May 5, 2020. Accessed on 27 August 2020.
  6. "MCCY and NYC unveil interactive digital content to engage youths on SG Youth Action Plan". MCCY. April 29, 2020. Accessed on 26 August 2020.
  7. "Vision 2025". Spark The Next: SG Youth Action Plan. Accessed on 26 August 2020.
  8. "MCCY and NYC unveil interactive digital content to engage youths on SG Youth Action Plan". MCCY. April 29, 2020. Accessed on 26 August 2020.
  9. TheSmartLocal. "[TSL x NOC Collab] Movie: Filterspell (Official Trailer)". YouTube. April 23, 2020. Accessed on 26 August 2020.
  10. TheSmartLocal. "[TSL x NOC Collab] Movie: Filterspell (Official Trailer)". YouTube. April 23, 2020. Accessed on 26 August 2020.
  11. TheSmartLocal. "TSLxNOC: Behind The Scenes of FilterSpell". YouTube. April 29, 2020. Accessed on 26 August 2020.
  12. Farzanah Farveen. "MCCY unveils Netflix Bandersnatch style interactive YouTube film". Marketing Interactive. April 28, 2020. Accessed on 26 August 2020.
  13. "MCCY and NYC unveil interactive digital content to engage youths on SG Youth Action Plan". MCCY. April 29, 2020. Accessed on 26 August 2020.