10th Anniversary of the Fly By Night Video Challenge: Reflections by Yuni Hadi
Every year during Fly By Night (FBN), we give out what we call a ‘survivor’s kit’ filled with little goodies. We also take a survivors’ photo on the last day with all the fly-by-nighters looking tired but deliriously happy. These are the people that made a short film in 48 hours. They are the Fly By Night survivors.
FBN celebrates the journey of filmmaking. All one really needs to survive FBN is a sense of adventure and a lot of coffee or Red Bull (whichever your poison). We put into place elements that bring about camaraderie with a little friendly competition. Participants often join with friends though some embark on the adventure on their own. FBN attracts people from all walks of life – anyone who can shoot on a video camera or phone and do simple editing is welcomed with open arms. A theme is revealed on Friday, groups go make the video and turn something in on Sunday. Then we all watch these films together ‘live’ with the judges.
This year we celebrate the 10th edition of FBN, our very last one. FBN is as much a survivor as our fly-by-nighters. FBN started out as indie as it gets. Pin Pin and I roped in our friend Choon Hiong from Extreme Production to help with the registration because we didn’t have an office. The first FBN was held at my alma matar, LASALLE College of the Arts, with the help of our friend Adeline Kueh. It was put together by a group of friends who were game enough to help. Perhaps just very much like how a short film might come together.
There are many moments throughout FBN to remember. One participant got a tattoo and shot it on video. Another group used little food items like sausages and animated them. Then there’s Ghazi & Ezzam, the dynamic comedic duo. Every year I watch all the videos with the participants and I am amazed at how imaginative some people are and how much they can do in just a weekend. If they can do this in just a weekend with limited resources, imagine what can be done with so much more. Some participants have gone on to make feature films – Chai Yee Wei (That Girl in Pinafore), Randy Ang & Nicholas Chee (Becoming Royston), Tan Chui Mui (Love Conquers All), etc.
This is the last year of FBN. People ask “why?”. My answer is: we never knew how long we would do this for. It just felt right to start it. And now it just feels right to end on a high note. We celebrate filmmaking every day. The energy that FBN has continues on with every filmmaker that makes a film.
It’s a wrap folks!
– Yuni Hadi
About Fly By Night
Created by award-winning filmmaker Tan Pin Pin and film curator Yuni Hadi, the Fly By Night Video Challenge is an exciting 48-hour live film event that takes aspiring filmmakers off their couch to shoot the film they have always wanted to make. Participants are given a theme on Friday night (which has ranged from green apples to just “X”) and set out to make their film. They return on Sunday to submit their masterpieces, and participants, friends and the judges gather the same afternoon for a marathon short-film-viewing session to go through every single submission. 10 films will then be selected as “Judges Choice Awards”, and prizes are awarded to these 10 groups of filmmakers.
Past alumni of Fly By Night include filmmakers Chai Yee Wei (That Girl in Pinafore), YouTube personalities Munah & Hirzi and many more.
For the 10th Fly By Night, Objectifs will be working together with FilmGarde at Bugis+ to present the video challenge, supported by Camera Rental Centre and The Damn Good Shop. Fly By Night is a partner of Watch Local, an initiative under the Singapore Film Commission.
When: Dec 6 – Dec 8 (Registration for the event is now closed.)