It ain’t over yet – we continue our interview with Ryan and Sylvia of Night Owl Cinematics (N.O.C) where they reveal their upcoming plans, share their ultimate taboos and their true opinion of local comedy. Click here for part one.
Who would you like to work with?
Ryan: The ‘old’ Stephen Chow.
Ryan: I will really love to work with him – I read a lot about his personal life.
Sylvia: Yeah he’s the biggest fan.
Ryan: The ‘90s era one [Stephen Chow]. Probably him.
Sylvia: He’s a big inspiration.
Ryan: I grew up watching him.
Sylvia: To us, he’s like the genius of geniuses (laughs).
Ryan: He’s the pinnacle of comedy. He can speak cantonese and mandarin, and even angmohs know him. I think he’s very successful.
What do you think of comedy nowadays?
Ryan: I really enjoy those old Hong Kong movies. Nowadays, they seem more serious and emphasise more on production. As for international [comedy], people who might enjoy those are more English-educated. If we watch British comedy like Guy Ritchie’s/Simon Pegg’s films with Franster, he might not get it.
Sylvia: He will just kill himself.
Ryan: I really like those, but I know if I do that type of humour, our audience might not be able to understand it. So we do more slapstick [humour] which is a tribute to Stephen Chow, which anybody will laugh at.
Will N.O.C be hitting the big screen soon?
Sylvia: We have a lot of offers to do movies.
Ryan: We actually rejected offers.
Sylvia: Because we feel like we’re not good enough. It’s true! We’re still very young, and we’re still trying out a lot of new things, like action movies. When you do films, you don’t just want to do comedy all the time. Sometimes you want to do a sad one, you want to do action, you want to try science fiction… Although a lot of people say “Just do a comedy movie lah”, it’s not as easy and we want to learn more and experience more things on YouTube before moving on to bigger things. Of course, when we started YouTube, our dream was to make a movie. But now when you realise that it’s actually so difficult and with so much work involved just to make a three minute film, you get very humbled by it. Then you’ll think, “Maybe not, maybe in a few more years… Maybe after 10 more years” (laughs).
Ryan: Like Wong Fu Productions, they made their first movie after 10 years. I think you have to hone and master every part. Maybe you’ll have to shoot a YouTube vid one day and feel that it’s not an effort at all, then I think we’ll be ready to make a movie. Because even until now ah, we’re still sweating ah and want to die ah.
Sylvia: We want to do a movie in the future, but we want to try out all the genres first.
What can we expect in the next half of 2015?
Ryan: There are actually a lot of things that we have already filmed. There are a few action fights, one that is quite unique with a lot of special effects.
Sylvia: We have a MV coming up…
Ryan: There’s a controversial short skit we did about sexual harassment. It was inspired by me asking Sylvia, “So when girls show their cleavage, if an ugly man looks at you, it’s sexual harassment, but if it’s Chris Evans or whoever who’s very handsome, then it’s okay?
Sylvia: We take it as a compliment (laughs).
Ryan: So I asked what kind of logic that was. They said it was a double standard… It’s damn weird, so we’re going to do a video with the tagline, “If you’re ugly it’s harassment, if you’re handsome it’s persistent”.
Sylvia: We’re trying out a lot of different things lah.
Ryan: We’ve got a lot of scripts this year. It’s a very inspiring year. Last year we were quite dry and stuck.
Sylvia: This year, Ryan’s taking over a lot of scripts for the non-client shoots, and he has a lot of different genres that he wants to do, like science fiction. There’s a script in the making.
Ryan: I can’t do client(s). There were a couple of times where I lost my temper over it, so she (Sylvia) will do damage control.
Sylvia: Yeah he is banned.
Ryan: I cannot go to meetings because she banned me, so I just stay at home.
What do you do when things get ‘dry’?
Ryan: Go on holiday! No really, it helps.
Sylvia: Yeah, because we were so dead, we were like “Let’s go to Japan, let’s do a travel log, let’s do something different!”
Ryan: We’re kind of pressured every week to come up with a video. With shooting and editing, you have to spend time. But thinking of a script is damn hard. We already anticipate what people/critics will say every time we do a video. Initially I was very affected by it. I will get very emo and do nothing. But slowly, I figured that no matter what I do, they will say something. No matter what we do.
What would you be doing if you’re not doing YouTube?
Ryan: Probably wedding videos.
Sylvia: This is the first time all of us in N.O.C is doing something in production. I mean, we’ve all never done any of this before, so it’s very nice. Like Franster, when he started he was telling us, “Don’t want lah, I can’t act lah, cannot”. But after about a year, he told Ryan, “Actually my passion is acting” (gags). I would say all of us found this industry by chance and we actually really really like it. Even if we weren’t doing this, we’d still be doing something with production, because it’s different. I would say the working environment is very different.
Ryan: Your life is different everyday. We stumbled upon this when we wanted to do wedding videos, so we did YouTube vids to practice for the weddings but it became a reverse thing, where [our channel] took off, so we just focused everything into YouTube lor. I think we really like it.
Is there anything taboo that you will not film/do/work with?
Sylvia: Race, religion and politics… There are clients who come to us representing some… (trails off) then we’d say, “Better not…” (laughs). Even in N.O.C, all our views are different when it comes to race, religion or politics. These are very touchy subjects which we find very personal.
Ryan: Amongst ourselves we can, but we can’t bring it to the public. People are very sensitive, and it’s very very touchy. We put thought into everything before we shoot it lah.
Sylvia: We like to make sexist jokes.
Ryan: You’ll have to clear up this one. The cleavage and boob scenes with the N.O.C girls, it’s not [suggested by] me! It’s Sylvia, it’s always her. But people always think it’s me. But I’ve never ever [suggested it]. The only person I brought in was Franster. Everyone else was chosen by Sylvia, so… I’m innocent (laughs).
Catch our July issue (p. 90), where we reveal all you have to know about Night Owl Cinematics! Read part one here.
Photos: Night Owl Cinematics