Interview with Filmmaker Brian Ng (24)

24 was voted BEST FILM at the May 2020 DOCUMENTARY Short Film Festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Brian Ng: The initial motivation to make this film was the assassination of my uncle on a highway in the Philippines. Up till then I was working on another animated film based on the Filipino Street. But after he was killed it made me question aspects about my personal motivations as an artist and animator. I felt that art and filmmaking should be used to depict an aspect of humanity that is hard to define in any other medium. I asked myself the question “If I could send a message to the world, what would I say?” The answer was 24.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

I guess because of the content I would have to say I’ve been working on this film for most of my life. The conclusion of this film took 24 years in the making but the actual production and structuring of the content took about a year from 2018-2019. I gathered up photographs and mementos from every year of my life to structure the content that I wanted to animate from.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Fragmented Memories

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

The biggest obstacle was looking back at certain traumatic events of my past and trying to represent them in a way that a general audience could understand; then trying to create a written and visual vignette of each year in response.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

I felt kind of embarrassed, it’s probably the first time that I’ve seen a recorded response to my films on video.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

24 was a film that I started to develop as a result of my mixed heritage and background growing up between Singapore and the Philippines. As a half Singaporean, half Filipino person who moved constantly, I was exposed to certain aspects of reality that formed my being. I saw humanity, corruption, terrorism, inequality, oppression and racism from many different perspectives. I turned 24 years old in 2019 and I thought that it would be cathartic to use the number 24 as a framework to put the most significant experiences of my life into perspective.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Synecdoche, New York by Charlie Kaufman

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

I think it’s a good medium to send ideas to a large variety of audiences around the world. It’s a good way of collecting spreading films through.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

Do You Hear The People Sing from the Musical Les Miserables

10. What is next for you? A new film?

At the moment I have another animated film that’s in the post production stage called Ryori, which is a stop motion animated cooking film based in Japan. I am also working on the production of another animated documentary called the Absence of Memory, which is based on the experiences of multiple individuals within their conscripted military service in Singapore.



By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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