1. Why did you guys decide to name yourselves Night Owl Cinematics (NOC)?
We sleep really late, like 5 to 6am everyday because we are only able to edit at night. In the day, we usually go for shoots, meetings, maintenance of equipment, replying emails and answering calls.
2. Who makes up NOC?
Mainly Sylvia and me (Ryan), we are married. We currently have full time staff and a roster of actors/actresses to cycle around.
3. Did you have a job before starting NOC?
Yes! I owned two restaurants and Sylvia runs them with me, but we sold the restaurants to go into wedding videography because we thought our work life was uninteresting and hectic with really long hours.
4. When did you guys decide, “You know what, we should just do this from now onwards.” Do you plan to make it life long career?
Not too long ago frankly, we were so busy with work and jobs we didn't realize it already went into a full time job! Career wise, probably! Age is catching up with us and we hope that eventually we are able to train new blood to carry on the legacy.
5. Where do you get your ideas and inspirations?
We mostly brainstorm together, but Sylvia is the one who makes sense of the ideas and she will script and conceptualize it.
6. Any YouTuber/s you look up too?
For us, we like Freddie W from Rocket Jump, and Key and Peele from Comedy Central, they’re really good at what they do and put in much effort.
7. How does it feel to work with your spouse? Were there any conflicts or problems that you faced?
It's inevitable, we argue over creative differences all the time! However we accepted that it's part and parcel of the job and try not to take it personally when we get home, which is very difficult because our office is our home. For example, one of the biggest arguments we had was during the shoot of The Favour, it was something new and we weren't professionally trained in the art of film making. After the first day, I realized I missed out on a lot of shots, Sylvia tried to make sense of it, and tell me to reshoot few parts. We arranged for the 2nd part of the shoot and then the cinematographer in me got carried away and I wanted to try new stuff, Sylvia reminded me that I should stick to the plan and I was angry that she was restricting my creativity and I raised my voice at her, she then stomped off the set! But, eventually we still managed to work together to finish the film!
8. Do you feel recognized in Singapore as a YouTuber and what do people usually say when they see you in public?
Sylvia gets recognized quite often, but I take solace in not getting recognized so it's okay :) I guess the more common things they say would be, “Are you the, the, Ryan Sylvia // NOC?” or “The Shit Singaporean Girlfriend Say One”
9. What was one thing you felt changed after you started YouTube?
It changed everything in our life, and it's not even an exaggeration. After YouTube, our financial stability improved and also the monotonous of work no longer exist, every shoot is a different experience, and we also met many new awesome people. It also changed my outlook of life and started to have more time to plan for breaks or go for vacations. Our working time is flexible, but one has to be responsible enough to work in such hours! (Imagine still working until about 5-6am!)
10. What was the most significant video for you guys and why?
Probably Shit Singaporean Girlfriend Says, that was THE video that started it all.
11. From your videos, I realize that you guys do a lot of collaborations with other YouTubers. Tell me what usually happens for collaborations. Do you guys do each other’s scripts or come out with ideas together?
Exactly how you guys might imagine, we contact each other and just do it!
For the script, it really depends! We are close to some YouTubers, like really close. Recently, we just went Hong Kong with 2 other YouTubers, JianHao and Dan Khoo, and we just shot something spontaneously!
12. Oh and the helmet! Why do you always use it?
Work safety, shooting / acting can be dangerous!
13. When you started out with YouTube, what did your family and friends say or react when you said you were going to be YouTubers?
Well they had two different reactions. At first they saying things like, “What nonsense you doing?”,“You never gonna make a dime out of this” and “You can't do this forever.”
After we started making money from making videos, everyone suddenly started saying “Wah now you very big ah! I told you, you were going to be successful! I'm so happy for you!”,“How you make money ah?” and “Can you help me shoot for free!”
14. Was there a moment when you felt that maybe YouTube wasn’t your thing? If you did, how did you change your mindset or what made you stay and continue to make YouTube videos?
Yeah, but the real passion lies within cinematography and editing for me, so even IF I can't do YouTube, I will find something in the film-making industries :) At the end of the day, when we see people praising and recognizing our effort, we always find the additional strength to carry on!
15. If you were not doing YouTube videos, what do you think you guys would be doing now?
Probably still running a restaurant or being stuck in a 8-6pm corporate zombie job
16. Can you tell us what your fans can expect in your next few videos?
It's a surprise! But expect new things coming after June.
17. The name concept of our issue this time is Content creation so do you have any advice for people who actually want to start a YouTube channel?
Find something you like, find something you enjoy. If you work for the sake of living, you will not enjoy it, you will not muster up the sincerity to do a good job. There must be something, take your time to find, to explore. Only with passion, you can keep improving and keep breaking boundaries!