V1K1: A TECHNO FAIRY TALE Directed by Tzang Merwyn Tong

After the screening of this short film, director Tzang remarked to me that imagination has no budget constraints. Or something like that! Produced in conjunction with ITE College West, a group of dedicated thespians and intelligent special effects personnel, Tzang has delivered a sci-fi/fantasy narrative that works even on a minuscule budget. Chief amongst its many achievements is the amount of plotlines, nuances and tangents into its brief time frame.

The main theme running through V1K1 is the age-old conflict between man and the forces of nature. Tzang personifies these irrepressible forces as ‘faeries of misfortune’ and ‘agents of change’, whose influence on human affairs is challenged by one man who has a personal beef against these interlopers.

This conflict is resolved in a slightly predictable way but Tzang has ensured that the message at the denouement is in fact a positive one, even if it reeks of mild irony. Built on story rather than gimmick, V1K1 overcomes the challenges facing most budget-poor sci-fi/fantasy movies by utilizing effects in a smart manner that relies on logic rather than mere flash.

The set pieces are well handled throughout and the dialogue seems natural despite the fantastical scenarios, there are hardly any cringe-worthy moments in this regards, despite the inherent risks that reside in writing dialogue for ‘genre’ films of this kind. All told, an exciting addition to the Singapore sci-fi/fantasy canon and hopefully, more to come…kudos to Tzang and all concerned.

S-ROCK fans will also have the added satisfaction of witnessing the gorgeous Amanda Ling making a cameo appearance in the opening minutes of the movie.