Underground Film Journal

Posted In » Online Cinema

Short Animated Film: Wrong Number Singapore

By Mike Everleth ⋅ August 16, 2011

Today, class, we’re going to learn a new language: Singlish, a unique synthesis of English, Chinese and Malay that is commonly spoken in Singapore. And, we’re going to learn a lot of new Singlish profanity. A lot of it. Our teacher is Colleen Cox and her lesson plan is entitled Wrong Number Singapore, an animation / live action hybrid illustrating an actual wrong number between two confused dudes. It’s funny and instructional!

According to the film, the phone conversation was lifted from the Archive.org website. Then, two street scenes were shot into which Cox plugs in her animated characters representing the two talkers. The actual animation is fairly minimal, but Cox’s visual interpretation of the two men is hilarious. On the left, there’s the smarmy provocateur and on the right is the hothead reactionary.

Two animated men talking on their cell phones at a bar

But, what’s really nice about the film is a subtle shooting decision made by Cox that makes a big impression on the look of the film. The simple decision to not shoot the street scenes on a tripod gives the film a much more energetic, lively feeling even though the cameras rarely weave back and forth on their respective shots. But, it’s enough to make the action more immediate and complements the exaggerated animated positions and poses of the two men.

Wrong Number Singapore recently won the Best Animation award at the first annual Scribble Junkies Festival of Drawn Animation that was held in Brooklyn, New York on Aug. 14.

If you enjoyed this film, Cox has several others also posted on Vimeo.