GXT: Behind the Scenes
For every video that goes up on screen, it takes the team up to 6 months to produce the video, from conceptualisation to screening. The team is helmed by our multi-talented director/editor Sky; our Pastors are also constantly creating opportunities for new actors, scriptwriters and cameramen to come on board.
Their latest video, “What’s in Your Hands”, features an international cast, most of whom are first-time actors. Today, we interview some of the members of the latest video to find out what goes on behind the scenes:
How did GXT come about?
Sky: GXT started in 2005, when we did a video for birthday celebration for Pastor Lia. Since then, GXT has produced short films for events such as Easter, Christmas and Academic Excellence.
How is a GXT episode created?
Sky: We have a team of creative script writers, actors, producers and directors. When we meet, we show one another funny videos, and ideas simply bounce off one another.
Sean: I think the really fun part about it is how everyone comes together and contributes their suggestions to an idea, and it morphs into something creative. It’s a team effort.
What is it like to act in GXT?
Duy: I felt very nervous because I’ve never acted before. In spite of that, working with Sky and rest of the team made it fun for me. Their guidance really helped improved my acting, eventually acting became more natural!
Sean: It’s always fun because I never know what I’m gonna play. For example my role for the latest video is a businessman, and it really caught me by surprise. For others, acting and filming can be very tiring, but for us, it isn’t. This is because of the close bonds forged when we are having so much fun while filming! The atmosphere of joy fostered much laughter and the whole process was simply enjoyable.
Josiah: I think the script writers are amazing, I had the privilege to attend one of their meetings, and the people are warm and fun to be around. It felt good to be part of the team, but at the end of the day we want to do it for the people.
The most difficult part for me was to embody the character and also to memorise the lines. For example in the multi-language “do you understand” part, I got Sky to send me the recording of his diction and pronunciation. And I heard it for 2 hours before the shoot. I think everything was memorable because it’s my first time starring in the video.
“I think the script writers are amazing, I had the privilege to attend one of their meetings, and the people are warm and fun to be around. It felt good to be part of the team, but at the end of the day we want to do it for the people.”
How is the cast for GXT chosen?
Sky: The answer to this question is like answering “How do you compose a song? – Lyrics first or music first”. It’s the same thing. There is no constant, and we can do it either way around. Sometimes we have a plot in place, and we find people who will fit the characters. In other times, we will find roles for the characters.
For example, we needed someone who is very expressive, and that’s where we spotted Josiah. So he fit into a character we already planned for.
How long does it take for an episode of GXT to be made, from storyboard to final product?
Sky: A comfortable time range would be between 3-6 months. For this particular production, we started in mid-January. The planning goes on for about 1-2 months, then 1-2 weeks of scripting. After that we had 2 long night and 2 long day shoots.
Who watches GXT?
Sky: I would say it’s for a wide age group. It also bridges generations since it’s always about family and if you notice, we try to use a wide range of music choices so as to widen our presentation to a wide age group. So for the current one, we used Michael Jackson, God of Gamblers, and even Ringa Linga.
What is GXT to you?
Josiah: I think humour is something that lightens people up. So as GXT, our job is to soften the atmosphere and make everyone relaxed, so that everyone can enjoy themselves.
Sky: To me, it’s a powerful tool to bring a message across to the audience. A GXT with no message would mean that there would be no value to the audience watching it.
Sean: GXT is about the story and the moral of the story. Sky always makes the moral of the story very subtle yet impactful and yet people can still laugh and because of that I always look forward to every GXT episode.
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