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Behind the Scenes - Happy New Years Phrases & Origami

Updated: Feb 5

Happy New Learning!

The Happy New Year Phrases and Origami videos are our primers to get our audiences familiarised with the style and content we are producing for the festival.

Both were our shorter productions, with the emphasis being on being as concise and precise in the shoot as possible. For the Happy New Year Phrases this was filmed in the library of the Vietnamese Ancestral Temple in Sunshine North, with the same actor friend, Rob, from the Blind Cooking challenge.

The research done for the phrases was actually originally meant to emulate the famous Slang videos from Vanity Fair, in particular Tiffany Young of SNSD fame.

However, upon further investigation by Katrina Lam, Vietnamese slang actually turned out to be near to be non-existent so we had to change direction and go for unique and interesting phrases said around the time of TET. Which turned out in our favour, as it is much more appropriate to the theme of the festival.

The Ox itself, was challenging to make, but we knew we couldn’t honour the Year of the Ox without at least attempting it. Fortunately a couple hours of practice meant our presenter could soon do it from muscle memory alone.

To explain further, the Balloon Cube replicated the idea of a lantern. The Lotus Flower are reminiscent of the flowers seen during TET, and the Leaping Frog a nice accompaniment to the overall “pond” theme of the Origamis. To describe the scene, it would appear something like this:

As the Ox drank from a small lake, Lanterns would float along and mingle with the Lotus Flowers, causing Frogs to jump around to avoid them.

New Year Phrases

As I leave my teenage years and get welcomed into adult life, my views on the people around me have changed. My aunts and uncles weren’t the ‘red pocket givers’ anymore. Instead, they became the family members who cared for me since I was a child.

When it came to New Years, my Vietnamese ability was limited to only ‘Chúc Mừng Năm Mới’ and I wanted to change that. I wanted to wish them a healthy future and for them to prosper in all type of ways.

So I decided to research the different ways to chúc tết and the list was endless! This is how the Vietnamese New Year Phrases’ came about. I thought that one shouldn’t limit themselves from knowing a single phrase like I did.

In the video, featuring Rob’s lively personality, he explains the various New Year Wishes in an educational yet entertaining manner.

So why not amp up your 2021 New Years Wishes and tell someone you care about to have money flow in like water and come out slowly like Vietnamese drip coffee! - Katrina Lam


For the Origami video, we originally had a far more dexterous and experienced folder in mind. However due to work commitments, she had to back out and I was forced to dredge up rusty childhood skills of paper planes to create this video. While the shoot was easy, the folding was anything but and I kept fighting my camera-shy nature throughout the entire production.

Hopefully my folds don’t insult any experienced paper masters out there and that kids and adults will find it easy to follow along! - Damien Nguyen

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