URNmaster, produced by NSTV, is a variety show combining elements of the classic and the modern. I was pleasantly surprised by URNmaster’s series of innovative and interesting challenges which were highly interactive and funny.
More importantly, the hosts and participants underscored the engaging and spontaneous vibe that made it easy to watch. Accompanied by some nifty edits, creative direction and cinematography, the variety show is proof that not all student videos are boring or cringe; This one’s actually pretty good.
“The result is often a hilarious hodgepodge of ticking seconds, frenzied mania andcloseups of contestants in the silent struggle to keep it together.”
With a myriad of time-sensitive challenges testing contestant’s creative thinking and problem-solving skills, my interest quickly piqued. I was soon pretty transfixed and intrigued by the numerous different ways in which contestants sought to tackle each challenge. My favourite challenges were the open-ended ones where each contestant’s own personality and quirks are balanced, tenuously, with their unique attempts to achieve a certain objective. The result is often a hilarious hodgepodge of ticking seconds, frenzied mania and closeups of contestants in the silent struggle to keep it together. URNmaster’s originality often produces spontaneous and awkward moments that work in its favour. By giving contestants agency and freedom in solving challenges in their own way, the variety show spotlights everyone’s unique vibe and energy which made it really engaging for me.
“Interchanging between challenges and round-table style post-challenge reflections, I am impressed by the fairly seamless transitions between scenes and segments.”
URNmaster’s cinematography captured the off-the-cuff style pretty well although I felt the segment ‘Impress the professor’ needed a few more mockumentary look-into-camera shots to really accentuate the awkward absurdity between overly-eager student and immovable professor. However, this does not take anything away from the cinema-verite style employed very effectively throughout the segments that highlight the offbeat and spontaneous tone. Interchanging between challenges and round-table style post-challenge reflections, I am impressed by the fairly seamless transitions between scenes and segments. More importantly, the hosts and contestants seem very comfortable with each other, creating an atmosphere where they bounce off each other fairly well. This in turn, made it a very enjoyable viewing experience.
Where school life and life in general can often weigh down upon us, it is heartening to see our very own student groups produce segments and shows that provide a brief reprieve. Whether it be spreading butter with Q-tips, getting strangers to hug you for points or juggling to impress a professor, URNmasters is creative, engaging and deserves your attention.
Jia Wei Lum
Featured Image courtesy of NSTV
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