Brand/ Visual Designer and Illustrator


Fun things I do on the side

Hack Day Project: A La La Mode

Combining a love of musicals and a 24 hour hack day project

At Mode, Hack Day is one event I always look forward to. I really appreciate that Mode has an emphasis on creating anything data related to encourage all sorts of projects (not just appealing to those with technical skills, such as engineering or design). In the past there's been sticker packs, tattoos and even a 3D pancake printer that brought you "fresh charts every morning."

I had seen La La Land not too long before and needless to say, I was obsessed. For my project, I wanted to created something that would:

 1) Let me foster my La La Land obsession and;
2) Be a project that everyone could take part of.

Thus, A La La Mode (a play on one of our Products, A Là Mode) was born.

I will admit, we cheated a little.

Writing, recording, filming and producing a musical in 24 hours is a really big task. To help us, we did rewrite the lyrics the night before Hack Day. An idea to parody La La Land's intro song "Another day of Sun" was something that had been stuck in my head. My version would be "Another Day of Mode." After talking to Sam Novak, a talented wordsmith (and star performer) about this concept, she wrote the entire song... 💯 💯 💯 !!

With that in hand, our hack day started at 9am. With my assembled team of choreographers and camera man, we storyboarded the shots and immediately set out to work. I got them to start working on the opening scenes whilst I started working on the vocals with the main actors. 

Throughout the day, I was present at every scene to direct, whilst producing the song in the downtime (on garage band of all things). None of this would have been possible without the team behind me. I'm so happy that one of the senior designers, Mike Neff, offered to help with film editing. He basically did all of it, whilst I sat in awe. I learned so much about After Effects and film producing in general from him. 

The day ended around 2am (after about 7 hours of editing). But it was worth it. We were the only team to win two awards (Judges choice and Voter's Choice) and I'm so ecstatic that we could pull this off. Without a do, here is the final result!

Shirley WongComment