Shoot & Chop: A Hilarious Take on Macao

02 2017 | Issue 19
Text/Jason Leong

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When browsing social media, have you noticed an entertaining viral clip that features a group of Western-looking friends conversing in Cantonese? This film comes from the emerging local media community, Shoot & Chop, a hugely successful community with over 20,000 followers in just a year’s time.


Shoot & Chop is co-managed by Kenny and Iwin, with Kenny being responsible for the creative production, from filmmaking to performance, while Iwin is responsible for external affairs such as client liaison. Together with two full-time staff, they operate Shoot & Chop from a rented unit in a creative arts centre, where the wild and hilarious materials are created.


Other than film production, Kenny oversees the commissioning of online celebrities, whose sense of humour helps to raise the profile for the company. A Macao-born Canadian who has returned to the city, Kenny advocates films that focus on the cultural clash between the East and the West. Coupled with Kenny’s fast-paced film editing techniques, all the uploaded videos command well over 1,000 likes by its fans, as well as numerous comments. One of the hugely popular clips feature Kenny’s foreign friends, as they try out exotic Chinese food such as stinky tofu and shrimp paste. Their expressive agony and dialogue, juxtaposed with curious Chinese phrases, are all so entertaining that the clip will bring tears to your eyes.


Another strength of Shoot & Chop is in producing satires inspired by local current affairs. One film, for example, questions the delay of the typhoon signal no.8 during adverse weather. Directed and produced by Kenny himself, the narrative mocks the situation by telling us that Kenny’s motorcycle has been blown away by the typhoon, and questions if the government will make the day after the typhoon a statutory holiday for everyone’s benefit. Neatly poised between humour and irony, it is not hard to understand why it wins so much support from online viewers.


Riding on co-partner Iwin’s substantial public relations experience in Macao, Shoot & Chop also engages in commercial filmmaking projects, with most clients coming from the small- to medium- enterprises and entertainment enterprises. From time to time, they will also bid for government projects such as films to prevent drug abuse. Because of their extremely popularity, winning projects is not an issue.


All things considering, the success of the company lies in Kenny’s creative ideas presented in a somewhat Western style. Raised in Canada, Kenny’s parents are local-born Macao natives, and so Kenny grew up speaking fluent English and Cantonese. This certainly helps him understand a lot more about both Eastern and Western cultures.


After graduating from his degree in new media at university, Kenny went on to work in a film production company, where he acquired his sophisticated filmmaking skills. “I enjoy shooting films since I was small, and would bring my viewcam everywhere to make new clips. Nowadays, I would like to portray what my hometown is like under my lens.”


At the beginning, Kenny has a dilemma choosing whether to base their company in Macao, in Hong Kong or in the Mainland. Having visited all three places and compared them, he decided to return to launch his business in Macao, since it is his hometown where his family is based. Moreover, he also finds the people in Macao much more friendly.


Nowadays, with publicity relying heavily on online networks, Shoot & Chop is certainly well-positioned to benefit from this. Nevertheless, other than their entertaining jokes, what is it that makes them so fearless in their ironic critiques of those in power? “Perhaps it has to do with my love for the city. I just cannot stay silent when I see injustices in the system,” Kenny said. “Moreover, there is an abundant supply of similar, over-conservative video materials on YouTube. I think filmmaking is a creative practice and so we need to think out of the box.” Iwin also said that Shoot & Chop is still developing. In the future, their company will continue to produce more fascinating, hilarious films that capture the latest happenings in Macao.