Beyond Telling Stories

With over 27 million views on YouTube, four WKWSCI alumni are making waves online with their unique style of storytelling.

-A A +A

When Ng Kai Yuan, Tan Yang Yi, Matthew Chew and Cheah Wenqi (all CS’18) embarked on their advanced photojournalism project in 2017 at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, little did they know that they were at the dawn of forming their own company.

Their 2017 project titled “Our Grandfather Story” featured nostalgic local stories told through videos and garnered over 200,000 views on Facebook

After graduation, the team created a self-titled digital media publishing company — Our Grandfather Story.

The foursome immediately started working full-time at OGS in May 2018. According to Tan, they became profitable in their second year of operations.

OGS is committed to telling the lesser known stories across Singapore through videos and have even created digital campaigns for brands and agencies such as Temasek Holdings, National Heritage Board and Nippon Paint.

The company has since grown to amass a large online following with over 300,000 followers on Facebook, 150,000 subscribers on YouTube and 45,000 followers on Instagram.

“It was usually a one-man show back then, everyone had to be all-rounded to produce and edit videos themselves.”

Tan Yang Yi (CS’18), co-founder of Our Grandfather Story

One of their most popular videos, titled “Parents Who Have Lost a Child”, has gained almost 3 million views on YouTube. In the video, six parents share their grief and heart-rending experiences in a sit down interview.

According to Tan, the media attention OGS received from the video created awareness for the overlooked community of parents and brought attention to the Child Bereavement Support group in Singapore.

Recently, OGS began to expand and explore the rest of Southeast Asia for unique stories, starting in Malaysia and Indonesia.

As the Singaporean stories have proved to be successful and have brought a positive impact to the community, Ng hopes that they can continue to bring a similar impact to the Southeast Asian region.

The expansion was made possible with the growth of the OGS team.

“It was usually a one-man show back then, everyone had to be all-rounded to produce and edit videos themselves,” said Tan.

Over the years they welcomed more members into their team from business developers, video journalists, editors and animators, the company now has 17 employees.

On top of video documentaries, OGS has also introduced other formats of storytelling such as podcasts and motion graphics to educate and entertain their audience in different ways.

Their new podcast channel, Something Private, discusses women’s health and wellness in Singapore.

 

Something Private is a podcast created by Our Grandfather Story. Launched in August 2019, it discusses female health and wellness issues. VIDEO: JASMINE CHOONG

 

Producer and host Nicole Lim (CS’19) does not shy away from addressing taboo topics such as polyamorous relationships, sexually transmitted diseases and birth control on the show.

Every week, she invites a guest who is passionate about the topic to share their compelling stories. In her most popular episode, “Making Masturbation Mainstream”, Lim even shared her own personal experiences.

Lim said, “I think people were shocked but hopefully that inspires them or encourages them so as not to feel so alone in their experience.” 

Semester: