TNP turns 26, with a twist
To mark the occasion, a stop-motion video of all its staff currently working for the paper was produced
Typical of The New Paper, this is a story of twists, of turning heads, and of the innovation that is the essence of the newspaper you have in your hands.
First, it is the story behind the video marking TNP's 26th anniversary.
The video, which is available online at tnp.sg, began with three days of planning.
Another three days went into its making, and it involved 99 faces and more than 2,000 photos.
And that was only half the job.
The next task was an entire day of editing the video.
But the end product is a sight to behold: Just over three minutes of stop-motion video of every single person who works to bring you The New Paper.
A cast of three people held up face masks of TNPers at various locations where we work.
Creative transitions were used to smoothen the changing of faces.
Being a newspaper that thrives on being different, here is the first twist in this backstory: The idea came from a father-and-son team.
Dad Simon Ker was one of the pioneer members of TNP when it was first launched on July 26, 1988.
He now heads the photo department. The second twist: Son Billy Ker, now also with TNP, was born in the same year that the paper was launched.
The elder Mr Ker was initially planning to create a video for the anniversary, something that had never been done in past anniversary celebrations.
He decided to create a stop-motion video and he trusted his son to pull it off.
"Billy had some experience in creating stop-motion videos when he and his friends made a video on the Singapore Pledge for the 2012 National Day," said Mr Simon Ker.
But, as with all good ideas, the execution would prove daunting. How were they going to feature every single TNPer in the video?
"To get 99 people together to shoot a video is almost impossible," said Mr Simon Ker. "Different staff come into the office at different times and some may be on leave."
Father and son put their heads together and came up with the innovative idea of using intern models to hold face masks of staff for the video.
Mr Billy Ker directed the photo shoot.
He also spent an entire day editing and applying the finishing touches to the video.
Assisting him was TNP photographer Jeremy Long, who was present for all three days of the shoot.
"We were working under a very tight schedule and were pressed for time," said Mr Billy Ker.
"Also, the office was very cramped and narrow and that made it hard to shoot a stop-motion video."
They had to avoid disrupting work or disturbing the many people putting the paper together on daily - sometimes twice-daily - deadlines as they moved about.
But father and son were driven by passion for the newspaper and creative impulses.
Mr Simon Ker said: "Being a pioneer of the paper, I have seen many people come and go. I myself grew up in TNP.
"This place is like a second home to me."
Mr Billy Ker added: "I have literally been reading TNP my entire life. I was also very familiar with the people here even before I started working here a year ago."
Added TNP editor Dominic Nathan: "You can tell a lot about an organisation by its people. And in Simon and Billy, you could say we have the story of The New Paper.
"Simon, a veteran photographer, joined us from Day 1 and helped evolve the paper's DNA of visual journalism - a story-telling style that has won us multiple awards over the years in photography, design and infographics.
"His son Billy just turned one with TNP. The graduate of Digipen Institute of Technology is part of the new and exciting future of TNP.
"His digital animation skills will help us reach a new and wider audience."
And the final twist to this story? Billy was featured in The New Paper as part of an advertisement back in 1991, when he was only three years old.
The advertisement read: "When Billy grows up, where will he work?"
We now know the answer.
It has been an exciting year for TNP. We revamped the paper, launched our smartphone app and won a record five awards in the publishing Oscars - the 2014 Society for News Design Excellence Awards. We wrapped up the year with our most comprehensive coverage ever of the World Cup, bringing our readers all the action, analysis and drama from Brazil, in print, online and through our dedicated soccer app, Football Kaki.
For making all this possible as we turn 26, we would like to say a big 'Thank You', from all of us in TNP to our readers and advertisers.
- The New Paper editor Dominic Nathan