In the year 20XX, traditional news outlets have become universally banned in the global effort to combat fake news. As a result, citizen journalism has become the main source of news, and individuals now sell their self-recorded news footage directly to broadcast stations that are willing to pay lucrative amounts of money for footage of a high standard. In this video-quality-competitive world, gone are the days of blur and shaky videos recorded on mobile phones being shared on social media, as stable top-grade Ultra HD video footage has become the expected standard across all digital platforms.
In the wake of this newfound universal demand for professional videography, Wonkru Designs has created an innovative camera bag that has the storage space to hold a 12K UHD camcorder while simultaneously having the function to unfold itself into a sturdy tripod.
Finalised Microfiction #1 (Shangyou):
Title: Blinded by Night
Octavia is a freelance videographer who makes her living selling video footage to broadcast companies and alternative media outlets. Although only 21 years of age, she has already become the sole breadwinner of her family of wastrels. Her single mom, Aurora, constantly abuses her emotionally, always convincing Octavia that she is a shameful “useless daughter” who deserves to be tormented. Her good-for-nothing brother, Bellamy, is a delinquent gang leader who spends his whole time doing whatever the hell he wants, which is almost never a good thing, to say the least. Her abusive boyfriend, Lincoln, is a quiet but physically aggressive guy who is overly-possessive and gets jealous extremely easily.
While driving home on her scooter one day, Octavia witnesses a young man robbing an elderly woman. She initially intends to jump in to help the old woman, but suddenly realises that she was carrying her Wonkru Designs Camera Tripod Bag. It was tough making ends meet, and she knew this was an excellent opportunity to shoot some juicy footage that she could sell. It would feed her and her family for at least a week—she thought to herself. Much to her shock, the petty theft turns into a murder, when the elderly woman refuses to give up her handbag, and the young man stabs her in the chest with a knife. She had just recorded a murder on video, and she was completely beside herself. Afraid of being implicated in the crime, she quickly flees the scene with her footage before the police arrive. When she reaches home, she is tormented by her mother once again, and cries herself to sleep as she always does.
The next day, Octavia heads over to Polis Broadcast Studios and offers to sell the footage to them. To her surprise, she is offered US$20,000 for the video, which is more than she’s earned in the past 6 months of covering boring live events! She agrees to sell the video, and leaves the studio gleefully with the full US$20,000 in cash, just as she had requested. Hesitant to tell her family or her boyfriend about her sudden windfall, she decides that she should spend the money on herself for once. After all, she deserved it anyway. She heads over to a nearby Azgeda Autos dealership and spends US$18,000 on a blood red Shadow Valley BR-5—her dream motorcycle ever since she was 13 years old.
When she reaches home, her mom catches her with her new motorcycle, and begins unleashing a verbal and physical tirade upon her. The confrontation escalates out of hand, and Octavia accidently kills her mother in self-defence. Realising what she had just done, she is completely distraught, but then she looks over to her Wonkru Designs Camera Tripod Bag and an idea springs to her mind. She unfolds the bag and sets up her camera within seconds, and records a video of the blood oozing out of her mother’s skull. Then, she quickly wipes her fingerprints off the glass mug that she had hit her mother with, and phones the police. The police arrive and she puts on a show, crying and begging for them to catch her mother’s killer, and they comfort her, assuring her that they will do so. Eventually, her brother Bellamy arrives home, and upon learning about the situation, assumes that one of his rival gangs had been responsible for the murder.
The next day, Octavia heads back to Polis Broadcast Studios once again, and sells them the footage for US$6,500. The amount was a lot less than the previous video, because this video did not show the actual murder as it occurred. Disappointed, Octavia leaves the studio with the US$6,500 in hand. She had her eye on the brand new Arkadia T-100 motorcycle, but that would set her back at least US$35,000. Then, she has an epiphany. If she wants more money, all she has to do is create more news to shoot video footage of—it’s just that simple. Thus, she begins planning the murders for her next victims—Bellamy and Lincoln.
Finalised Microfiction #2 (Jiayi):
In this world overfilled with citizen journalists aiming to earn great quick bucks by selling their video footage to conglomerates, Max was struggling to make ends meet to support his wife and growing son.
“Get out of my way!” citizen Z shoved Max away with his bulky equipment bag, blocking his camera lens from shooting the latest celebrity scandal.
The constant ‘beep’ ‘beep’ from his phone reminding him of his low account balance broke him out of his mental tirade of that obese man. This can’t go on. Max packed his bags, kissed his wife and son good bye and left, vowing to come back a man with greater prospects.
One month passed, then two, then three… Nothing. Jane did not hear a word from her husband. Strapping her giggling son to her back, she left for the woods – supposedly her husband’s last location detected by his ID chip. It was a deadly place, overtaken by whatever animals were left roaming. Those animals were mad, their family and friends having been rampantly killed by humans a few decades ago. Since then, nobody who entered their territory ever left alive.
Jane sets out to find her husband in the treacherous location, and slowly finds herself warming up to those wild animals. After weeks of searching, she finally finds her husband who had been camping out to film the never-before-seen sights of the wild creatures. Armed with enlightening footage of the misunderstood animals, the couple return to civilisation to set things right again with the animal kingdom.