His Story: Richard Prayoga

Tell us a little bit more about yourself.

My real name is actually “Richard Prayogo Supangat Phang”, but I had a typo on my birth certificate, “Prayoga” so I always have to prove that my real name is Prayogo to the admins of school. To avoid these problems, I decided to ignore it and let Prayoga be my name in Singapore. I am 22 this year and I am Indonesian.

Back in Indonesia, my friends call me “Yogo” or “ogo”. But here in Singapore my friends just call me Richard.

An interesting fact about you that our readers do not know about?

A lot of people think that I am Pinoy/Thai but I am actually Chinese/Javanese-mixed! Sadly I can’t speak Chinese, but I always try to learn from my Chinese friends here!

Where do you currently reside in, and are there any cities in the world where you would love to live in one day?

Singapore!

Los Angeles, California. This is where my dance inspirations and dance events sparked from. I need to go there and witness it for myself instead of simply watching YouTube videos!

Any secret locations that you love to shoot in?

Probably the airport! There are a lot of hidden/secret locations that are nice to shoot videos at. I used to frequent these places for a year to dance.

What is your motivation in life?

I have a pretty simple motivation - to make my parents proud and happy! At the same time, I want to enjoy life to the fullest while creating a positive difference in this world in any way that I can.

What are you most afraid of?

I am afraid of darkness when I am alone!

What would you call your style of photography?

People photography! Because with people in it, it will get more interesting!

You are one heck of a talented and artistic guy! You photograph, videograph and dance. What made you take up dancing?

As I mentioned earlier, I was actually a hardcore gamer in the past. I had no interest in dance until secondary school, where I was really desperate to accumulate co-curricular activity points to fulfill school requirements. So I joined Chingay Parade in 2009 with my school’s hip-hop dance crew. From there, I met some really cool people and my interest in dancing slowly grew.

Do you have any people that inspire you?

Yes, definitely! I have fellow dance friends who are really talented and hardworking and they make me want to work even harder. Also, whenever I go to a dance event, everyone there will always inspire me. On top of that, thanks to the Internet and especially YouTube, performances by overseas talents are my main source of inspiration.

I saw you dance with a famous US dancer back in 2014. How did you get an audition and how was the experience like?

Life changing! His name is Chris Martin and he’s from Cookies, a famous dance crew in Los Angeles, California.  He is someone that I’ve been keeping a close eye on through the Internet, because whenever I see his piece on YouTube, I always go fanboying. When it was announced that he was coming to Singapore for an item for Recognize Studio Recital, I knew I had to join.

It was a crazy experience as I only had 3 days to practice for a 4-minute routine while the rest of the team had months to practice. On top of that, I was had to juggle my school’s final year project presentation 

This experience gave me the opportunity to meet international veteran dancers as well, so I got to learn a lot about dance and communication among dancers. I got to pick up Chris’ unique dance style. He is a very down to earth dude who’s a beast on stage.

What made you realize you had interest in filmmaking, and how did you go on to film short videos for dancers in Singapore?

Ever since I was interested in dancing, I always used YouTube to watch a lot of concept/non-concept dance videos. I have always wanted to create something similar but I don’t have friends who can do that and I don’t know of anyone in Singapore who is capable of doing that yet.

I only started doing video recording when I was the Publicity Head for my polytechnic dance club, Strictly Dance Zone. My duties encompassed recording our club performances and trainings. From there, I began experimenting different things related to videography, including creating concept videos for my friends. This interest later developed into a hobby and passion. 

After being in the Singapore dance scene for 2 years, I observed something…

I have a lot of friends who really want to attend dance events but they often can’t because they do not have the money to or due to clashes in their schedule.

Also, during dance battles or auditions, people like to ask their friends to help them record their performances and then post it on their social media accounts. But what if that person comes to the event alone? Maybe it’s easy for some of us to ask some strangers to record but most people that I know are too paiseh (embarrassed) to do that.

So yeah, since no one else is doing it, I decided to create a platform to showcase Singapore Dance Scene. Dancers are happy that their performance is being recorded and I am happy that my videos are being shared. It is a win-win situation.

Currently, what equipment do you use to photograph?

Sony a7s with Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm f/4

What photo software do you use to edit?

Lightroom 5, Photoshop CC

What is your proudest event that you get to film in?

RF Jam Summer Jam Dance Camp! This is the biggest dance event in Asia where dance superstars come down to compete and teach workshops. It was really crazy experience because I got to record my idols and I also managed to gather a small team that helped me went through that tiring week! We ended the event with a Hancai Party at Wavehouse Sentosa. So dope. A must-go if you are a dancer.

Oh wow, you are going on tour with Flair Brothers! That’s cool and congratulations to you on that. Where will you be travelling to?

Mostly Asia! Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Sydney, Taiwan and Korea. Maybe more but for now these are the confirmed countries! J And I will be recording their entire journey for each country. It’s my first time doing this so it is going to be crazy!

Name any filmmakers (past or present) that you want to collaborate with, and what film would you shoot!

YAKFilms! Well probably their signature street dance video featuring some dance superstars, maybe the “Bad Queen” from Japan! The ideal place would be the middle of Shibuya Crossing. Dope!!!

Do you have any tips for upcoming dancers and filmmakers in Singapore?

Well for dance, I believe I still have long way to go! But for those who just started or are planning to start take up dance, my best advice to you will be… Do not be scared of being judged, because you will get judged anyway. Just do your thing! And if you do not know where to start, go and take classes at dance studios. There are tons of options!

For dance videography/filmmaking in Singapore, just because someone else has done it, does not mean you should not do it anymore! We sometimes need healthy competition, because this will help the local scene grow.

Also, YouTube is your best friend if you do not know how to do something

Lastly, what can we expect from you in the near future in terms of your filmmaking and photography?

I hope that this will not just be a hobby, but a career option for me. I would really love to have a job that I love doing because I would not even call it a job anymore. HA!