X&Y (2021): A short romance vertical series from TikTok
Source: Studio Antelope

X&Y (2021): A short romance vertical series from TikTok

I’ve stated my thoughts previously in the future of MCU article that watching series isn’t really my thing due to time and dedication. Just imagine how surprised I am when my friend told me about a short Indonesia series with a running time of 13-14 minutes spanning in 6 episodes. What’s more shocking is that the series is screened in TikTok.

Titled X&Y, it is truly a simple series that doesn’t push the boundaries of filmmaking aside from its 9:16 aspect ratio. I mean, it tells the story of two lovebirds Omar (Jourdy Pranata) and Winda (Arawinda Kirana) who live in the same boarding house and harbour feelings with each other. It shouldn’t be something that grasped my attention so much but how the director Jason Iskandar translated the title’s philosophy into the narrative that could be simply followed became a thematically rich viewing. Accompanied by its warm visual and acting, the series never falls short in emotion even with its shallow characterization (what can you ask? It’s just a short experimental series)

Collaborating with TikTok Indonesia, Studio Antelope (unsurprisingly owned by Jason Iskandar as the co-founder) took a big risk here to release the series on this platform. I really thought it’s an intriguing concept, however. Never even had a thought that TikTok could be used as a filmmaking platform. However, does the bizarre phone screen technique really work as the medium? Not much. And much more, I felt that the concept Iskandar took on making a common film with different platform and aspect ratio hasn’t really been explored much (but we’ll save the rant for another day)

In the end, the goal according to Studio Antelope itself is “a form of TikTok’s support for the film industry through a vertical container.” Not as a medium for filmmakers to experiment but to open more opportunities for aspiring filmmakers to enter the film industry. And X&Y, a story of both lovers in different axis, has become a stepping stone that creates more doors for creators to enter.


X&Y is available on TikTok (only in Indonesian subtitle)