I lost two items within two days last week. And both when I was out shooting this particular short film.
The first item is a Clinique eyebrow shadow. The second is my Olympus digital camera.
The Goonfather told me it’s because I didn’t pay my respects to the spirits of the cemetery in which the short film was filmed at.
Two days of filming, two things lost.
So, on the third day of the shoot, I waved hesitantly at the tombstones at random and apologised for being in the way. Well, I think it worked before I didn’t lose anymore things.
Do you know what that means?? It means I can’t put pictures in this blog until I replace my digital camera!
I just checked my bank account. I have $34 to my name, and I can’t even afford to replace the eyebrow shadow, much less the camera. And my birthday is still eight months away, so I can’t demand for the Goonfather to buy me a camera.
Well, so, that means no pictures.
There were no reports of any loss of items from the crew or from my co-star, so it means either I’m cursed or I’m just a hopeless scatterbrain. I hope it’s the latter.
In fact, I am a hopeless scatterbrain, as people who know me will agree.
Many people probably think I should be devastated for losing a camera but I’m not, really. I do feel a bit of a pinch because there are a couple of photos in there I really like which I haven’t downloaded.
But, apart from that, I am actually thankful that my dose of bad luck (assuming everyone has a kind of quota for good and bad fortunes) was spent on something so trivial.
In other words, I would rather lose a camera than lose, for instance, a kidney.
One should always put things in perspective. Unless, of course, one were to lose a camera and a kidney simultaneously, in which case it would be slightly more difficult to put things in perspective.
But one should always try.
I am also at the moment too happy to be disturbed by disappearing possessions because I have just acted in the coolest short film ever.
It is all very subject to taste, of course, but I just love this film, I love my role and I love everyone involved in the film. The last three days of shoot were totally enjoyable and exhilarating, despite the scenes being shot entirely on a narrow cemetery road infested with endless swarms of mosquitoes, a zillion different tribes of ants and all other kinds of miscellaneous unidentified bugs.
I shall blog about it at length after I get some photos from the production crew.
At the moment, I am still on a high. So, I think it’s about time to take a nap.
Four months ago, I saw a casting notice inviting actors to audition for a Mandarin gangster movie set in 1970s Singapore. I sent in my resume and photos and was shortlisted to audition for the role of the main female character.
That was good news, except that I was tasked to prepare a Mandarin monologue and dress up in 70s fashion.
I had never done a Mandarin monologue in my life. I had no idea where to look for a piece I could do. It should also be noted at this point that my Mandarin is as bad as my English is good.
(I can speak Mandarin very fluently and accurately if you give me the words to say. Otherwise, I’m a complete mess.)
It should also be noted that actors are supposed to spend months rehearsing monologue pieces to get good at them.
So, I had about two weeks to prepare for this scary audition and the butterflies in my stomach very obligingly kept me company throughout my ordeal.
I even contemplated calling it off, so stressed was I of not being able to live up to it. But I really wanted a chance at the role, so I rang up an actor friend for help.
I asked him where I could find Mandarin monologues. He said he’d lend me a book of short plays. At his earliest convenience, I went to pick up the book from him.
First challenge overcome. Next came the greater challenge.
I had to read the book in order to find a suitable monologue (or at least a dialogue I could modify into a monologue).
I figured that it would take me five minutes to read one page and 36 hours to read the entire book. It was written by some literary luminary in a level of language which I feel would be more suited to people studying advanced Chinese literature.
Well, I didn’t have 36 hours. At that time, I had just returned to Singapore after filming in Malaysia and was busy wrapping up filming in Singapore as well as preparing for X08, the biggest ever Xbox event.)
I had to quickly scan all the lines spoken by relevant characters to try to pick something out. Long story short, it took me about a week to find my monologue and try to read the whole play that the monologue came from to get an understanding of it.
After that, I only had a week left to rehearse. And to find a costume. All that during one of the busiest periods of my life.
I rehearsed it as much as I could (which wasn’t enough), did some Googling on 70’s fashion trends and managed to get my costume one day before, and finally arrived at the audition bright and early, as prepared as I could manage.
The dress cost me $65. I bought it the day before the audition. I wasn’t even sure if it was “correct” but it was the best I could find.
It’s now sitting in my wardrobe and I’m wondering what to do with it. I don’t think I will dare to wear it out on a normal day because it’s so loud.
The audition started off with a short chat (in Mandarin, no less) with director Kelvin Sng. He’s a very friendly and jovial guy, which made the process a lot easier to get through.
After the chat, I had to do my monologue. I think I did it really badly. I just can’t do monologues. They’re totally unnatural!
And then an improvisation session. I was put opposite actor Vincent Tee (who has appeared in several local movies) to act in a scene briefly described on the spot by the director.
I think I did that even worse because I had to improv in Mandarin and the words wouldn’t come out, so I basically came across in the scene as some half-mute person.
I knew what I wanted to say but I had no words for what I wanted to say. Haha. If only I could have done it in English. But that wasn’t the point of the session, I guess.
I think the audition was a total disaster, which was quite disappointing after all the effort I had put into it. But then this happens quite a lot to me so I’m used to it by now.
And, in fact, sometimes I get jobs out of disastrous auditions and sometimes I don’t get jobs out of auditions I think I did so well I would have hired myself on the spot.
So, you can never tell.
Three weeks after the audition, I received an e-mail informing me that I had been shortlisted again to attend a callback audition. (That’s like the second round of auditions.)
That was quite a shock, but a happy one, of course. I had a chance to redeem myself!
I don’t normally like to talk about my auditions or, if I do talk about them, I try to talk about them in non-specific terms, not naming anything or anyone, so that people won’t know which auditions I passed and which I didn’t.
One reason I don’t like to talk about auditions is because people always ask stupid questions like “Did you get the role?” on the very day of the audition.
I have news for everyone. Film auditions are just like job interviews. They don’t tell you on the spot whether they’re giving you the job, because
a) they still have more applicants to see after you, duh,
b) they need time to hire a PI to do a background check on you,
c) they want to go home and consult their dogs first. “Wag your tail if you like this girl.”
This is not rocket science. It’s common sense.
Sometimes, they take months to decide. Gasp. Just like any other job interview, you don’t say, would you like fries with that?
Another reason I don’t like to talk about auditions is because people like to follow up, as early as a day later.
One day later…
“So, did you get the role?”
I get asked the same question every day for the next ten days by different people. Sometimes by the same people.
I don’t know if I got the role! I just auditioned for heaven’s sake!
What’s with this insatiable desire to know whether I got the role or not??
Who cares? If I got the role, you’ll read about it on my blog. You’ll see me on TV. You’ll see me on film, on YouTube, on the papers, wherever.
Making me go through the same conversation a million times will not enrich either of our lives.
“So, did you get the role?”
“Congrats! I knew you could do it!”
“So, what’s for dinner?”
“So, did you get the role?”
“Oh. Well, I’m sure you’ll get the next one.”
Yes of course I will get the next one! I just don’t need to go through this conversation two hundred times a month!!
Another thing is, it’s very unpleasant to talk about failure. In showbiz, they say that a 20% success rate is the standard.
You must understand that actors go for auditions all the time. Sometimes every day. Sometimes three or four times a day. And, sometimes, a thousand people are gunning for the same job.
So, a 20% success rate is pretty golden.
But, on the flip side, it means that you have to report failure 80% of the time.
And you’re reporting failure a lot because your friends won’t stop asking you, “Did you get the role?”
I repeat, it’s very unpleasant to talk about failure. Or be reminded of it.
I don’t want to have to say “No, I didn’t get it,” eight out of 10 times, you understand?
So, anyway, I haven’t gone for an audition in months because I’ve been busy with my new media work. But I went for one on Thursday and I will talk about it soon. Just don’t ask me whether I got the role.
I’m sorry GGF didn’t make it last week! For the last few months, I’ve been getting progressively busier and busier. It’s quite amazing because every week I tell people, “I have never been so busy in my life!” And then, the next week, I’m even busier than the last week.
This has been happening for months!
Oh, well, that’s life!
Amazingly, also, I managed to cough out an issue of GGF today. I spent about five hours on it, after already spending five hours prior to that writing three blogs for my other, um, blogs.
Which means I’ve been writing nonstop for ten hours today!
If got typo, don’t kill me. =P (But let me know so I can fix it.)
Thanks for your patience and continued support of my business! I actually meant busy-ness, but that worked, too.
Okay, I really wanted to do a full review of this game, like, two weeks ago, because it’s a freaking great game, but I didn’t have time.
Sad to say, I still don’t have time now, lol. I’m working 15-20 hours every day, seven days a week, and that’s still not enough to finish all my deadlines. Haha.
Luckily, some of my work involves fun (so I’m not complaining too much).
For instance, I had to spend many fun hours playing this game with my friends and making movies so that the Xbox team can play them as demos in Xbox Xperience Zones.
I’m talking about the game called You’re in the Movies, which is exclusive to the Xbox 360.
Here’s one of the videos we made!
But let me explain the game a little.
The game software comes packaged with a LIVE Vision Camera which you mount above or below your TV so it can film you.
You choose a movie from a list of available movies, choose the number of players, then you each choose the role you want to play.
The game will then take you through a series of action mini games such as karate chopping blocks, running from tornadoes or washing clothes.
Yes, washing clothes. *lol*
Sometimes, two players are required to compete in a mini game.
Depending on how many players there are (1 to 4), you take turns to play your mini games.
Sometimes you’re required to act! The game will make you act surprised or laugh out loud or dance or whatever.
So, all this is recorded and at the end of it, a movie trailer incorporating everything you’ve done is produced!
Here’s another video for your viewing enjoyment:
The fun part is that what you do in the mini games is not reflective of what happens in the end result. Like, if you’re asked to wash clothes, it doesn’t mean there’s a clothes washing scene in the movie. It just means the movie needs you performing an action similar to washing clothes.
You’re always delightfully surprised by how the movie turns out in the end!
I took some behind-the-scenes videos of me and my friends playing but don’t have time to edit it yet. I promise I will show it some day cos it’s very funny! =)
In the meantime, please check out the next article cos you can get a chance to try this game for yourself this weekend! =)
YITM is also a great workout game. My muscles were sore and hurting for two days after playing this game.
Oh… and at the end of the movie screening, there’s a Best Actor award ceremony for the best performer!
I love You’re in the Movies!!
Tip: Buy this game at Xbox Xperience Zones this weekend and receive a free pair of Golden Village movie tickets (while stocks last)!
There’s a launch event happening this weekend at Xbox Xperiences Zones (Funan Challenger and VivoCity Best Denki) where you can play You’re in the Movies. You might even win something!
There’s also an avatar-making competition. Just turn up and the team will guide you towards making your customised avatar on the New Xbox Experience dashboard. The person who creates the best avatar will win a You’re in the Movies game!
A review contributed by a loyal fan and supporter of GGF
(That means this isn’t written by Sheylara.)
I’ve never really been a fan of fighting games on any platform, whether in arcades or consoles, but I’ve always made an exception for Mortal Kombat. Ever since I laid eyes on the first MK coin-op back in 1992, it has been the ONLY fighting game I ever paid any attention to.
I mean, life-like digitized characters, movie-like storyline, FATALITIES, what’s not to love, right? (Sorry, Street Fighter faithfuls, no hadoukens for this kid.)
Fast forward four arcade sequels (yes, I’m counting Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, too), countless console ports and hand-held exclusives, along with an action RPG — basically about 20 games — later, I’m still in MK’s thrall, though a teeny bit jaded by all the violence.
Being a parent of young children doesn’t help. But when Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe was announced, I immediately thought, “Didn’t it all end with MK: Armageddon? Could this be a franchise reboot? Or is Midway finally losing the plot?”
I just had to check it out.
Well, after trying out the title at a neighbourhood game shop, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The idea of merging worlds isn’t exactly revolutionary (Capcom vs Marvel, anyone?). But it’s great that Ed Boon and gang managed to pull it off. Not only is the storyline actually plausible (as far as superhero comic book storylines go), the gameplay is pretty solid, as well.
Here’s the gist: Remember Shao Kahn? Raiden and company kicked his butt through a portal. At the same time on Earth, Superman was just finishing up with Darkseid.
These two separate ass-kickings did not destroy either of the bad guys but, instead, merged them into Dark Kahn (!!!) and caused the DC and Mortal Kombat universes to merge.
With the merging, the characters’ abilities start to fluctuate. Which is why Superman can now actually be hurt and the Joker actually stands a chance against Raiden. Brilliant!
Now comes one of the key components of any successful title: the gameplay.
Reminiscent of MK: Dark Alliance, we have another attempt at a fighting system revamp. It definitely works but, man, is the learning curve steep.
You have the standard practice mode, sure. But hand-holding tutorials are nowhere in sight. Casual fighters (who aren’t rabid MK fans like me), will probably be turned off. Kinda reminds me of my short-lived experiences with Tekken. It’s more fun watching great players go at it than actually playing it yourself.
MK (and fighting genre) fans be warned: Just like any console fighters, nothing beats having an actual arcade stick.
Next. KILLER FINISHING MOVES, or FATALITIES, the cornerstone of any MK title.
Unfortunately, because of the tie-in with DC Universe (known for its teen audience), most of the characters’ finishing moves are less than awe-inspiring. Which isn’t to say that they all suck. But there’s a very good reason the game isn’t rated M.
Well, I definitely enjoyed what I’ve experienced in the game so far. I’m sold on this title. But take my recommendation with this proviso: If you aren’t at all nostalgic about Mortal Kombat and its arcade roots, and if seeing Batman facing off against the Joker, Superman, and even Sonya, doesn’t make you all warm and fuzzy inside, then you’d be happier spending your sixty bucks on dinner with your significant other.
Left 4 Dead has been out for some time now, but I just want to mention it because this is the first time I’ve enjoyed playing a survival horror FPS!
(That is, I dont normally play survival horror and I certainly do not play FPS.)
I played this on the Xbox 360 with the Goonfather and it’s so fun bashing each other. I mean, like, he bashes me for not keeping up with him (his style of gaming is chionging everywhere like a crazy peacock and shooting first, asking questions later), and I bash him for dying more often than all of us.
Of course, he gets more kills, too, so maybe it balances out, but it is still very inconsiderate of him to keep dying while we are all up to our necks in zombies!!!
In this game, you’re one of the four remaining survivors of a zombie epidemic, trying to escape the town. You can play multiplayer co-op or versus.
That means you get the choice to play a zombie in versus mode! Cool!
Teamwork and strategy are very important because you’re often swarmed (see above picture). And I love how, sometimes, someone on your team will get mugged by a particular zombie and you have to go save him before the zombie chews him up.
It can get pretty scary if you play this alone, at night.
If one of your player team mates goes AFK, uh, I mean, away from the TV, for a toilet break or something, the AI will take over him after a period of inactivity.
Any character not played by a live player is controlled by AI.
Do try the game! Remember, you can always download a demo to try first! ;)
So, I’ve started playing shooters on Xbox LIVE because it’s part of my job to have fun with the Xbox community, and I must say I really enjoy these gaming sessions despite my utter uselessness with kinetic projectiles of any sort.
I take heart from the fact that I’m allowing some gamers the enjoyment of racking up their scores.
Anyway, for some time now, I’ve been chatting with RN1209 about getting some less-expert folks to play and train together, which gave me the idea of hosting a Newbie Nite for Gears of War 2 on Xbox LIVE one night.
I thought I was going to get some kills in that night by playing with newbies… but I think I got conned.
KL (Malaysia) has so many beautiful grungy places. Although quite scary, they serve as exquisite backdrops for films and photoshoots.
I would love to go back to this place to do a fashion photoshoot.
Or maybe not.
It’s a big abandoned building with all kinds of crazy junk heaped around the compound. It’s like a rubbish warehouse.
And the mozzies had a field day when tourists came to visit.
The native mosquitoes rolled out the red carpet to welcome us.
Welcome! they cried, Please make yourselves at home while we drink your blood!
They huge, they’re enthusiastic and they’re hungry.
They’re also ninjas.
Big as they are, you don’t feel them land on your skin. You don’t feel them feeding.
You’re minding your own business, looking around casually. And then you chance to glance at your arm, and there’s a teenage mutant ninja mozzie shaking salt and pepper on your hair follicles.
In alarm, you swing your arm violently to shake off the TMNM. But, with all the years of gruelling ninja training under its arthropodal belt, it is prepared for the assault.
It clings onto you with its hooks for feet, all the while laughing maniacally at the folly of homo sapiens. You consider thwapping it flat but you don’t want mozzie guts all over your arm.
So you scream at it.
“My blood is toxic and will kill you dead, you dumb shit!”
Miraculously, the mozzie flies off at that.
And then you realise that that’s only because it’s already had its fill. A pink welt develops instantly on your arm where the TMNM had last roosted.
And it’s itchy.
Beware of teenage mutant ninja mozzies.
We should have heeded the warning.
Luckily, I didn’t die of dengue fever after this encounter.
I wonder how the resident artists survived the TMNM attacks. They must have some kind of permit to stick around unmolested while they complete their artistic masterpieces.
We didn’t stay around for too long. Perhaps 40 minutes or so. I could feel my cells screaming in agony just being in this waste.
You might think that this building is in some remote no man’s land, 3,000 kilometres away from the nearest civillisation.
It’s just minutes away from civillisation. I don’t suppose the residents in neighbouring buildings take a leisurely walk to this dumpster every evening after dinner to dispose of their trash?
After doing our scenes in this building, we strolled over to another compound with even more abandoned buildings.
It was better this time. We didn’t have to enter any of the buildings. We shot everything outdoors.
And that’s the end of my shoot in KL!
We drove up to Penang on the same day. It was a nice journey that took us from daylight to nightfall. I can’t remember how many hours it was.
Along the way, Dean, who was at that time the driver, suddenly turned around and said to me, “You must take a photo of these buildings!!”
“Why?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” he said.
He’s always saying things for no reason. So, Kan took over the wheel and made him be the cameraman.
It kept him occupied for a good while.
Every time we went through a toll booth, he had to hold up the sensor unit for access because someone couldn’t be bothered to stick it to the windscreen.
And then we were in Penang!
My first impression of Penang:
I didn’t know Penang is a resort city. It took us more than an hour to find our hotel because Kan was looking for a specific hotel and we were led on a wild goose chase by well-meaning locals. Finally, one savvy local told us that the hotel we wanted had already closed down.
We settled for this small resort hotel called The Lone Pine Hotel which is, frankly, a bit creepy because of the name and the way the sign looks.
It brings to mind B-grade horror flicks where unsuspecting backpackers get eaten by giant mutant bugs while being raped by bored psychopaths.
Okay, it’s not that bad.
It’s a cosy resort with friendly service. It also has a nice pool, which is a redundant fact because I don’t swim.
I don’t like wearing swimsuits. =>
Alright, then. That’s all for today. More adventures in Penang next time!