The Thank You-s, Debriefs and Loopholes

Its come down to this. Jim’s all out of ideas..or is he just not thinking about the ones that he knows he should be?

He’s gotten all the help and pushes he needs, and now he finds himself literally standing at the door. So.. what does he do now?

The Reason Why

Ultimately, more often than not, we tend to look for reasons for the things we didn’t do, for things we never did. But when the time comes to look back, more often than not, those reasons were just excuses for ourselves not being able to step up to a chance we did ACTUALLY have, a chance we always wanted and has finally come…

 

It seems that Jim’s just made a big round from day 1. He’s found himself back at square one, but why? Like the waiter said, maybe we just let things get in the way. Many times, when our heart isn’t anchored on a resolve, a purpose, a reason.. we easily get swept away by doubts, questions and the smallest of worries.

The Waiter reminds Jim of having courage. He reminds him that, usually, some of us need that bridge to cross over – from refusing to know because we fear we’re not enough, and hide behind our excuses… to stepping up and taking hold of a resolve.

Sometimes, all we need is courage to get to that reason. That’s why taking a leap of faith is called a leap, not a hop.

The Thank You-s, Debriefs and Loopholes

 

And with a warm but heavy heart, we’ve come to the conclusion of our first ever web series. And if you’ve been reading till now, I want to say thank you so much. We had no expectations of what the response would be like for something as risky as taking on a web series project. And you guys blew our minds.

Now down to some serious stuff. As a home-grown team, I can only do my part to show our own country and (hopefully) the rest of the world what we independent, small time, amateur, YouTubers are capable of. The rest? Is up to you guys. How far we go from this, is how much we get support. And the support we get is simple – its that share button of yours. If you could help us just spread this around, it would do the team, the channel and the videos, wonders. And that’s all we can ask of you! 🙂

As for the rest… You should know I love leaving blanks in my story writing. And you can be sure I’ll be doing a commentary on these loopholes. I just hope you’ve been watching closely.

Whether or not you recognize her

 

Or remember these…

 

Its really interesting to see people having their own theories and comments already about these small things. And hey, I’m gonna enjoy those too until I’ll give my side of the story 😉 So forgive the lack of explanations… for now.

 

Here’s to what’s to come! 🙂 Thank you everyone for staying with us this far!

Thank You God for seeing us through!

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I used to be a “you”

 

By far, this episode was probably the most challenging to write. The penultimate episode of the web series which had to tie up most of what’s happening before, and what’s going to happen – both seen and unseen by you, the audience… for now.

It was also challenging because this episode had the most loopholes and missing gaps to fill in. Up until I managed to sit down with Nick during the time when I was getting the cast members selected, and we just talked about life. It was during those talk sessions we had over coffee and during the recording sessions – when I managed to fill in the gap of Episode 5.

 

“You Didn’t Do Anything”

 

Even the best intentions should be questioned sometimes. Lee’s done what he thought he had to do. He protected his friend, right? And now he’s faced with Sarah just wanting to be alone.

Most of us have the best intentions, with the wrong methods, most of the time. But that’s not really what matters. We’re all humans, we do that a lot – they’re called mistakes. Its what we do AFTER that, that defines the kind of person we are.

 

Lee’s come face to face with his past. A feeling he never wanted to remember, a person that reminded him of himself – who he never wanted to face again. And all that created was not the passion to protect a friend, but rather the hate and disgust of what he used to be. And maybe, he’s just realised that, because he’s been too used and too comfortable to who he is.

Every now and then, the only thing that makes us check ourselves – where we are, who we are – is the pain of a person. Be it our own or someone else’s. But making a move about it? That’s the scary part… and it’s also the part that matters.

 

What This Meant To Me, Personally

 

This episode was a joy to create with the team. A joy to write, score and act out. Its a character interaction that I find is very rare, almost too rare, in shorts nowadays. A whole episode about things that nobody wants to deal with. About just a couple of guys being real.. with themselves and each other. Its a tone and vibe that I personally, just wanted to make. Because I loved it, because I wanted to and I was able to. I’m not saying that the web series isn’t an expression of what I wanna create, but I must say that this episode was one that I was looking forward to share for more than a dozen reasons.

 

But this is the kinda thing I wanna strive for in this scene. There’s too much of sappiness and shallow hype going around that we’re all too used to. Episode 5 was THE risk for me in this web series. And it has also become one of my personal achievements. We had Nick lend us his amazing acting talent. We had an amazing venue. And last but not least, we had nothing short of an amazing crew to create the visuals that we took. I can only thank these guys so much before they start throwing things at me, but that’s how much I appreciate them making this happen.

 

Well, here’s to 5 episodes. Phew! We made it this far. Just onnn.. wait, I hope you’ve watched the later part of this video. Have you? :p

Really knowing someone

So, what’s the deal with Lee?

Basically, Lee is Sarah’s good friend. He’s in the same classes as her but he’s never really taken much notice or more care than he has to about her social life in school. Well, until now that is. All of a sudden, some new guy has got her attention and its not really the kinda guy Lee expected it to be. What does he do? Well.. now we know.

 

“Guys will be guys”

I quite liked writing that phrase into this episode because it sums up so much of what many of us do – guys and girls alike. I believe most of us, or at least more than I would like to believe, do things with the best intentions in heart. Although, its not often that most of us sit down to figure out whether those ‘best intentions’are actually only for ourselves.

 

There’s not really a mild way to dumb down the word “hypocrisy” but, I’ll try calling it self-deceit… or maybe just ‘fooling yourself’. Like Lee with the excuse of ‘doing things for a good cause’, sometimes we take fooling ourselves a step further. We place our own darkness on others.

“Every fight comes from the fight within” – The War Inside, Switchfoot

Many times, our way out from our darker side is to put that blame on other people. Why? Just so it doesn’t seem like we’re the one at fault.

 

 

If on the inside, we’re at peace with a certain issue, it shouldn’t bug us even if it happens on the outside. But when we aren’t, no matter how we try to hide it, it’s gonna show in what we do towards other people. The insecure project their insecurities onto others. The jealous blame others for their jealousy. Its an unhealthy circle that starts and ends with the demons we face within.

And that’s what Lee faces this episode. He has the best reasons, the best excuses and hey.. he’s even in the best position to do so. Plus that surprising coincidence when they saw May together with Jim, what chance does Jim have on getting out of this?

 

Yeah, sometimes even the most unfortunate things fall beautifully into place beautifully. Things have worked out amazingly well for Lee’s plan.

 

But the question now stands, what’s next?

What benefit has he brought in the end?

 

… guess you’ll just have to tune in next week to find out :p

“How do you know if a guy likes you?”

I actually have so much I personally enjoyed putting into this episode, I’m gonna try and take it point by point. Here we go.

 

Meet Sarah

So in this episode, which is relatively longer than the last two (we hope you’ve noticed that!), we finally give a whole introduction to Sarah – that girl we’ve been hiding since the teaser.

So as the story goes, Sarah’s the one who asked Jim to help her out with some school work. As much as I’ve approached the story from a guy’s point of view, I thought it would be good to throw in another perspective – a girl’s.

 

Screen shot 2013-05-20 at 5.27.38 PM

 

The story, as it goes now, portrays Sarah finally meeting up with Jim for, well, math. Sarah’s done something out of the ordinary. She’s asked a guy out, or actually started doing so in her own way. It’s so out of the ordinary, her best Lee (played by Nick) is having trouble trying to figure it out as well.

Sarah’s done her homework (Metaphorically speaking. She still needs help to do her literal homework), she’s made her move and now she’s at that place wondering the same thing Jim is “what’s he thinking?”. For Sarah, she takes it one step further, “how do you know what the other side is thinking?”. It’s pretty interesting, isn’t it. How we humans seek to always worry about something, when there’s nothing else to worry about.

 

I think its safe to say that we all can find comfort in that one fact – the other side is usually always thinking the same thing. Or they’re pretty much as worried as we are. So just maybe, we don’t have to be too nervous about worrying what the other one is thinking of us. Most of the time, everyone’s worried about how they’re doing themselves. Solution? Do what you gotta do at that moment in time – what’s needed to be done. And the rest? Well.. we’ll get to that soon enough.

 

 

Vanes in Dreambitious’ “Surprise”!

 

Sarah’s character is played by Vanes, a very sweet girl and (crazy) friend which I had the chance to meet during the Berjaya Youth Film Festival 2012 that I submitted “The Last Part” for. If you’d like to, she’s actually done more videos with a channel called Dreambitious so do check them out! 🙂 They’ve put out quite a few videos already and they’re pretty good stuff!

 

“Yes, I Am A Guy”

I grew up reading all kinds of manga (Japanese comics, for those who don’t know what that means) that featured the lead character’s father as some sorta crazy, whacky and somewhat hopeless person. And well, along those lines, meet Sarah’s Dad.

 

Sarah's Dad. Played by Colin Kirton

Sarah’s Dad. Played by Colin Kirton

 

He’s the kinda dad that doesn’t really know how to go about explaining to his kid why girls do this or guys do that, explaining relationships, love or explaining anything at all… and he kinda has moments when he talks to his late wife.

…Yeah. I wouldn’t really call him the most normal person either, but when he needs to be, he proves himself worthy of having the title “Dad”.

 

When it comes to matters of the heart, our actions speak louder than words.

I’ve always been a firm believer in this. That no matter how much we hide it, what we do is always true to what things are really like deep within us. We can’t run too far from what makes us who we are. Most of the time, we find out what people are really like by what they do, not by what they talk about. And I feel, that’s something we all should watch out for. Regardless of circumstance. It’s a piece of advice that has served me very well, and I thought that it would be something worth sharing too.

Colin was very gracious enough to be a part of this project. He’s a theatre actor and leads a group called the Footstool Players. I was very blessed to be a part of his crew for a while. I learned tonnes watching his team act and most of what I’ve been able to see in their work, I’ve put into my videos. Do drop by his page and send him some love!

 

 

And… there’s Lee. But I think I’ll save him for next time. Haha.

Thanks for reading this far, if you’re still there! 🙂

“Girls Like Those Kinda Things”

That’s pretty much the kinda things that Jim’s trying to figure out in this episode, with Shawn’s help of course. He’s in the usual, help me please, tell me what to do, kinda situation. There’s no running from the meeting now and hey, maybe a few last minute pointers from someone who (seems) to know what he’s doing might help.

 

That one friend, and you.

Many times, things kinda start off by trying to guess what we’re expected to be like or what we’re expecting the other person to be like too. Most of those times, we gotta get a second opinion. Hey, its totally normal.

We usually have that one friend who potentially makes everything better… or worse.. or both at the same time. Sure, its great to have someone guide you along the way. But when it gets to a point where you feel deep inside your gut, something doesn’t seem to right, what do you do?

And its with all these expectations, we get distracted from what we were really supposed to do – just make sure you’re there. YOU are there. As just yourself, and that’s probably the best preparation you can make. Most of us don’t have a random waiter hitting us back into focus, but its something we should remember.

Nobody can be a better you, than you.

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The Web Series Begins!

 

 

Why? This is why.

There’s only been a total of 2 short stories on our channel. “Alone, Forever” and “The Last Part”. So we thought we’d bring back Jim in this web series, and tell one more of his stories. In particular, one that has a touch of… wonder.

 

This story starts off with Jim trying to figure out what to do. Its the first time a girl has talked to him, what more give her number to him. Usually, things like that don’t happen to him… at all. Add on the fact that its the same girl he’s really had his heart for, for quite some time now, the chances for this are mathematically impossible. So does he call her or not? Does it mean what he wants it to mean? Or should he just condemn himself to a fate he’s used to all along and not realise something he’s NOT used to has just happened?

 

Jim deals with a situation most of us always tell ourselves..

“when the time comes, we’ll know what to do” or “hey, when it happens, it’ll happen”.

But when the time DOES come and what it DOES happen, honestly? Most of us don’t feel up to it. We don’t believe in it, or maybe don’t even realise it has happened. We tend to find SOME reason to put down ourselves instead of rising up to the challenge and seizing what we’ve been hoping for all along.

 

Jim doesn’t deal with not knowing what to do. Instead he deals with the lack of courage to do it. It’s not that pushing a few buttons takes a high IQ and genius intellect to carry out, but it does take a huge heart taking hold of what has been a wish or hope for a long time. That’s the reason why, he does what he does. Now will he have the courage to change that? Or not?

 

Get the drift of the web series’ title and theme yet?

Well, you have 5 more episodes to :p

Oh yeah, and there’s a disappearing guy with a broom too. Just sayin’.

Hope you enjoyed the video guys! Share it around please! It’s a first of its kind for us and we’re excited about it! 🙂

“More Than…” by Skyward – Our first ever MV

Life’s been really hectic for quite a while, and this post has been long long long overdue. But before the webseries’ release next week, I knew I needed to put this out.

As part of a bigger initiative I set out to fulfill by creating the webseries project, one thing I had in mind was to create an original, accompanying soundtrack as well. I’ve always wanted to put out some original music but never knew what to start with, or where to start. I guess, with this webseries, I had the perfect reason to start with SOMETHING.

Image

One of the scenes from the webseries that Nick’s character, Lee, is in.

When Nick came on board as one of the actors for the webseries, I had just lost a means to record the music and sounds for the webseries. I was planning to wing it on my own. Knowing Nick had some knowledge and experience in recording and mixing music, I asked him if he could help me out by teaching me how to record some simple acoustic tracks more.. properly. Before I knew it, he generously offered to record, mix and produce the music of what you’ve just heard in the video above.

So here’s a big thanks to you Nick! And The Factory Music Studio for allowing us to record there!

WHAT THE SONG IS ABOUT

Here’s when we get a bit more personal for a bit. I hope you don’t mind that, but I’ll try to explain it as simple as I can.

Most of us claim ourselves to be hopeless romantics. Some, more than others. And other’s not as much. But I believe within us all, there is that one desire to find that one person – who will just be absolutely, or for a more pop-description, perfectly – perfect for us.

“More Than…” stems from the discovery of that person. When we actually do meet him or her, we find that most of our expectations are blown out the window. Past hurts and scars make total sense and maybe we even understand why we had to go through what we did.

We find ourselves face to face with something we never knew we wanted, but more than what we actually need. And because of that, we wanna be more than what we are for that person – to be more than we believe we’re made to be.

I believe that’s what a significant other should do. Spur you on to be better in all aspects, to grow to be more than the person you believe you are. And accepting that hey, maybe we all deserve a little more than we’ve under-credited ourselves to have.

And that’s pretty much what the song is about. Acknowledging the past, learning and moving from that for a better present and making way for a better future… relationship-wise of course.

Never thought I’d start out Skyward‘s music with a love-type song but hey, where the wind blows I go. Haha!

Before I go, I just wanna give a shout out to INTI International College Subang Campus as well. Dr. Dominic and Claudine, you’ve been the best. Thank you for being so gracious and believing in what we do. For allowing us to use your campus. Thank you.

At one of our recent gigs.
Photo Credits to VinceLoh Production

AND thank you to EVERYONE who made such a great response to the song.

To those who ACTUALLY sang along when we performed it live, I cannot begin to explain to you how overwhelmed I felt on stage. Its gonna be something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

So stay tuned guys! We’ll be seeing you real soon!

Webseries premieres this Monday!

Updates on http://www.facebook.com/themingthingTV

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The Webseries – “This Is Why”

 

Ever since we released it and maybe even before, I’ve always had a liking for the story of Jim. Or in the least, his character because I strongly relate to it as well. After “Alone, Forever?”, I felt that it could be taken further than that. And that’s what I set out to do for the coming months on end.

 

Alone Forever

 

This upcoming webseries “This Is Why” is a story that I’ve written, rewritten and revised countless times. Because every month, I would get a new perspective on one of the characters or maybe an addition to the story. Finally, this year I managed to get the right team involved as well as time and energy to get to work on it.

The webseries stands for more than just its story (which you will soon see), its also Bryan and my own efforts to create a project completely “homegrown”. What we mean by that is there are no sponsorships, no corporate companies involved. From the cast, to the locations to even the music and the script.

This project is just us, going from door to door, asking for permission to shoot, talking to friends and people who are passionate about what they do. Using whatever we already have and our own savings to create something we honestly love.

The outcome?

Well, you’ll see :p

Hope you enjoy the video! 🙂

The Treasure In Creating

I love that feeling of creating something that takes yourself on some unknown journey into that creation. You know what you want, but you have no idea how’s it gonna be from where it begins to where it ends.

I love how along that way, you find what you lack, what you’re not good at, what you missed or didn’t see, what you never knew or did not expect to happen.

And because of that and because of how much you want to see the birth of what you’re creating, you persevere and endure that. You overcome.

And in that journey of creating something new, you create something new in yourself as well.

The end product is something that is now truly, part of you and what made you, you, in the end.

I love that.

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What Makes “The Last Part”

I thought I should take a while to address the newest video we made.

 

First off, yeah, its not on our channel. Haha. I managed to complete this script about a month ago and we shot it for submission this month for the Berjaya Youth Film Short Film Competition this year. And finally, they released it just over a day ago. The theme that they gave which I felt I could reinterpret was “BFF”. And the line that went through my head at that term, best friends forever, was something I’ve read off wedding cards one many times before.

Image

 

We initially shot this at the beach. I wanted a very beach-party type of feel, with the serenity of the waves and glowing sun. But to our (horrible) shock and surprise when we reviewed the scenes a few days later, there were major dust specs in all the scenes. Some sand or dust particles got into Bryan’s camera and wasn’t visible on the small LCD screen. We panicked, like crazy. And we literally were talking about giving up this entry all together. But thankfully, we managed to secure the 2nd setting (as you see in the video) a few days before deadline. Then the mad rush to complete it started again.

 

Since it went up, I’ve been getting responses that warm my heart.. a lot. From couples holding each other through the video to seeing those together sharing the video to each other and talking about it. To people who find hope in this in their current situations, who find strength or who find the determination to never give up. Or just those who really uplift my spirits with tremendously kind words.

 

On a personal note, this project bared my heart. It is how I wish the world interpreted the word “forever” when it comes to things that involve the dynamics of the heart. Compared to past videos, I’ve poured an extra ounce of my own life into this. I’ve written each line with conviction and with each line, I try to show what I believe love, friendship and commitment should be. This story is written off a true story. To me, at least.

 

Regardless of how the ending is for each of you in your own lives, I believe that this standard of love should always start with us. And I urge you to pursue that relentlessly, because it comes around. Its more than being just “the last part” of the term BFF, its what gets you to that last part in love in life. Will, resolution and determination to never give up. Good things are always worked for, cared for and preserved.

 

You make the last part. You and your partner at least. It is the dedication of both of you, personally, that will carry you through to forever. Don’t be discouraged though, should you fail a few times. Its human. But never change that resolution for anyone or any mistake.

 

And that’s what I interpreted ‘Best Friends Forever’ to be. Its only the best that stay till the end. And for those who stay forever, treasure them with all your heart.

 

Sincerely,

Ming

 

P.S. As a wongfu fan, you can’t believe how much I was freaking out when they announced they were releasing a short called “The Last”. That pretty much sums up the same thing minus the marriage factor.

 

P.S.S. Yes. I am still, freaking out.

 

P.S.S.S. You can help by voting for the video here! 🙂 We need your votes to win an online category. Help us out please!! http://www.berjayayouth.com/voting/voting_record.php?selected_id=5