Monthly Archives: February 2012

Alone, Forever? – defining ‘The Escape’

Note: Prior to this, I wrote a bit about how comments have been going around regarding the similarities between WongFu’s video “Strangers Again”. You can read it here. Hopefully that clears some things up with the issue.

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This year for Valentine’s Day, Bryan and I were thinking about making a video for the occassion.. which ended up as a video not really for the occasion, but more or less in association with the #foreveralone-ing that was going on. And here it is:

I have a few things to mention in this post, INCLUDING something that quite a number of people have been requesting for. So that’ll be a surprise at the end. But bear with me, this will be pretty long. But there IS something for you guys at the end (if you would like it)
 

WongFu Influence

If there is anything that I can say in response to all the commenting and discussions in the comments on youtube.. and the comparison to “Strangers, Again”, I would say this.

If anything at all, this short could be considered as a tribute to WongFu and how they have inspired me. And all in all, if comparisons have to be drawn, I am absolutely privileged for this video to be recognized as something along the lines of their work.. be it a parody, “copy” or what not. I assure you, the script is entirely original and not based off anything they did.

Before I get to anything else, I would like to talk about something that i realized many people were forum-ing about on the video’s comments. And it so happens to be important as well.

 

“Stage 6: The Escape”

In the essence of story-telling, the video only portrays a certain way that this might happen. It doesn’t need to be with a different girl or guy, it could be with the same. It is not a sure thing, but it is a do-able thing. It doesn’t mean you give up, it could mean you can keep trying until you succeed. You don’t have to believe it, but you can as well.

The Escape represents hope.

The whole deal of Stage 6 is the mere fact that, “hey, there IS hope”. As long as you don’t give up to what you know is true and right, as long as you stand your ground staying true to yourself, there WILL be a person who is doing the exact same thing and waiting for you to come along into his/her life as well. That was the purpose behind this stage. Well, my purpose at least. I’m sure everyone has a different story to tell, both good and bad. But this is how I would like to tell mine.
 

Gratitude.

We were so fortunate to have people lend us their spaces to shoot and play around. We owe these guys so much.

Mr. MD Khan. The shop owner of Korean Collections in Tropicana City Mall was just the most pleasant man ever. He even asked us “Do you want to use some nice clothes hangers to shoot?”… which resulted in me leaving behind the ones i brought. A week later when I went back to ask for his name for reference and the hangers, he offered to give me a new one in place of mine. Thank you so much sir! Remember to check his shop out when you go there!

We managed to pop by MyBytes as well when YauHui told us that Jonathan YKT would be working. We went there, the boss allowed us to shoot and wallah! Jon’s standing in on behalf of his camera shy boss. Thanks so much man!

This is Mr. Chandler. What really topped the cake of the shoot was the people at Baci at Citta Mall. Marianne worked there prior to this and they were so open and willing to give us a place to shoot the restaurant/cafe scenes. I tried to be cheeky and asked whether we could have the place after hours and all he said was “Yeah go ahead, why not?”. I am so grateful to you Mr. Chandler.

Thank you SO SO much.

 

Cast and Crew.

 

First off, there’s the videographer for the short: Bryan. He’s the lone pilot behind the camera. (Of course, not forgetting YauHui who tagged along. Thank you so much for staying the whole day!) I’ve worked on a couple of simpler videos before with Bryan so I’m no new fan or friend to him and his work. He picks up the smallest details and just brings a fresh perspective into the shots. Many of the scenes were entirely due to him and him alone trying different angles, different takes. For this short, I expressed to him with utmost importance that certain scenes need to be strong in their perspectives and dynamics/statics. And just like that, he translated it perfectly. We worked on such a limited, tight and rushed schedule and yet he brought the video through. Thank you so much Bryan. Everyone reading this – stop by his page, facebook, twitter and just shake him warmly by the virtual hand. He takes awesome photos as well!
 

If you guys remember Sam from the last video, well, he’s back again. Initially there was another scene that he would be playing another role in, unfortunately we couldn’t get it done due to unforeseen circumstances. Right now, he’s getting involved with loads of things around town (not like he wasn’t already, its just been multiplied). Keep an eye out for all of that! He plays the waiter in this video and I am truly grateful for him being there in the middle of the night for just an hour. Thanks so much Sam!
 
 

And without further ado, it is my pleasure to introduce to you Marianne – who (if you didn’t actually know already) played the part of both girls in the video (more about that later). Long story short, we had major issues deciding who was going to play the role of the girl in this video and Marianne literally dropped out of the sky. Everything fell into place so amazingly fast, it was freakishly perfect. This was probably the first short we actually practiced our parts and ran through the scenes before shooting the next day, and hey it paid off. It has been a total joy working with you Anne! By the way, she’s a brilliant artist too. Go check out some of her work, it’ll knock your socks off.

 
I’ve saved this last part for a good reason. It’s because its something that I am exceptionally proud of in this short.
 

Soundtracking & Music

Meet Edwin T.

Edwin and I sat down for 8 straight hours and worked our brains, hearts and souls off putting together the soundtrack for this short. Okay, he sat down. I paced up and down the room and occasionally pressed keys on the keyboard. Other than the first few seconds of the short that featured Christina Perri’s “1000 Years” and a short rendition of it at the back, everything in the middle was original and composed especially for this short. Edwin is a music machine monster. He’s the mastermind behind the music and really, it wouldn’t be in existence if it wasn’t for him. The second he touched the keys on that keyboard, I knew this was going to be great. And hey, we have a present for all you guys.

We had many requests for the music used, and people were asking where we got it from. Well, now we’ve put it up and made it available for download. We are really glad that so many of you like it and we thought that we’d give it to you guys.
 

Tying loose ends up.

There are quite a few things that I wrote into this script that I’d want people to find out for themselves. Some are obvious memes, puns and what not. Although, I will mention one of it here. If you have or haven’t noticed, Marianne and I both played double roles. Marianne – as both the lead girl character and geeky girl at the end. And me – as the douche as well as Jim. There is some significance in that.. and I’ll leave you with that to ponder upon. /troll.

But all in all, I’m glad to see that everyone has their own take on it, both good and bad, because maybe it strikes a chord somewhere in people. And I am grateful for the people who have left such positive, encouraging comments. Some who even shared their own story.

Ultimately, cut me some slack people. This is the first short I’ve ever written.

I’ve got tonnes to learn and tonnes of mistakes to make.

Thank you so much for all the support and encouragement thus far. From the bottom of my heart. I am utterly grateful for everyone one of you.

ming out

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Alone, Forever? – the idea & WFP-relatedness

hey everyone! so. first things first, let’s get the obvious out of the way.

Does this video have anything to do with WongFu’s “Strangers, Again”?

Yes.

And no. Here’s why.

 

The idea actually started totally unrelated to anything to do with anything that Wong Fu has produced. A week before Valentines day this year, Bryan and I were talking about whether or not we’d want to do something for Valentines day. (Yes, that’s how delayed we are. Heh heh) Bryan suggested something about the whole being “Forever alone” and I thought it was a great idea and set straight out to writing up a script. The original script did not have any of the “Stages” in the final product. It was simply a story about a guy being who gets friendzoned, forever alone-d and the likes of that. We set up the logistics, shot the video (for 12 hours in a row, might I add) and got that all done.. until it reached the part of filling in the blanks – the narration.

All that, is the “No” part of the answer.

 

I honestly can’t remember how long i spent writing and rewriting the script for the narration. I kept feeling that it was.. messy. All over the place. And I didn’t want to put out something that didn’t express what it should or in essence, convey the story I wanted it to tell. After the 5th time rewriting a two page long script, I called a time out. And like all asian YouTubers (or me at least), in times of inspirational need… it was time to watch WongFu. I have always loved “Strangers, Again”. And as I just watched through it, I thought..

“Hey, isn’t this just the same for someone going through an unsuccessful relationship as well? Can I adjust the script to stages?”

It was. And I could. And it fit perfectly. I realised the connection people might draw to WongFu’s video with the use of stages but in entirety, it really set the format of the video in a more easily understandable way. And that was the risk I took because the script was something I genuinely wrote myself. Telling the story in a similar way WongFu did, there was that danger of “copying” or “immitating”

So “Yes”, WongFu’s Stranger’s Again definitely helped inspire me to restructure the video the way I did.

I hope that clears things up a bit! The whole script was totally homegrown, self-made and DIY-assembled with all originality intended. The stages were totally inspired by Wong Fu. And that is what went on.

 

I can say that the final “stage” of the video was an absolutely original idea. I definitely wanted to have something that spurs people on in the video. Unlike “Strangers, Again”, I wanted this to end on a happier note. To inspire hope in hopeless situations. Before it had the name “Stage 6: The Escape”, it literally was called “The Escape” and it was at that  point I felt that.. okay, this needs more structure.

Nevertheless, I do wanna say that WFP will always be a great inspiration and motivation to me. So here’s to them and their amazing work.

I’ll be back more with stuff about the video, the people and everything else later! Thanks for reading guys! 🙂

ming out

MSN & a new short

a few days ago i woke up to a few posts on my facebook wall. so i pressed my phone a few times and it didnt really make sense to me at first. i had to open my laptop and to my surprise..

MSN’s Malaysia’s Frontpage 2 days ago!

ok. there’s only so much a person who has been awake for 5 minutes can process and this was definitely over 9000.. .. ok #baddragonballpun

nevertheless, it was a BIG surprise because the people who contacted us from MSN only mentioned we would be featured on the video tab. thankyou very very much!!

 

 

on another note, Valentine’s Day is comin’ up. Bryan and I wrote up something for the occassion. although, we’re not too sure it’s gonna make it in time for Tuesday.. so, it might just be released after or.. before.. or during.. or a week after.. we’ll see. (i love my planning)

BUT in the meantime.. here are some shots from the crazy full, 12-hour-long shoot yesterday. big many thanks to YauHui for all the pictures

okay that’s all for now.

 

 

i’ll write something more “complete” when the video’s up. i hope it’ll turn out well. feeling pretty nervous about it. and pretty looking forward to showing what we cooked up to you guys.

its gonna be the first ever short. EVER!

alright, til then! cya guys!

ming out

*poof*

i was just gonna head to sleep. when i opened the inbox for themingthing, and i saw a swarm of new updates..

it was pretty perculiar. til i noticed this.

ok. ive just had the most. wildest. freak out moment.

mind blown

ming.

ker boink

*******EDIT*******

*dies*

*******SECOND EDIT*******

*resurrects* *dies again*

*******THIRD EDIT*******

*why do i even *dies**

*beep*

‘F’ to the ‘A’ to the V-day

Today has probably been the most rushed script-writing day. Ever. One evening of planning. Before, over and after a banana leaf dinner. Run-throughs. and bam. we cooked up something we can smile about (to ourselves)

Bryan and I thought we’d wanna do something for valentines day coming up. and.. somehow, we managed to pull together a little something. So here’s just a little update about it. We’re gonna try something new and well, we hope it works out.

*fingers crossed*

we got a new face to show! ..or faces.. depending on who confirms in the next 2 days (yup, that’s how we roll. last minute ftw)

plan: to have this up by the 13th or on the 14th itself.. okay maybe the 13th’s a better option

cya soon people!

ming out

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“Don’t say anything”

So, i was trying to figure out where to write this on. Im already using blogspot for music-related posts, tumblr for the cover video notes. So i thought i’d try something different here.

Then, i remembered i have a wordpress account that i never really used before so here i am. so here are the notes from the recent happenings of life. Mostly, this post would be for my reference… and for your totally unrelated, pointless and leisure-time reading.

this was uploaded a week ago from the date of this post. and well, its just been a rush from then.

to be honest.. it has been just overwhelming. i don’t really have an idea how to write this down. but i’ll start with being thankful.

i thank God for the idea to begin with and the stupidity i have to act on it. im thankful for all the laughter it has brought, i really am. im so grateful for every single post, share and retweet on facebook and twitter from friends, family and people i have no idea of. and everyone who commented, liked and rated it on facebook or youtube. THANKYOU.

i know. im aware that this video is riding on the hype of the “Sh*t ____ Says” meme. but from where i am right now, looking at how it has “performed” has been amazing (to me, at least).

 

So. The people involved in this video, were, for the first time, more than just me.

Raffi has a brilliant eye for shots. I am a person who literally does not know a single technical technique or term, other than “okay it needs to look like this, from this, with that and that” + a few hand gestures. and he interpreted it perfectly. This video wouldn’t look the way it is if it wasn’t for his careful eye and meticulous shots. *salute* Thankyou for sitting down for so so long and editing each frame with me second by second. Your patience is amazing.

 

Of course, this video would be the first milestone of a new friendship with Sam. he contacted me a while back and asked for pointers with videos and vlogs. i literally have no idea how to teach any of that but i said id share what i know and can. after thinking up the idea and talking to Raffi about it, i called Sam and asked whether he would be interested to join. and that was history. Dude, thanks for being a sport. And for all the spamming and publicity you’ve done for the video. Totally grateful man.

 

One of the first major panics in the shooting of the video was finding the girl to play the part of the silhouette of the girlfriend. Seriously, WHO would just wanna stand around, just showing their back and have hardly any face time. That was the first major bump in the planning process – finding someone who would. Right up until the last minute, we had pullouts, cancels and all of the sort. But really, to our relief, Lynn agreed to shoot in one single phone call and my gosh,  she played the part perfectly. Thank you Lynn!

 

i have to say its been pretty fun having a “team” to work with for the first time.

So, some points for myself to take note of.

  • the importance of saying “take #” in each shot.. should never be undermined. for ease of audio and video files.
  • good amount of shots taken this time round. could have taken more… okay should take more next time round.
  • good idea to plan specific venues next time
  • note sharing times
  • leave space for YouTube annotations. not a priority, but some importance should be placed

the next few pictures are just a momento of the mind-blowingness that has happened. im going to be very blunt in stating things as it is, so forgive me. i am truly ecstatic regarding what the following pictures will show.

 

on Google. we managed to top the youtube video results.

 

in YouTube, we managed to top the search results for the title of our video.

 

and the day finally happened when i would see this below the view count. man.

 

and we also got featured on some random websites (which i know of)

which was pretty crazyawesomemadcoconutscownutcool COME ON u gotta admit that. ok fine, even if i had no idea what these websites were, its still kinda cool.

… ok i apologise. this pretty much feels like a spaz-of-joy post. forgive me.

 

 

a while ago  (yes, i don’t actually hover over the youtube page every other second), i checked the video and we just passed the 50k mark. and that is just unbelievable.

and most of all, the YouTube community in Malaysia is alive and well. Small, but growing. and i couldn’t be happier. hello to all fellow Youtubers! 😀

yep. the pressure is on to make something else, original, new. minus the help of an internet meme, im sure there will be a downturn of views. im very aware of that.

but man, what a way to kick off 2012.

thanks for reading!

ming out

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