Thursday, April 30, 2009

Farewell Dato' Chairman


Today, us Media Prima folks said goodbye to our chairman Dato' Abdul Mutalib Razak who is retiring after 5 years at the helm. And I thought it was a classy do that was thrown in his honour. The speeches, the guest performances, the symbolic handing-over gesture, were all done in truly excellent spirit. Even the tribute video was really well put together... So, all the best Dato'! And a big welcome to the new executive chairman, Dato' Johan Jaafar.
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Now, on to some photos! (but of course)

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Birthday TV9!

Happy Birthday TV9! Media Prima's youngest TV station turned 3 recently and if you didn't already know, it went thru a re-branding phase recently and is now hipper, younger and more contemporary.


And earlier today, the good peeps of TV9 went around to spread some love and say their thanks to the rest of us at Sri Pentas. Got cupcakes even!


I even got to snap some photos with the hottest local animation characters today, Upin & Ipin!



My HUJAH Experience

So I've not really made any mention of this cos frankly, I didn't know how things were going to turn out. Anyway, sometime last week, I got a call from the producers of TV9's current affairs talkshow, 'Hujah'. Of course I thought they were looking for a suitable guest for the next episode. But surprisingly, the show's big boss thought I should give a shot at moderating/hosting the show. Gulp!

So I had a think about it and thought, what the hey, let's give this a shot. The topic of discussion: "Apresiasi Seni Teater: Betulkah Bersifat Elitis?" And so a good part of last week was spent researching the subject matter and talking to myself in front of the mirror (haha!).

On Monday, we then had a mock run, where a bunch of us pretended it was the real thing for training purposes :) I was nervous, but I think it went OK. Just OK.

And so last night, it was time for the real thing! My guests were 3 theatre practitioners, Fahmi Fadzil, June Tan and Shannon Shah.

I have to say that when showtime actually started, I was a nervous wreck. The intro that I had memorised felt too heavy to leave my mouth. And so I had to put down my head and read off the script for the bit.



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But once the 3 awesome guests were in play, it felt more comfortable and everything was pretty smooth sailing till the end. PHEW!

So overall I must say it was an awesomely valuable experience. Not sure if I'll do it again, but thanks to those concerned for the opportunity in the first place. I had a blast!
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If you wanna have a look, simply surf over to http://www.tv9.com.my/ and choose HUJAH under "Catch Up TV", or you can also click HERE

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mingguan Lelaki Launched!



So today we had the launch of gua.com.my’s first online drama series of 2009, “Mingguan Lelaki”. The launch and PC took place at the swanky Bar M at Solaris, Mont Kiara and it was great to see a good press turnout.

And as I’ve plugged before, the story idea for “Mingguan Lelaki” came from yours truly, as well as the script. All 100 pages of it. So obviously this project is extra special to me.


Here’s the synopsis according to the press release:

“Mingguan Lelaki” boasts an appealing cast lead by bright young actors such as Fazren Rafi, Sari Yanti, Memey Suhaiza and Saiffz Salleh.

Fazren Rafi plays Ilham a na├»ve computer geek who, through some unfortunate turn of events, ends up as a writer for a trashy men’s magazine. In between researching and writing men’s issues, Ilham works hard to complete his robot prototype with the intention of winning a competition offering RM100,000 as its grand prize. While his best friend Misha, who secretly has feelings for Ilham, motivates him to achieve his dream, Ilham loses focus as he finds himself drawn to sexy singer Farah. Ilham’s naivety soon leads him to more misfortunes.

“Mingguan Lelaki” is directed by Aziz M. Osman, his second GUA drama after last year’s successful “Luna Fantasiku”. We previewed the first two episodes at the PC today and I must say that it looks damn good. From the tone to the music, it’s definitely a must-watch, if I may say so myself!

And leading man Fazren Rafi surprised me with his range. People tend to overdo the geek bit, but Fazren’s interpretation is a tad understated yet effective.

Controversial actress Memey Suhaiza who plays the character Farah received a good boost during the PC when Aziz himself raved about her acting ability and basically called her the next big thing in the local industry!


“Mingguan Lelaki” will meet fans on gua.com.my on May 4, 2009. Each new episode will be available on GUA every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The 20-episode drama retains GUA’s short drama format, whereby each episode is creatively captured in just five minutes.




Fazren & Memey


Someone cheekily noted: "Kepala sama lah!"...

Aziz noted to me that this is the most "kurang ajar" show he's done. Haha!


With GUA's own moderators

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Talentime Winners Announced!



So today we had the prize-giving ceremony for the Talentime contest which had been running on http://www.gua.com.my/ for the past few weeks.

In attendance were the bigwigs from our partner/sponsor Silky Girl, plus the director and cast members of Talentime the movie.

The weekly prize winners were presented with Silky Girl goodie bag worth RM200 each while the main prize winners for each of the category (singing, dancing, playing musical instrument) went home with RM5,000 each!


Yes, RM5,000! Just for uploading their videos on to GUA! Rugi kan tak join?


Anyway, congrats to all the winners! To watch all the videos, simply log on to www.gua.com.my/talentime
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Sunday, April 12, 2009

One In A Million 3 Top 5 Show Review


So last week I made a bold prediction that Simon would be the next to be given the boot on OIAM3. And whaddya know? I was absolutely right! Kelas gituh…

I mean, the dude is a fine artiste in his own right, but with “Too Simple” Simon, what you see is basically what you get. In this sort of competition, you should be able to pluck something unexpected out of the hat every other week to wow the people into voting for you. But Simon’s been producing the same ‘ol white rabbit and I guess people no longer found it to be cute or necessary. So, sayonara dude…

But before I get to the Top 5, did you see the (non) reaction on Nine’s part during Simon’s farewell performance? Dude basically had his arms folded up and looked completely disinterested. And just because of that, I’m predicting Nine to be the next one leaving, even before evaluating his performance. I mean, brooding and arrogant contestants have never won this sort of thing before, and Nine won’t be the exception.

So, on to the Top 5 show now. And it was immediately discovered that this week would be Sheila Majid week! I mean DATO’ Sheila Majid, of course.

Amylea went up first and she chose the rather snazzy and cheeky “Dia”. But in case you didn’t notice, the first performance only came some 25 minutes into the show! I guess it’s quite a challenge to fill airtime as the contestants thin out, so good job to the producers for making the talking bits as entertaining as possible. Back to Amylea, I thought she did a pretty good job with the song, and having the bench on stage as a prop was a nice touch as well. So I think she did enough to earn that ticket to the next round.

Up next was Nine, and I must repeat the fact the dude is definitely this season’s most stylish contestant. And his song choice of “Pengemis Muda” was rather interesting. The arrangement was bold and the crunchy guitar actually worked (who would have thought someone would add crunchy guitars to “Pengemis Muda” huh?). But what didn’t work was the vocals, dude! Uptight and unconvincing, Nine is now facing a countdown to his exit… Altogether now: Nine, Eight, Seven… Haha.

The vocals were much better from Aweera who stepped up next. And like Paul said, it’s rather easy for the heavy rocker dude; choose a pop song – any pop song – sing it well, and he’ll be a hero. Which was what happened when he belted the ballad “Antara Anyir Dan Jakarta”. But like the judges pointed out, the feel was missing a bit. Watch a tad more Hallmark ok dude?

I didn’t think anyone would attempt “Lagenda” that night, but I was proven wrong when it was announced that Esther would be the one doing it. And yes, she did give her all. Every technique in the vocal 101 guidebook was fully demonstrated by the Sabahan lass. But even if Baskin Robbins had 31 flavours, you wouldn’t want to try them all in a single cup would you? In other words, it was truly over the top, and I agree with Paul that Esther might be in bigger trouble than her fans might want to admit.

There will be no such problems though for the Artiste-Formerly-Known-For-Being-Sengau, Tomok. I mean, the dude has been getting rave reviews for doing female songs, so a Sheila Majid week just sort of played into his hand, didn’t it?

Opting for the sappiest ballad from Sheila’s songbook, “Aku Cinta Padamu”, Tomok surprised everyone yet again by turning it into a fast tempo song after a deceptively slow start. To be honest though, I didn’t quite enjoy the verses, which I thought he kinda rushed through, but the rest of it was simply brilliant. And that last “tenungan” into the camera must have surely earned him at least a few thousand more votes.

Now I know I myself have been raving about Tomok these past few weeks, but it’s clear for all to see that the dude is owning the competition lah. Compare him to Nine, for example. Both always pick up-tempo tunes and work every inch of the stage. But while Tomok completely mesmerizes with creativity and charm, Nine usually gets murmurs of “What the?” from the audience. I rest my case.

So to recap, I’m boldly predicting Nine to be the one out of the Final Four next week. And as usual, for everything on OIAM3, log on to www.8tv.com.my/oiam



Saturday, April 11, 2009

Seriously, You Don’t Want To See Cellulite

So a bit of an uproar ensued on the Internet the other day when pre-photoshop photos of Kim Kardashian from her Complex magazine shoot were “accidentally” posted.

Of course the expected “Oh, she’s not really perfect” comments surfaced with some even calling it a con job to touch up photos of celebs to make them look good in the pages of magazines.


Like, duh. Last time I looked at the calendar, this wasn’t 1992, people! Of course celebrity photos are touched up!

And really, magazine photo spreads, and especially covers, are not about real life lah. It’s about “selling” that celeb, and ultimately the magazine itself.

In the first place, photoshoots take a lot of work in order to produce that perfect 4-5 shots. Makeup alone takes hours, and then hundreds of snaps are taken in each baju with the celeb lentik-ing her body in all sorts of different positions.

If it were about giving the readers something real, photoshoots would be done at storerooms with a disposable camera, which will then last about 20mins.

And please, people EXPECT the celebs to be perfect on magazine covers, especially on the more prestigious titles.

I remember many occasions when I was still editing FHM, and the designer FAILED to sufficiently touch up cover shots, the backlash that I got was not funny at all. “Eh, how come I can see a pimple on her armpit ah?” “Eh, at least cover lah the scars.” “You think hairy arms on women are sexy is it?”

And even the celebs expect the editors and designers to make them 10 times more gorgeous than they really are. “I went to Cherating and got this ugly tan, can you just smoothen out my skin tone later? Thanks darling,” the celebs would say.

So really, no one wants to see cellulite on celebs. Unless, of course, that sort of thing turns you on…

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

KRISPY KREME Comes To The Office!

This is what they call fate. Just a few hours ago someone updated on facebook about Krispy Kreme Donuts being at Times Square. Apparently a lorry was seen and samples were about to be given away. I myself had seen the sign at Times Square a couple of weeks ago, which had me dreaming about the donuts ever since...

And guess what? Just a few minutes ago, the generous people from Krispy Kreme actually came to the office to hand over one whole box of glazed donuts for me (and team) to sample!!!! Rezeki!
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I just gobbled one up and it's FANTASTIC... YUM YUM...
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And in case you want a taste as well, KRISPY KREME DONUTS will open at Times Square on 27th April 2009!

Meantime, let me bite in to a few more while you look at the pictures... Haha!



Monday, April 06, 2009

The Malaysian GP Mess

I knew it was gonna be an interesting day when it poured down heavily just as I started the car to head on down to Sepang for the 11th Malaysian F1 GP. But the rain was kind of erratic, sekejap ada, sekejap takde.

When I finally reached SIC, the sun was shining brightly, although the parking areas were sort of muddy.



Walking up to the circuit, the atmosphere felt electric, although from newspaper reports, this year’s attendance was down by some 40-60 thousand people. And yes, it's been blamed on the economy as well...

As usual during pre-race, people were mainly buying up merchandise and/or taking photos with scantily-dressed models (who looked like they’d rather be doing something else other than getting groped by the Shreks of the world).




Anyway, although I’m a big Kimi fan, I also came to support the original UK sensation, Jenson Button from Brawn GP and sponsored by Virgin. Hence the T-shirt…


The weather got progressively better and it was as sunny and warm as Sepang could get just before the race.

And when things got underway, the racing was simply excellent as Rosberg, Trulli and Button occupied the top 3 positions. The drivers were not shy to overtake and the crowd was loving every second of it.

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Then the dark clouds started to gather. Goodie, I thought, this should make it even more interesting. And I was actually hoping for the rain to come!

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But when it did, it kinda poured a tad more than I expected, and more importantly, more than what the drivers could endure. And after a few rounds of tyre-changing drama, the race was red-flagged!
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The PA system wasn’t working well so everyone at the grandstand was just looking at each other, trying to figure out what on earth was happening.

People then kept each other entertained by cuci mata-ing and camwhoring to the max. But some 40 minutes later, it was announced that the race would not be re-started and Button was declared the winner.

Some people sighed in disgust while others continued with their camwhoring (probably got the tickets for free). But here’s what I think about the whole thing.

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The parking areas meanwhile were so muddy that I felt I was in the Camel Trophy race.

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But of course I'll be back next year... always get free tickets mah!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

One In A Million 3 Top 6 Show Review


It’s getting ever closer to the final and I must say that those still standing in the competition thoroughly deserve their respective spots. Of course someone had to go before the singing begun and after Simon, Aweera and Rizu were invited to step to the front and centre of the stage, it was kind of obvious that Rizu was the one to be given the ticket home.

To be honest, I felt a tinge of “kesian” for Rizu, cos no matter what, the guy had never been lacking in the effort department. But as he was belting his farewell tune “She Will Be Loved”, I had to wonder why so many singing reality contestants now keep on choosing Maroon 5 numbers when generally the others before them have stunk at it.

I mean, remember that black girl in this year’s American Idol semi-finals? And what about last year’s OIAM itself where Intan Sarafina somehow thought she was capable of delivering Maroon 5’s “Wake Up Call” when all she managed was a rendition from hell that probably even the devil couldn’t stand. Sheesh.

OK, onto the top 6 show now…

First up was immunity holder Tomok, and again the dude chose a chick song, this time, giving the Tomok treatment to Rihanna’s “Umbrella”. I thought he kind of rushed the first part of the song, but Paul was right, the arrangement was unpredictable and Tomok made it effective and enjoyable. I especially loved the “ella, ella” part that got me bopping my head unexpectedly. And oh yes, Mr. Moss boldly made the prediction that the New Boyz frontman would make it to the finals. And I must say that I agree.

Up next was Amylea who also re-arranged her chosen tune, “Somewhere Only We Know” by Keane. And it was another A-grade performance by Amylea that probably saved her from the bottom three next week. For the next couple of weeks though, I think it might be a better strategy for her to pick more mainstream hits. Yes, be shameless and pick the likes of Miley Cyrus or Paramore, for example… trust me on this.

Esther took the stage next and gave the audience a vaguely known cabaret number. But like the judges said, it worked very, very well! Esther knows the stage well and the playing with props proved to be a nice touch indeed. Job well done, and that would also mean that with Tomok, Amylea and Esther doing well to possibly earn enough votes to sail through to the next round, the next three faced an uphill task.

Nine chose another up-tempo number “Cinta Gila” to force a reaction out of the crowd, but again, he kinda failed. Let me tell you what the guy’s biggest problem is. While he’s played the “macho” card to near-perfection (as requested by Paul), the dude needs a huge dose of CHARM.

To be rather harsh, Nine looks like he's got something up his arse week in and week out. Chill dude! Do the macho bit, then loosen up a tad and flash the ladies a smile or two. For further reference, look up “David Cook”.

Aweera meanwhile is in desperate need of a real strategy. Getting up there and belting out a copycat rendition of an Awie tune will NOT win him the competition. No matter if your voice can break glass like Mrs. Nick Cannon (ah, my heart breaks every time I have to call Mariah that). So Aweera my boy, be smart! You’ve got a large enough fan base, you could be around for at least a couple more rounds if you could only choose better songs, OK?

And what about Simon then? Oh man. Bon Jovi's “Living On A Prayer” is a classic and is one of my all-time favourite tunes, and I’ve never, ever heard another version that I can say that I like. Which means, I simply hated Simon’s take on it. Nothing special lah.

And on that note, I can boldly predict that the “Yes” votes won’t be quite enough for the man they call The Boss next week. And please lah everyone, STAY AWAY FROM MAROON 5 SONGS, OK?

As usual, let me remind you that for everything on OIAM3, simply click on to www.8tv.com.my/oiam


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