[chinese blood, irish heart] - DEFUNCT: August 2007

Friday, August 31, 2007

I don't think I've seen this much hype and frenzy about a TV show... I don't understand it! These characters could've been filled by any other actors, the fact that they get lavished so much attention is just entirely coincidental. Yet here they are. Mesmerising millions of audiences because they play fictional characters. Yes, this sentiments goes out to all actor-celebrities.

The 'Heroes World Tour' for the Asia region included cast members Ali Larter (Nikki), Greg Grunberg (Matt), Masi Oka (Hiro) and Sendhil Ramamurthy (Suresh). Their three stops included Tokyo, Singapore and of course Asia's so-called international city, our own Hong Kong.

The concept of a tour like this is no mean feat - the cast stayed for one day in each city.
Star World and Now TV have exclusive rights for the second season of Heroes, while terrestrial TVB Pearl just started the first season. And let's not forget BitTorrent, a question my editor Michael took to Masi Oka at the press con.

Me being the most disinterested in the show, volunteered to stay behind while the rest of my crew went to the event. But I did edit this mofo within a day!
Quite amazed how big a deal it was, I'm sure the show was even more popular than the previously hyped show Prison Break - of which I didn't watch either.
I thought it was a bit gimmicky the way that the show's two main Asian characters took part in the Asian leg of the tour... Of course though, you had to have Masi for the Tokyo one, but still...

And I have watched a few episodes, a mini-marathon of sorts on Star World at a friend's house with 4 episodes back to back. But meh, doesn't really do anything for me. I guess I'm sick of the whole big-budgeted, slick, geek-chic or whatever descriptions of shows like Lost, Prison Break etc. In fact Lost was the one that put me off, it burned out so quickly for me.

I'll tell you one thing though that caught my attention, the cast mentioned that season two will, can't remember which, but will either feature a hero who's Irish, or will shoot on location in Ireland. So hey, that might do it for me.

So here's SCMP's contribution to the hype. A more in-depth interview with the two Asian actors will follow next week.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Here she is.
Man, I had to edit this within one day since the Features editor caught me off guard by publishing the story on Monday, hence I had to finish it on Friday.
Wouldn't be half as hard if I had better putonghua. I find my listening skills are improving, but as such doing subtitles I needed to be more accurate.

Since Sa is a regular practitioner of Buddhist meditation, and her music does have a calming effect, it has reinvigorated my interest in the topic. I used to 'zen' meditate a lot during college and stopped doing my 'chi kung' meditation last year. I had learned it from a so-called master of chi kung in an effort to better my skin condition. But now with the weeks becoming more long and stressful - I blame the weather and the reporters filing their story late! - it seems I should take it up again, fearing I'll suffer strokes at mid-age!

Oh, I visited this Cosplay inspired cafe called 'Maid Cafe' in Percival House for a video shoot for Young Post... man it was creepy. The waitresses, 16-17, dress up French-maid style and serve these young groups of guys (surprise(!)) who do nothing but gawk at the girls, play their portable video games and read comics, while I sat impatiently reading about Mother Teresa's secret letters in Time Magazine, waiting for my colleagues to show up.

The cafe itself is pretty dingy, nothing really special or enticing other than these waitresses, who seem pretty dim but up to date on the latest anime. To borrow a quote from many Chines parents: If only they paid that much attention at school.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Who's Sa Dingding?

You might noticed this poster around... I first noticed it about a week ago, just passing glances, and bam, got to meet her today.
There is certainly something unique about this new artist on the block... Her music is quite enchanting and since I have a weakness for electronic beats, it does rate highly with me.
However after shifting through Universal's press kit and the interview a Post reporter and I had with her, she even dressed the part! Donning some oriental frock, a shiny ornament on her forehead and hehe even a Palestinian scarf. I got the feeling Universal is packaging her to the extreme, hence can't help but feel her image is a tad gimicky. Apparently she's a big practioner of Buddhist meditation, yoga and can speak Tibetan, Putonghua, Sanskrit, and get this, she even created her own language called 'Lagu Lagu'.
Wish her all the best, her album "Alive" debuted today.
I've got a lot of footage to play around with, but should be fun incorporating the media Universal provided. Vidcast will be released next week.


Monday, August 20, 2007

Tagspotting trio in the little limelight

Argh, with our last stab at fame for Tagspotting, Emma just had to do her 'easily attracted by shiny objects' pose. And the fucking eejits used that one!
This article in U-Magazine on graffiti, in the wake of King of Kowloon's demise, featured a little bit of us but in the end the reporter only wrote a paragraph about us and used my quote haha, even though Cass talked the most.
In my quote I say: "Doing graffiti in HK is difficult; you have to be constantly alert; hard to find suitable walls; police around every corner; but the graffitists do it for the sake of graffiti because they love it."
The picture was taken in a kitschy communist-style cafe opposite Times Square - gave the me the shivers.


Friday, August 17, 2007

What a long week... but I think I've recovered from my sleep and food deficit from filming the trial equestrian events last weekend.
Hammering out the three videos below was quite a rush, having naively thought I would get them out the day after the events ended.
Oh well, here they are anyway, published for tomorrow on SCMP.
Can't say I learned to appreciate equestrian sports more, but I certainly knew a whole lot more than I did from those three days - like the difference between and piaffe and piroutte :p


Cross Country

Show Jumping

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

All for just those few minutes...

So I've been filming (and loitering) at the three-day equestrian events since Saturday and I must say I'm glad it's all over.
Waking up at 6am three days in a row really did me in. Made me realise just how programmed I am as an afternoon-waker - considering at work at 3 and nothing's really open till late afternoon.
The event was certainly a good experience and an eye-opener as to how frantic working in the media can be. After sitting on the sidelines as my ex-colleagues from ATV go on the media prowl and scuffle for interviews - I stayed in the office - I now need to cope with this work type at SCMP sometimes, and man, I wish I was a little taller! Some jockeys I interviewed were tall and I had a tough time adjusting the camera. Or maybe I should just stop using that big-ass camera.
I'm sure it'll be even more frantic when the real thing comes along next year, hopefully I'll get a pass upgrade and a henchman to help carry my stuff.
Pity about the Irish team though, they completely bailed out of the event and still don't know why. Good to see the Irish flag waving in the stadium though.

Here's a new video to wrap up the events, three more focusing on each of the competitions will be released later this week. Unfortunately I couldn't stay for the remainder of the show jumping and victory ceremony, can you believe I had to head all the way back to the office and edit the damn thing... didn't get home till 1:30.


Saturday, August 11, 2007

Hectic media day

Looks like the shitty weather didn't cancel the equestrian trials... but it did get delayed so yay a few extra hours sleep. That stuipid motherfucking typhoon just had to make a U-turn didn't it?! It was bad enough I couldn't buy any rain gear yesterday due to T8, so it was just frustrating trying to stay dry and managing all my clunky equipment by myself. And goddamn it, my press pass didn't give my 'broadcast' credentials so I can't get into certain areas that would be worth filming like the training course, or VIP booths to score any high-class soundbites.
The press area for the 'whites' was pretty poor... and I don't mean white people but white passes, as opposed to the higher-credential reds and blues. It was a pretty narrow (and uncovered) platform overlooking the venue, but the surface was shaky and everytime someone walked by it was like a fucking mini earthquake. And don't get me started on the so called 'press centre,' it was packed like an Indian train!
But thankfully, the videos I'm doing aren't news related so there's less pressure to try and stay updated all the time. Bloody hell not looking forward to another early morning tomorrow... and to Fanling this time!

Coming back and watching the news, some 100 unionists/iron workers went on a rampage in Central after talks with government officials didn't help. Marching all the way from To Kwa Wan in the rain was pretty commendable. Another WTO style effort by the broadcasters... though I would've preferred to be there.

Hahaha I just saw a video of the South Korean hostages in Afghanistan - the fucking eejits were dancing and singing (presumably in some Christian jive) to a bunch of stiff-looking muslims. They're either really brave or think God would really protect them, pfft.


Thursday, August 09, 2007

That infamous ex-VP in town again

Yep that's right, Al Gore the 45th Vice Presidente of the US-and-A is in town tonight to give a speech at the Conrad Hotel hosted by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.
Didn't know, but ACCA has been apparently a leader in promoting corporate social responsibility and sustainable business practices. Who knew a bunch of stiff accountants cared?
Rumour has it Gore's been paid US$100,000 to do what he does best. Isn't it ironic if he gets flown here by a private jet or something? Maybe that's why the media aren't invited.


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Queen's Pier - my retrospective

Covering the last few days of the Queen's Pier saga was exciting, tiring and ended up with mixed feelings once the last rooftop activist was pulled away.
First of all, I didn't grow up in Hong Kong and I don't feel anything special towards Queen's Pier. But I can understand why some would want to save it. That's also why I understand the bigger picture; how Donald Tsang's comments about us not being too "overzealous" when it comes to saving heritage at the expense of competition and efficiency.
The two sides to this argument - heritage activists not only want to save these structures but also angry at the fact that the government can just get rid of anything in the name of expansion and development.
The latter does make sense though, Hong Kong's competitive angle has been dented by the rise of other Chinese cities and Singapore and Macau. Adding a new highway there will ease congestion - a good thing in any case - and a new mall? Well, it better not be the same fucking bland shops you see everywhere!
Ah, and not to mention the argument that didn't get a lot of attention, the fact that some Chinese patriots would love to do away with Queen's Pier because it represents the colonial past, and is essentially "un-Chinese."

Watching and filming the activists' singing and dancing, I did admire that Hong Kong's usual placid youth would take on such an endeavour to protect the pier, well a teeny minority of them anyway, most that did I'm sure came for the photo-op. And with the small media circle here, the rooftop activists got maximum exposure and sensationsalism, which I'm sure would be embedded in Hongkongers' mindset for years to come. Hopefully fostering and growing the grassroots movement.

It was tiring for me to say the least, I started on Tuesday 8pm (eve of eviction order) till 6am. The fanfare had died by then, and many took solace in watching the sunrise.
Scurrying back to my bed, I was back on the field at 2pm next day and the cops had sealed off the area, and stayed till 8:46pm. We made two videos on the event, on the eve - which I did - and one on the actual day. My legs still ache and got a little bit of jet lag but man, it's all over.

"A night to remember"

"Activists clash with police"