Mediacorp Filming with Rachelle

[Monday, 5 April, 2010]

After working hard in the morning, I could not doze off. It was to my horror that I had filming in the morning and I needed to reach Mediacorp by 8am.

I was late for around ten minutes. The guy at the wardrobe was nice like in the past. He thought I had filmed in “bao jia wei guo” and found me familiar, which I did not. I found it quite a chore for they needed me to change shirt since the colour crushed with some other actors’. I was wondering why the assistant producer did not contact me…

There was a girl in school uniform who came over to my side to look at a squirrel, trying to capture the moment. I pointed for her at the location and later on, she moved to my side to wait with me, and we began chatting. She was known by Rachelle. I sent the lady a message but she called Rachelle instead. Later on, we realised the bus was at the back and thus we got up to wait for Nat Ho before we took off to the exact filming location.

It was a long wait there. Rachelle at the age of fourteen was hyperactive and made friends easily. We had great fun chatting with the audio experts, Ah John and Ah Heng. The director, Lai Ling, was a very humorous and nice lady that I did not mind having to reach there at 8am and only got to start filming after noon.

The uncle sent both of us back to Mediacorp and offered to give us a lift to Toa Payoh since Rachelle was staying there. The wardrobe auntie started with attitude again but I seemed to have melted her. The bus driver dropped us at the front office to exchange our identification cards back and it started raining on the way to Toa Payoh. I was very worried when the chatty uncle dropped me at the MRT station and insisted to send her home directly. I regretted not asking her to exchange numbers so that she could message me once she got home. It kept me worried throughout the journey, until I reached home, added her in Facebook and she accepted me some time later.

I was alone when I got home and I tried to pack my work area and wardrobe. Before I could make a miracle, my elder brother returned with his girlfriend and I halted everything. That was sufficient to hurt my back.


Filming for MediaCorp again

[Sunday, 7 March, 2010]

I spent quite some time trying to find out what would a normal Singapore reporter wear for interviewing someone outside the court. Sleeping late, I still managed to wake up on time. However, the guard at the MediaCorp’s Radio Gate told me I had to go in by the main entrance and thus, I had to walk all the way back.

Bringing three extra tops was a wrong choice for the short sleeve shirt and jeans I wore were acceptable. I went to change my pass together with another two part-timers and walked back to the Radio Gate via the external route. The bus was packed and I had an awkward journey sitting in the front besides the assistant producer. We were caught in the traffic jam due to a cycling event at Nicoll Highway.

The filming was quite okay. It was the first time I had my line not being cancelled last minute. However, the actor, Chen Shu Chen, spotted something not so smooth and I had to change the addressing in my line, such that, I made mistakes twice.

Since the second scene was cancelled, I was able to make my way home after ten, such that I was able to catch my favourite show at 11am on channel 8.

It was a sleepy afternoon for me. I sweated while dozing off on the mattress in the humid weather. Uploading the photos taken at Pulau Ubin was one of my main accomplishments of the day. I spent most of the time blogging.

In the evening, my mum wanted to dine outside and thus I joined them at Chinatown. The reason was the day was “san ba fu nu jie” and I felt weird for my mum was never like this before. I was caught surprised when my brothers got a plate of “lao yu sheng” because my mum wanted to have it. We waited very long for our main dish, the fish head. My brothers had bought a plate of prawns from another stall at the price of $12 for simply four prawns. My mum knew I did not like any of the food, went to order from our favourite sting ray stall. The hunger had killed my craving for food and the sting ray was not up to the standard yet again.

After dinner, we made our way to the swanston shop but my younger brother checked out the exchange rate and decided to get some Europe dollars. We queued up in front of the two POSBANK ATM machines where many foreign workers were at. One of the Chinese disgusted me by peeling off the transparent cover on his ATM card and simply threw them on the floor. When my brother tried to withdraw money, the maximum amount allowed was only $400 and he received all $10 notes.

I went out of the building and the two UOB ATM machines pissed me off for they were off duty. Finally, we made our way down to the MRT and but the amount allowed for withdrawal was $400 as well and only $10 notes were given. The UOB ATM machine was on strike as well and luckily, I went to the OCBC one to get it done.


The Longest Filming Hours

It had been quite some time since I stepped into Mediacorp again. During the previous time when I decided to help Jesedy, they called off the filming the night before it.

Undercover again

I had a tough battle against my sleep to wake up four hours after hitting my bed. Taking bus 167 to MacRitchie Reservoir and taking the walk towards Mediacorp Radio gate was a hassle. I reached there right on time. While collecting the uniform at the wardrobe, the auntie was very nice and courteous, which gave me the relief.

Lizard on the floor while waiting

I started waiting at the usual place as hours passed by. More than an hour later at the stated departure time, there was no news from the AP. I received a call some time later, telling me they would be coming soon but would give me another call when they were on their way back; I could tell that they are not returning any soon. I joined another part-timer, Kelvin, inside the make-up room which was air-conditioned.

Awful tasting Fish & Chips

The noon sun waved to us and soon after near three hours of my arrival, the person called me again to ask us to go for lunch first. The other two part-timers joined me for lunch at the canteen. It was my first time dining there and I was glad that the canteen was opened on a Saturday. Many parents, maids and kids joined in to fill their stomachs. I ordered a plate of fish and chips, which cost $4.50 and it was the worse fish and chips I had ever had in my entire life of western food dining expedition. However, I swallowed everything in the end since I did not want to waste money.

We went back at around one and timing was just right that the whole load of them had returned. Then, I realised filming was going to be continued right at the gate. I laughed upon how they transformed the place into a police station. The director was a nice young chap and everyone seemed to be working merrily under the boss.

My hair length was too long for a policeman and thus they asked me to go into the makeup room to get them trimmed. It was the most enjoyable haircut session I ever had in my life because the girl who fought excitedly to do it for me was cute although I did not have my spectacle on. She was new to the place but I trusted that the company would only employ capable people. Anyway, I felt quite awkward. It was the first time after more than ten years of my life that someone else was trimming my hair for me. I was in sweat and had already applied some wax on my hair, which could have made her job difficult.

The bruise

We moved further in where the most exciting part of the filming started at the open air car park. Kelvin and I were holding a criminal, Ya Guang, and he was supposed to struggle to escape in Dawn Yeoh’s daydream during her first day of report to work. I was very excited when they mentioned about having actions. Ya Guang knocked Kelvin using his head and when I bended over to grab him, Ya Guang pushed me away using his back power. I was ready to fall hard to make it look real. My first fall to the ground was so hard that allowed me to roll just like playing volleyball. I had some minor bruises, which was so tiny compared to my usual games. They were too concern about safety however. I really liked involving in action shows.

When it was Dawn Yeoh’s turn to show off her skill to capture Ya Guang, she was too gentle to resist the fit guy. Movements were too weak and thus, we waited for very long before the scenes were over.

At around 4pm, I confessed that my judgement for the length of the filming session was totally way off. I almost thought I could leave before 1pm without all the delays. Suddenly they asked all of us if we could help them with another scene and we agreed since we were already there. We boarded the bus towards Seng Kang.

Michelle Zhuang’s NGs did not piss the director off. The whole load of us had to take extra steps though. The four part-timers from China created some nuisances by wearing the caps while waiting despite repeated warnings from the crews that it might alarm the residents. They even dared to hang out at the playground, talk loudly and smoke. I felt quite embarrassed to be near them for others might simply group us together.

Everything was alright until we went up to one of the units to resume filming, but there was no instruction given. So, all the part-timers were sitting on the stairs. While waiting and not knowing if the director would call for us, I started dozing off. The lacks of sleep at the awkward place, together with the boredom were killing me, adding frustration into me upon I woke up.

They could have sent us back earlier since we were not needed. Anyway, we only got back at around 7pm and I was so anxious to leave that I got everything changed during the journey. I waited for Kelvin to get changed and return his stuffs to the wardrobe before leaving. I dropped by the petrol station to use the toilet and got a cup of Slurpee before the invasion of dehydration.

I missed bus 167 right in front of me while crossing the road but luckily, the next one took less than twenty minutes to arrive.

Sunday at Ang Mo Kio

I finally got to swim again with Gilbert once again.

I seemed to have gotten back to the old bad habit of sleeping early that I almost got to see daylight before I kissed the bed. Thus, I could not get up in time and Gilbert’s morning call was half an hour late.

I was near to lose memory and eventually forgot to bring my swimming goggle along. I actually had experience of forgetting to bring swimming trunk along. Anyway, I called Gilbert for help when I was at the MRT station.

We met up at Ang Mo Kio Central. There was Mediacorp’s filming going on. It took us some time to figure out Zheng Ge Ping and Zhen Shi Mei were the stars. Just as I was hoping to see some familiar faces, I saw the cute PA who helped out in 手足 (Shou Zu) part one and two. I did not know her name since I got it confused with the AP. I did not go over since she probably could not remember me.

After Gilbert got a new goggle from Sportslink, we went back to the spot and practised the Singaporeans’ “kay poh” hobby again for a while before we left for the swimming pool. The sky turned grey slowly and until we finished the eighteenth lap with lots of pauses in between, we saw lightning and gave up the last two laps.

Lunch was at the Ang Mo Kio Hub’s food court. It was the first time I took chicken chop with spaghetti instead of my favourite French fries because Gilbert insisted it was healthier this way. After a short tour inside the AMK Hub, We got some cheap cute stuff at the Central and went to the Popular Book Shop. I was amazed over some home decoration books, which I would definitely get if I ever got financial stability.

The final destination was the MacDonald’s where I started dozing off.

No More Upcoming Shows

My scenes for the new show, “Just in Singapore” are all over. Last Friday, this Monday and this Tuesday showed episode 10, 11 and 12 on channel 8; and the last one caught me unprepared for I did not expect them to be aired straight in a row. Anyway, only episode 12 had my face nearer to the screen.

The only lucky moment was the close distance interaction with Fiona Xie, which some guys would certainly envy, and which I could boost about, but actually was nothing fantastic.

The days which I was working on website at home and could afford some little time for filming at Mediacorp would always be remembered; during those days, I did not have any responsibility other than the fact that my saving was depleting.

Year 2007 – The Year of Job Exploring

Year 2007 was a total new experience for me. I began the year as a property agent, continued from the previous couple of months. This period lay my poorest days for I did not get to receive my commission (pay) until months later. I gave up after almost half a year of trying for reasons:
– joined the wrong company
– received basic training only four months after joining
– met wrong “teachers”
– market is too corrupted for a naïve me
– too used to help people for free

It was a sad decision for the efforts I put in definitely deserved a much higher income; basically, I made less than a toilet cleaner. However, I managed to make use of the period of time to do up a website I also got to taste the hypocrisy of human beings, from fake people who indulged in the self assuming of being clear conscience.

Carol Ng was my benefactor to introduce me to a web design company, where I met the greatest souls on earth. Everyone tried so hard to stay for each other despite the not appreciating management. I learned little over there as Web Support and I did beyond my job scope. I left within four months together with some of them because I realised it was not worthwhile to sacrifice myself for people who were not unconcern.

I had a breakthrough in my web development. I managed to come out with a site that did give me some earnings for a couple of months before it died. With the money, I was able to get myself a new desktop, which I regretted badly for I could have chipped in more money for a laptop more convenient for a webmaster.

One of my new part-time jobs was filming at Mediacorp. It was thanks to Jesedy that I managed to gain this experience and know more about how filming was done. Each time, I got to make more new friends. However, it could only be a hobby and not permanent job.

I spent more than two months almost jobless, trying to learn PHP and MySQL on my own. The project was halted when I chanced upon a good opportunity as temporary lecturer. My first ever project for the school almost killed me, until the last day of the year, I was finally released.

Volleyball played a big part of my life as usual but my career path was never good. I started playing again a few months after my left calf operation to realise that I could never jump like the past. I lost my touch. The worst thing was when more injuries dragged me behind further.

Relationship began a downfall at the beginning of the year. However, it brought me to sense. My isolation from human beings worsened due to uncompleted projects.

Filming Was Quite Cool Yesterday

Due to the fact that I did not have a wink at all, I dozed off fast on the bus 52 from Clementi and missed the stop outside Andrew Road. I woke up in time to stop at the usual stop, at the main entrance at Macritchie Reservoir, where bus 167 stopped. It was a long way back.

CC did not insert my name into the system and thus I had to wait for some time at the guardhouse. Jesedy rescued me once again. I proceeded to fetch my clothes and went straight to the Annex Building’s toilet. After I got changed and entered the door, I realised it was the wrong storey. After slacking for a while at the casting area, Jesedy walked me to Studio 6 together with Monica.

Sara arrived later but soon dashed out to search for her outfit which had dropped along the way from the wardrobe. We took great rest for the studio was partitioned well like houses inside a flat and the mattresses were too tempting.

Filming was nice with Huang Wenyong, Chen Liping, Mizhu-jie and other old familiar faces. It was a comedy show anyway, and spirit was really great when the place was overwhelmed with kind souls. A pity for the camera was unusable and I had to stretch my thumb up to press the flash, which was quite fake.

The journey home was killing. Bus 167 arrived after a long time packed with passengers. I only managed to get a seat at around Newton. After passing by Far East Plaza, I began losing conscious in the jam until Shenton Way. The time taken for the journey home was almost doubled.

Crashing of Jobs

Because of the previous scene which I trimmed my hair a day before that, I took the trouble to trim my hair again a month after when I was on a tight schedule just for the next day’s filming. Usually, I would only trim my hair every couple of months.

On the actual day, Tuesday, they called me in the morning to say that the scene was postponed to the next week. They could not even give me an exact time.

That was really stupid. I took up the first scene when I was jobless and at that point of time I did not mind if they were fickle-minded because I could re-schedule my own time for doing my own websites.

And for the first scene, they made me go there earlier than scheduled time suddenly and I waited for around two and a half hour. I heard from those old part-timers that it was not so messy in the past.

The fact was that the lowly paid job could only fill at most three days per month and they should never expect me to give up my other job for them. It was not even half of what I had to give to my mum every month.

I did not expect them to drag for so long in the first place and since I did not want to break my promise to Jesedy, I already tried to go down on Tuesday.

If two scenes are supposed to be joined together, it is ridiculous to be dragged for so long. If you see spot the same actor growing pimples in the show after he travels from one place to another, which takes only a couple of seconds, you can conclude that the filming of the two scenes are done on very different days.

I have my own job and life and I cannot wait everyday for them to ring me up a day before the filming to inform me. If it crashes with my job, I would not know what to do. The worst thing is that some people will not understand my situation that I want to focus on my job but have no choice for just this once. It would be so sick having to explain to everyone again and again if they find out about my tight schedule.

One thing is that I would rather start working in my new job next year; I’m definitely not greedy for “easy” money to work in the month of their holidays. The reason I would want to start early is to learn more about everything to get prepared. But the project they give me makes me realise I should have insisted to start next year.

Filming of Yuan Zhi Hui

This Thursday’s filming began disastrous but it ended up perfectly fine.

First was the unexpected screaming from the SMRT bus driver regardless of reasons that I could not press the bell earlier. I managed to remain as gentleman by not debating, such that, I also managed to save the passengers from being delayed.

The filming was supposed to start earlier but nobody told the other part-timers including me. I managed to reach there on actual time though. I met the wardrobe auntie whom attended to me at my first time. She was extremely demanding and nagging. She was very unpleased that I did not bring my own formal wear since I knew my role already. It was ridiculous because nobody told me before that I had to use my own clothes as props. Anyway, I would prefer to use my own clothes but I had to go for volleyball right after that and that my bag was already big and heavy.

We were sent to a shophouse restaurant behind Nanyang Girls’ High (NYGH) and then brought to the inner dining area besides the kitchen. It was actually such a small place that I wondered how many customers they could attend to at one time.

The “biggest” celebrity around was Dawn Yeoh, Yao Yi Shan, whom Mingfa told me he had teased her when she was in secondary one, tying pony tails to school every day. She looked sweet with her hair tied but when I went to youtube on her video during her singing competition, I saw the difference; both were not ugly but I just preferred her current style. Hairstyle indeed made big difference.

It was supposed to be my first ever and only line but the producer removed most of the lines of the script and even changed it. However, she was a very nice and patient lady; you probably could learn stuffs from her, or at least, build up your confidence. I was quite relieved in the end because both Monica and Jesedy had warned me about her, and she was probably in a very good mood that day.

It was quite boring to have no line; there was no creativity involved. I did not really feel like going down anymore since part-timers had to put up with weird and ridiculous permanent staffs sometimes, and I could not see a bright future continuing. I could have spent the time doing websites at home. However, it was really good experience and also, I could make good friends since most of the part-timers were very friendly people, and sometimes I could get bonus like talking good permanent staffs. After all, I really loved to talk to nice people, and especially the types that I did not get to meet before.

Same like Fiona Xie, Dawn Yeoh thanked everyone after filming. You probably could judge the “arrogance” of the celebrities by this, such that very arrogant ones would not bother to say any pleasing words to raise the morale of the poor staffs including part-timers and extras.

I accidentally left my script and the receipt (or contract) paper on the wardrobe’s briefcase in the end and I felt quite fed up somehow.

Filming with Fiona Xie and Dinner with Ben and Jesedy

It was a rainy day. I met the female “reporter” whom I saw a week ago. She was quite nice but a pity that our ages were too far apart and did not have endless topics to chat about. Fiona Xie was sitting in front of me on the packed bus and I was pretty disappointed that we had to travel to as far as Woodlands.

The scenes involved many extras to be walking around or purchasing stuffs at the pasar malam. Since Fiona’s Chinese was not as good as other celebrities, we were worried that the scenes would be delayed due to NGs; moreover, the scenes involved a lot of dialogues.

I was scared at first when our prediction seemed very true but it happened that after the first scene, things went pretty smooth. I hated the same old heavy video camera and this time, the impact on my right shoulder was great. The same botak producer was a nice guy, which was a blessing after all.

When we reached Fiona Xie to start the “filming” on her, the producer enlightened me that they would usually close one eye while using the video camera. It was kind of common sense in fact, and especially when I had experiences holding camera, but it slipped off my mind inevitably. It was not a working video camera and once I closed my left eye, I could see nothing with my right eye blocked by the view finder which was not showing anything at all. I totally knew nuts about how near I was supposed to lean forward and they even had to keep telling me to point the video camera more upwards. While waiting in between scenes, one of the young staffs offered me a chair and I was quite impressed by him for I did not expect him to treat part-timers this good.

I got almost an hour of rest time after my scenes were over because the bus was supposed to send everyone back. At the end of the day, the extras were surrounding Fiona Xie to take photos with her. I did not join in the fun; otherwise I could have shown off to everyone with the photos.

Back at MediaCorp, I went to the Annex Building to look for Jesedy. That was the second time I saw her. It was good to be able to meet up her colleagues who had talked over the phone with me before. Monica recognised me while I was still a distance away from them since she had seen my photos before.

Later on, I had some cold sweat while listening to Jesedy and Ben’s phone conversation. We waited very long for bus 93 and Jesedy decided to take a cab. We met up Ben at Vivo City and camped quite long at the Safari pet shop to look at dogs. After which, we had dinner at Food Republic. The couple knew well that I was jobless and insisted it was their treat.

Unlike other girls, Jesedy knew well Ben and I had not met up for ages and she gave us quality time to chat and gossip without interfering. I supposed she have it all planned since we met up at MediaCorp, otherwise, there might be a cold war after we departed.