Realiti on bittorrentI've just discovered that Realiti is currently available on bittorrent from d-addicts.com. It should be of higher quality than what you get off YouTube.
So, Realiti's over. What next?So, Realiti (season 1) is over and done with - what next? Well, I still don't know if there will be a second season of the show. Usually, if it takes this long for people to decide, it would mean a 'no'. Believe or not, the budget for this was quite high for a Malaysian show, and even then there wasn't enough left over to do any reshoots or rerecordings. On the other hand, if a company stepped forward and said they were willing to sponsor it, I'm sure it's something 8TV would sit up and listen to.
ANYWAY, that still hasn't stopped us discussing privately what we could do in a second season. Admittedly, they're short four or five sentence conversations, and I can confidently say that a second season may or may not include the following:
- It may use the same five kids or it may introduce a set of new kids.
- Mac, Wahida, Jay and Pop TV Girl may be back, or it may be a new set.
- It may be about a singing competition, or it may be about a different reality show altogether (think Survivor, Amazing Race, The Contender).
As you can see, Ping and I are great about planning ahead.
Nevertheless, there is another new Popiah Pictures production on the horizon. This is not Realiti. This is a completely different show. We're not even sure about the title yet. I'm currently going for Dwi Dunia or Hidup Kembar, but a good title should tell you what the show's about in an instant, and neither of these do.
The show will be similar to Realiti in a few ways:
- It will be produced by Popiah Pictures - that is, Ng Ping Ho and Anne Low.
- It will use at least one of the actors seen in Realiti.
- It will be set in KL.
- It will be a ten-episode series.
The show will be different in a few ways too:
- It will focus on the two main characters and not (repeat: not) be an ensemble piece.
- There will probably be no singing, off-key or otherwise.
- It will probably have very little english dialogue and no hokkien (the closest thing to this I can think of that Popiah Pictures has done is Impian Illyana, but the tone will be closer to Realiti.)
- It will use special effects.
I'm sure the last point may have made people sit up. Hmm. That's all I can tell you now, simply because the rest we haven't really decided yet. Probably due out sometime mid/late 2007.
Things I learnt from RealitiWhew. Realiti has been a bit of a roller-coaster ride. For my own good, I should do some sort of 'lessons learnt' post. Because it's always good to relook over what you've done and cringe at your mistakes. And if I do it as a post, I can get some of you to shout at me if I've missed anything out, or got anything wrong. Anyway, this is what I know, now that I've done the show:
- Writing an ensemble show is hard. Wah, we watch shows like Lost and Firefly and then get delusions of grandeur that it's really easy to plot multiple storylines over a course of a season and have them come together to make sense. It's not. It's hard for several reasons.
- First, instead of having one interesting story, you need to come up with five. So, you end up with some good stories (Burn/Melody), some okay stories (Nickson), and some 'hmm...' stories (Baby, Amir). And you have to come up five interesting characters, with five different voices, and five different styles... Argh.
- Second, it's almost impossible to stretch a story arc over ten episodes without it either being very slow, or very soap operatic. What worked was the Burn/Melody story, where it started with 'Melody is on drugs' and then transformed into 'Burn's love-redeems-all'. Roughly three episodes for each, and almost seamless. What didn't work so well was Amir's story (The ran-from-kampung didn't really segue that well into throw-the-competition-for-your-family line), and Baby's (I think the poison-pen letter storyline was too short; the resolution of the blackmail storyline was too stretched out).
- Third, crossing-over storylines need work to make it feel natural. There needs to be a really good cause-and-effect at work. I tried to cross-over Burn's storyline to Baby's; however, in the process, I lost sight of the competition, so that had to be ditched. On the other hand, I did like how Baby's story created tension between Amir and Dayang.
- Having a clear theme would be a good thing. Sometimes, I felt like we lost direction about what the show was about. Yes, it's about a singing competition, but it isn't just that. It's more about what you would do to win the competition. The tag-line I end my notes post with has the phrase, "What would you do to become a star?". This isn't the official line, this is just something I realised very late into the writing process (despite having Ping point out that it's "all about the competition" a lot of the time). If I had this stuck on my monitor as I was writing, I think everything would have hung together much nicer.
- Planning helps. Having a good idea where you want to get to really makes a difference. That whole run between episodes 7 to 10 I think works because we had a strong theme (eliminations), and because we knew who would reach the final, so we knew which stories had to be wrapped up when, so we knew how to pace (most) of them... Compared to, say, Impian Illyana, when the episodes were more standalone, so they didn't really fit in that well.
- Malaysian audiences don't always have patience. Rather, until they've bought into the show, they don't really want absorbing storylines that have subtle turns. Well, I'm not sure that I know what I'm talking about in this one, but let me try. People thought episodes 1 and 2 were slow. But I've been through them (again), and I think there's at least as much fat in episodes 6, 8 and 10. I think audiences need to identify with a character first, before you can put them in a grind. Compare this with the first season opener for Battlestar Galactica (very tense, slowly builds up), or a lot of mid-season episodes of lost (it's all about the character and lots of 'hmm' moments). And I'm a huge fan of Inspector Morse, but I notice very few people in Malaysia took to that show. So, the lesson is, hit with a bang, then another bang, then another bang, and then slow down.
- Extreme characters become popular. I should already know this, but people like characters that make larger-than-life decisions. I think Baby (when she's bad) and Nickson (when he's gay) stick in many peoples' heads, whereas Amir and Melody are a little more low-key.
- Songs and music can tell stories. Duh. But what I mean is that I regret not pushing for songs that fit into the storyline better. The song then tells the story or reinforces the theme. For example, Melody singing 'All By Myself' to Burn on the rooftop. But it's hard to find songs that fit the style of the singer and the copyright/licensing restrictions that you have.
- Banter resets tension. Okay, this really isn't a lesson learnt, but it's quite funny to see how I've handled banter throughout my writing career (I do use this term loosely). At the beginning, I used to have a lot of banter, but Ping kept cutting it out. And then I learnt that "shorter is better", so I started to cut down on it myself. But then I realise that it's not that you want to cut unnecessary banter, but you need it to let stories breathe in between scenes sometimes. So now I wish I had pushed for a little more in some scenes (e.g. in Burn's dyslexia story).
There's probably a few more things I can write about, but I'm geting hungry, and I need to eat. Man cannot live on words alone, you understand.
p.s. i wasn't able to catch the first episode so i scanned through the whole You Tube but failed to find it....could u pleaseee...upload it..
Realiti - Episode 10 notesSo, the final episode of Realiti, with a grand final and a whole slew of stories being wrapped up. What's surprising is that everyone thinks it ends on a cliff-hanger, but we didn't really mean to design this with a second season in mind - it should be watchable on its own.
Personally, I'm a little disappointed with this episode. It's okay, I guess, but for a season finale, it should be more than okay. Several things work against it: the season storylines seem to trot down to a gentle amble, the performances in the finale aren't the best, and some of the acting and writing feels a little rushed.
On the other hand, there are some pretty awesome shots (particularly in the Burn story) and it does end with a bang.
Nevertheless, I've said it before, and I'll say it now. Notwithstanding my bias, I think that Realiti is the best Malaysian show on television this year. If you agree with me, you should drop 8TV a line and thank them for it.
Missed it? YouTube it: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
- This is the only episode that I practically had no involvement in. Although I knew broadly what was going to happen, the devil was in the details. There was a time crunch, and I had to be out of town when Ping wrote it, so the first time I saw the script was when it was a shooting draft. I had some immediate comments, but because they had to do with structure, and because they were so late in the day, they couldn't be incorporated.
- The biggest arguments I had with Ping throughout the whole series was whether to return Melody to the competition. I simply felt it was too unrealistic, and a too drama-minggu-ini for my liking. Her waking up, okay. Her fighting against the odds to see Burn for perhaps one last time at the final five performance, perhaps. But for her to have od'd, woken up, be fit enough to reenter the competition... aiyo, too much lah. So Ping and I fought, and fought, and fought. And he won out. But I have to grudgingly admit that having Jay press for her does lend credibility to it.
- A bit wierd, to see Nickson drop back into happy-gay mode after his storyline has been wrapped up. But he does work as light relief.
- Funny how Burn and Melody are a little cool to one another when you first see them meet up. I'll just assume they saw each other earlier and got the mushy stuff over and done with then.
- The attack on Wahida was a little overdone for me. My original story idea was to just have an envelope on the windshield wiper.
- Burn and Joe's phone conversation - solid gold. "Apasal lu tak bunuh aje gua malam tu, bro?"
- Baby's storyline is the weakest of the three. I got that impression from the first read. It's not clear what's happening, it's just a lot of exposition. Although Baby makes a decision at the end, it's not as strong as I would like.
- Another thing that annoyed me - Baby's kidnapper was arrested somewhere that looked very similar to where Burn and Joe met up with the drug dealers. Almost exactly the same, in fact, even though the two stories don't really have anything to do with one another. Must be a really seedy part of town.
- Cheyenne Stutzriem (Fazrina) gives quite a good performance in this episode. I don't know her that well, but we did have a conversation where I told her that if she was naughty, we'd put her in a velcro suit and stick her to the ceiling. She didn't really believe me, for some reason.
- Even though we didn't discuss this, it's interesting that Ping decided to go with the 'all the contestants love one another' idea for the episode, although it real life, you usually see some degree of factioning between the kids. It would have been an idea to get Amir/Baby facing up against Melody/Burn.
- There was that moment between Mac and Wahida which got fans of Maria Farida all a-flutter. Mac was indeed meant to have a story arc waaay when we started, but he got pushed aside by the kids' stories. And yes, the backstory (that we never actually got around to saying) is that Mac and Wahida had a pre-existing relationship.
- Carmen Soo with her hair up - nice. Carmen Soo with her long hair down - very nice.
- That bit where Mac gives the kids his farewell speech is hyper-cheesy. I would have rewritten it, for sure.
- Songs sung this episode: Best of Them All by Douglas Lim (all contestants); Selamanya by Douglas Lim (Baby); Looking Down by Douglas Lim (Melody); Akustatik by OAG (Amir).
- Personally, I really like that group piece that all five do before the final begins. They're all pretty much in tune. They all look nice. And it's a nice song. What more do you want?
- Okay. So Melissa says she's not so good at singing. I think she can actually do better than she thinks she can - it's all a vicious circle of poor confidence and self-fulfilling prophecies. However, it's horribly obvious Baby did not sing her finale song well at all. Based on the judges' comments, I can only conclude that they were all stone deaf that day, or maybe they were on some sort of hyper-optimistic happy pill.
- That bit where Burn says goodbye to Melody and she gives him her locket is really well photographed. It actually really is directly behind the stage at Sri Pentas 2, but obviously better lighted than usual.
- Although I was initiallly okay with how the Amir/Jay story ended, now I wish that Jay had a little more of a comeuppance. Suffered a bit, you know what I mean.
- We weren't quite sure who would win, right up until we were planning the ninth episode. What we did agree was that whoever won would have to also lose something. So, Melody wins, but she loses Burn. We had an alternative where Amir wins. If I remember, it was something like: Jay stops paying for the hospital bills, Dad falls ill, Amir has to decide whether to stay in the competition or go back home, Amir decides to stay, Amir sings, Amir wins, but you find out that the father has passed away. We're callous with lives like that.
- Okay, the big question that lots of people asked after the end. What happened? Is that how it ends? Is Burn dead?!! When Ping and I were planning this, we weren't thinking of a cliffhanger for season two. In fact, Ping's original idea was to have one of them die in the other's arms. Melody in Burn's, Burn in Melody's, I can't remember which. But I was worried about the sentimentality and said it should be handled really carefully. Then his script called for Joe to emerge from the back seat when Burn gets into the car, but now you don't see the death. Finally he decided on what you see on-screen, which I think is an even better ending. But I'm avoiding the question: is Burn dead? Well, I don't know. It depends if there is a second season. And even then...
Realiti. 10pm Sundays on 8TV, starring Azizan Nin, Ashraf Sinclair, Melissa Maureen, Alvin Wong, Chelsia Ng, Radhi Khalid. With Nazrudin Rahman, Juliana Ibrahim, Kee Thuan Chye, Reefa, Lydia Ibtisam, Nell Ng, Cheyenne Stutzriem, Aishah Sinclair. Special appearances by Fat Fabes, Carmen Soo and Fly Guy. What would you do to become a star?
and btw, thanks for uploading the song sung by chelsia ng, it's my favourite yet!
ps: which building did u guys film all the roof top scenes? me and my bro are trying to figure out... we're thinking somewhere in city, near OCBC bank/Bank Bumi.
Best of Them All - Cast of RealitiSo I said I wouldn't upload any mp3s, but I kinda really like this song, so I decided to YouTube the sucker. Nice song, all the kids sound okay - what more do you want?
And the final episode was awesome!! It's too short la, the show! I want more!!
There really should be a season 2, BUT with the same casts please! It wouldn't be the same without the same casts!
p/s: The last part was a good cliffhanger but when there's a cliffhanger, there SHOULD be a sequel! ;) Also, please don't tell me Burn died!!!
One Step by Chelsia NgThe voters have spoken: If it's Melody Yeoh you want, it's Chelsia Ng you'll get!
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
One Step by Melody, from the first episode of Realiti.
Hmm, I'll go pester 8tv for the OST to be released la! :D
isaac: What I think is that if somebody somewhere sees an opportunity to make money, then they will. And enough demand = opportunity. (Same applies for DVDs, naturally.)
Realiti - Episode 9 notes
We're now one step away from the last episode of Realiti, and personally, I honestly don't know if the next is the last ever episode or not. 8TV haven't said whether they want a second season. If you are curious (or you really want to watch a second season of Mac trying to be tough, yet nice, to a bunch of good looking people), drop them a note at their website. Actually, if you want a soundtrack of their songs, or merchandise (they have a notebook with the five kids on the cover), then you can ask them for that as well.
Talking about the soundtrack, I have managed to get hold of the first cuts of the kids singing songs. These are recordings of Ashraf, Zizan, Mel, Chelsia and Alvin warbling, before final post-production, so it's all a little raw and... er... not as in tune as we would like. I want to put a track or two up, but I shall leave it to you all to decide which of the five get the priveliege. Vote in the poll in this post, and if you want one song in particular, tell me in the comments below.
So, as usual, don't read these notes if you haven't seen the episode. You can watch them on YouTube: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
- Although Ping is credited as scriptwriter for this episode, I actually came up with the first draft of the story outline. There are big differences between that draft and the final version, and it's Ping's final script, so that's why his name is up there. But it would have been nice to have a 'story by' credit. I am indeed a whore for attention.
- Yes, the question must be asked: Why would Baby keep the photo of Fazrina when it has "I KNOW YOUR SECRET" plastered all over the back? Well, erm... because it serves the plot (*cringe*). Actually, I originally wanted it to be a letter, but Ping argued that a photo would be better because it better reminded Baby of how poorly she's stayed in touch with her daughter. Of course, if Baby wanted photos of Fazrina, all Baby would have had to do is ask Constance. But that doesn't serve the plot.
- The bits where you see Amir or Burn sitting on a ledge. Well... they are really sitting on a ledge. With no safety cables. They're not jumping around, but I myself have a very sensible fear of falling long distances, so I would have probably not done this as an actor. (There could have been a crew member ready to leap across to grab him if needed - he'd be called a grip, right? Geddit? Grip?)
- Originally, I wanted the drugs to be in tablet form, with a design etched on them. This is how they are branded, with hearts or doves, or something equally peace-loving. Ping opted for some alien-like logo. I would have preferred something more ironic.
- Joe calls girls 'chicas'. I only know one person in real life who says this, but that's license enough for me to use it in dialogue.
- Originally there was more Jay/Amir interaction about the newspaper rumour in episode 8. Because of time, it's now in episode 9.
- I don't know if Ping intentionally sourced Nike so that Joe's wearing a sweatshirt from them when he says, "As the shoe company says, Just Do It, man". But it's a nice touch.
- The scene where Dayang enters Baby's room and takes her photo was meant to be in episode 8. I originally had her find personal photos of Amir and Baby together, which she tears up in a fit of anger. After writing this, I took to calling Dayang 'Psycho Girl', and Lydia used to crinkle her pretty brow at me everytime I called her this. Of course, trust her to give a pretty sensitive portrayal on screen, so she isn't 'psycho' so much as 'sedih'.
- Incidentally, does anybody else think it's strange that Baby would have a photo of herself on her desk? Or it's just completely in line with her narcissism.
- The food that you see Dayang eating when Amir goes to see her is probably really her lunch. Lunch and dinner is provided on set, and they always come in these white polystyrene boxes, with nasi, one veg, and one bit of animal. No, the cast and crew don't get a long buffet line or a catering van or a menu. And everyone pretty much eats the same food - the only differences are halal/non-halal/vegetarian.
- I distintively remember writing the Amir/Dayang dialogue, where Amir says that why do those in the kampung accept that people help one another, but people from KL are more cynical, and assume there is an agenda. This is one thing I wanted to get through about Amir - that he is genuinely a nice guy, but in trying to be nice, he gets into trouble. I personally have a problem that I find it hard to say 'no', and when I do, it's usually too late, so there's a whole bit of me in Amir, I guess.
- That bit at the end of the Amir/Dayang conversation, when Dayang asks Amir to not see Baby again, is something that resonates with me. When I write stuff like that, it feels like I'm exposing myself - even though hardly anybody out there will know what it means.
- I think this is another good episode for Melissa and Zizan, acting-wise. Wish they were like this in Table for Two.
- I had a scene which shows Burn stealing a set of crutches, in order to pretend to be a patient and sneaking into the hospital. But, "the nurses dig me" works as well.
- When Baby slaps Amir, I keep thinking, "Hit HARDER!". Mel's just too nice.
- The montage of Burn calling for money is actually not great writing. Montages like this are shortcuts for "time passes...", where the same thing is said in practically every cut. But they're easy to write.
- Okay, authenticity check. In real life, on the day of the performance, the kids spend practically the whole day at the stage, preparing for the show later that night. In retrospect, it would have been better to set the whole episode at Sri Pentas, against a background of rehearsals. But, I think it was hard to find shooting time there, anyway. My bad, though.
- That whole bit from Burn and Joe visiting the dealers and then the ensuing fight is completely Ping. My version had a lot of detectiving, and Ping complained, "Where do they have time to do that?!!"
- So, when I set a scene in a completely new location, Ping rails at me for increasing his costs. When he writes a scene in a drug dealer's hideout in Bukit Bintang, it automatically makes the final cut. Wonder why.
- Ping said that the fight scene between Burn and Joe was incredibly intense to shoot. Ashraf and Reefa went full force into each other.
- Despite fighting in some back corridor in the seedier side of KL, note that their clothes stay clean. Most of the nicer clothes and furniture are sponsored. Don't sit on the wrong sofa on set or you'll get roundly scolded for it.
- "What do you mean, tinggal dua saja?" Hahahaha. I love that bit.
- Songs sung: Pernah by Ferhad (Baby); NowWhy2 by OAG (Amir); Ayu by VE (Burn).
- I know that even Melissa herself says she can't sing, but I think what she did for this show is pretty nice.
- "I'm Burn, man. Always ready." - My line, that. Heh.
- It's actually pretty obvious that Burn was going to lose this one. There was no reason for Amir to lose votes, and Baby's story isn't over yet.
- And yet, for those who watched the "next week" clips, you know there's one more person's story to wrap up...
Realiti. 10pm Sundays on 8TV, starring Azizan Nin, Ashraf Sinclair, Melissa Maureen, Alvin Wong, Chelsia Ng, Radhi Khalid. With Nazrudin Rahman, Juliana Ibrahim, Kee Thuan Chye, Reefa, Lydia Ibtisam, Nell Ng, Aishah Sinclair. Special appearances by Fat Fabes, Carmen Soo and Fly Guy. What would you do to become a star?
Btw,are there going to be any reruns of Realiti?
I don't know about the reruns - Popiah Pictures has no say in that at all. You'll have to grill 8TV for that.
Anonymous: Yes, I don't completely disagree with you. The problem with the Amir/Baby story is that the stakes don't keep building up - neither doesn't have more to lose in ep9, as compared in ep7. But, the plan was to have Amir in until ep10 from the beginning ('popular kampung boy' phenomena). And his core story is whether to throw the competition or not.
Baby's core story is her relationship with Fazrina. It could have quite easily been swapped with Nickson's story (i.e. in ep8 instead of 10), but I liked the Nickson story so much, that I selfishly wanted to tell it by itself in ep8. Baby's story is more Ping's baby (pun semi-intended), so he addressed it in 9 and 10. I know, writer's ego gets in the way, but if I really believed it would make a big difference, I would have wrapped up Baby's story earlier, and Nickson's later.
But the problems are the ones that we can really relate to. The competition is only a side-dish. I like.
Realiti's Nickson: How his story came about"Why was Nickson kicked out? To prove the point that gays can't be on reality TV? That's tragic isn't it?"
That's what Karin wrote below, as a comment to episode 8 of Realiti. And yes, I agree that if that was the point, then it would be extremely tragic. But, of course, that wasn't really the point we were trying to make.
(I was going to reply to this in a comment, but then realised that it would have taken up a little bit too much space. And everything I write below is from my vague and fuzzy memory. Ping might contradict what I have here, and if he does, I'll edit this post to accommodate his comments.)
First of all, the idea of Nickson as an effeminate character was Ping's from the very beginning. He felt that people would like watching him, and I think the original preview audience feedback supported it. People like a campish character who bitches about everything and generally acts silly.
I personally didn't like that we had to resort to that kind of humour to reach an audience. It's a cheap shot, and because we're doing it over and over again, it's a bucket-load of cheap shots. Like buckshot made of rock salt or something. Not difficult to get hold of, and leaves a funny taste in the mouth. On the other hand, there were real-life people who fitted the mould (Adam of Malaysian Idol 2, for example; or Bob from Akademi Fantasia), so it wasn't really that far of a stretch to put them in.
Never mind, I said. What's the story? What is it about them that will change throughout the series? I don't remember there being any doubt that we would be tackling Nickson's effeminity (is there such a word), one way or the other. Exactly what, we debated upon that.
One choice would be to have people insisting that he be more manly, that he stop being so soft. This is exactly what happened to Adam of MI2. Judges kept telling him to firm up, add a little masculinity to his performance. I always wondered, "Why?". The core of every performance is honesty, and if somebody feels a fake in what they do, then I don't think they do so well. So, I thought this would be an interesting dilemma.
The other choice was to actually step up and make Nickson gay. If we did that, the dilemma would be different. He would have had more to lose. Can an openly gay character win votes on a reality show? Maybe, maybe not. There certainly would be controversy, but I think there have been plenty of Malaysian artists who have that implicit lifestyle. So being gay, in itself, may not cause that many problems.
But what if his fanbase were primarily young, teenage girls? How would that play out? As I asked, what if Daniel of MI2 had told all his teeny-bopping pink-clad hyperactive female fans, "sorry girls, I'm more interested in guys". I think he would alienate his core base, and lose votes.
Of course, it doesn't have to be sexual orientation. In fact, we put Amir through a similar sort of wringer with all the accusations of him being involved with Baby. But the big difference is, Amir doesn't choose which way to go. With Nickson, we tried to put it at his feet. Make a choice: Deny your close relationship with Calvin, or lose your chance to win Malaysian Star.
(Incidentally, Karin, it is this element of choice that is important in storytelling. Remember, Raz or David said that you shouldn't have an Act of God as a key plot element? It should be a choice. And it can't be an easy choice. That's what I like about the Burn/Melody storyline in episode 7. After Mac discovers the drugs, everything that happens to them is a result of choices made. I think that the Nickson story in episode 8 lacks that build-up.)
Despite what you may read into what I've said above, I need to make one thing clear: We were NOT trying to tackle homosexuality as an issue. We were trying to tell a story, and those issues happened to be the mechanisms to tell that story. We were certainly not trying to say whether it's right or wrong.
If we had Nickson admit his relationship with Calvin, and then carry on to get the votes, then there wouldn't be a dilemma. He wouldn't have lost anything. It would have been a bad story.
(Myself, I feel that a personal lifestyle choice is... well, personal. As in, not anybody elses business.)
you act reaaaally well...and youre singing is about the best among the lot!
dzof: 1 thing about malaysian mini-drama series.... tooooo short!!! 10 episodes oni?
so er... ya wanna do dinner sometime? you can choose to date Alvin or Nickson, or both if dat's your thang...
P/S: 2 more episodes!! :(
So what's your schedule like?...
p/s:alvin, i saw you in the curve some time back.if i ever see you again, can i take a picture with you?LOL.i dare not approach you tat day.respect your privacy ma hahaha
anyway, i'm not sure if it's fair to say this but, in my opinion, Naz, or rather Jay, was da best among all of us. no traces of ACTING at all... he's got a great future ahead. fellas like Farid Kamil, Rosyam Nor, Jehan (sorry man) dun even come close... plus Naz is a newcomer. he should bloody well be pelakun baru terbaik...
Initially when I wrote that comment I wanted to know why Nickson had to be the one to be kicked out and what was the rationale behind it.Was it because he was gay?Was it becos of his singing or was it simply the fact that female teenyboppers are more inclined to vote for someone who is 'straight'?I personally don't think the issues surrounding his sexual orientation is less controversial than that of Amir and Baby's saga.But I suppose you do have a point when you said it would have been a bad story had Nickson continued getting votes despite admitting to his relationship with Calvin.What's TV without a little bit of drama huh? :)
On a personal note,I would like to say to hardcore fans of Alvin Wong that I have absolutely nothing against gays and I certainly have no interest to know if Alvin Wong is gay or otherwise.If my comment have implied that I am butting into their personal lives or their privacy then I apologise.
As a matter of fact,I happen to think Alvin Wong is one of the better actors Malaysia has seen in recent years.He has long earned brownie points in my own hall of fame ever since his days in Each Other
i'm glad something like this is finally pushing the envelope and setting a whole new benchmark for local tv. the cast, storyline, direction, production quality etc... awesome, awesome, awesome.
and Alvin like totally rocks my socks.
keke....agree about Naz as Jay. he's acting terror merror......and to think that we were coursemates...studying a NERDY course!! ok...im slipping off frm my anonymicity(correct spelling or not?)better shuddap now. Gotta download episode9. Missed it...
however, i'm constantly trying to improve my acting. believe me, i'm annoyingly critical with myself. but working with Ping is always very assuring cuz you know you've nailed it when he proceeds to shoot da following scene. just leave it all to him to judge. it's da kind of trust dat's rarely seen between a director and an actor.
hey lifeluvliberty, i swear to god i ain't fishin' for compliments but Each Other? i felt like bending over whipping da crap out of myself when i was evaluating my own performance in Each Other. *cringe* In fact Table For Two was my chance at redeeming myself for my bad performances in Each Other.
Realiti - Episode 8 notes
If you missed it on Sunday, say thanks to YouTube: YouTube: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
- When I wrote this, I mainly dealt with the Burn storyline and the broad aspects of the Nickson story. There also was a Baby story which got shunted into the next episode. Anyway, here is the script.
- I'm not entirely happy with this episode. The Burn storyline is okay, but the Nickson and the Amir stories don't feel so natural. I wish now I had spent more time on those.
- For completeness, based on the poll for episode 7 that I posted earlier in this blog, Nickson would have been kicked out, Amir would have come out top, and Carmen Soo would have had a million-dollar recording contract.
- A lot of stories got moved around between episodes 8 and 9 (and maybe 7 too). Not enough time, and because I wrote too much anyway. This is why there might be some scenes in the script that you don't see on the screen.
- The opening scene, where Burn gets recognised by a VCD seller, was initially meant to be my humourous take on how Burn's life can never be the same now he's been on TV. Imagine getting sold a VCD on Petaling Street by Daniel. Then, somehow, the idea that grew into Burn betting on himself. I thought that Burn would have too much pride to want to rejoin this dumb competition. But when there's money on the table...
- The ringtone that interrupts Joe's work in the beginning wasn't as cheesy as I had imagined it. I wanted a monotone version 'All By Myself' (matching Melody's original song in the last showdown). Like this one. And then that song changed. Not that it was my idea to do so.
- Not once, not twice, but... many, many times, Chelsia has accused me of purposely putting her in a coma so that I didn't have to write dialogue for her to act to. "You made me lie in a hospital bed, what kind of acting can I do with that?!!". Hey, don't blame the writer, I go where the story flows, babe. (Now I'm going to get killed for calling her 'babe'...)
- I hope I didn't go too overboard with Jay in this episode. He really comes across as being a bad guy, even though Naz puts sincerity in the role.
- The bit where Mac tells Burn that David has problem paying the bills is pretty clumsy exposition. Sometimes you just want to get the facts out, so you write straight dialogue that says "He's got problems paying the bills". The only reason you might have noticed this is because you get focussed on Mac and Burn arguing on Burn rejoining the competition.
- How do I write scenes in Hokkien? I don't. I write in English, somebody else translates. (Not sure who, Douglas Lim maybe.)
- Ping regretted not having more interaction scenes between the students. In one way I agree, because those scenes can be a lot of fun - a lot of one-liners, very fast. But if the stories are good enough on their own...?
- The whole Amir/Baby-buys-Harry Potter-for-Fazrina came from Ping. It's meant to bring Amir and Baby closer together. And for a chance for Dayang to get jealous. Because Lydia playing jealous looks scarily natural. Which I like, of course.
- "Cakap dari hati". I didn't remember I put this in originally, but it's one of the things I say a lot: "Act from the heart". Now I think about it, I realise it's something that permeates all three storylines in this episode - I didn't even mean it to be this way. Sometimes the story tells you more about the writer than the story itself.
- If you go back throughout my history with Popiah Pictures, you'll notice that the shows never have good fathers in them. It's mostly either fathers who cheat or fathers who are abusive. At best, it's fathers who abandon their families. However, there was a script I did for him for an abandoned series, where a father and a daughter learned to reconcile with one another. Probably why that series was abandoned, neh?
- There's a quick bit on TV when Juliana is wearing a red dress. Mmm.
- Baby gives Amir a guitar pick. Hopefully you all with long memories will think back to when Dayang gave Amir guitar strings (back in episode 1) to show him how much she cared for him.
- I screwed up somewhere on the Baby dialogue when she's confronted by the press about her relationship with Baby. As it is, it's not clear whether she's talking about Amir or whether she thinks the idea of her having a relationship during the competition is just silly. She should avoided all doubt and said: "You ingat aku dengan Amir? Please-lah - aku pun ada standard, tahu."
- And then just before Baby goes up to perform, she can talk to Amir. "Aku nervouslah" "Baby jangan gementar. Baby boleh beri persembahan yang hebat." "Thanks." "Baby ada standard, kan?"
- The songs sung on tonight's episode: Meant to Be by Douglas Lim and Angel Wong (Baby); Khayalan by VE (Burn); Venusia by OAG (Amir); Katakan Saja by Ferhad (Nickson).
- Amir sings exactly the same song he did in the last showdown (in fact, he sings the first verse EXACTLY the same - like it's recorded or something...). I think this wouldn't have been allowed. I wonder if it's because Ping and I weren't sure exactly when he was going to get eliminated, that Azizan didn't have enough songs prepared.
- That intro to Burn's song - pretty cool cinematography. In fact, pretty cool performance all throughout.
- Don't like the laughing and booing for Nickson's and Amir's performance. A bit too loud and too much.
- The way Nickson reveals his love for Calvin on national TV was debated between me and Ping. I wanted Nickson to pull Calvin up on stage. And then just pull him. Ping showed his quiet disagreement by saying, "You're joking, right?!! Tell me you're just playing with me". Sometimes I know when to stop arguing.
- Incidentally, Ahmad Izham Omar co-wrote Katakan Saja. (Izham is Chief Operating Officer/Big Boss for 8TV.)
- My original version of Nickson's confrontation with his dad was a lot harsher. I much prefer my version over what eventually was shown.
Realiti. 10pm Sundays on 8TV, starring Azizan Nin, Ashraf Sinclair, Melissa Maureen, Alvin Wong, Chelsia Ng, Radhi Khalid. With Nazrudin Rahman, Juliana Ibrahim, Kee Thuan Chye, Gambit, Reefa, Ian Ng, Wong Yok Kim, Lydia Ibtisam, Nell Ng, Cheyenne Stutzriem, Aishah Sinclair. Special appearances by Fat Fabes, Carmen Soo and Fly Guy. What would you do to become a star?
one question tho:
when nick is singing, the ppl behind his mom is booing, but THEn after that one of them was showing the big cardboard TMNet hands with NICKSON's name on it..didn't she just booed?
PS:I enjoyed your frank comments and discussion on scriptwriting last Wednesday with Raz.Hope to catch up with you soon.
Rebekah: When you see something like that happening, just lean your head back, stare at the ceiling, and hum, "the magic of television, the magic of television".
Karin: Read the post above about Nickson's story.
btw, the link to ur version of nickson's confrontation with his father doesn't seem to work.
-Ppl have been commenting on baby's singing, and sorry, i have to agree to all. But melissa's acting has improved so,so much. impressed me.
-alvin can sing quite good,eh? pity he got eliminated.based on singing, i'll vote baby or burn out, for sure, man. how come burn got 1st place?... well, tv shows..
really, if they compete in the real world, i'm telling you, amir is gonna win. m'sians will easily love him..
-nway, Naz is really good. I didnt expect he'd act so well. But, boy, was i wrong.
note: that guy who played the guard outside the show who didnt let Calvin in, was also the guy who was the head of amir's supporters from the kampung, rite? haha..
calystarr: If you're talking about the theme tune played in the introduction, it's Scarecrow Adams by Disagree. Incidental music during the show comes from many sources (but practically all of them by Malaysian artists).
anyway, does anyone know what was the song played when nickson was kicked out of the show? the one with "i dont believe in second best, bla bla bla"..and where can i get douglas lim's music in mp3 files maybe?? i lovee his tunes..
"anak dia coma, dia tak mampu nak bayar bill hospital, whats his problem,I dont know Burn, you tell me"
hahaha love this part
Dzof: thanks... i do hav disagree album btw... but me actually referring the same song mentioned by lynn.
oh last thing... i like that different languages are used in the show(ie. english, malay and hokkien). it makes it all the more real. what's more malaysian than mixing our languages right? it's my 40-mins of home.
Anyway, now we're talking about this, hmm... MTV Asia...
Maybe Flower & Bees....
how can i have that song...anyone can help me?
pliz..im in japan....
Realiti - Episode 7 notes
So, finally, the first elimination episode. This episode is special because I wrote it, and because it aired so close to my birthday - and because it's actually pretty good. Or at least, I think so. Of course, I am biased and am watching it with a very refracted sense of criticality, but I really do think it works as an episode. Of course, anybody out there who watched it and thought it sucked, I apologise profusely. But if any of you liked it - cool.
Missed it? Don't fret, say thanks to You Tube: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
- Because it's my episode, here's the script.
- Finally, the first elimination episode. It's taken so long to get here just because we love all our characters and didn't want them to disappear so early. We actually spent a fair amount of time trying to decide who would be eliminated when, and were changing it around even during the episode 9/episode 10 drafts. And the winner? Heck, there were three names in the air up to the very end. The rule of thumb is this: if a character still has a story to tell, he/she doesn't get eliminated. Or not really eliminated anyway, as the "Next Week..." clips demonstrate this week.
- Talking about the "Next Week..." clips, I feel that it spoils the surprises. My advice is to not watch it for the next few episodes.
- Notice how Baby's wound shifts from the center of her head to the side. And then later on disappears. This indeed is the magic of television.
- There are some problems in timing. When exactly is the showdown? Baby says it's in two more days. The next day, both Juliana and Mac say that it's in two more days. What they obviously mean, because the showdown is in the evening, they have two more days to prepare. Anyway, when they say "two days", what they mean is "tomorrow".
- I wish I had written a rehearsal scene for them, but this episode has so much story in it, there isn't really much space left for anything else. The dialogue that Mac has just before the show was initially meant to be during rehearsals, but it's all talk and no sing.
- Early on in the episode, as they are meeting the fans, Nickson says something like, "ikan kat pasar tu kan, dia potong dengan laser, tahu", which is definitely not something I had written. That's Alvin for you. Ad-libber. Scene-stealer.
- In the original draft, Burn palms the drugs when Mac barges into the bathroom. Mac then grabs hold of Burn's wrist, not Melody's. I still prefer the original version. But because I don't have the word 'Producer' next to my name, they went with the other one.
- I'm actually quite happy with how the Nickson storyline works in this episode. It's not so direct about Nickson's gayness, but I hope that it's clear that that is one of the sticking points in his relationship with his father. Anyway, it's a lot more obvious next episode.
- I like the scene where Mac, Jay and David argue about whether Melody should stay in. First draft by me, and then lots of rewrites, and Ping had a strong hand in the final version, I think. Does David want Melody to stay in because it's what's is best for her? I tried to at least make you believe that he thinks he's doing the right thing.
- The scene on the roof: classic. I have no idea whether it was Ping or me who first came up with it, but it's the big scene I was waiting to write. I'm going to say it was my idea, and that I set it on the roof. It's a classic love scene where two people say they love each other, without actually using those words.
- It's one of those few scenes that didn't actually change very much from the first to the final draft. Ironically, Ping changed the scene because it was too long at the beginning. (And maybe he thought the dialogue sucked, but he didn't really say that, and I don't think that was the case either.) It ended up running a little longer, split up across two scenes.
- The line about the Twin Towers? Originally came from Ping. It's okay to use cheese if you point out it's very Drama Minggu Ini-ish in the dialogue. And when you can get a rooftop with the Twin Towers in the background. It has my blessings anyway, and I edited to keep it in with full gusto. And relish.
- One thing that did change for the rooftop scene was the song that Melody sings. Originally it was All By Myself, and I wrote the dialogue so that the lyrics really fit in with what Melody wanted to say ("Hard to be sure / Sometimes I feel so insecure / And love so distant and obscure / Remains the cure"). When Ping switched songs, he paid scant attention to the words. Who can blame him, he's just the director. I pointed this out to him, but he didn't feel moved enough by my impassionate plea to change it back. Gah. Producers.
- You do realise that all the songs the kids perform are by local artists? The simple reason is because the license to use is much cheaper than for foreign artists. I did a fair amount of research, trying to get just the right song to fit a scene, and all of it - all of it - got thrown down the drain.
- SMS competition time: SMS 'real' to 33838 for a chance to win Swatch watches and a Phil Collins CD.
- The Jay/Amir scene is really long, and surprisingly holds up, I think. Basically, long scenes with long dialogue is Dzof, shorter scenes are from Ping. He says the actors get angry with me because my dialogue so tough to say. I like the West Wing and am living proof that without skill, wordy dialogue comes out less clever, and more difficult.
- A lot of the stage preparation shots came from season 2 Malaysian Idol grand final in Genting.
- I think that in one of my earlier drafts, the kids have to force their way through a swathe of fans, and we have Burn and Amir fans fighting each other. This boils over to Burn and Amir actually fighting themselves. But it's out, probably because of budget and because it's not directly relevant to the story.
- "Ingat lirik, ya Burn" - I don't remember writing it, but it's in one of my early drafts, so it must have been my line. It gets confusing sometimes remembering which work Ping did and which I did. I want the credit, but TV writing so much a collaboration. Even the actors ad-lib a lot of the time. At the end of the day, it's a huge messy ramli-burger like thing that you hope is still edible despite the irritating undigestible bits in them.
- Aishah Sinclair (Ashraf's sister) is the host for the showdown. The judges are Fat Fabes, Carmen Soo and Fly Guy. I had a chance to watch the Carmen Soo shoot, but somebody forced me to go floating in the Klang harbour instead. (He obviously isn't a fan of Carmen Soo.)
- Songs this week: Baby by Douglas Lim (specially written for Baby), Detik Bersamamu by VE (Nickson), Venusia by OAG (Amir), Ratu Hati by Innuendo (Melody), Tiada Lagi Cinta by Ruffedge (Burn).
- The thing is, I have absolutely no idea how the kids will sing when I write the script. So, I put in the judges to make comments, so you'd have a clue of how well or badly they perform. After that, it's out of my hands, baby. Pun intended.
- One thing I almost forgot: Ping and I had a loooong discussion/argument about how Burn was going to exit the studio. I originally had him storming out before the announcer finished speaking, and then he got violent in the lobby, punching out Mac, and ended up on the back of a big black motorbike driven by Joe. And then, in the next draft, I had him punching out David. And then Amir. And then Mac again (I think). And the bike turned into a car. But, all the while, Ping kept cutting all the good stuff now, so all you get is Burn pushing away the camera in disgust. I still think a good fight would have been better.
- So Melody has a stash of drugs in her diary, and a big one at that. I liked the idea that something so personal, would also be where she hid her sin. Makes you think again why she was angry when Burn read her diary in episode 5.
Realiti. 10pm Sundays on 8TV, starring Azizan Nin, Ashraf Sinclair, Melissa Maureen, Alvin Wong, Chelsia Ng, Radhi Khalid. With Nazrudin Rahman, Juliana Ibrahim, Lydia Ibtisam, Nell Ng, Kee Thuan Chye, Cheyenne Stutzriem, Aishah Sinclair. Special appearances by Fat Fabes, Carmen Soo and Fly Guy. What would you do to become a star?
maybe 8tv should stop showing spoilers.... potong stim only... :)
erm 1 question....why dont u get baby to lip-sync??(sorry mel)
love aishah sinclair. dont like the other girl who interviews everybody sorry but abit too overdone
overall i kinda like this episode.
well, this episode is great but i was kinda confused bout what actually happened to Baby?
blushpal: Last episode, Baby was going to pay off the ransom, and the police were ready to jump the bad guy. Unfortunately, he got away with the money. Baby was rescued, and despite Mac's advice to take it easy, she insisted on carrying on with the show. She's a real trooper, that girl.
The argument scene btwn Jay, mac ngn bapak Melody I rasa macam bukan menonton drama local. HAts off to you guys.
When I know that Amir is still in the competition despite his poor performance, I kinda feel that he might win the Malaysian Star.. hmm..
anon: Not trying to defend Baby, but I hope you noticed that the judges were saying she moved well, not that she sang well. And based on the (admittedly unscientific) poll above, Baby would have been voted in to the next round.
dont be sad peeps....burn will still be there...the next episode trailer gave it away....:)
Thanks for the insight info dzof! *clap clap*
Oh and also kudos to Ping. Love em all (his shows) ever since the good ol' kopitiam days.
As for Mel stabbing... don't you get that feeling anyway when she a little kooky on set? Why do you think I never sit so close to her?
"ikan kat pasar tu kan? dia orang potong dengan laser tau?"
LOL...which part.. i'm gonna watch some repeats now...hahaha
now still search for the ikan dipasar mereka potong dgn laser!
anyway, in da undercover reporter episode, when we all walked to da lift and Burn wanted to explain to Melody what really happened in dat room, without anyone's anticipation and out of da blue, i said "...itu kambing kan? kalau tak mengandung pun boleh keluar susu..." then i heard Ashraf chuckled through his nose and gave me da most puzzled "what da hell?" look. we couldn't continue dat scene of course. we had to do it again, with me maintaining da same kambing story... hahahah!!!
Realiti - Episode 6 notesSorry this has taken some time, but I shall put the blame squarely on Raz (who had written the episode) because I only got her notes from her today.
Watch before you read, courtest of YouTube: 1, 2, 3, 4
Photos courtesy of Popiah Pictures and Chelsia Ng
Notes are by Razlina Ramli. Notes in green by me.
By the way, Raz's employers, 95% Trainings, have a writing workshop this Sunday (15 October 2006) - get in touch with them if you want to know more.
- Well I enjoyed it. There were times I had to remind myself I wrote this piece. Ah… what a nice change from me cringing at the sofa and watching the show from in between my fingers.
- The pace picks up from here to the end of the season, as we're about to hit the elimination stretch of the show. The debate is still a little out I guess on whether we should have kicked out contestants earlier on, since some on the forums are saying, "Eh, how come nobody voted out yet?", but I don't want to have lost characters before we had a chance to tell their stories.
- Melody and Burn’s character have blossomed which is, yeah. When we were at pre, pre- production stages, we weren’t sure with whom Burn should have a relationship with or at least seemingly having a relationship with. A lot of hours debating in a particular coffee shop ensued, with Ping wanted him to go with Baby, Dzof was … can’t remember but I am certain he had a long commentary on who should go with whom and why. So much so, Ping decided it is not working to have all the writers in one sitting because he said we kind of sidetracked from the storylines, sometimes, …Okay so Dzof and I joked a lot because we were looking at our past experiences to see whether the story sticks or was it too incomprehensible. Anyway, I thought it would not be much fun having Burn and Baby together because I imagined Baby would have many of those kinds of friends in the past. Melody provided a much needed stress for Burn because for one, she’s kind of messed up, does not clamour for his undying attention unlike the rest of the fans and she is a chick in trouble. So, that worked out pretty well. Besides, Baby would not have given him a toss.
- Agreed. Although I thought the Melody/Amir combo had a lot of nice possibilities too.
- Speaking of Baby, I like it when she told Amir, “Get out of my sight!” that was fun to write and watch. I like writing such things for her and I like Amir to be the rough diamond type but somehow I didn’t get it out the way I had envisaged him as. Amir seemed a bit lost, which maybe I am not too sure why but maybe Dzof can fill us in as he is always at the shoot. Well, seemingly he is always at the shoot.
- Indeed. I live for the reflected glory that are Malaysian TV stars.
- I kind of like the way Ping had grilled and re-grill me when I was writing this episode. Every time I am pleased with my writing and send him the copy with a glee on my face, he will undoubtedly comeback with remarks such as “..the opening not fast enough-la”or “The middle too slow,..” sometimes I get, “the juicy bits too late it’s about to end already….” That went on for several weeks. It could get quite arghhhh!! But I liked it, it was all worth the anxiety, frustration et el because the end product was fun (to me). In particular I liked the ending, it was fast, lots of going ons and a cliff hanger… although I remembered mine had a car chase…. Yeah when I wrote in Ping did look skeptical that I was turning it into a thriller. The only comment was I thought the police were slow. I mean like the car boot scene, huh? He had to wait? Why not just smash the windscreen and open the boot? Right? I missed something there.
- I was talking to Anne the other day, and she said that she thought the original chase scene was a little bit 24-ish. And out of budget too. What I always say as a writer is just write first, worry about the budget later!
- Dzof thought the ending was a bit ….blah and maybe he said cliché. Okay can’t have everything. But one thing for sure the heat is on.
- Hah. You just wait for the cliff-hanger next week.
- Dayang has more emotions in this one, so does Melody, Burn and Wahida. Amir is kind of Mr. Perfect, I didn’t see the dilemma he was suppose to be in as Ping had wanted in, so maybe that’s the writer’s shortcomings. Other wise it was fun. Okay Dzof now you can say whatever you like. Hahahaha.
- Already have, babe.
- Some thoughts on the Nickson storyline. I swear, this episode's story came out before a similar storyline on Lost (the one where the Korean girl meets that hotel manager). Complete coincidence. I thought I may have came up with it, but a quick search through email shows the first time it's mentioned to me is in script form already. Things get so confusing sometimes. I do remember saying that maybe Nickson should help the girl solve her problem, and in doing so realise that he is in a similar predicament, but it was shortened.
- Talking about short, this episode comes in at under forty minutes, which must be some sort of record for what some call a 1-hour show. As it is, anything over forty four minutes is long, so I'm trying to figure out if anything was cut. There was that bit when Amir goes and visits Baby, and the video goes all slow, six-million dollar man like, but I looked at the script, and I don't think there really was anything cut out.
Realiti. 10pm Sundays on 8TV, starring Azizan Nin, Ashraf Sinclair, Melissa Maureen, Alvin Wong, Chelsia Ng, Radhi Khalid. With Nazrudin Rahman, Juliana Ibrahim, Maria Farida, Lydia Ibtisam, Nell Ng, Reefa, Mazin Siraj. What would you do to become a star?
Realiti - Episode 5 notesA word before I begin this. Despite what some people might think, I am not a producer for Realiti, merely a humble scriptwriter. The real producers are Ping Ho and Anne Low of Popiah Pictures, who do the hard work of coming up with the original idea, figuring out the structure for the whole series, selling it to the studio, finding sponsors, casting the actors, approving locations, directing, and, yes, occasionally writing for the show.
Because I get along with Ping relatively well, we also spend hours in coffee shops throwing ideas at each other, as well as dissecting scripts. Note that he is the one who decides what stays and what goes. On the other hand, I take immense pride in having helped shape a large part of the series. This is, without doubt, the proudest piece of writing work I have ever been involved with. I'm sure it's not the best I can do, but it feels like I'm getting there.
Anyway, as usual, I have spoilers throughout this post. So, if you prefer, you can first watch it on YouTube: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
By the way, Melissa has her own Behind-the-Scenes thing for this episode on her blog. Because she doesn't believe in permalinking her posts (WHY?!!), you'll have to scroll down to the post marked 'excess baggage', and then scroll down a little more after the list. In it she talks about wiping her tears and mascara on Amir, sleazy fans and what she thinks of her singing.
- Minggu Lepas..., Azizan reminds us what happened last time round. Aiyo... looks so dramatic, lo. I tried - really tried - not to fall into the whole Drama Minggu Ini mode of storytelling, but it's easy to be melodramatic if the humour doesn't cut it the other way. Must try better next time.
- Ping had the idea of an episode where Baby gets a poison pen letter from the beginning. For Baby, image is everything, so somebody attacking her from that angle would really hurt her. Obviously, the one person who wouldn't really care is Amir, which is one reason we have them interacting later on.
- There was a contestant on Malaysian Idol who received a poison pen letter and I think the title was, "10 Reasons Why ... Should Not Be Malaysian Idol". I can't remember if I told the team this, or if it's just sheer coincidence that Kartini/Ping used practically the same words.
- Incidentally, I find it quite incredible that people would take the time and effort to sit down and compose poison pen letters. Although those on the receiving end say it doesn't affect them, the truth is that it does. In most cases, there is some truth in the letters, albeit a truth that has been twisted into something bitter and unrecognisable. My take on them? Peoples' private lives are their own and just because they're stars, it doesn't mean you have full permission to probe and expose what they want to keep personal.
- Ah Tak is played by Douglas Lim, who is also responsible for all the music you hear the kids sing on the show. Well, if he hasn't written it, then he's produced it or arranged it.
- Songs sung this week: Back to You by Douglas Lim (Baby); Izinkan by VE (Burn); Higher Deeper by Ferhad (Nickson); Tears and Flowers by Douglas Lim (Melody); and Amir sings a song by John's Mistress (don't know the title). (Thanks to Chelsia and Douglas for this info)
- Okay, this is what I really can't stand. The whole point is that Amir is not comfortable singing in English. So why the hell would he pick an English song to serenade Dayang with? Incidentally, in the script, it just says "Amir serenades Dayang", no song title.
- Heh. I'm pretty sure I came up with the Ramly Burger scene, although originally Joe was involved, and he was teasing Burn about getting the hots for Melody. It turned into this "So, Daddy said, huh?" scene, which is much better. Kudos to Kartini/Ping.
- The Pop TV announcer is basically a tool for exposition, so Juliana really doesn't have much opportunity to shine in this role - but I do think she looks nice in her top.
- Okay, I don't like those banner ads interupting the show, but since it's related to Realiti, I'll forgive it this one time. If you want pictures of the kids on your handphone, send an SMS to 33838, with the message 8TVRC 40609 for Amir, 8TVRC 40611 for Baby, 8TVRC 40612 for Burn, 8TVRC 40610 for Nickson and 8TVRC 40613 for Melody. And, no, I don't get a cut of this.
- In real life, people aren't so rude as to laugh at you when you're not singing well, but this is TV land. Having said that, I personally have stifled huge chuckles when watching some contestants perform. So I'm a bad person, sorry.
- Okay, for all those out there who write 'that girl who plays Baby cannot act-lah' or something similar, you can just watch Melissa's performance in this episode and eat it. I think she's pretty good, and has definitely improved since her debut in Table for Two.
- Something's that surprised me is some reaction out there on Burn and Melody kissing. I don't think it's such a big deal, really. You do know you don't actually see it happen, right? At the moment, this is what we're assuming the censors will accept. If you don't actually see it happen, then it's okay. Anyway, I prefer the anticipation of something happening than the actual seeing.
- Amir's story only works if you believe that he's singing in english because of Dayang. I think I suggested a whole scene where Amir and Dayang are working together, and they confirm their feelings for each other. This got reduced in the episode to where he asks her to help him, but you miss (I feel), Dayang's feelings for him in return.
- Okay, believe it or not, that scene where Burn and Melody play with utensils in the kitchen? I was told that in the original script, it said "Burn and Melody fool around". In my dictionary (and Ping's), "fooling around" means getting hot and heavy, with a lot of clumsy fumbling, but the director for this episode disagreed, I guess...
- "Just because dia pakai sexy, orang kena undi dia, lah". Erm... yah. But overall, I don't really like that scene. It feels too forced. How Baby's plot unfolds was a sticking point of sorts. I think I did suggest that Baby wrote the letters herself (which on hindsight doesn't look like such a bad idea after all), but in the end we went with a fan of Melody's having written it. I'm not really completely satisfied with that, but I guess it's okay.
- On the other hand, the "You read my journal?!!" scene really works.
- We did debate who the different characters would hook up with. And we had all sorts of combinations between Amir/Burn and Melody/Baby. In the end, having Burn go with Melody pretty much forced the Amir/Baby link.
Photos couresy of Popiah Pictures and Chelsia Ng
hmm.. was wondering if u could actually post those mp3 they sang in the show... lol... i meant the original version :P except chelsia ler... i'm still looking for her album... where to cari??!!
If you want the original artists' versions, try http://www.musiccanteen.com/ - RM3 a song, and you can pay by SMS too!
Realiti on YouTubeThanks to artyfeelhoneyme, who left a comment about this below, I now know that you can find episodes of Realiti on YouTube. For example, if you are able to search here and here, and are patient enough to wait for the thing to load, and then willing to watch it as a small-sized version with slightly less than average sound quality, and to repeat it three or four times for each episode... hell, you can watch Realiti on the net.
The truth is, I don't think Ping quite imagined that people would be enjoying the show like this. I remember how much he fussed (and me too, actually) when he found out that when TV3 were broadcasting Table for Two in mono, when he had laboriously hard-crafted a stereo soundtrack. (For Realiti, he has simply lowered the bar of expectation to tripping-over point by supplying 8TV only mono versions of the episodes.)
I mean, lets face it. YouTube is not where you go when you want to watch high-quality picture video. And only if you have enough bandwidth. But, yeah, I get it. It's the only place people who can't get 8TV on Sunday nights can go to. They have no choice. And yet there are those who still wait to download and watch it. I am impressed.
And more. I think that the profit-making point for DVDs of TV shows is very low: somewhere in the region of a thousand discs (I'm talking about legal copies here, selling for forty or fifty ringgit a disc). Somebody just needs to be persuaded that there's a market out there for this. However, I think that Popiah Pictures doesn't have the final say, because the rights pretty much belong to 8TV. But money persuades, right?
If Realiti goes to DVD, we're talking about people being able to enjoy an even better version of the show than what you see on TV. In proper letterbox format. With no censorship. With extras (imagine: full versions of the kids' performances on stage, Baby in full flirty glory).
In stereo, even.
I am a huge fan of One Tree Hill and The O.C, AND I think that Realiti could almost rival those international tv shows! Way to go!
So yeah, I would DEFINITELY buy! ;)
As for the DVD (or even just the soundtrack), my advice is to drop a line to 8TV and say you'd buy one if they released it. If you ask enough times, I'm sure they'd actually go through with it!
Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!
Realiti - Episode 4 notesSorry if some of you think this is a little late, I have classes to teach this week. Anyway, here are the notes, and some pics. Enjoy.
(This episode on YouTube: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
- "Sebelum ini dalam Realiti...". Ashraf says this before this week's episode begins. I think every week has somebody different saying it.
- This episode is written by Kartini Ariffin, of 3R fame. She's also written a few episodes for Impian Illyana.
- This is my least favourite episode in the entire series. For me, the main story (Amir running back to kampung) just doesn't really do anything. On top of that, it's hard to really see the theme in the episode. It would have been an opportunity to explore surface image vs what we think underneath, but it didn't turn out that way.
- The business about gaining weight at the buffet is based on real life. You eat buffets every day, of course some of the kids are going to gain a little weight.
- I remember discussing with Ping how Amir would run back to the kampung. At first, Ping was reluctant to follow him all the way back, simply because it was an additional location and costs. I had a storyline where Mac confronts him in Pudu bus station, but Ping wasn't happy with that. The other problem was trying to figure out why he wanted to stay in the competition. I don't think that bit was ever really solved. We sort of have this idea that it's because his mother gives him the push, because his father was a great musician, but then gave it up. I don't quite get it, though. Originally, this storyline was meant to extend until the end of the season, but I think we both agreed it didn't have the legs to take through. Hence, the introduction of a new storyline for Amir later...
- On some of the forums, there have been comparisons between Amir and Mawi based on the fact he's engaged to Dayang and then breaks off with her, and that he comes from the kampung. As far as I am concerned, this wasn't entirely intentional. We did want the popular kampung boy, primarily as an antithesis to Baby, and we did want to explore what does being popular mean. But I primarily had Faizal in mind of a lot of these themes.
- Amir was always meant to be from Kedah. Notice that his accent doesn't keep up throughout the whole show, but when he talks to Jay, it reemerges. I could sort of explain this by saying that after being in KL for so long, he knows he has to keep the accent down in day-to-day conversation. But I wish now that I made it reemerge when he was upset or excited.
- Jay was a character we came up with relatively late in the series. In fact, I think I came up with him in order to write episode 7, and then he sort of spread from there (could be wrong, must check emails to find out). We needed a contrast to Mac, somebody in the industry who focussed on things that Mac didn't care for. Glamour. Popularity. Image. For Jay, the music is the lowest thing on the list.
- Naz Rahman is an excellent choice for Jay. I'm happy about that casting.
- That whole "One flush yes, two flush no" conversation Burn has with Melody; that was Ping's work entirely, and I didn't really like it. Sounds a little cheesy. But maybe Melody likes cheese. In large creamy blocks.
- It was mentioned somewhere that Alvin said that Nickson was based on Daniel MI2. Perhaps that's where Alvin drew his inspiration from, but I was thinking of other people. There were guys in MI2 and AF who leant towards the feminine side, and the judges kept telling them to be more manly. I didn't really get that, because you're always told to 'be yourself' when you perform. I imagined that these guys would be torn inside on what they should do. Anyway, for me, that's where Nickson came from.
- The song that Melody is inspired by is Quizzical by Juliet The Orange. I like the song, but it's not my choice for Melody's song by a long way. I would have picked something slower, less quirky.
- That exchange between Baby and the photography, where she asks what needs to be done to get the other 50%, is a little sleezy to me. It would have been slightly better if the photographer had just asked "How about dinner?" at the end of all that. Then, we could get all sleazoid later, right?
- But crossing that Juliet the Orange song with Baby's willingness to give in to the photographer, pure genius.
- That line that Burn says, "All I need is the girl"? Ping says: "Classic". Dzof says: "Chedder central".
- Amir serenades his family with Widuri by the great Broery Marantika. And, yes, it's really Azizan singing.
- The reaction on the forums to that whole Baby sleeping with the photographer plot has surprised me. Mainly, it's because people are asking, "really, ah, people sleep with other people just to get on the magazine cover?". Well, despite what you might think of Malaysians, there's an awful lot of extra-marital sex going on in KL. And Baby is super-ambitious. So, it isn't so far-fetched, right?
- Okay, here is the scene that makes me cringe. It's the part where Amir's mum explains to him that his father gave up on his dream to be a muscian, so Amir must carry on with the competition. Not good enough for me. My original suggestion was that the music made his father regain some of his memory, and then the father tells him that he's really good and should carry on with the competition. Don't really know why that idea was nixed.
- So, Amir comes back, and what has really changed? At the moment, only Dayang's relationship with Amir. In hindsight, I think it might have been good to have increased his popularity with the Malaysian Star voters as a result of his actions as well. It's about the competition, right?
- Argh! You know what really makes me mad? The 'Minggu Depan' segment pretty much tells the story for the whole episode. That sucks, big time. But I think it's a good episode, so watch it.
Realiti. 10pm Sundays on 8TV, starring Azizan Nin, Ashraf Sinclair, Melissa Maureen, Alvin Wong, Chelsia Ng, Radhi Khalid. With Juliana Ibrahim, Maria Farida, Lydia Ibtisam. What would you do to become a star?
-I like the 1 flush means yes line.
-I dont think all i need is the girl -line cheesy...girls dig it ma.
-The song Melody feels sexy in?? err...Not sexy..
-Naz is a perfect Jay.
Realiti - Episode 3 notesOkay for those of you who complained that I hadn't gotten episode 3 notes up quickly enough (you know who you are), I just want you to know that there is a reason for it. The bulk of this week's episode notes come from Razlina Ramli, the writer for this week's epsiode. However, even with the magic of email, it takes time for notes to travel across the ether.
Anyway, if you like this week's episode and want to be able to write like that, you can actually learn how to do so from Raz. She teaches creative writing at 95% Trainings. Yes, a free plug, but I like her.
(This episode on YouTube: Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
I haven't been able to keep completely quiet though. The notes in italics are mine, everything else comes from Raz.
- What did I like about the show? Baby fitted her role and so did Melody.
- What I did not like about the show? When I saw the scene in a rehearsal hall/ room. And I was kind of ‘Oh…interesting…ok not bad.
- When Melody had her first come back line to Burn’s sniggering about her not looking the type who would like Gwen Stefani, I thought there would be enough sexual tension to get everyone to sit up and wonder and look at Melody for another point of view. Something along the line of “hey this girl has claws and she knows how to use them”. However on screen, the chemistry between them was not there. She didn’t bring out the claws. She didn’t even show her claws. She merely said the words. I guess, when I wrote it, I saw someone who was able to show others that she has claws and that she knows how to use it, so watch out. I guess I thought she would be sarcastic enough for Burn to feel the scratch. Burn reacted yeah but … I still feel it lacked the punch. I watched it with my 20 year old cousin and my mom and both of them agree that that scene was not punchy enough. I heard Ping did his best to bring out the bitch in Melody. It was not too bad but I would’ve loved it had she said it like she really meant it.
- I like what Ping did with the scene between Wahida and Amir. He improved my script by having it shown and not tell. Yes, so sometimes I get caught by telling and not showing.
- I was looking forward to it. Amir did fine but somehow I felt Wahida was not as inquisitive and nosy as I had imagined her to be. But then again that’s the director’s prerogative. In the script, when Wahida asked about Amir’s parents he reacted and said ok… the usual answer he gives Wahida to all of her questions. But in the scene there was a visual before he answered and I found it slow. Maybe again because the director thought it was so under run that he wanted to prolonged that particular part.
- The next scene Ping had Dayang coming from the opposite direction, passing and ignoring Amir in the corridor of the hotel which I thought was great but on screen I saw them pushing the cart together and I felt the impact was kind of lost. I like it went they flirted with each other it was kind of cute, where she commented that he was already famous and how he was beginning to ignore her but here it showed them together and none of it came out. Which is a pity cause it was a nice set up for what was to happen next in their relationship.
- Must say again, props to Lydia in her role as Dayang in this episode.
- Oh another thing, I wrote Dayang as a Sarawakian girl and I think Lydia is playing Dayang as a Semenanjung girl… which is okay. I just liked to hear the Sarawkian accent on screen.
- I guess the script was really under run when they showed Burn going up to the roof and punching the bag and sweating it out. Cause in mine it showed Burn already punching the bag and was drenching in sweats with an earphone firmly stuck in his ears. That to me showed that he has a lone wolf and not the type to go out and happy happy kind of fellow to help anyone. And that later on, on the way back to his room, he sees Melody rehearsing with her ogre dad and you see that he, of all people, felt pity for her. It is a big thing that Burn can actually feel for someone, because all this while, he has shown that he can’t be bothered with other peoples feelings. It was kind of a romantic scene without being all mushy and gooey, but I didn’t get that. I saw Burn passing by, stopping and looking and then there was nothing. Ahhhh…. What happened to my romantic scene? Was it all in my head?? Apparently so.
- The song that Melody sings is White Roses. Composed and originally sung by Douglas Lim on his and Chelsia's album Indecisive. Good luck finding a copy. If you really want one, go and pester 8TV to release it as a download.
- Oh the other thing, I know Ping hates it when I put accents into the characters’ voices. Of course it adds colour but I guess if they can’t do it, it's better to be without it. I guess that’s why in my script Dayang had an accent and Wahida puts on different accents depending on whom she’s talking to. In the script, whenever Wahida talks to people from the north she adopts a northern accent – for me it was her way of establishing the relationship and getting people to be at ease when she starts prodding into their lives and also how she gets people to do things for her quite easily. In the show Wahida is accentless which I felt oohhh…. It lost the character in her.
- I had one scene with Amir coming back home tired and was about to sleep when he saw a breakfast order slip on his pillow. It was from Burn. I really liked that. It so Burn to rile people up.
However I didn’t see that part.(The scene was there)
- There was also some flirtatious / romantic scenes between Dayang and Amir that Ping had inserted in in the original script. Nickson, Amir and Burn were walking along the corridor and they bumped into Dayang. Dayang smiled, Amir did not smile until she was out of his view. But what I liked most about that scene was Burn noticed that there is something between the two. Which is great for the upcoming episodes.
- There was a scene where we see the girls coming out of the lift, with Baby wearing really a short skirt that reveals her legs and Melody looking insipid as usual. It showed me their personalities as they approached the meet the fan session. Didn’t see that in the final product.
Photos courtesy of Popiah Pictures and Chelsia Ng.
- Due to budget constraints, the show unfortunately does not truly replicate how chaotic and crazy fans get when they meet reality show contestants. Instead of tens of fans, think hundreds, more than a thousand. Instead of polite chit-chat, think screaming, and the occasional faint. And the business about asking for phone numbers? Happens all the time.
- Some of the fans are quite famous in their own right. Cindy's mum is played by Soefira Jaafar, well established stage actress. The girl flirting with Burn is January Low, who won Best Solo Performer (Dance) at the 2003 Boh Cameronian Arts Awards. I believe this is her TV acting debut.
- Okay now to Ben. I wrote him to be 30 something distinguish looking suave, debonair. I saw him on screen and I saw... The guy playing the character Ben, did not fit into what I wrote Ben as. I had written as suave and man about town, man with money and power. At least I thought so. However when I saw Ben on the screen, my mouth dropped. He looks like a character out of one of Naguib Mahfouz’s books. In fact what I see in my head as I write, is this character who works at a lonely petrol station out in the dessert in the middle of nowhere. He had a silly grin and looked oily and not at all a sight for sore eyes when you’ve been traveling for miles looking at nothing but the sand. Okay back to Ben. It makes me feel that Baby has bad taste to have ever had wanted him or had an affair with him. I am not sure why she was taken by this fellow. Perhaps it was money.
- I liked it that before this episode, no one thought of Nickson being gay. But as soon as Calvin appeared both my mom and cousin went, "Oh he is gay." Before this scene, they may have thought about it but may consider him to be effeminate and if they had thought of him to be gay, they had dismissed it altogether. So I really liked that part. I think Dzof and Ping liked too. A nice show not tell. Didn’t have to wait for mummy to call and say that the photograph could mislead people into thinking that he is gay/ effeminate.
- The thing that kept going through my mind about the Nickson storyline was, what would have happened to Daniel (of Malaysian Idol 2) if he had suddenly said he was gay? It might have been disastrous, but then again, it might have made him even more popular.
- Burn’s street wise/ smart-lone wolf guy comes across as a spoilt rich boy. There’s not enough edge. Okay, so that’s my point of view. But if he was a tight-lipped, scowling lone wolf, I think the girls will like him more. Girls just like bad boys and Burn’s bad boy is a city urban bad boy.
- What I really like, was that Burn and Melody’s scene on the ledge of the building. I thought that was a really cool scene. Both of them basking in the glow of the night and sharing some time together. Mine was boring; it was just at the pool area. (I agree, freaking awesome visual.)
- When Burn was drunk, and Amir and Nickson had saved him, in the final scene we see Amir had thrown both Nickson and Burn in a storeroom. However, in my script I or Ping had them inside the pushcart trolley, which I thought was cute. Seeing two men squeezed in a tightly enclosed space. I was thinking hey, is Nickson going to do anything here?
- My only other comment is the ending. It didn’t give me the tang tang tang. Oh me gawd he ran away?? ? It was kind of lembik. And even I was thinking, eh, so what la he ran away. The tension was kind of missing, maybe my writing was not strong enough, maybe the tension was all in my head. Hmm, looks like it.
- The traffic noise is a bit too distracting. It got me thinking, hey way up there and the noise of the traffic is still apparent. And at some places the echo sound of the room was not what I would be rah rah for.
Realiti. 10pm Sundays on 8TV, starring Azizan Nin, Ashraf Sinclair, Melissa Maureen, Alvin Wong, Chelsia Ng, Radhi Khalid. With Juliana Ibrahim, Maria Farida, Lydia Ibtisam, Gambit, Kee Thuan Chye, Nell Ng. Guest appearances by Mazin Siraj, January Low, Maimon Mutallib, Abu Bakar Juah, Natasha Saeed Megad, Soefira Jaafar, Cheyenne Stutzriem. What would you do to become a star?