Sunday, 9th May '04
Get Out Da Way, Bitch, Get Out Da Way!
I'll be the first person to admit my titles need a little work. But after almost two weeks of blogstipation (thanks to Wei for the apt vocabulary), it's taken quite a bit to start blogging again. But I _have_ missed the joy of transcripting my life for the reading pleasure (and pressure) of everyone else around here.
I don't know where my two weeks of holidays went. But here are the major highlights. Sorry for the point form.
"Martyr Machiavellian" (a.k.a "Re:pro stuff" / "THE FILM")
* This has so far taken up at least 60% of my waking time. Come next week, it will take up even more, and come production week it will take up my sleep time as well. Mama mia.
* I see Eva, Nawaz and Siyuan way too often. Hopefully none of them have a death wish for me yet. On my part I love the fellas... they're so chao onz. Hahahah...
* Casting is finally settled. Our protagonist, Magnus (I hate that name), is played by Ross, and because this film is so character-driven and voiceovers are a major thing (think American beauty), we're really depending on him a lot to carry things through, acting-wise. HEARD THAT, ROSS? The other lead characters, Brandon and Clarice will be brought to life by Wenguang and Meishuang respectively. I'm very thankful for the easy chemistry we go going between these three, since they're playing siblings. Woonky is particularly suited to kicking Ross' ass. We barely had to do any fight choreography. Arther (Law AGP) and Audrey (TS Year 2 girl) will handle Father and Mother.
* Prior to casting, life was a nightmare. To be frank I wanted to strangle the casting team for making Eva, Nawaz and I practically do half their work for them. We contacted half their auditionees for them and had to constantly breathe down their necks to get anything done. And then the casting team turned up later than some of the auditionees and then laughed midway through our bouncing-off-each-other scenes. I can't say I was expecting anything great, but I at least expected professionalism and I don't know lah. I can't blame anyone, but whatever miscommunication or whatever occured, it just didn't look good. *shrug* it's over now, and we got a cast better than what any of us had hoped for, so it's all good now. Look at us; casting is obviously an exciting business.
* Poor Reynard is still the butt of all the Flipside jokes. I don't think the rest are ever going to let him live it down. And we all are STILL suffering Flipside PPS, quoting lines, making insider jokes, the works.
* Siyuan's house is currently the prime filming location. It's perfect for the show, but MAN is it HOT. Brandon / Magnus' room in particular tends to resemble a sauna. Try fitting two directors, one producer, 2 actors, 2 camera man (with equipment) and 1 gaffer (with equipment) into a 3m by 3m room. Which, incidentally, is covered with claustrophobia-inducing movie posters and buxomy FHM pinups. Can die lah. I was climbling chairs and cupboards in order to stay out of the camera shot and not be a gargoyle (read: the Re:productions term for anything - usually human - that is not supposed to be in the picture but gets screentime anyway. Is both a noun and verb.) This same room is where the Brandon / Magnus fight takes place too. *phew*
* There is this WEIRD cat that hangs out at Siyuan's place... It's a stray that only tries to enter the house when Re:pro is holding a function there. It keeps coming back despite use blocking it out with wooden slats, putting it in the lift and sending it to the 12th storey etc etc. And it will just curl up in Nawaz's bag and go to sleep.
* Storyboarding is one heck of a difficult thing to do. I have a huge respect for film directors now. They have so many things to take care of... acting, camera angles, lighting, sound, zooms, gargoyles, continuity, costumes. Basically the director is this huge saikang person. I thought stage directing was a hellish job, but one thing theatre gives that film doesn't is that what you see is what you get. Something that sounds / looks right during a rehearsal will sound / look right during a run. Not true for film... everything that gets processed by a camera changes. And then there's the minor (note tone of sarcasm) problem of shooting out of sequence. The actor's have trouble hitting emotional peaks on call without a lead-up time. The sets people have to make sure everything is in the right place... the slightest continuity problem will be quite obvious. And guess who has to think about ALL of this just in case someone else misses it? You got it, the poor sad director.
* Rehearsals are also underway, and from the looks of things, are going quite well. It helps that Meishuang has worked with TNS and knows the stuff, Wenguang has a fantastic work attitude (I almost forgive him for all the times he torments me with dirty jokes outside rehearsals) and is suitably intimidating as Brandon, and Ross looks EXACTLY like Magnus and works well too.
* I have also pulled a Viggo and injured a toe. I now have the dubious honour of being the first Martyr casualty when I dropped a heavy wooden stool on my toe. I bruise so beautifully. And Nick Khoo's "you'd better ice it, it will definitely swell up one!" was very encouraging. And then Winston the camera man nearly dropped wooden slats on my other toe and, for some unfathomable reason, Nawaz slammed a Coke can into the back of my head, spilling Coke all over the living room set. All in the space of one day. By the end of filming Magnus won't be the only person dead.
* At the very least Martyr will beat Flipside hands down. *crosses fingers*
Dance Ensemble Tech Class (a.k.a. How to get a hernia with a headache on the side)
* I haven't attended anything dance related since Secrets started, so dragging myself back down for tech class under Zaini's (intimidating instructor) reproachful eye wasn't something that had me jumping for joy.
* Thank God I can still do Luigui warmups. Remember the stuff I talked about last time? *dance instruction tape drawl* Frape, frape, frape, second position, plie, balance, come back!
* Zaini is evil. He makes us do pushups in rollover centre-split positions. And Luigui situps. OWWWWWW.
* Zaini is very evil. He makes us do across the floor pirouettes (with a million different hand positions), pice (how to spell?!?) turns, chaines, and posse turny thingies till a couple of girls fell down out of sheer dizziness. I couldn't walk in straight line after that, spotting or not.
* Zaini is still evil. He teaches choreo like we know it already. And "single pirouette" does not exist in his vocabulary. Doubles doubles doubles. *grumbles*
* Zaini is *beeping* evil. He stretches an already killer 3 hour tech class till it lasts almost 4 hours.
* BUT. Zaini produces great dancers. Watching the seniors is such a humbling experience. They learn choreo so fast and so accurately and they're all freaking rubberbands and do male pushups.
* How the hell did I wind up missing move and groove to go for tech class?!?
* My dance sneakers are finally breaking in. Can do double jazz pirouettes on left foot now without sqeaking to a dangerous halt midway through a headwhip.
Mahjong and Movies (a.k.a. spending time with the 21st)
* Watched "50 First Dates" with Bert, Jia and Dage, and thought it was a better show than what I would have expected from an Adam Sandler (Waterboy, Little Nicky) - Rob Schneider (The Animal, Deuce Bigalow - Male Gigolo) union. Dage laughed like a madman. It WAS funny lah, but some of the cruder jokes I could have done without. I don't find vomit and jokes about gender-indetermino hermaphrodites very funny - but that's just me.
* Watched "Dawn of the Dead" with Dage. The opening sequence while the credits rolled was intriguing. Perhaps a tad blasphemous in it's Revelations quotations (Johnny Cash, I think), but it did its job nonetheless. The "when there is no more space in Hell, the dead will walk the earth" tagline was too damn cheesy, though. Everyone said DOTD was a stupid show but Dage and I found it quite decent, on the whole. I mean, how clever do horror zombie movies get? This one at least beat the other benchmark zombie movie, Resident Evil, in terms of intelligence and plot. There were ideas that really shone in this show. One was the humour they injected into the whole trapped-by-zombies situation, it was a really interesting twist to a grossly over-milked genre. Another part I loved was when Mekhi Phiffer's character knew his wife was infected by the zombies, but he took so much trouble to hide her from the rest because she was carrying their child. It was heart-wrenching to see him lash her to a bed and attempt to deliver the child, and how he cried as he carried his new baby girl. It really brought out the irrational side of love... the audience kept cursing his stupidity, but which husband and father would allow anyone else to execute his family, zombies or not? It was a very dark take on the unconditional love theme.
* Watched "Van Helsing" with Hanting, Yaoch, Liang, Ivan and Kai. Awesome soundtrack, laudable special effects, but overall a rather boring movie. I can't really tell why, the action was fast paced and every character decently played. It had humour and suspense too, but it just had no spark, somehow. Ivan and I also kept pointing out the inconsistencies in the plot, but that's just us science students for you.
* Stayed over at Gnet's house... and realised how much money her second sister REALLY makes. *catches breath*. I love their house, and there's so much space there it's fast becoming the default Smub hangout. How cool is it to have a Smub filled attic, with a TV, computer, mahjong table, sofa bed and futon, toilet and food all in one place? Anyways, finally learnt to play Mahjong properly under Andre's tutelage. My ex-shifu Kai has been ditched because she keeps heckling me while I play. =)
* And this was us at Bert's birthday dinner.
Saturday Night Fever the Musical
(a.k.a. the reason why I keep going on about my my my my my boogie shoes)
* This was a lot of fun, and I couldn't get enough of the dancing. This was probably the reason I'm finally dragging myself to DE tech classes. Probably got brainwashed by the you should be dancing, yeah! line.
* I can't stop singing songs from the soundtrack. It's amazing how good the songs actually sound when sung in a normal, manly voice. I'm contrasting that with the Bee Gee's my-underwear's-too-tight howls, of course. Night fever is particularly infectious.
* Singing was just decent, but HELLO! they were dancing like mad things.
* Speaking of dancing, how do those girls dance with heels like that?
* I loved what they did to the Esplanade Theatre floor. It lit up like a real disco! Whee! The only thing that could have been cooler was if the tiles lit up as Tony walked on them, sort of like Micheal Jackson's did in the Billy Jean MTV.
* Reach out for me, when the feeling is right, give me that night fever night fever... we know how to do it! *jabs finger in the air* Um. Sorry, I couldn't help myself. I did say it was infectious.
* The musical was extrememly faithful to the movie. I don't know if that was good or bad. I mean, even the jokes were verbatim (e.g. *takes a deep breath and musters up an Italian accent* "yo motha's spegheddi sawce dohn't drwip" / "but Mr Fwusko! Yo just said fo dahllars!" / "Yo dohn't twouch da hair!") But they missed the Tony-Manero-getting-caught-quite-literally-with-his-pants-down joke. *sigh* What was the point,
* then, of making the poor actor strip? Oh yes, a bunch of female shrieks echoed through the auditorium. As you can see by now, the Italian accents were even more Italian than the movie. It was like watching a mafia flick. Quite entertaining.
* This time the actress playing Stephanie could actually dance *heaves a sigh of relief*. For folks who have seen the movie, you'll know how painful it is to watch Tony and his gang drool over her dancing when she dances about as well as a surf board.
* I'm going nowhere, somebody help me yeah... ha ha ha ha, staying alive! Staying alive!
* The pointy (yes, that IS the real name of the move) was surprisingly underused. It was only used as a pose, but they didn't do the line dancing thing like in the movie. Probably figured this generation of audiences wouldn't buy it for an instant. *sigh* I was looking forward to that.
* However, John Travolata's jazz splits flipping all over the disco floor move was overused. Using that gosh-awful move at all is overusing it already, in my book.
* Tony and gang were so endearing. I loved the bit they danced to K.C. and the Sunshine Band's Boogie Shoes. Everytime the "my my my my my boogie shoes" line came out they stood in this little semicirle and did a domino jig towards the middle... just too adorable.
* Bobby C's suicide was as cannot-make-it as in the movie. I know it was needed to break Tony at the end, but *uuurrrrgggghhh* the build-up was horrible. One moment he's a clown and the next moment he jumps off a bridge?
* "Salsation" was great. For the record, that's the Puerto Rican couple's competition piece. To quote the great Manero himself: Hot Stuff!
* Tzo, remember that time I played you that really funkified version of Beethoven's 5th? And you were horrified at the mangled classical music I listen to? Well. Haha. It's from the SNF soundtrack, one of the disco pieces! Explains a lot, huh? It has a very original title: A fifth of Beethoven. Hahaha.
* The tapdance was a nice spin on Jive Talkin'. It sure didn't take away my energy!
* "Night On Disco Mountain" sounds like it might have been written by Danny Elfman.
* "Disco Duck" is an idiotic piece. =) And DJ Monty is a perv.
Swimming at Jurong (well. That's all it's known as.)
* Err, what can I say about this?
* Oh yes, I still remember how to swim! Yayy!
* There was no sun at the beginning, so the only one who got some hint of a tan was Ave. And she had to slather on copious amounts of tanning oil for that.
* I still don't like slides much.
* The lazy river wasn't as lazy as it looked.
* The wave pool looked like loads of fun. Why did it have to rain just as we were about to go into it??? The pool was shut as soon as the rain got too heavy.
* This is just going abysmally. Yes, I haven't finished yet.
* This time I stayed absolutely alcohol free. And was actually much happier, partly because alcohol doesn't get me high, it only makes me sleepy, so without it I was free to get high on life, and partly because Sprite tastes way better than Vodka.
* Hanting is damn fun to watch dancing! I haven't seen anyone look happier when dancing. Jia's right, it makes you want to ruffle his hair and pinch his cheeks, he's so sweet. We were actually doing the frog dance in the middle of the dance floor.
* Somehow Kez managed to teach me Salsa moves while R&B / HipHop music was going on! That was a lot of fun!
* Maybe I should have hung out with the Law people a bit more... I only danced with Jo, Nick and Ross (although Ross's butt waggling at some girls I couldn't identify was very amusing) for a bit... but I so rarely see the 21st that I just couldn't get enough of them! And idiots Jon and Wenguang were waving their freaking sausages (the imaginary ones, lah, not their real... nevermind) at me again. Answering Wenguang's "come hither" finger curl would only have spelt disaster. Bloody jokers. Yes, I mean that fondly. Sigh.
* It disturbs me that I knew all the lyrics to all the songs played during the mambo part. But mambo music IS fun! And Jerald is a freaking mambo king lah... (self-admitted. I think he must have been rather high.) he knew all the dance moves. I nearly rolled over laughing when he started doing the It's My Life dance moves. Oh, if only Qiong were there. Qiong!!! I told you to come! They played Beautiful Ones, Pretty Fly (For A White Guy), In the End and It's My Life in succession!
* I think Ben, Hanting, Wenz and I were going nuts lah. With a very amused Liang and Ivan joining us. We were singing and miming everything from Spice Girls to Linkin' Park. And it was rather disturbing to see Hanting, Ivan, Wenz and Ben singing Sex Bomb to each other. Wenz actually knew all the words... *rolls eyes*.
* Of all funny places to meet up with old primary school friends, I met Alex Ho there... apparently he got dragged along by J&J.
* Alex Wee makes a good chocolate cake! If I wasn't hoarse from all the shouting (otherwise known as attempts to communicate in a club) I would have had more. Wenz is a lucky guy...
* Speaking of which, HAPPY BIRTHDAY AGAIN, WENZ!
* Dage, Kez and Yaoch and Gnet and Melvin left too early lah. The fun only started later. Earlier on it wasn't people dancing to the music. It was people dancing themselves while music played in the background.
* Seems like certain songs are such club favs they inspire people to sing along. There was this one song made almost entirely out of lyrics that went "get out day way, bitch, get out da way!", and throughout it the whole floor was yelling out those lines. I suppose it's all fun when you're caught up in it, but when you sit at the sidelines and watch, everyone looks so silly...
* But overall... I had a good time! Interesting...
Ok lah, have spent an entire evening on this Musing. If this doesn't pacify Limin, Bec and Tzo, I don't know what will!
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]