Monday, September 03, 2012

Thank You, NST (Again)!

Last Monday, I received some really good news... news that killed the 'Monday blues'!

Yes, it's feature time (again.. hehe!). And once again, it's on the News Straits Times (Malaysia) - it's my 4th time being featured in this press :)

Btw, Siti Syameen from NST did an interview me & my teammates (Arico & Ben) from - on how we use the iPhone for filming Summer Love: KL! She asked some really thoughtful questions about using the iPhone and the series which are featured in the article. 

And there's also info on our hopes & aspirations (I'd like to say dreams as well :) ). 

As usual, it's always nice to be featured (yay!).. and this is extra special for the fact that we are featured for our works simply by using the iPhone, utilising the technology out there. 

Owh, it is quite a nice article plus it's full page! Yayayay!!

The full article is here: iPhone, camera, action! Btw, for easy reference, here's the article as well... :)

SUPERBOYZ.TV, comprising Aric Yong, Ben CMX and QuaChee, recently produced an independent web series called Summer Love: KL using their iPhones.
Comprising five short episodes, Summer Love: KL is Superboyz.TV’s first foray into Web drama production.
With episodes ranging between six and eight minutes each, the series depicts a straightforward love story among college students and at the same time, highlights little-known cafes and shopping centres in Kuala Lumpur.
The idea was first mooted by Quah Cheng Eng who goes by the moniker QuaChee. Previously involved in the production of The Big Bibik & The Little Nyonya web series, QuaChee was inspired by Korean dramas in coming up with Summer Love: KL.
QuaChee also plays the male lead Ben, opposite Lex Ann, who plays Tiffany, the heroine.
“As my previous projects relate closely to tourism, I embedded it into the storyline. We wanted a story that promotes tourism, with cool songs to boot. I was really nervous as I’ve never attempted scriptwriting previously,” said QuaChee, who led a team of scriptwriters for the series.
“We decided to focus on Kuala Lumpur because there are a variety of things to do here. For instance, shopping and the many places of interest, including restaurants with great food that viewers may not know about. The story itself is straightforward but we make it a point to promote the city as well,” says Yong, who is a talent scout by day, of their home-made production.
“We have hidden gems and cool hangout places which we feature in the video. Plus, of course, the good food! It’s just a pity we couldn’t feature more in this series,” adds QuaChee, who also co-directed the series with Yong. “We worked with Konji International as make-up partner, Dummy Clozett (fashion sponsor) and Sole To Soul (dance studio).”

“We invited friends and their friends to audition for the roles, with the first round of audition being held online via video submissions. While most of the cast are people whom we know, we also secured new talents. For example, we cast Michael Anthony Salvador through the online audition, for the role of bad boy Mark,” said Yong.
Their main tool is the iPhone because of its capabilities. “It took us some time to decide between the iPhone and other media. Needless to say, Aric and I bought new iPhones — partly for the shoot! There’s also the hunt for the other equipment like the steadicam, the adapters to fit the iPhone and light and sound system,” said QuaChee who blogged about his behind-the-scene experiences.
Five trailers as well as five posters were created to accompany each episode. The posters were created using the app Phoster. After completing the shoot in just four days, the actors were called in to record voiceovers using the iTalk app.
“The final part is video editing, which was done concurrently with the song recordings. And the recording process took just as much time as the video production,” said QuaChee.
Placing more pizzazz into the series, Ben CMX added three of his original compositions to the soundtrack.
“My background is in classical piano and violin, but for Summer Love: KL, I composed a Mandopop number, a K-pop-inspired fast song and a Katy Perry-type song. QuaChee added the lyrics,” said Ben CMX, whose real name is Benjamin Chu.
Ben CMX agrees that coming up with the songs was relatively easy despite the rewriting and rearrangement.
“The hardest part was working with the sound engineer during the song recording process as he was a perfectionist. But it was a learning experience.”
For extra funds, Superboyz.TV went through, a crowdfunding site, and raised RM2,450 to cover the cost of producing the songs.
“We plan to air the songs on radio stations as well as offer them as ringtones and song downloads. Hopefully, we can raise enough to have a healthy profit-sharing arrangement with everyone involved,” said Yong.
The talent pool for Superboyz.TV includes Amaze International Model Search 2011 winner Sheena, Asia New Face Model Search winner Wafa Johanna de Korte, host Mei Sze and Lam Ching Fu. The production cost for the series is about RM8,000. “The cost includes the price of the iPhones and its accessories, to help with the video shooting,” said Yong.

While Yong did the casting and co-directing and Chu, the sound production, QuaChee was responsible for promoting the series.
For Summer Love: KL, the series was promoted via QuaChee’s blog and also the official website,, Twitter (@summerlove) and Facebook.
The team also relied on services such as Instagram and Pinterest. “I love the online platform. It’s like one big playground where nearly anything is possible. Interestingly, Instagram also helps drive awareness despite it being a photo-based social platform,” said QuaChee.
With the final episode released on Aug 22, Summer Love: KL recorded encouraging number of views for each episode. “Some of the feedback was really encouraging. The worse was ‘Jangan memalukan Malaysia’ (Don’t embarrass Malaysia), but we take it as constructive criticism to do better and work harder,” said Yong.
“People who have been following our progress know the work that went behind the scenes and appreciate the videos even more. And while some don’t, we have recorded an increase in fans and viewers alike,” said QuaChee.
Superboyz.TV’s next web series is Summer Love: PJ, which is aimed for a year end release. “We plan to promote Petaling Jaya through Summer Love: PJ, using the same formula,” said Yong. “We may also try to shoot some ‘daring’ scenes but nothing that will alert the censors of course. We will give a bigger twist to the story and add more dialogue,” said QuaChee.

The two Summer Love web series are Superboyz.TV’s so-called practice run before the team kickstarts a bigger project, codenamed Summer Love: Bangkok. “That is our future goal. Hopefully we will be able to do it next year,” said Ben CMX.
The team will still rely on crowdfunding. We hope to tie-in with other sponsors, and maybe work on an e-commerce project alongside the series,” said QuaChee.
“We would love to work with those who want to showcase our cities to the foreigners. At the same time, we will still maintain our target audience — college students and young adults,” said Yong.
“The next project may cost more but we still hope to keep costs low while maintaining the quality. After all,” adds QuaChee, “this is a Web production. With the iPhone, video making is now easier than before. Filmmakers can be more creative and use existing tools to make videos and films.”

*My other times I've been feature in NST - "Inspiring Young Malaysian", "Wanted: A Youth Model", and "Bibik Is Back". 

1 comment:

Oh hey, thank you for commenting! :)