01 The Write Elements: May 2015

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

It's not a fairy tale

This was fun! I got a chance to see the film before it's out and it's WAY better than the trailer, no doubt about it. Though at times I just wondered...as a media student I felt the director's difficulty. 
I never got that many posters from a preview either hahaha 
that ad though...

He always felt like a misfit in his industry, especially when it came to the kind of offbeat films he made.
Local indie director Tzang Merwyn Tong’s work were often set in a surreal environment and incorporated elements of fairy tales and comic fantasy. His latest feature film, Faeryville, takes his signature tropes even further.
Opening on May 26 and rated M18 for mature content, the story unfolds in the alternate universe of Faeryville College and revolves around the Nobodies, a group of misfits (acting newbies Lyon Sim, Farid Assalam and Jae Leung) who are resigned to their fate until new student Laer (Aaron Yong) encourages
them to stand up for themselves. Faeryville is a dystopian teen movie, a stylish coming-of-age film about youth making sense of their idealistic dreams
in a post-9/11 world.
The film also supports local anti-bullying advocacy organisation Coalition Against Bullying for Children and Youth (CABCY).

“I actually approached CABCY be- cause I wanted the film to be more than a film.
“I wanted to bring awareness. I do care about issues like bullying and idealism, themes prominent in the movie, and the film is a good way to address them,” Tong, 36, told M.
Although he was never bullied in school, he felt like he was an outsider and socially awkward at times.
Even now, he has difficulty fitting his ideas — and himself — in.
“When you’re different, don’t try and be like everyone else. And if you’re like everyone else, you don’t have to try to be different,” he said of a piece of ad- vice that inspired him when he was growing up.
Tong said he learnt how to adapt and fit in, but he always had an outlet to ex- press himself and “be free” — his art.
He was 19 when he made his first film e’TZAINTES (2003), about a group of social outcasts in Faeryville College who form a resistance group.
This was followed by psycho-erotic thriller A Wicked Tale (2005) and sci-fi thriller V1k1 (2011).
He said: “It’s so important not to com- promise on the art. It’s a reason why art is so important to people...
“I could draw and write when I was a kid. I consider that fortunate. Some people don’t have this (outlet) or friends.

“The fact that there’s bullying going on is heartbreaking, but it’s an interesting subject matter to put into film be- cause film brings a certain consciousness.
“We need to start calling (bullying) out because it snowballs... I just want to make what a Singapore film can be, in- stead of what it should be.”
CABCY president Esther Ng said this is the first time the organisation is working closely with a director for a movie. 
She said: “We’re hoping that when people watch the film, they can think about bullying, how it makes victims feel and the outcome of a person being victimised.” 

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Stone Cold Warms Up

He was SO nice.

Former wwe star talks about his reality TV show steve austin’s broken skull Challenge 

Since retiring from the world of professional wrestling in 2003, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) superstar Steve Austin has paved a way for himself in Hollywood.
Better known by his ring name Stone Cold, Austin has starred in action flicks The Condemned and The Expendables, in Adam Sandler comedies like The Longest Yard and Grown Ups 2 and in a slew of direct-to-video B-movies.
So you would think the 50-year-old Texan is following in the footsteps of other WWE fighters-turned-actors like Dwayne Johnson,  Dave Bautista (Guardians Of The Galaxy) and Kevin Nash (Magic Mike).
Turns out Austin doesn’t like acting all that much. He told The New Paper over the phone from Los Angeles yesterday: “I have made probably eight or 10 movies and I enjoyed it, but I don’t en- joy it as much as hosting reality television. I find it more fun being myself and not a character in a movie.”

I want to enjoy the rest of my life kicking back, enjoy the fruits of working as hard as I have.
— Former WWE wrestler Steve Austin 

Austin is the host of new reality TV series Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge, which airs every Wednesday at 9pm on KIX and KIX HD.
He invites eight elite male and female athletes to an area just outside of Los Angeles, designed to represent his Bro- ken Skull Ranch in South Texas, to compete in head-to-head battles.
The contestants are eliminated over a series of challenges with fearsome names like Pulverizer and Pain Train, with the last one standing and facing a tough obstacle course known as the Skullbuster for a shot at the US$10,000 (S$13,000) cash prize.
He said: “A third of my year is dedicated to my podcast and about a third
to half of my year is dedicated to the reality TV stuff. Two months are dedicated to being at my ranch in South Texas during hunting season.
“When I have other projects that take up the rest of the year, it doesn’t really give me the time to do acting.
“Then again, acting is probably the least of what I like to do.”
Austin calls Johnson one of his “favourite guys to work with in the ring” and “the biggest movie star in the world”, adding that he’s “extremely proud” of what Johnson has accomplished, making a successful transition from WWE to Hollywood.
But that career path is not for him.
He said he reads scripts on occasion and if something really piques his inter- est, it would have to be the right part at the right time, like his latest flick that will be released this year, Echo Effect starring Michael Jai White.
Austin said: “There was a window of time that allowed me the opportunity to do that movie.
“I worked with Michael about three or four years ago and he’s one of the greatest mixed martial artists in the world. We became really good friends. The chance to collaborate again was the biggest reason why I signed on for it.”
On naming his show Broken Skull Challenge, Austin said: “I named my ranch the Broken Skull Ranch because metaphorically speaking, I had to break my skull to buy it.
“The name pays homage to the body of hard work that I did in the business of professional wrestling.”
Even though he quit WWE more than a decade ago, the father of four, who married his fourth wife Kristin Feres in 2009, still keeps in touch with wrestler friends like Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, John Cena, Brock Lesnar, Kevin Nash and Mick Foley.
He said: “I want to enjoy the rest of my life kicking back, enjoy the fruits of working as hard as I have.
“I do miss being in the ring, in front of a crowd, the adrenaline and 20,000 people almost every single night.
“That was just one of the greatest experiences of my life. When I go out there and I can light up a crowd and get that adrenaline rush, that’s fun and there’s just really nothing quite like it. There’s nothing that can duplicate it.”
What Austin does not miss is the “grind of the travel”, touring all over the US and the world for WWE shows.
“I consider myself a ‘civilian’ now, returning to just being a regular human being,” he said.
“When I get out of the business and look back, that’s one of the things that I don’t miss.”

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

The Power of Three

Oh my GOSH the amount of craziness that went into this article was ridiculous. I couldn't do all the articles at the graduation ceremony because miraculously not everyone was graduating on the same day - well done PR rep. From the late afternoon when I got this story to waiting for interviews, doing them to rushing all the way to off-stone (that's when the articles are ALREADY done up and ready to be sent to print) in the middle of the night, burdening the sub-editors, to having this done was surreal.
Something I can't forget in a long time. 
Though not everything ended well the next day the articles had a lot of hits on Facebook and I was pleased.
From rebel to top student 

He would have verbal fights with his school teachers, and often get into trouble over his hair or attire.  
Mr Asher Chua would also play truant a lot till his parents had to be called.
Sometimes, he would even catch a nap in an HDB block nearby till school was over.
But the person who once did all those things has since changed his attitude so much that come tomorrow, he will be graduating as the second top student of Republic Polytechnic’s Diploma in Mo- bile Software Development (School of Information).
He got mostly As and his grade point average is 3.81.
Mr Chua, 20, has also been inducted into the Director’s Roll of Honour for four semesters.
Looking back at his past, he said: “It was an experience. Without it, I wouldn’t be what I am today. It was a bit rocky but it was probably necessary for it to happen.”
Still, it wasn’t easy to get to where he is today.
Mr Chua recalled how he used to try to avoid school when he was studying at Yuhua Secondary School.
“My parents would say they were okay with (me not going to school), but I noticed them getting more and more disappointed in me. I saw it in their eyes,” he said.
In Secondary Three, the Express stream student finished last among his cohort and was told he would either drop to the Normal Academic stream or be retained a year.
Mr Chua chose to drop out. He was 15.
He worked at part-time jobs for three to four months — serving at a fast-food restaurant, distributing fliers and even selling ice cream.
He also helped his father, a cleaner at a Kopitiam outlet, to collect trays.
He recalled how his dad would leave home early in the morning and get home late at night.
“During the months I was working, I asked myself if I wanted to do part-time work for the rest of my life,” he said.
His parents weren’t well-educated so they were unable to qualify for a lot of jobs. Mr Chua realised he wanted more opportunities for himself.
A year after leaving school, he enrolled at City College Singapore and scored 24 points for his O levels in L1R4 (English and four relevant subjects).
Determined to try again, he decided to study for a diploma in mobile soft- ware development at RP.
“RP was a new start for me. I wanted to show myself and my parents I was capable. I wanted to just go all out,” he said.
Asked what he would say to other youth feeling lost in life, he said: “It’s very important to think through what you really want. Don’t just go through life, make the right choices.” 

His mum stopped school to support him

His mother got retrenched, and he had to switch from a full- time to a part-time course at the polytechnic.
But Mr Senthil Kumar Vincent Asokan never blamed his mother or felt sorry for his predicament.
He recalled how his mother had to stop her diploma studies at Temasek Polytechnic to support his sister and him after their father died when he was just five years old.
“Not finishing her course then was probably her greatest sacrifice. She sacrificed a lot. Too much, actually.
“It was through her whole life. The time and effort she took to come back to take care of us. She was there for us, all the time,” he said.
Determined to help his single mother financially, Mr Kumar, 26, found work as a full-time football coach at the Singapore American School and took up a Part-Time Diploma in Sports Coaching at Republic Polytechnic (RP).
He graduated yesterday while his mother, who eventually got a masters, is now working part-time as a counsellor at the Stamford American International School.
Mr Kumar even started his own coaching academy last November. Sportykids Singapore coaches children from 18 months to 12 years old in racket and ball sports.
He said he loves coaching sports, especially football.
When he was a student, he would play football every day, even after work, and watch the games.
He said: “Soccer occupies most of my life. You go and teach the sport, come back and play the sport and at night you watch the sport.”

He overcame obstacles with ‘can-do’ spirit

His mother got divorced when he was in Primary 5 and had to take care of him and his older brother.  
Wanting to help support her, Mr Jovan Khoo, 23, turned to photography.
Even though he had only dabbled in it in the past, he decided to take it up seriously and make some money from it to help his family.
He watched YouTube videos to improve his skills and learnt how to take professional-looking shots.
Mr Khoo, who graduated yesterday with a Diploma in Integrated Events Management, said: “The first few months were a headache, to watch one video over and over again.”
He also learnt to use editing software like Adobe Photoshop, Dreamweaver and Lightroom to enhance his photography and design.
The freelance photography he took
up in 2013, in his second year at Repub- lic Polytechnic (RP), helped earn extra money for the family.
He joked that he didn’t get pock- et money from his mother for some time.
His “can-do” spirit and independence helped him in his poly studies.
Mr Khoo, who is also the Tay Eng Soon Gold Medal award recipient and School of Hospitality valedictorian, said he was able to overcome many obstacles during his time in RP.
He recalled how he even led a committee who were responsible for planning several internal and external events.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Lucky escape from lightning

A colleague (always so uncomfortable with this word) of mine helped me out with the looooooong winded details after the accident took place. I stayed at the 'shopping centre' (more like a centre centre) for quite awhile getting quotes and trying to locate the man who survived the lightning strike. Went through almost every shop that was there, and open, at the time. 
And voila~ 

Construction worker survives being struck outside shopping centre during storm
A man was struck by lightning during a raging storm on Tuesday afternoon.
TNP understands that the victim, Mr Mohd Nasu, is a 34-year-old construction worker from Bangladesh.

He is believed to have been injured outside Limbang Shopping Centre in Choa Chu Kang at about 4.30pm.
A shop assistant working there, who wanted to be known only as Madam Lee, 52, said she heard that Mr Nasu works in the Sungei Kadut factory area.
A cleaner who wanted to be known only as Maat, 56, said he saw men, who he believes are Mr Nasu’s co-workers, carrying him into the shopping centre and placing him in front of Healthway Medical Clinic.
His right arm looked “burnt”.
Madam Lee added: “One of my customers told me he was holding a metal pole. He said that he could still walk. He was struggling and shouting.”
A staff member at the clinic, who did not want to be named, said the burn looked severe and Mr Nasu looked like he was in pain.
But he was alert and conscious when he was brought in and his blood pres- sure was normal, she added.
The clinic doctor who attended to him declined to comment.
Associate Professor Malcolm Mahadevan, who heads the National University Hospital’s emergency medicine department, said it is not uncommon to survive a lightning strike.
He said: “About one in 10 people die from direct lightning strikes and the main cause of fatality is cardiac arrest.”
Prof Malcolm added that for such victims, there would be evidence of burn marks.
“There can be a fern-like pattern seen on the skin surface that is temporary, and burns around the area where the electricity is transmitted to.
“There can also be damage to the skin area or nerves, caused either by electrical transfer or the associated explosion,” he said.
Professor Liew Ah Choy from the National University of Singapore’s electri- cal and computer engineering depart- ment said the area outside Limbang Shopping Centre has HDB blocks and other tall buildings, but this does not rule out the probability of being direct- ly struck by lightning.
He said: “If the building is 50m high and you’re 100m away, the building is not going to prevent you from getting struck.”
But you can protect yourself during storms by staying away from open areas and checking the Meteorological Service Singapore website for thunder- storm activity over Singapore, he said.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force was alerted to the incident at 4.28pm. Mr Nasu was taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.
TNP understands his condition is stable and he was being reviewed for dis- charge on Wednesday afternoon.