Wednesday, June 20, 2012

All character shots!

In our various vacations around the various theme parks both locally and around the world, Mabel's been leading the charge in her mission to take photos with as many characters as possible. Don't be deceived by the picture above though, I rarely get to take many photos with characters of my voice. Just a few Ultramen, Kamen Riders and Super Sentai characters, but definitely overshadowed and dwarfed by the sheer amount of Disney characters we have taken photos together with. Without further ado, here is a compilation of our photos:

For those of you on Facebook who have seen this video, you might notice that I've changed the music. That's because the original piece, Be Mine by 2NE1 is copyrighted and I had to choose another track, this time something from the itunes themes library, which makes everything simpler. Back on topic, most likely we're going to take more photos later this year, so this collection will just keep on growing! :p

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Packing up!

As many of you are already aware, we've sold our 4 room flat recently and is looking to move into a new place once we find one. In the meantime, Mabel's going to shift in with my in-laws while I'll be staying overseas for an extended period of time due to work commitments. Thus, the time has come for me to pack all my stuff into boxes and to transport it to various places for temporary storage. And for those of you who have been to my place, you'd know how much stuff I have at home.....

Well, it took me 2 whole days to clean up and to stuff all my games, books, toys, figures, manga into approximately 20 boxes. I took quite a few shots during the entire process, and compiled it into a single video for your easy viewing. Hopefully we can find a place soon and that I can have a whole room this time to put all all my collections up. In my current place, my figures had to fall-in in rows of 5 and it's not even possible to display everything. Well, wish us luck and hopefully I can post up photos of our new place soon!

Saturday, June 09, 2012

1st place for MTD301!

As part of my part time studies at UniSIM, I took a 3rd year module called Audio & Video Production this semester. The End-of-course assessment was a corporate video for UniSIM, specifically the school of Human Development & Social Services (HDSS). It was a group project, and together in a team of 4, we set off on this very taxing and time consuming project. We gave our group the name RoundeClock Studios.

The hardest part was actually getting together. All four of us work full time and in fact, 2 of the teammates work irregular shift hours. Hence, most of the discussions took place during evenings and night time after work. For the video, we were initially concerned because HDSS contradicts our mental models of a corporate video, especially for a school. Usually, we'd slap in footage of school facilities or students and make it as trendy as possible, but it was difficult for us because the HDSS deals with degree programmes relating to childcare, elderly care, counselling, and social work.

We decided to be unique and to focus on the softer, human side of education instead. As amateur film makers, we needed as much research as possible. I was inspired by 2 things which prompted our direction in making the video. First, a Japanese MV by Ikimono Gakkari called Yell, and second, the ending sequence in the movie The Strange Case of Benjamin Button. Both showed the emotional aspects of life and relationships, and we hoped to exploit on that and to, in a certain way, emulate what they portrayed.

We completed the video after shooting in 4 different locations: an elementary school, a primary school, an old folk's home, and in the HDB heartlands. In essence, we had actors and actresses hold up customised messages ala a miniature blackboard. These messages are directly related to their professional field of work, in the line of either an educator or a social worker. In between these scenes, we would include messages that prompt self reflections of the viewer, so as go generate thoughts with regards to education and our purpose in life. Sadly, I'm not able to upload the video here, but hopefully UniSIM would screen our video in campus or even on their website.

During last week's screening, we were pleased to be informed that we received 1st place for the module. It was a pleasant surprise, and we were even presented prizes, by the school's Dean no less. I gave a very short intro to the cohort before the screening, but there wasn't enough time to thank everyone. Thus, I would like to thank all who helped out, in terms of either acting, or assisted in the securing of the filming locations. Special thanks go out to Ling Wei's awesome group of friends, Kelly who helped with all the arrangements at the home, and Kristin from UniSIM who gave us her fullest support.

As a 10 credit module, I certainly had a lot of fun for this semester. Met a lot of nice people, whom I didn't have the chance nor time to get to know better. All the videos shown during the screening were great, and I believed that the only reason we got 1st was because of the different approach we took, as well as the varied locations we filmed in. All the best to everyone, and I hope to meet you guys again in upcoming semesters. :)

Monday, June 04, 2012

Birthday Celebrations at USS!

We celebrated Mabel's birthday with our first trip to Universal Studios Singapore. We've actually been here before, but it was only for dinner and all the attractions had closed by then. This time, we spent nearly a full day there, and although the place isn't really that big compared to its overseas counterparts, we still had quite a bit of sights to cover, and mascots to chase after. Mabel's mission there was to capture as many characters as she possibly could, and we were lucky enough to also catch a famous Hong Kong celebrity there as well. We didn't really cover most of the rides as Rena failed to clear the height requirements, but I did manage to go for the Transformers ride while the both of them waited. There was virtually no waiting time for single passengers and the ride was less than 5 minutes. Still, I thought it was pretty cool and the effects were great. The photos we took have been uploaded on Facebook, and the video is embedded here as well.

After this trip, Mabel's got her sights set on the other Universal Studios too. Well, never too early to start planning I guess, and she has Rena's support too. For me, I'm just glad that at least the characters aren't from Disney. :p

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Sundown Marathon 2012

And so I completed the Sundown Marathon 2012 last weekend. It was my 7th full marathon, and although I only trained up to 10km due to weather and schedule constraints, I did manage to complete it within 6 hours, at 5:52. Not my personal best by far, but I'm glad I managed to do it without suffering as badly as the last one.

My previous attempt at Standard Chartered's Singapore Marathon 2011 last year was horrible. I trained up to around 16km if I could recall, not sufficient but at least there was some prep done. What made the run miserable was the weather. I couldn't stand the humidity of squeezing through tight lanes with so many other runners, and the sun was so hot I contemplated seeking shade. I ended up walking most of the time during the last few kilometers, and it was the worst personal record for me.

Likewise, the weather also proved to be a problem for this Sundown. At the halfway mark, thunder and lightning threatened to cut short the event. The rain was so heavy it hurts upon impact. I had to look down most of the time and I was really thankful I don't wear specs anymore. What motivated me was that I didn't see anyone else stopping. All of us carried on, pushing our bodies nearer to the finishing point. I had my iPhone along and I was thinking that's the end of it. It was virtually drenched in rainwater at the end point and I dreaded switching it on. I had another previous iPhone damaged by the rain in another run and it was in a zip lock bag. Amazingly, my phone survived. Yeah it was a miracle.

Overall, I hold back my complaints against the organisers of the run. There were areas which I thought could be better managed so hopefully they'll improve next time. For me, I had a great time, compared to my last marathon. In fact, I felt pretty good and perhaps I'll try to push for more than my initial target of 10 marathons before I hang up my running shoes. Just for the record, I'm a pretty lousy runner. In fact, I finish only ahead of 40% of other male runners in my category, so I'm quite slow. Nonetheless, it's not about how fast you are or how many runs you complete. It's about not giving up, and showing others and yourself that with the correct spirit and determination, you can seek out and achieve what you strive for. My next run would most probably be overseas, so I'm hoping for a good one to make it 8! :)