Friday, February 26, 2010

A few minutes = A few hours

Recently I went for a shoot on Astro Supersports. It's a special edition of 442 for the Carling Cup finals between Manchester United and Aston Villa.  They ask me if I could show up and do the shoot which will take maximum 10 minutes.  I said yes..

Now how does 10 minutes = More than an hour in real life well. It's the waiting that takes time. First I had to find the studio. It's been a while since I've walked at the TV department. This is the cool Artist holding rooms and also the make up room.

They told me to go to studio 3 and wait...

When there is a light on you wait till you are told to come in...
So I waited... how long, well about 15 minutes.

Then someone came and got me. The took me into the control room. Now these are the guys that help paste everything together.  Imagine a painting. The Celebs or the presenters are part of the painting but these guys are the painters who decide where what goes and stuff...

Yes the guys infront of the camera are important but without these guys, it won't work too. Look at the amount of people needed to shoot 1 show..

Back to the story, I was taken to the control room where there is more waiting, another 20 minutes or more I forget.  Then they call us in.  First the Aston Villa fans had their say.  Set up (a few minutes), introduction (a few minutes), then shoot which only took 10 minutes max.
And then it was us the Man United fans. Same deal, set up (a few minutes), introduction (a few minutes), then shoot which only took 10 minutes max. Then comes the publicity shots 

and then it's a wrap..

So that is how only 10 minutes max can mean more then an hour for TV.. :)

Friday, February 19, 2010

The "Easy" Job

If I had 1 Dollar for every time someone said, "You've got such an easy job man. Leave at 10am and the rest of the day is yours and the work is so easy", I would be very rich now. Like every job some parts look easy and there are parts that no one sees that are not. Where do I start explaining about my "Easy" job.

Let's start with what happens on a normal weekday.

The alarm rings at 4.45am and it's waking up time. Get ready to go to work, get in the car and head to the office.  Must be there by 5.30am.  Get there and start looking through news for something hot off the press, and then get ready.

6am, go "on air" Happy, Excited and Full of Energy

Here are a few different scenes for you. I'm having the worst day of my life where everything is going wrong. (everyone has been through that) How am I at at 6am? .... Happy, Excited and Full of Energy

Hmmm, I couldn't sleep the night before and only manage an hour of sleep or maybe none at all. How am I at 6 am? Happy, Excited and Full of Energy

How about , I just lost a family member, say my niece.  3 days later I'm back to work. (this really happen to me) How am I at 6am ?  Happy, Excited and Full of Energy

Not everyone wants to hear your pain and sorrows at that early in the morning and my job, to entertain no matter what. So no matter what come 6 am, I'm Happy, Excited and Full of Energy.    98.25% of the time I am really Happy, Excited and Full of Energy but there are times when I have to push through

This goes on until 10am.  Now I know you think, time to go home? Nope the day is only starting.  I take a short break, then off for a meeting to plan for the next day.  Once that is done, we go and find all the little sound bites and stuff, that is needed for the show next day.

The little sounds that not everyone notices and passes in second but made the story we're telling sound better. Those little things take time to find but pass by so fast.

Then there are Gotcha's to pull. These are not easy at all.  Out of the 10 we pull there will be only 2 that works. There are times when we sit in there for about 2 hours and all we get is 1 Gotcha.  Why is it so hard you ask? Well for a few reasons
  1. The people don't pick up
  2. They recognize my voice
  3. They just don't car even though the news we're giving is really bad. The "What Ever kind of people" or 
  4. They are the kind of people who just don't like to fight back and just keep quiet even though it's their right to fight back.

We have to get 10 Gotchas a week. :)

Once that is done, there are promo's to voice and some times other meetings to attend. I mostly go home at 1 pm everyday.  Unless there are interviews or other work like MC-ing an event at night then I might have a 12 hour day or longer.

So if you want to put that in everyday 9 to 5 life, it's like going to work at 9am and working with only a short break till 4.30pm without any lunch.  And the glamorous part is I need to be in bed early to be fresh the next day.

The "Easy" Job.  I love it. I really do.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The First Entry

The all important first entry, what do I talk about.. how about, how did I get to this point. How does one go from studying electrical engineering to getting this
on my twitter from one of the coolest artist in Malaysia...  Let me start at the begining.

I was studying electrical engineering and wanted a part time job and heard of a job which payed well.  The Cruisers which were called the HITZ fm Prado Cruisers back then.  I went if for an interview and next thing I know I'm out with the guys.  I got the part time gig and I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. That was on the 13th of July 1998. After a year of doing it part time, I graduated. Yay!! I'm an electrical engineer... "Now what" I thought. They offered me a full time job as a cruiser and I took it, while I wait for an Electrical Engineering job to open up..... I'm still waiting. LOL

I work with the cruisers for a year and in that time I decided to learn all I can on radio. Now let me tell you the cruiser job is not all fun and games.  You're the lowest of lows in ranking when it comes to radio but you work the hardest. You have to set up a venue, make it nice with all the banners and all. You'll have to warm up the crowd for the DJ's and make sure everyone is happy and everything is going right. Basically, first one in, last one out. Most amount of work, least amount of credit, but I loved it.

I became the cruiser coordinator, that was my official title. Behind the scene after normal work hours I decided to learn more. I sat with a production engineer call Shafri who thought me Pro Tools (the program used to edit all the sound and promos) and how promos and made.  Till this day that knowledge comes in very handy.

 my uniform back then...
Production done, what next?  I was offered by the Jakeman a weekend slot. So I took that chance to learn more. My slot was 3 hours on a Sunday and it was 3 different shows in a row. The first hour was called hitz center stage.  I played all the live performances from artist.  Gave everyone a chance to be in a concert every weekend. Then the next hour would be a show called the All Asia Show, where I played music from all around Asia.  Japanese, Chinese, Korean, you name it we played it as long as it was a hit at that time. The third hour was just a normal slot before Rick Dees came on. Never did I think I would become a DJ full time on hitz but hey I'm glad I took it.

In that year there was a change from Hitz Fm to

Then came the big chance. I was offered a full time gig as a DJ/Announcer on and I said yes. My first slot was 2am to 6am in the morning. Moved on to the Top 30, became the music exec at that time as well, then I did Drive and I did the afternoon slot, finally settling down with the Morning Crew.  Don't ask me what happen for that change and for my chance to do that slot cause I still don't know but and thankful for the chance.

It's 12 years now and it has been an amazing ride which I still enjoy everyday of. I'm normally asked this question, "How do I become a DJ?"  and I always answer the same thing, "I don't know"  .  It's 50% luck and 50% hard work. Get your foot into the business anyway you can and work your way up I guess.  Good Luck..

So that's it for my first entry... what you think?  Will take you behind the scenes to the next event I do, I promise..