Monday, December 20, 2010

Audrey: He's flirting with so many girls at the same time loh!

Me: It's like applying for job what. You send out a lot of resumes and see which one get back to you lah!

Audrey: You think this one chat roulette ah?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Quotations on writing

The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say. ~Anaïs Nin

Easy reading is damn hard writing. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne (That's why copywriting is hard, I guess.)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

What are they referring to, this love they have for you?
It does not make any sense to me.
I've sang these songs with them, in your house.
But why no love, why no love for me?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Favourite moment in "The Rain Man" ( 1988)

When Raymond Babbitt (Dustin Hoffman) leaned across to his brother, Charles Babbitt (Tom Cruise), his brother's forehead meeting his. Raymond had autism, and didn't enjoy body contact with people, and had difficulty expressing his feelings. This were one of the rare moments. And I thought it was a really sweet brotherly moment.

Friday, November 19, 2010

In the Mood For Love - Yumeji's Theme by Shigeru Umebayashi

Jay's entry always inspires my entries. So, I am gonna post a video too!

A good soundtrack definitely add more quality to a film. It helps push the emotions out of the scenes. One of my favorite soundtrack of all time comes from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or In the Mood for Love. The works of the primary composers, Jon Brion and Shigeru Umebayashi (ESSM & IML, respectively), has always been in my dream list of tunes for my film soundtrack.

Each time I listen to their tunes, it inspires me to dream up my own scenes. I hope, one day I might even be able to contribute to someone else's film with a soundtrack as sensitive as theirs. :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Space, Confinement & Inspiration.

Reading Jay's latest entry (below), I remember that one time I had to do a 36 hour shift at Tuas South Avenue 1. I was a 19 year old security guard who was earning easy money playing Scarecrow to my wildest imagination. There were a total of four posts at the work-site. There was the North Gate, East Gate, West Gate and Headquarters. With East Gate as an exception, the rest of the posts were ideal for one to imagine and get lost in his own ridiculous tales and fantasies.

My head spun thousands of stories in that 36 hour shift. I wrote all of em' on paper. There was the ghost story: the spirit of a slain security guard haunting on his colleagues . Then a comedy documenting a day in a life of five security guards at work (Clerks-esque). A suspense/thriller which involves a security guard/terrorist trying to bomb the American plant. Even, an erotic piece of being stuck in the post with a female colleague which ended up being a porno flick (this came up when the guy that should come after my shift did not turn up and I manned the post for 5 hours). And etc, etc.

The whole point of reminiscing this is realizing how much I miss being confined to a space that holds the conditions of the stories that I imagine & write. The senses work better, I suppose.

Note: So Jay, y'know, we should really find a place that we can confine ourselves to and attempt to draft the complete script based on the restricted conditions. What do you think?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Natural jokes

My friend, Nitya, she's so funny. She has this sense of humor which I don't know where she got from. This natural, raw, non-pretentious jokes. Not fueled by the wit which one gets from watching episodes of Blackadder.

She was telling me about her job as a security supervisor last night. I'm paraphrasing her here.

"The woman was cutting herself at her condo there. Then I was beside her, I show her my wrists also, tell her
"no point cutting, no point doing it for men. Useless one. You drip the blood, your man also cannot drink, right? Then the blood who clean? In the morning the auntie still must clean for you right? Don't give the auntie more work to do lah! Not nice!"

By the time she already started laughing then stop cutting already. Then she told me her life story, then she give me a hug."


"I love my job so much. You ever have to manage 50 year old men? Rowdy men? Men that say they killed people in Malaysia? I'm just a young girl , but I can control these men. Is a damn powerful feeling. "

And suddenly, being able to build systems in computer languages seemed to pale in comparison.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Draft "Double Indemnity"

I have many unfinished scripts. This is my problem. I will write and be excited about the story and then I become afraid that I'm doing it wrong PLUS my writing is bad. Then I give it up. I guess I am better at imagining the ideas but shall post it anyways.

I hope to resume work on this particular story. Basically, it is a local adaptation of this film that I love, "Double Indemnity". It is about an insurance-scam-murder-love story.

Jay, translated, for your convenience.


Hari hari aku bingit. Siape tak bingit. Cuaca macam sial. Hari ini aku pergi kerja takde duit. (pauses) Macam sial. Hari hari pun takde duit. Bila aku kena nombor? (pauses) Macam sial. Pukimak punye panas. Macam sial. Hari hari aku bingit. Macam mane ni. Hai, sial.. macam sial betul.

[translation: Everyday I'm pissed, who isn't? The weather's fucked. Everyday I'm penniless. Like fuck. Every day I'm penniless. When will I strike the fucking lottery. Like fuck. The weather's hot as cunt. Like fuck. Everyday I'm pissed. How now... fuck.. fucking fuck.]

Narration will play over the opening scenes:
Overhead shot of Bukit Panjang neighbourhood. We see, Khairudin, dressed in smart office-wear, standing at the traffic junction.

Cut to the traffic junction (introducing Khairudin):

Khairudin is standing right beside the traffic light, holding a laptop bag. He is visibly disturbed by the heat. Sweat trickling down his face and his shirt is soaking wet. His business shirt sleeves are rolled up. Noticeably very angry by the weather as he looks up to the sky with great tension in his eyes.

POV: the camera shows the bus-stop indicating Khairudin’s taking the bus.

Cut to traffic junction from the other side:

We see Khairudin crossing the road once and then once more (L-shaped). He walks towards the bus stop. He sits down at the bus stop and he still looks angry. He puts his hands inside his pants pocket and takes out his cellphone. He dials a phone number. The name on his iPhone screen is Rizal. He immediately cancels the call. He deliberates and he looks at his phone again, sucking his lips in nervous excitement. He dials again and this time waits for the response on the other end.

Khairudin: Hallo, Zal. Dok, eh ada masalah besar la. Aku rase aku lambat gila tau. Mak aku ada masalah besar. Aku rase kau pegi dulu ah. (pauses) Tak, pasal aku tak tahu pukul berapa aku habis la. Kau terangkan aje pada dia. Dia nak tak nak belakang cerita. Kau cuba. Apa apa kau kol aku la. (pauses) semua okay, aku nak pegi hospital ah. Ah, ah, nanti aku call kau. Mungkin malam kita jumpa ah.

[translation: Hello, Zal? Hey, I've got a big problem. I will be extremely late. My mom has a huge problem. I think... you should go ahead. (pauses) No, cause' I am not sure what time I'll be done. You just carry on with your presentation. Whether they buy it or not, that's a different story. You try... if there's anything just call me. (pauses) Yeah, everything's fine, I'm going to the hospital. Yeah, I will call you later. Maybe we'll meet tonight.]

Khairudin puts his phone down and we see abit of relief on his face. The bus arrives and he boards the bus.

Cut to the office:
The camera passes by at medium pace, every isle of workstation. Total of 3 isles. Each isle has about five to six workstation facing each other. Each isle we hear a distinctive agent/character speaking. This is to introduce what Khairudin is actually doing. In the first isle we hear: We hear someone screaming in Mandarin over the phone (“For all that benefits and coverage, that’s a very low premium to pay. We’ve been over this many times!”)

The first isle introduces us that this is the office of an insurance firm.

In the second isle, a guy speaking in Cantonese: (“Okay your car insurance has been renewed for a premium of $2000.”)

Finally in the third isle there is no one else except Khairudin at the end of the isle. He sits at the corner sit with both his hands on the table and head slightly hanging. At this point, the camera moves into the isle slowly but eventually rapidly in his direction and braked immediately coinciding with a man saying:

Man: Ah, amacam, Din? Semua, ok?
[translation: How's everything, Din?]

Din: Hmm, semua okay ah.
[translation: Yeah, everything's okay.]

Man: Eh kau kata ada presentation dgn Richemont kan?
[translation: Eh, you said you had a presentation at Richemont?]

Oh tak ah. Takde. Dorang kansel ah.
[translation: Oh no, they cancelled the appointment]

Ah mari, sekejap, lima minit, kita bual bual kejap.
[translation: Okay, can I have five minutes with you, quick chat?"]

Cuts to manager’s office:

Manager: Okay… kau ada apa apa masalah tak?
[translation: Okay, everything okay? Any problems?]

Khairudin: Takde, semua ok.
[translation: No, everything's okay.]

Manager: Takde perubahan pun aku tengok. Dah 5 bulan sejak kau (bangs table) janji yang tahun ni kau akan bangkit! Aku percaya dalam kau tau. Kau ada potensi, banyak potensi! Tapi macam sayang tau.
[translation: Everything's stagnant, no changes whatsoever. It has been five months (bangs table) since you promised that you'll make improvements! I believe in you, y'know. You have a lot of potential! A lot of potential! Huge waste...]

Khairudin: (shocked and we see him gritting his teeth) Tahu, tapi… tak lama lagi la…
[translation: Yeah I know... but matter of time, really.]

Manager: Okay, aku kasi kau cadangan… aku tahu kau dah takde orang nak jumpa kan…
[translation: I give you a suggestion. I know you have no one else to see, right?]

[Khairudin nods]

Manager: Kau pegi tengok baik baik senarai kau… Mesti ada satu orang yang kau belum kol atau jumpa.. kau cari tu satu orang tu.. kau cuba kol dia untuk jumpa dia.. amacam? Senang kan? Aku tengok hari hari kau duduk kat meja kau macam takde nyawa tau. Aku pun tak tahu apa masalah kau.. dah satu tahun lebih kau kat sini.. belum sekali aku nampak kau angkat telepon tu kol orang. Boleh tak!
[translation: You go through your listing again. There must be at least one person that you have yet to call or meet. You look for that one person and get an appointment. How? Easy, right? I look at you everyday sitting there at your desk like a lifeless person. I don't even know what's bothering you. You've been here for more than a year and I have never seen you pick up that telephone yet! Can or not?!]

Khairudin: Okay…

[And this was where I last stopped. The next scene will soon us introduce to the other main character and then the conflict.]

Monday, September 6, 2010

Singaporean kid and her label.

You know, my friend, I've always been envious of you that you're still close to your mates from BP.

I recently removed my secondary school when it comes to the education part of my Facebook page. It's just something I had to do. Sure, it's one of life's glorious moments: imagine, the inept, socially-awkward girl, getting into THAT secondary school. Doing better than that smart-ass 'best friend' I hung around with. "Bukit Panjang Government High School". I wore it proud. Not "normal-academic" which many assumed, but "Express", okay?! Such good PSLE marks. Such unexpected grades for a girl that had to stay back in school for remedial lessons.

But for what fuck. I didn't do well in Secondary School. I was failing most subjects. I wasn't interested in classes. Perhaps it was at that point of time I realized I'm not that good after all.

But I still used it after leaving, still wave it around like a pride flag, like "once in my life, I was among the great". Jumping into the opportunity to tell people I was from there. Never mind that I was possibly one of the worst students from that school.

My father recently went to the alumni dinner. Yeah, we were from the same school. And I wasn't even invited by anyone to go. It's pointless for me. I don't even know how to talk to my best friend from that school anymore.

So it's time to retire this flag, and wave another. Bukit Panjang, thanks for giving me the chance to use you, but I don't deserve you at all.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wiki How To Write A Script

Resource: How To Write A Script?

Dialogues, Lines & Sinker.

Films with brilliant dialogues and lines, either funny or dramatic or simply passing, can raise its quality by a million times. At least, for me, it has that impact. I can watch a film and wait 50-60 minutes just for my favorite line to appear. And this is why I love to dream up scenes in my head, trying to come up with lines so powerful and memorable it'd sink into the audiences' lives. Of course, under a good direction, the performer also has a duty of ensuring the delivery of his/her lines are top quality.

I would like to name my top five lines in films (JY, please feel free to name yours too, it could be from plays too!).

Top Five Lines/Dialogues in Films (in no specific order)

1) "No, I don't think I will kiss you, although you need kissing, badly. That's what's wrong with you. You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how." - Gone with the Wind

2) "You'll never be a first class human being or a first class woman until you've learned to have some regard for human frailty." - The Philadelphia Story

3) "Hey, don't be so mature, okay? I mean, six months is a long time! Six months, you know you're gonna be, you'll be in, in, in, in the th - working in a theater there, you'll be with actors and directors, you kno w you're, you know, you go to rehearsal, and you, you hang out with those people, you have lunch a lot, and, and, before you even know it attachments form and, and, you know, I mean, you, you don't want to be get into that kind a, I mean, you, you'll change. You know, you'll be, you'll be, in six months you'll be a completely different person." - Manhattan

4) "You and your plans. You know what my grandmother used to say? If you want to make God laugh... tell Him your plans." - Amores Perros

5) "I don't need you to tell me how fucking good my coffee is, okay? I'm the one who buys it. I know how good it is. When Bonnie goes shopping she buys SHIT. I buy the gourmet expensive stuff because when I drink it I want to taste it. But you know what's on my mind right now? It AIN'T the coffee in my kitchen, it's the dead nigger in my garage." - Pulp Fiction

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Captain Subtext.

I think it applies not just to poetry as well.

“We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion.And medicine, law, business, engineering - these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love - these are what we stay alive for.”

- John Keating, character in Dead Poet's Society.

'Dreaming up' is essential.

"There couldn't be a society of people who didn't dream. They'd be dead in two weeks."
— William S. Burroughs

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Inspirationals: On Writing

"No thinking - that comes later. You must write your first draft with your heart. You rewrite with your head. The first key to writing is... to write, not to think!" - Forrester

Finding Forrester (2000)

What might be influencing me right now?

5 Songs that are on your current playlist:

1) Le Sacre Du Printemps - Igor Stravinsky
2) Khamasin - Soil & "Pimp" Sessions
3) The Great Curve - Talking Heads
4) Sentimental Fool - Roxy Music
5) Special Secret Song Inside - Red Hot Chili Peppers

5 Films which you recently watched

1) The Ox-Bow Incident
2) Amores Perros
3) A Serious Man
4) Up in the Air
5) Darjeeling Limited

Exercise: Lately

The things around us usually goes into whatever stories we're trying to create. Let's do one of those memes to find out what is influencing us lately. Describe a little about each item which you listed, if possible.

5 Songs that are on your current playlist

1) Outkast - Hey Ya

Recently, a friend gifted another friend with an instant camera. Through demonstration, one must shake the instant picture after you have snapped it. Which answers the question I had posted earlier in my life, but haven't got an answer on what the hell does "shake it like a polaroid picture" meant.

Also, great song that makes me want to boogie.

addendum on 27th August Sang it during a KTV session, and realized that all the lyrics telling you to shake it, shake it could actually be suggestive.

2) The Observatory - Queen of Fate

This song is 10 minutes long and lounge-y. Unfortunately I haven't gone to figure out what the lyrics meant.

3) Massive Attack - Man Next Door

I put Massive Attack on my playlist on Grooveshark when I work. Puts you in the calmer mood, as the singers voices doesn't overwhelm me and steal my attention. Man next door happens to be one of my favorite ones.

4) Michael Jackson - Thriller

It's a pity that I only started paying attention to Jackson a few months before his death in '09.

I couldn't figure out what he was singing in Don't stop till you get enough, but in Thriller, you could hear the versatility in his voice. Also love the MTV.

Jackson was 24 when he was working on the Thriller album. What was I doing at 24? Oh yeah, living like a vagabond.

It's interesting that Lady Gaga is at her peak in 2010. Another 24 year old. I hope she doesn't have to go through what Jackson had to go through in the later parts of his career.

5) Robbie Williams - No Regrets

I was 15 when this song kept replaying on my (well, technically, my brother's) discman. Broke up with boyfriend when I was 14, and this song seemed to sing what I thought my heart felt at that point of time. Obviously I was just a silly teenage girl at that point of time.

Re-listening to it at 26 had more impact, for I have went through more disappointments.

5 Films which you recently watched

1) The Birdcage

I fell in love with Nathan Lane here: he nailed the part as a drama-mama drag queen. Totally not off-putting at all.

2) Inception

People speak too fast here, which reinforces the fact that I would much preferred subtitles, though I wouldn't watch this movie again. Also, soundtrack are dark and heavy. Reminds me of The Dark Knight. Obviously Christopher Nolan chose the same person to work with.

(Wow, I haven't watched anything else recently, so I'll stop at 2.)

A link (or two)

Writing Exercises and Advice - - Creative Writing Exercises and Advice

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Writing Exercise #1: The cab ride

Note: We did this over MSN Chat in around half hour. The point of this exercise is to create a natural conversation between two characters.

A and B gets on the cab.

A: Uncle, Bukit Panjang.

Uncle: Ah, Bukit Panjang, how you want to go? BKE ah?

B: I think Bukit Timah road better lah.

A: Why sia? So many traffic lights like that?

B: I want to pass by KAP

Uncle: So I go Bt Timah Road ah!

A: No, No. BKE, uncle.

B: I want to pass by KAP la

A: Don't need to pass by KAP lah! Wah lao. Bukit Panjang also got Mcdonalds lah!

B: Who say I want to go McDonalds!

A: Then you want to pass by there for fuck?

B: It is just a must ok! I need to pass by there or else I can't sleep tonight. It will unclick this click in my head. Uncle, go, go, by Bt Timah Road!

Uncle: Okay okay. (starts driving)

A: What click you talkin about? Must you always be so difficult and deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep?

B: Hiyah don't ask lah!

(quiet among the two of them)

*Taxi Uncle raises the volume on his radio. The song is Jay Chou's tune.

A: What the fuck man, fuckin Jay Chou.. fucker can't sing or act

B: (keeps quiet)

Uncle: So you want to go KAP or Bukit Panjang ah?

(at the same time)
A: Bukit Panjang

A: What? I thought you just wanted to pass by, now you want to go there too?

B: sorry sorry.. uncle. Bukit Panjang.

A: So... how's Becca? You and her patched things up?

B: It's alrite lah. I don't really want to talk about it.

A: Then what.. so you don't want to say anything and be moody just becus we have different opinions on how to go BP?

B: Wah lao, it's nothing to do with BP lah! Kao. So let's just do what we need to do. To see the damn baby, then compliment on how cute it is though we already commented on her facebook wall saying that it's a cute baby.

A: Since when I commented? I haven't even seen the baby before. I hate babies. My sister's three kids running around and crying every night already a pain in the arse.

B: You never comment? Aiyah. Everyone just leave the comment, say it's a cute baby. But really. the damn baby looks like any other damn baby.

A: Then why you say cute? I can't stand people like you leh. Say things for heck of it.

B; Like you never do that before. *imitate* "wah lao..... your hair's so pretty, becca!"

A: Your bloody girlfriend what.. I wanted to make you feel proud of your stupid Queen

B: her hair's shit.

A: she is shit.. like a broomstick

B: Broomstick from Muji is not shit.,

A: Whuuuut?

B: I'm saying, it's not just any broomstick you buy from provision shop downstairs your block, okay. I bought this from fucking Muji. $15.

A: First you bought an umbrella for $100, then you bought a pen for $80, then, what was it? Oh, a fuckin teaspoon for $200, and now broomstick for $15. Why didn't you rent a limousine from Vegas to get us to BP?

B: I'll think about it. look. Don't talk to me no more.

Uncle: Stop at taxi stand can anot?

B: Can lah. (to A) let's go to starbucks.

A (mutters under his own breath): Seven fucking dollars for a fuckin cup!

B: I buy, you don't need to buy, okay?

A: I buy at Wangs packet over.. what's her baby's name again?

B: Angela.

A: Common

B: I also say.

A: Eh, her husband really bookie ah?

B: Dunnoe him lah. Kan ni nah, So young, already can buy 5 room HDB somemore

A: The 5 room not so bad leh. Some people, they just dive, must show off. But I swear I saw him driving a Maserati. Where got hockey coach drive Maserati?

B: Siao lang. Live HDB flat drive Meserati. Never kena hoot before.

A: That's the ultimate show-off lor.

B: yah lah. Eh... How's Jamie?

A: Jamie still in Russia la.. She flying back morrow. Then she gotta go Shanghai. Sometimes I duno true anot. KNN, SIA don't give off one meh!

B: Heh. Dating Air Stewardess like that one lah. (sigh) You know, last time the three of us always go and play lan-gaming? Wah kao. When can we do that again ah?

A: Eh who told you I dating her? You cibai, always make it awkward for me.. Wah lao, worried for her cannot meh... LAN gaming for losers la.. we're so adults now..

B: You... you really not dating her?