Posted: 08 Dec 2011 11:57 PM PST
The Biggest Game Show In The World was filmed in Kuala Lumpur last month — and almost went unnoticed.
SOMETIME early last month, Bukit Kiara Skate Park in Kuala Lumpur turned into a battlefield of sorts. More than 100 people from four countries competed over five consecutive days to find out who among them was the best. While there were no gold medals or any sort of formal recognition, the contestants were gauged on how much fun they could create within an allocated time. They earned some bruises in the process as well.
The Bukit Kiara Skate Park has become the base for the filming of the TV show called The Biggest Game Show In The World: Asia.
Apart from the 120 contestants from Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam battling it out, there was also an additional 60 contestants from different parts of Australia. They flew in a week later to film the Australian version of the show called It's A Knockout. What's more, plans are underway to bring in teams from other regions in the near future.
David Searl, the managing director Asia for ice-TV (an Asian-based production company co-producing The Biggest Game Show In The World), explained: "The intention is to build this as the production hub for this region. Next year, we have interest from India to come out and do its 13 one-hour episodes of the show. We also have interests from the Middle East, which means the contestants from the Middle East will be flown here. New Zealand as well and some other countries are still in discussion.
"Although this is a small beginning, we might have four or five countries coming over next year, so it'd be huge."
According to Simon Lockyer, the managing director (Singapore) for the ice-TV, Malaysia was chosen because "the skill sets are here in terms of production and in terms of producing TV commercials and TV shows. These exist everywhere but have been refined in Malaysia over the years. We've got over 100 local production crew on this."
Although the game has just arrived at our shores, ironically, it still hasn't gotten a local broadcaster yet. This means it's yet to be aired in Malaysia as negotiations are still underway with local broadcasters. It also means there is no Malaysian team as the mechanics of choosing the contestants are handled by the local broadcaster.
Nonetheless, the concept of the game has been around for a very long time. Believe it or not, the show is celebrating its 50th anniversary next year.
The game originated from France. In its earliest version, it saw different towns in France competing against one another. Soon, the concept travelled to other parts of Europe like Britain, Spain, Portugal and Romania. Ten years ago, it arrived in China.
The concept – still under the copyright of French company Mistral – comes here with a large amount of experience backing it.
"It has a universal entertainment appeal that is language-independent almost," said Lockyer.
"It has different teams competing in a highly visual, colourful, energetic, positive game show. Someone coined the phrase 'family Olympics' to describe it. I think that's a nice way to put it. You don't have to be a top athlete to compete and you don't have to be athletic to watch it. I think that transcends cultural barriers. There is competition but it's done with an element of fun."
Searl added: "And everybody likes people falling over. The contestants wear silly costumes like those of a kangaroo and a giraffe when participating in some games, and everybody laughs at that. Usually the control room is very quiet but, last night, at one point everybody was in a fit of laughter, which is great."
Make what you will of games that are called Human Ocean, Noughts & Crosses, Head Spinner, Baby Bull Arches, Ostrich Races With Bicycle and The Champion's Wall. Some of the challenges include running on a conveyer belt above a makeshift swimming pool, standing on a gigantic turntable shooting hoops and wearing wild costumes to do some really normal stuff like cycling.
There is no real criteria other than being able-bodied, above 18 and reasonably fit. Just about anyone who wants to take part can make it here.
For Rizki Tri Wahyuni, a 20-year-old Indonesian doing her tertiary studies to become a PE teacher, it was a chance for a physical activity of a different kind. "I wanted to see if I could handle challenges away from the track and field," she said.
For her friend, Ekosantoso, it was the simplest reason of having the opportunity to travel abroad.
Each episode features six games, in which 30 contestants per country are divided into a 10-person team for each challenge. Out of the six games, only one remains consistent and that is the Champion's Wall. This is a challenge that requires both strength and skills, and is said to be very, very tough. For that particular game, the Indonesian team enlisted the help of a stuntman simply known as Eka.
Looking at him, there is no doubt that the 27-year-old from the city of Depok is tough, having been a fall guy in the Indonesian entertainment industry for seven years. "They asked me to come along so our team could win, so I did," he explained with a ready smile. "I've already gone up the wall once and won."
The set is something else. It is impressive – for the filming, some props were brought in from France this season, with additional pieces done by local manufacturers. Months of preparation went into the show.
Searl stated: "This was the biggest TV show ever produced in Asia, let alone KL. We had over 150 Malaysians working on the show in different capacities — from producers to support teams. All the Malaysian team members commented that none of them had ever worked on a production of international scale like this before.
"We now have six containers of props, sets and wardrobe being stored in KL, ready for Season Two when we hope to bring in teams from India, the Middle East and Latin America to produce their own local versions, as well as a bigger Pan-Asian Season Two with at least two other Asian countries participating."Full content generated by Get Full RSS.
Posted: 09 Dec 2011 12:11 AM PST
South Korean stars Kim Sun-ah and Lee Dong-wook not only heat up the screen, but also drew in the crowds during their first visit to Kuala Lumpur.
WHEN Kim Sun-ah and Lee Dong-wook waltzed into Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday to promote their hit series Scent Of A Woman, they never expected the enthusiastic crowds that trailed them from the airport to the hotel.
The overwhelming turnout took organisers by surprise, as the press conference, apart from being fully-attended by local media, was teeming with bloggers and gatecrashed by diehard fans of the duo who outnumbered (and out-jostled!) press photographers during the photocall.
In fact, the fans even helped Kim and Dong-wook answer questions during the press conference! While the two pondered over the most memorable scenes in the series, fans in the audience screamed, "The tango scenes!" And, when they referred to the scene as being in the eighth episode, fans even corrected them, saying, "No, it was in the ninth episode."
It was the first trip to Malaysia for both the leads of the 16-episode Korean TV series, who also visited Singapore as part of their two-day, two-city whirlwind tour. Apart from their porcelain skin, the two South Korean celebrities were as different as can be.
Kim, 36, was perhaps the most entertaining South Korean star I've ever encountered; the pretty lass was delightfully animated with such adorable gestures.
Apart from her native Korean, she also spoke in English and Mandarin during the interview and turned out to be even more amusing than the characters she's played, such as a chubby baker in My Name Is Kim Sam Soon and a secretary-turned-mayor in City Hall.
After spending the morning signing autographs, the ever-smiling actress expressed her thanks for such passionate support from local fans, "I'm glad you all like the drama so much."
Her dashing co-star Dong-wook, 30, looked somewhat tired as he had a packed schedule and had to rush back to the set of his new drama Wild Romance.
Dong-wook also sported a moustache for his role as professional baseball player Park Mu Yeol, who is paired with his bodyguard Yoon Eun Jae, played by Lee Si Young. Commenting on his new image, Dong-wook said: "It does make me look more mature. Don't you think so?"
In Scent Of A Woman, Kim plays a thirty-something single girl named Lee Yeon-jae who is forced to re-examine her priorities after being diagnosed with cancer and told that she has only six months to live. The thrifty lass decides to live each day like it were her last and starts by quitting her thankless job at a travel agency before drawing up a bucket list of 20 things to do before she dies.
On the other hand, Dong-wook plays Kang Ji-wook, the wealthy yet cynical son of her former boss who has everything given to him but is not interested in anything at all. The two meet and fall in love as they embark on a series of bittersweet adventures.
Supporting characters include Uhm Ki-joon, who plays Yeon-jae's dashing but insensitive doctor friend Chae Eun Suk; and Seo Hye Rim, who portrays Ji-wook's accomplished yet insufferable fiancé Im Se-kyung.
Broaching the subject of relationships involving an older woman and younger man, Kim – whose other popular series has also seen her paired with younger leading men like Hyun Bin (My Name Is Kim Sam Soon, 2005) and Lee Dong-gun (When It's Night, 2008) – was asked what she thought of May-December romances.
"Age is just a number. Most important is how you feel for each other and the connection you have," Kim replied.
Well-known for her commitment to putting on weight (for My Name Is Kim Sam Soon) and losing weight (for Scent Of A Woman), Kim offered, "I like to immerse myself in a role and give it a personal touch. Honestly, there is only so much that make-up can do for you."
Since Kim's character in the series is a dying cancer patient, she had to lose a lot of weight – fast! So, she resorted to very extreme measures to shed the kilos, using a method she certainly wasn't very proud of.
"I had to forgo food and sleep. It was very difficult, not to mention unhealthy; especially since lack of rest gave me a perpetual headache." But she was quick to caution others against taking her lead, saying her methods were not advisable and recommended others to adopt healthier ways, instead.
Admitting that she was a very romantic person, Kim even gave an impromptu demonstration of how she would act aegyo (cutesy in Korean) to soften a tough or serious fellow.
Scent Of A Woman being Dong-wook's first TV drama after his discharge from mandatory military duties in June, also gave him the opportunity to show off his hot bod in sizzling shower scenes.
When teased about those scenes, the serious-looking chap offered: "The series was released in Korea during summer. And during this season, if the male lead strips, the ratings will automatically shoot up!
"Moreover, I prefer to go shirtless while outdoors in summer as I dislike getting unsightly tan lines.
"But before shooting commenced, I'd already cut carbs and sugar and put in two hours of gym workouts daily. So, the outcome of these scenes were even better than we expected."
The series also featured lots of kissing scenes to which Dong-wook explained, "They've been through so much hardship to be together, it's a fitting expression of their love for each other."
When asked to pick the most memorable one, Kim settled for the one which started with them cycling and ended up with them falling ... into a kiss.
Though it looked cute on the screen, Dong-wook felt otherwise. "That scene was actually Sun-ah's idea. And, it's really quite dangerous, so I'd advise against it."
Scent Of A Woman airs on ONE HD (Astro Ch 393) at 9.05pm every Wednesday and Thursday.Full content generated by Get Full RSS.
Posted: 09 Dec 2011 12:07 AM PST
GET the guide to what's up, what's hot and what's the latest to hit town with Linora, the bubbly host of Red FM's Top of the Shops.
Appearing on Red FM's Eleven 2 Three (Monday to Friday, 11am-1pm), this sub segment highlights a different place, product or trend each week. From restaurants, accessories and gadgets to beauty treatments and more, Linora will check out the essentials to enhance your lifestyle. You could also win the opportunity to try it out for yourself when you tune in.
This week, Linora has been giving out Japanese buffet dining vouchers at Sunway Putra Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. The hotel is located above Sunway Putra Mall, a shopping haven with 200 retail outlets.
Formerly known as The Legend Hotel, this five-star hotel offers an indulgent stay with its elegantly furnished rooms and a variety of dining outlets.
Next week, listen out for the cue to enter and you could win a stay at the hotel, courtesy of ilovediscounts.my, Malaysia's favourite discount website, where you can find exciting lifestyle deals.
As Red FM's Top of the Shops strives to add that touch of pleasure and spice to your life, log on to Linora's blog on red.fm to get a glimpse of what's to come.
This avid blogger not only offers her personal experience and a unique perspective on some of the giveaways; in addition, you can also pick up tips on how to win the prize of the week.
Join the Red FM Malaysia Facebook fan page (www.face book.com/redfm.my) and follow us on Twitter (@iloveredfm) for the latest updates of all contests.
Red FM is owned and operated by The Star.
Red FM's station frequencies: Taiping, Kedah, Perlis and Pulau Langkawi: 98.1 FM; George Town and Seberang Prai: 107.6 FM; Ipoh: 106.4 FM; Klang Valley, Negri Sembilan and Tapah: 104.9 FM; Kuantan: 91.6 FM; Batu Pahat and Malacca: 98.9 FM; Johor Baru and Singapore: 92.8 FM.Full content generated by Get Full RSS.
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