You can write a review about a finished media product but there’s nothing like talking to the people who made it happen in the first place. Five Year 1 students from the Diploma in Creative Writing for TV and New Media (DTVM) discovered this when they attended an event called Localicious on 21 January 2014 and assumed the role of entertainment journalists. It was hosted by MediaCorp which was introducing the latest slew of local English TV programmes.
In the beginning
They were all quite excited. Actually, they were scared and nervous, at first.
Belicia, Jia Ying, Nadia and Rachel
Belicia Teo said “We hadn’t even been taught journalism skills yet, but here we were about to ask actual celebrities questions!”
But they soon eased into their roles as journalists.
Jessica Tan explained “We were greeted warmly at the reception by both the organising staff and the celebrities, and given the priority of asking questions.”
Rachel Wong said “We got to sit in the front row and interview the cast members of different shows. I feel so privileged and thankful for this opportunity because we were treated like professional journalists.”
What they learnt
The professional treatment came with professional duties. From the questions they asked, the students learnt that writers and actors have complete trust in each other.
Nadia Sadimin felt that although the actors found it hard to portray the characters given, they will add their own traits to simplify the process.
“I feel that the casting director did a great job because the roles given to the actor really suited them,” said Nadia.
Belicia Teo agreed. She said Localicious really gave her an insight on how the actors saw their shows and the characters that they portrayed.
She added “It definitely made me interested to watch more of local TV.”
Meet the stars
Cheok Jia Ying was happy to get up close to some of the cast of Code of Law.
She said “They were not at all what I expected based from their grim characters from the show. They were friendly, polite and fluent, as an avid fan, it was a thrill interviewing them.”
Besides the question-and-answer session, organisers arranged for a special interview session just for DTVM students. They got to speak to the cast of Spouse for House and Code of Law.
Special interview session with the cast of Spouse for House
Jessica said “It was a real treat (and a surprising one) as we did not expect to get this close and personal with them.”
The real deal
Jessica was also happy to see how broadcast interviews worked in real life.
Rachel was thrilled to get a glimpse into the journalism side of the industry.
She said “One of my favourite things was that we got to see the workings of the media industry (interviewing celebrities, how people interacted) so closely and unrestrictedly.”
The students felt that this was one experience you just can’t get from a textbook.
“It was really wonderful and the place was buzzing with energy. I really liked it!” added Rachel.
And they wanted more!
The students wished they had more time to ask even more questions.
Nadia really wanted to speak to the cast of Wok Star but due to time constraints, the contestants did not take questions.
As writing students, they also wished that the writers or the producers of the shows had been there, since two of the modules they are currently taking involve the pre-production of TV shows.
Jia Ying felt that the event was rather rushed and wished she could explore more about the production and the conceptualisation processes.
Agreeing, Nadia said the fact that the writers were not there was a real let down.
Jessica said she wanted to find out from the writers about the trends in TV they should look out for.
Rachel said “We always see the prettily packaged TV show with the glamorous cast, but never what goes on behind it (the writing, planning and production.) We would be able to appreciate the shows more if we saw and talked to the crew from the show because they worked really hard too. We might get valuable insights from them and an inkling of what to expect if we were to work in the media industry.”