However, I'm sure many would like to have a behind the scenes, bloopers filled cut of what happened, which I thought would be more appropriate for a personal blog rather than a professional site like movieXclusive's. But read about the event proper at the link above first ok? More fun that way, trust me.
Before I begin, I would like to emphasize that this was how the event went from my perspective. To have a balanced view of the event-filled night, you must check out the following links, told from my friends' perspective
massb's Take and Pictorial
The Early Arrival
We were on time actually, but it seemed no one was crowding the entrance to Bar None. So I decided to do a recce first, descending down the spiral staircase, and there was a lady at the door. "Are you
The usual exchange of plesantries, the complimentary house pours instructions (what we can have, how much and until when), and we were in Bar None, thought it was unnaturally quiet for a party, well, at first. Eric Khoo was already in the house, and so were Samantha Tan, Kevin Mathews, and a few others whom we didn't recognize.
We took a seat behind Eric (yeah, so close you can ruffle his hair you know?), and had our first drink, chilling out and waiting for some action to begin. Dgital asked "So how are you gonna cover this?" Seriously at that point, I didn't know. There should be a structure for a launch, shouldn't it? And so far, no one had a camera except for Dgital. He had to check with the lady at the door again if there were prohibitions. Turned out to be none at all. We then did some preliminary brainstorming to want to ask Eric and crew some questions, but no sooner than the thought, he was involved in a one-to-one interview with some other reporter.
Samantha and Kevin began short rehearsals for their performance later, and when Ezanne arrived, a photographer too, and both leading ladies were whisked off to the sofas behind us for a sizzling hot photography session. And that's when the crowd started to build.
The Party Proper
You'll already have read about the proceedings from the article. Dgital was working hard on the ground to get the exclusive pictures, but ran out of batteries! Luckily it was towards the end of the event, and I've got a spare camera, though not an SLR. Midway through the presentation, a caucasian lady (shan't name names here) sat beside me and noticed I was scribbling some notes.
"Covering the event?" she asked. "Yeah, I'm covering it for movieXclusive" I said. She told me she watched Be With Me already, a moving one, which was rare for a Singapore movie. Well, it's an Eric Khoo movie, but she said the expectation was high, and good thing it was met. She was just there for the party, but here I was focusing on the events at hand. Hmm...
Samantha was a bit giggly about her performance that night, but I learnt that it was probably an unprecedented first, performing a track from the OST in which she didn't lend her vocals to. And we were there. Cool. Oh, and I don't think it was my imagination when I thought almost all the lyrics to the songs performed had "be with me" in them.
The Accidental Introduction of massb
massb was covering another event at Cineleisure, but we checked to see if he was interested to join us as our event was winding down. I seeked permission from the "lady at the door" for the attendance of an additional columnist, and she was kind enough to allow us to regroup :-) Sent Patrick an SMS for status check as he was covering a screening. He messaged back that his movie was over, and I tried calling him but can't get through. Probably on silent mode still.
I think massb probably set the record for time taken to travel from Cineleisure to Bar None, in like, what, 5 minutes?! You can probably read his account about the slight hassle at the entrance, haha.
With massb around, it allowed us some time to regain composure and to strategize. He's a livewire, no doubt about that, and soon, we went up to Eric Khoo himself
The Director's Bump
massb's simple yet effective "Hi, we're from movieXclusive" started the ball rolling, and through the conversation, I thought Eric was still a down to earth, humble dude, even with the successes with his films. Dgital handed Eric his namecard (yeah, has his name and contact leh), while I had earlier promised our friend Overider to have his Screen Singapore Mee Pok Man ticket autographed.
"Would you mind autographing a ticket for me? It's from a screening of Mee Pok Man, the one in which you were supposed to be in attendance" I explained. "Oh yeah... yeah" was Eric's reply, and he signed the autograph for Overider. I took out my 12 Storeys CD, and Eric was surprised, "Wow, you've got this one!" and he signed an autograph for me on the CD sleeve. He told us that the Be With Me soundtrack was released in the stores that same night (which we saw him pass around earlier).
We chatted a bit, until a point where fanboy-dom set in and we became tongue-tied and dumbstruck. But surely a good way to end the conversation was a photograph opportunity, right? Dgital and myself flanked Eric, and he opted for a buddy pose with his arms around us.
His left hand was holding his cocktail glass, and *bump* it knocked into my right shoulder and I felt a cold drizzle through my shirt. "Oops, sorry" Heh...
The Ladies and the Minders
Samantha Tan and Ezann Lee no doubt were the center of attention with numerous requests for photographs and interviews, so we had to wait our turn patiently, which provided an opportunity to brainstorm questions to ask.
When the current interview group of 2 (with videocam leh) stood up, here was our chance, with massb leading the charge (told ya he was good). He sat down and introduced us, but there was a group of minders (I think, and most probably is) who sort of interrupted us before we could start. massb went "Namecard!" and I presented mine to Samantha. Well I only had one left, and since she was nearest to me... would've passed one to Ezann though if I had more. However Samantha passed it to the already extended hand of one of the minders. "Could we proceed with the interview please?" I asked as she scrutinized the name card, and for some unknown reason, massb swapped out of the seat for me. Hmm... I thought we were in this together? But the seating arrangement was cramped, and so I turned out to be the lucky dude to interview the two pretty ladies. I'd better not screw up!
I thought I died when I posed my first question to Samantha, and gotten a 2-word answer - "No difficulties". But I went to heaven (woohoo!) when she continued after a short pause. Phew! And soon one question became two, and two became a conversation amongst friends. Couldn't keep Ezann waiting, so I had to pose another question to her. I think it was at least a good five minutes talking to them, with an interruption which I chose to ignore - my phone was buzzing in silent mode, and my guess it was Patrick calling me back. Sorry buddy, ain't gonna stop my interview to pick up your call :-P My apologies!
From the corner of my eye, I knew massb somehow found space to listen in, which was good as I needed some help. Although I was asking the questions, my brain was multi-tasking - with the focus of processing images from my eyes (ha!) rather than processing the soundwaves in a club with various background noises.
For the summarized interview Q&A, check back at the movieXclusive site.
What was Dgital doing all this while? Well, as a photographer, he was obviously thinking of his next shot! And when we ended the interview, he had a thought to take a solo picture with the two ladies, but alas the minders had kindly volunteered to take a group picture for us. Think they were rushing for time?
The shot above was the second one as the original turned out too dark. Still determined, Dgital got his wish though (ain't no one gonna stop our photographer yeah?), and started the ball rolling
As did massb
and so did I (have to complete the trio mah, no?)
I thought the minders were fuming at this stage haha. But oh well. Samantha and Ezann were game, and were previewing the pictures right after we took them. Just like teenage friends :-)
Leaves me like a shell, everytime we've been together and it's time, to go...
By then, the crowd had dwindled, and we reluctantly shook hands and said our farewells. Eric Khoo was lounging near the exit, and Dgital went up to him again (read about it here if you haven't.)
It was a truly unforgettable, and unbelievable night, as we struggled hard to avoid slipping into fanboy mode, knowing that first and foremost, we're duty bound flying the flag for movieXclusive. Think we were still high when we settled down at Starbucks, and called our chief with the update - he can really hear our celebrations of a fun-filled mission accomplished night.
Fell in love with the tracks performed, so I got the soundtrack. Nice. You should go get one too. Whoever said locally produced movie soundtracks ain't good, should give this a listen.