Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Social Engineering 2: The Matrix Revolutions (No Spoilers)

A Nutshell Review
Originally Posted On: 5th Nov 2003

What do you do when an opportunity is presented to you, to do something zany and different for a change? Will you take it? Or will you give it a pass?

I took it, hook, line and sinker, with 3 friends.

Just to recap for all you non movie fans out there, the Wachowski Bros announced a never before Zero Hour simultaneous release of the Matrix Revolutions, both on 35mm and IMAX formats, on 5th Nov 2003. In local time, it would be 2200hrs.

What do you do if you wanna lap up the moment?

Fact 1: one of the parent company of the local GV chain is Village Roadshow, which is also one of the production houses for the Matrix movies.
Fact 2: this will mean that given Zero Hour, the gala premiere will be at one of the GV theatres, for sure.
Fact 3: both formats out? Gotta be GV Grand definitely
Fact 4: Media will be there, so dress up to steal some thunder

Without getting into the back-story of the hoo-har my friends and I got into to get the tickets for the IMAX (we swore we must watch Revolutions on the IMAX, at Zero Hour, and luckily the local censors made it happen) I'll recount the entire fantastic evening that we had. It was unforgettable, it was memorable. One of those moments you share with good friends

It was decided we should go as Agent Smiths, for the following reasons:
1. It was the simplest costume
2. Unless you got the cash, how on earth are you gonna afford snakeskin leather overalls as Morpheus, or that tailor made suit with a skirt as Neo, forget about the vinyl clad Trinity - we ain't female :P
3. Zionites seem kinda underdressed
4. There can be only one of each character, but since we're going as a group, many Smiths made good sense. (It would be stupid if you dressed as Neo, and someone else does too, so, who's The One? :P)

Before "The Gig"
We were teasing the shoppers at Great World City with our walkarounds, in costume, in half costume, out of costume, etc. Preliminary photo opportunities was at McCafe, where I noticed some stares of disbelief. When we collected our tickets in costume, we were approached by one of the ground staff for the Movie Marathon, who was curious just exactly what the heck we're up to. Hey, we're fan boys! Never heard of rabid fans? She offered us the opportunity to speak to the media. Win-Win situation. Nice.

"The Gig"
After dinner, we geared up. Hung around the lobby, took some photos, and Channel 5 came along to ask for an interview. Staying in character, we had this air of indifference in our attitude. The interview was simple, with questions ranging on why we dressed up, and what our expectations for the movie were. Finally I suspect that they would prefer to get our soundbite at the end for their inhouse TV trailers (since Chan 5 is the official TV station for the movie). Again we were requested for another interview after the movie ended. Sweet. Too bad my efforts to get the name and number of our interviewer failed (don't say I didn't try!!)

Then Boon Teck saw me (Yo! Can't see you lah, cuz my shades had no degree, so was practically "blind" after 5 metres :P). So you can bug him for his cool pic with 3 Smiths :D And thanks for helping us take a pic with our photographer friend :) Mucho appreciated!

Next up, Channel News Asia and Channel 8 did a simultaneous interview (I don't even know how to say "Matrix" in mandarin, so I passed up this chance, go Pat go!). And guess what, Cheryl Fox up close and personal :D Interview questions were more or less similar to the Channel 5 one, but Ms Fox was all game and sporting when we requested to take a pic with her, and took 6(?) shots as our photographer had some minor technical problem with the camera. She was friendly, sporting and nice. 'Nuff said.

10 mins before our scheduled screening starts, she requested for us to do another short gig with her (Sure, why not!), but she lost her camera crew and had to look for them

7 mins before, she found her camera crew and asked me "where are the boys", to which I answered "in the boys room" :P

5 mins before, we were rehearsing our lines with her, all set and ready to do the soundbite for her. Took 3-4 takes before we got it right :)

Bid Cheryl goodnight and promised to email her the pics we took. At this moment some photographer (dunno from where) took another 3-4 shots of us. Hope he doesn't represent some some sleazy mag :P

Then it was off we go to our screening, GV gave us some freebies (probably we spiced up the evening at the theare?), redeemed our free combo set (we just settled for the coke, ain't cool for us to be munchin popcorn in character), and made our way for the IMAX theatre entrance....

... but not before noticing the presence of the ever smiling Kenneth Tan, GV managing director. Grabbed this photo opportunity in an instant, and with his name card, we can email him the photo....

and finally it was time to settle down for our big screen version of The End.

True enough, at the end of the screening some 2++hrs later, the Channel 5 crew were already waiting patiently for us to re-emerge from the theatre, to do our final bit of interview about the aftermath thoughts about the show, before we ended the night on a fantastic high.

It could never have been better than planned.

Thank you Wachowski Bros, Board of Film Censors, GV, Cheryl Fox, and most importantly, the Phoenix, without whom we can never capture these moments in print.
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