Wicked KL club grand opening @ W Hotel Kuala Lumpur

Wicked-KL-Opening

I was at the launch of Wicked KL courtesy of an invite from Carlsberg Malaysia. This is the latest club to hit the KL nightlife scene. In these few months, I’ve been to new club openings at CE LA VI KL and Empire by Zouk. I have to say, Wicked resonates the most with me. That’s corporate speak for “Damn, this club is fire!”. 🔥 Not “on fire”, kids nowadays just say it’s “fire”. Adapt and learn. The two DJs were slaying it last night. I had a lot of fun. Or should I say, I was turnt.

Wicked

W Hotels is Marriott’s upscale pivot towards youth. This hotel brand is marketed towards a younger crowd while still retaining the luxury of their parent company. Wicked KL is at the 12th floor of the hotel. The DJ console is decked out with an insane light, smoke and visual spectacle which will excite all your senses. They have cutting-edge lasers and state-of-the-art sound systems as well as LED screens to create and unparalleled clubbing experience.

Cute-Uniform

The promoter girls have really cute cabin attendant style uniforms too. Or should I say, fly uniforms. Okay, I’ll stop with the dad jokes. I’m not a dad btw, if any single girls are reading this.

Chivas-XV

Wicked KL had Martell Noblige Cognac and Chivas XV on free flow. Pernod Ricard must have been the spirits sponsor. It’s my first time tasting the XV – a 15 year old Scotch finished in Grande Champagne Cognac casks. The XV has really sweet notes but I preferred the woody Noblige. That’s worth picking up next time I go through duty free.

Wicked-KL

I have a soft spot for cognac though. You know how Chinese families always have a collection of cognac bottles at home? You get them in hampers and older Chinese bought them coz cognac was considered THE premium spirit back then. My first taste of spirits was VSOP and when I was in college, I took up the challenge of whittling down the vast family collection of cognac.

Champagne-Parade

I succeeded, although I later restocked the family warchest with my own single malt whisky collection. As it was the first spirit I tasted and drank in quantity, I have a soft spot for cognac. I really enjoy the flavors, complexity and familiarity.

Carlsberg-Wicked

There’s also Carlsberg Smooth Draught beer courtesy of May. Carlsberg events are the only ones I unequivocally say yes to unless I’m busy with work. They’re really fun and May is so easygoing and nice, she feels more like a friend than a client.

Wicked-Violin

I love the music they play in Wicked. The DJs are really good and I enjoyed the type of music they were playing at the opening. There’s a wicked (pun intended) live violin performance that went so well with the DJ’s setlist too. Till today, I’m still wondering what that song is. This is the video recording I took – please comment or email me if you know the song coz I’ll like to listen to it again.

Sin-City

Wicked will have themed nights too – house music on Lucid Dream Sundays, R&B on Bootie Mashtronix Tuesdays, Boom Bap Wednesdays is Hip Hop, Lui Lui Thursday goes old school retro and EDM is the name of the game on Bang Fridays and Sin City Saturdays.

Wicked-Us

Let’s get Wicked.

Redtail by Zouk: Meeting 女神, Empire launch, delicious cocktails

Redtail-by-Zouk

I am a huge fan of M-Girls. They’re a Chinese New Year group with 4 girls that I’ve been following since I was a kid. I studied in Melbourne during my uni years, and since I couldn’t come back for CNY, the M-Girls VCDs were a huge source of comfort for me. I’ll sit in my dorm room, fantasizing about meeting these beautiful girls. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve daydreamed about dating one of these girls too. smirk

Queenzy-Cheng-HB

Thus, when a friend told me Queenzy Cheng was at this event, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I walked up to her to introduce myself and I was surprised to find myself nervous. I haven’t been anxious about talking to a girl since I was in high school! But this is my childhood idol, so some trepidation is to be expected. I calmed my wildly beating heart and tried not to stammer.

Queenzy-Cheng

I told her I was a fan and talked about how her music videos helped my homesickness when I was studying. She’s an exceedingly friendly and nice person in real life. It was a media event and I hesitated when my friends told me to come sit with them coz the table beside was Queenzy and I didn’t want her to think I was stalking her. Hahaha.

Redtail-Sushi

I also had to suck in my stomach and sit up straight. Don’t want to slouch in front of my idol. I couldn’t even eat properly coz I had to ensure my table manners were spot on and I wasn’t slurping or making eating noises. Damn stressful k. I wish I had sat elsewhere.

Redtail-Fried-Chicken

There was a buffet spread at Redtail for media. Unfortunately, I couldn’t partake as much as I wanted to keep up appearances. Haha. I did have the fried chicken though. That was really good.

Prawn-Cocktail-Cold-Platter

My other favorites were the shrimp cocktail in a shot glass (must have had 20 of them) and the cold pasta salad.

Redtail-Dessert

The tiramisu there was pretty good too.

Giant-Beer-Pong

I also joined a Giant Beer Pong tournament at Redtail by Zouk. They have lots of fun games like Giant Jenga, foosball and electronic games machines. The staff there will assist you in setting up the huge metal baskets and holding up the scores. My team didn’t win but it was a good experience.

Redtail-Beer-Pong

RedTail by Zouk is a social gaming lounge decked out in eclectic art that is perfect as a pre-drinking spot. They also have normal table sized beer pong if you don’t like being the center of attention.

Beer-Pong-HB

RedTail also has karaoke with six rooms adorned with fun mascots such as Steve the drum-playing gorilla, Eddy the saxophone-playing panda and Joe the break dancing flamingo.

Redtail-Mixologists

Redtail by Zouk is also known for their cocktails. They have mixologists there and I’ve seen the effort they put into a Whiskey Sour. You can’t get cocktails inside Empire so if that’s what you want, load up before you head into the club.

Redtail-Margarita

They make good margaritas too. It’s open from 5 pm – 3 am every day at Sky Avenue, Genting.

Redtail-Us

Back to meeting my goddess, she actually accepted me on her personal Facebook account and followed me on Instagram! I wanted to be a man of action so I messaged Queenzy on Messenger to ask if she was interested to have lunch or dinner sometime. I had to try or I wouldn’t forgive myself. She didn’t reply or read it. Oh well, it was worth a shot. I’m glad I got to meet my childhood idol.

Empire by Zouk: A hip-hop club above the clouds at Genting

Empire-by-Zouk

Interesting anecdote: Do you know what the biggest draw in Vegas is? It’s their nightclubs. I’ve read about this recent pivot to mega clubs with big name DJs with interest. It seems that shifting preferences in the younger generation has made nightclubs a very lucrative business. Casinos have the funds to bankroll these huge events with multi-million dollar light and sound systems, so they’re natural partners.

Empire-RWG

I was in Genting over the weekend to check out the launching of Empire by Zouk. Empire is one of Zouk Genting’s two club outlets, and one of the newest concepts introduced under the Zouk umbrella. The idea behind Empire stems from a hip-hop themed, dual club-lounge that is reminiscent of the upscale, private lounges in New York. I know some hip hop kaki who would love the music here.

Empire-Zouk

In true Zouk fashion of having separate areas to cater for different tastes, Empire will be dedicated to hip hop. Spanning 5000 square feet, Empire will seamlessly have an urban blend of art, fashion and music. Designed in homage to the global cultural reach of the genre, Empire drops with swagger from the Bronx-inspired graffiti to Compton-infused flows.

Empire-Genting

It will also be perfect for a private party for anyone looking to throw a blowout for up to 500 people with a bar and 20 tables. A 20 feet long LED screen takes center stage to illuminate the club behind the DJ console which will host the best DJs in the world including guest DJs from Zouk Singapore.

Empire

Global leaders LEDs Control who have played a part in clubs worldwide created the massive piece to make the club a visual feast. At 6000 feet above sea level at Resorts World Genting, Empire will be the new hip-hop central of Malaysia, bringing street beats and urban vibes. Visitors can then end the night by staying at one of the seven hotels spread throughout Resorts World Genting.

Genting-Empire-Zouk

Empire by Zouk will be open from 11.00 pm to 3.00 am and is located at the Zouk Atrium, Level G of SkyAvenue, Resorts World Genting.

Sneak Peak: Probably The Best Party 2018 by Carlsberg, The Roof

Karaoke-Party

Carlsberg has the best events. You’ll never lack for delicious food, refreshing beer and great company. I was lucky enough to be part of 300 people invited to a preview of “Probably The Best Party”. Carlsberg showcased the First Prize of a promotional campaign for guests and media. I repeat, this will be an actual one-of-a-kind experience for 50 lucky winners and 80 of their friends. You’ll get to choose a venue and theme of your choice if you win. You’ll be the most popular guy in your friend list!

Oriental-Party

There are five themes that winners can choose from – Oriental, Kollywood, German, Sports or Karaoke Party. The Roof was transformed into a magical wonderland to give the guests a taste of what the winners will get to experience. There are also different themed food at each venue e.g. Indian food at Kollywood, Bavarian fare at German, snacks at Sports.

Fresh-Fish-Prawns

I started out my night with the Oriental Party at Yezi. I did a detailed survey of all the themes and decided this offered the best selection of food items. You have slices of fresh fish and huge prawns ready to go into the steamboat broth. I probably ate 4 plates of fish slices, but none of the shrimp coz I’m lazy to peel them. It was delicious! I tried all their soup bases and my favorites are the truffle and Shaoxing wine ones.

Yezi-Fish

I managed to glean the recipe of their delectable dipping sauce from the owner. It’s coriander stalk boiled with soy sauce and sugar. Simple, yet yummy.

Oriental-Pole-Dancers

The first performance of the night was a duo of Oriental pole dancers who mesmerized the crowd. I believe the only eyes not on them were watching through a viewfinder or mobile phone screen.

Kollywood-Party

Kollywood Party @ Ballers was home to a really hype Indian performance that had the guests dancing along. I was tempted to as well and would have if I wasn’t carrying my backpack from work. I came here straight from the office.

Chicken-Dance

German Party at Signature had a band and the Carlsberg promoters got everyone to do the chicken dance. I had fun singing along to the band. Crowd favorites like YMCA were played and we did the hand movements to go along with it.

Sports-Party

Sports Party @ SCORE features sports themed performances and had footballers doing tricks.

German-Party

Karaoke Party at Play was where we adjourned for the rest of the night. This was my favorite theme due to the insane performance by Mad August. They played everything from Cantonese rock classics to Nirvana. It was excellent. We drank and sang along and had tons of fun.

Yezi

There were lots of interactive activities like Loudest POP Challenge, Giant Stein Challenge etc. The free flow of beer and food made it a very festive environment. We were given a pass to get chopped at each station for a goodie bag which we were supposed to redeem at the end of the night. I promptly forgot to do that coz I overindulged in the amber fluid. I could barely get into a Grab as it was. An excellent night of fun! I had a blast.

Games

BTW, there have already been three lucky First Prize winners in this promotion! These 3 will be partying with 80 of their friends in the upcoming weeks. The campaign runs till end of November and there will also be three Grand Prize winners who will each enjoy an all-expenses paid trip with five friends for “Probably The Best Winter Party” in Copenhagen, Denmark. I would rather win this than the First Prize party coz I’ve never been to Denmark. Haha.

Carlsberg-Girl

Grab your chance to win “Probably The Best Party” by checking the inside of the bottle caps of big bottles when you enjoy Carlsberg or Carlsberg Smooth Draught at participating coffee shops and food courts. If you drink at bars and pubs, you can check your Gift Cards when you’re there.

Best-Party

Supermarkets, hypermarkets and ecomm platforms are not left out coz the Gift Cards will be included in the inner panel of Carlsberg and Carlsberg Smooth Draught 6-can packs! You will also receive a Gift Card for purchases RM 15 and above at convenience stores.

Carlsberg-Best-Party

There are 47 more lucky First Prize winners to go! Don’t miss out on this chance of a lifetime to host Probably The Best Party for 80 of your friends for free! Follow www.facebook.com/CarlsbergMY or visit www.probablythebest.com.my for more information.

Brooklyn Beer x Saro Lounge food and beer pairing

Brooklyn-Beer-Girls

I’ve had Brooklyn Lager once before this dinner. I saw a beer I haven’t tried before in Jaya Grocer and picked it up. I thought it was a small batch import by Jaya Grocer, which they sometimes do via distributors. I almost joined one such company which imports overseas snacks and candy and sells them to people like Jaya Grocer and the airport duty free shops. In the end, I chose my current company but it’s an interesting line of work to be in.

Brooklyn-Experience

I digress. I was at The Brooklyn Experience yesterday. It’s an exclusive food and craft beer pairing session at Saro Lounge, Pavilion Elite organized by Thirst and Carlsberg. Carlsberg is the distributor of Brooklyn Beer in Malaysia. I liked the lager from Brooklyn Beer and I was keen to try the East IPA one, which is supposed to be bolder in character.

May-Ng

The session was fun and intimate – 4 medium tables with a diverse mix of people. I saw one filled with retirees, a younger crowd, and what looked like expatriates. There was an introduction to Brooklyn Beer (which was named as such coz it originated from that borough in New York) and a video by its founder. We also got to touch, smell and taste the grains and hops used in brewing this craft beer.

Brooklyn-Beer-Hops

Except the hops. We were warned not to eat the hops coz it’s so bitter it’s going to ruin your palate for the night.

Fusion-Lamb-Skewers

The dinner started with Mini Burgers and Fusion Lamb on Skewers and Garlic Fried Rice paired with Brooklyn Lager. I liked the slightly mochi glutenous garlic rice and the tasty NZ lamb skewers. The mini burger’s buns were a little stale. I still finished them though coz I was very hungry by this time. The strong and salty flavors go very well with the crisp, refreshing Brooklyn lager. You can’t go wrong with robust flavors and lagers, that’s why lagers pair so well with Asian food.

Brooklyn-Lager

Brooklyn Lager is an American amber lager in the Vienna style. It’s 5.2% ABV and is described as having a firm malt center with a refreshingly bitter and floral hop aroma. I hear the brewing process uses something like cold brew coffee where they steep cold beer with hops after fermentation in a process called dry-hopping.

Linguine-Garlic-Prawns

Next up is Beef Burrito and Linguine Aglio Olio with Garlic Prawns. There’s a 3rd prawn hidden under one of the mounds of pasta. I thought this was just on my plate, a friendly greeting from the chef or an accidental addition, but everyone had it. I thought that was cool. Unexpected prawns = best 🦐. It’s quite spicy, and that’s coming from me, someone who eats cili padi whole. I really enjoyed it, but it was too much for most of my table. That’s okay, more for me! Haha. The wraps were pretty good too! I thought the flavors were interesting.

Brooklyn-East-IPA

Brooklyn East IPA clocks in at a slightly higher 6.9% ABV. You need to watch out for that lest you think flirting with the pretty girl beside you is a good idea. I enjoyed this more than Brooklyn Lager coz it’s more flavorful and hoppy. There’s also a fruity aftertaste from the East Kent Goldings hops. It can be a bit bitter for people used to lagers but I enjoy IPAs, especially the maltier tasting ones like these. I hear East Coast (of USA) breweries tend to do a maltier IPA.

Brooklyn-Beer-Me

I love chill events like these where you get to eat and drink in relative peace and learn something new while you’re at it. Beer pairing is not as foreign as it sounds – many places offer it nowadays as an alternative to wine. It’s a signature of the 10-course tasting menu at 1 Michelin star Upstairs @ Mikkeler in Bangkok. The craft beer and beer pairing trends are positive ones for food and drink lovers like me. It was a thoroughly enjoyable night, although I was slightly sleepy the next day at work. 😄

Naughty Nuri’s Ribs Master Challenge 2019

Cute-Esther

It should come as no surprise to anyone that I love food. I relish scarfing down obscene quantities of grub at blazing speed. I have dabbled in the profane arts of competitive eating but I didn’t like how I couldn’t enjoy the taste if I had to stuff it down methodically. However, I do enjoy participating in food related competitions to see how I stack up against others. I’m a very fast eater.

HB-Eat

I also don’t mind eating for an audience, as my many Facebook live mukbangs will attest to. I revel in the interactive experience and pigging out in front of people doesn’t bother me. I will smack my lips and gobble my food with no shame. Thus, when I heard about the Ribs Master Challenge 2019, I knew I had to compete. You’re timed on how fast you can devour Naughty Nuri’s Balinese Style Pork Ribs and the fastest one in their outlet gets it for free!

Contestants

I went at it with several other bloggers and I’m proud to report that I’m the fastest one that night. I clocked in at a respectable 2 minutes 15 seconds. The fastest in the outlet was 1 minute 3 seconds and I needed to be under 1 minute 37 seconds to get into the Top 5 and the scoreboard. I’m quite sure I can do it. I was eating at a slower speed since I wanted to savor the ribs and let the delicious sauce dance on my tongue. I can be a lot faster if I just focus on getting the meat down.

TV

Naughty Nuri’s Balinese Style Pork Ribs are the most delicious ribs I’ve had in Malaysia. No joke. They’re so tender it falls of the bone with the slightest touch. I think it might even slide off if you look at it hard enough. The sauce is sweet and yummy too! It’s the reason I wanted to appreciate the flavors during my ribs challenge instead of smashing it at top speed.

Signature-Roast-Pork-Salad

We also had a few other dishes that night like Signature Roast Pork Salad.

Naughty-Nuri-Pork-Ribs

Naughty Nuri’s Signature Pork Ribs.

Indonesian-Nasi-Goreng

Indonesian Style Nasi Goreng.

Naughty-Nuri-Satay-Lilit

Naughty Nuri’s BBQ Satay Lilit.

Sizzling-Bacon-Chocolate-Cake

Mt. Buleleng Inspired Sizzling Bacon Cake.

Ribs-Master

…but nothing beats the ribs at Naughty Nuri’s. They’re delectable! My mouth is watering just thinking about them now. I’m really tempted by the Ribs Master Challenge prize of 1 year of free ribs. You can participate in any of the Naughty Nuri’s outlets at Atria, SS15 Courtyard, Life Center and Desa Sri Hartamas. The fastest person at each outlet will get their ribs free and the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th will get 50% off. There will be a showdown after the 1st September to 30th November 2018 challenge period where the fastest in each outlet battle for 1 year of free ribs.

Bloggers

I’ll definitely go and try again.

Somersby x Morganfield’s cider food pairing

HB-Somersby

It is a testament to my growing age and irrelevance that I found myself in the middle of a sea of similar looking cookie-cutter unfamiliar faces. I hear they’re all influencers and they’re invariably young, beautiful and dressed in all-white. That was the dress code of the event but as a rebel, I came in grey. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those old bloggers who bemoan the invasion of attractive Instagrammers and YouTubers. Far from it – as a red-blooded, meat-eating member of the male species with strong heterosexual appetites, I do enjoy looking at pretty girls.

HB-Influencer

I even got one of those newfangled Instagram influencers to pose with me. It almost made me feel young again. I must admit, I have taken inspiration from some of the photos these IG folks posted. I did a similar one with my own twist and I’m proud to report that the picture gained a lot of traction on Facebook. I’m even more gratified that my solo shot got more likes than the one I took with the appealing influencer. That is not usually the case, so thank you all!

Cookie-Cutter

This event is a Somersby x Morganfield’s collaboration that celebrates and pairs Somersby’s new Elderflower Lime with a few select Morganfield’s menu items. I like alcohol and I love food. Da Men is just 7 minutes away from my condo, so I thought I’ll make an appearance.

Somersby-Singer

Morganfield’s at Da Men, USJ is home to the first ever beautifully decorated Somersby Garden in Malaysia. There’s a swing where you can take photos as well as garden themed furniture and tables. They have freshly tapped Somersby on draught too.

Somersby-Swing

There’s also a promotion on the baby back ribs they import from Spain in various alcohol marinades. Jim Beam BBQ Baby Back, Citrus Mojito Baby Back and Jack Daniel’s Glazed Baby Back are all priced at RM 69.90. You can get Somersby Elderflower Lime at RM 9.90 per bottle before 8 pm and RM 39.90 for a bucket of 4 bottles all day long with any purchase of baby back ribs.

Somersby-Garden

Somersby Elderflower Lime is a refreshing cider with 4.5% ABV. There’s a pleasant floral note and an invigorating lime aftertaste which makes this very thirst-quenching. It’s perfect served over ice. This is a very suitable drink for our muggy weather, if you’re not adverse to consuming a bit of sugar. I like it but I prefer the Somersby Orchard Selection Sparkling Rose. I like dry ciders.

Morganfields-Somersby

I tried the Jack Daniel’s Baby Back Ribs and it was delicious! This is not the type of ribs that disintegrates and falls off the bone as soon as you touch it. There’s a bit of bite to it but it’s super flavorful. I also like their Sticky Wings. The Pork Sausage Platter with Spicy Devil, Smoky Bandit, Herby Hog and Cheesy Cheese was a huge hit at my table. There’s also a snack platter called Fourplay with Bacon Wrapped Meatballs, Onion Rings & Chilli Con Carne Dip, Corn Tortilla Chips and Sticky Wings that I enjoyed too. I particularly liked how the hot, crispy onion rings go with the baby back ribs.

Check it out at Morganfield’s Da Men!

Limited release festival beer Tiger Amber Lager @ The Great Brew Fest 2018

Tiger-Amber-Lager

I was chuffed to get an invite to the launch of The Great Brew Fest. I have not been active in the blogging scene for years and I half thought the summon was sent out in error. I’ve heard whisperings of a limited-release exclusive festival beer this year, and I was keen to try it. The Great Brew Fest is Heineken Malaysia’s ode to Oktoberfest and it’ll be a month-long celebration of the amber fluid.

HB

The event to kick things off was held at Souled Out. Heineken Malaysia’s portfolio of brews were on free flow and I indulged in a few I don’t usually drink like Strongbow Original Dry, which is a wonderfully dry cider. The ultra sweet ciders in the Malaysian market are not my favorite so this really hit the spot. I’m usually more of a Guinness type of person but I enjoy partaking in different brews.

Informative-Wall

There were a lot of fun activations like this informative interactive wall display which explains how beer is brewed.

Quiz

Promoter girls went around for an impromptu quiz session where you can win coupons for a complimentary pint or bottle.

Ee-Laine

The limited-release festival beer is Tiger Amber Lager. This is the first ever locally brewed amber lager and Heineken Malaysia came out with this for The Great Brew Fest. It’s 5% alcohol and it tastes very flavorful.

Heineken-Malaysia

I enjoyed the fruity notes, malty sweetness and deep flavors. Some people didn’t like it but I loved it. It’s not as refreshing as lager, but it’s way tastier. It’s a cross between Paulaner/Kilkenny and Tiger White.

Wings

It’s perfect with food! People like to pair Tiger beer with Asian food and while there’s nothing wrong with that, I feel it washes out the flavors of food instead of complementing it. I’m a bit of a food geek and it is my nerdy opinion that Tiger Amber Lager would go better with certain food. The fruity malt notes would be a smashing companion to most ingredients.

Tiger-Amber

Heineken Malaysia even set up a bus for people to pop in and get a free sampler of Tiger Amber Lager.

Selfie

This is a semi-related selfie that I took because I found this promoter girl arrestingly beautiful.

Brewfest-Mugs

Moving on, another highlight of the night was the introduction of The Great Brew Fest 2018 limited edition designer mugs. There are five (5) in total – one each for Apple Fox, Tiger, Guinness, Paulaner and Kirin Ichiban. Each mug is done by one designer, from CLOAKWORK (who is a graffiti artist) to Lynda of Pink Tattoos. I’ve heard a lot about her and one of my colleagues even has a tattoo by her.

Apple-Fox

I got the red Apple Fox x CLOAKWORK one. Pretty cool! You can get one by visiting one of the participating outlets. There’s also a MugShot Contest where you can win a bucket of beer! More details and list of outlets at The Great Brew Fest Facebook page.

Exclusive-Brewfest-Mugs

Tiger Amber Lager is only going to be available for a limited time so check it out at participating outlets during The Great Brew Fest. I personally enjoyed it a lot and will be redeeming the two complimentary coupons I won for Tiger Amber Lager. Part of my enthusiasm is undoubtedly due to my affinity for limited runs but it really tastes good too!

Eli Ayase’s birthday with Love Livers

Eli Ayase Birthday

I know, it’s early. Elichika’s birthday is actually on the 21st of October but the Malaysian Love Livers celebrated it early last Sunday at Alpacasso Cafe @ AEON, Midvalley. I’ve always seen people on reddit celebrating various waifu birthdays and I thought it sounded like a lot of fun. I’ve just never seen any locally until I met Anson via the COSFAIR event where I filmed the MilkyWay girls. It might sound strange to celebrate a 2D anime character’s birthday but it’s actually a lot of fun to hang out with like-minded people and share something we’re all interested in. I think the fellowship comes first, the character’s birthday is just the pretext of meeting up. That’s the best way I can explain it to someone who doesn’t understand why people do this.

I’ve never quite gotten into Eli Ayase (the character) but I do like the seiyuu (voice actress). Nanjou is one of my two “best girls” (an anime term denoting your favorite) – the other being Pile (voicing Maki). I even started listening to fripside lately, the songs for A Certain Scientific Railgun are pretty good.

I just finished editing and putting together subtitles for the video of Eli’s birthday celebrations with the Malaysian Love Livers. I know my Chinese isn’t very good, and some of you might be surprised to learn that Mandarin is in fact my first language – I just can’t read or write. I also can’t speak it very well especially when people start using harder words so the subtitles might not be 100% accurate. I’m a little puzzled why I don’t understand the harder words too since I spoke Mandarin until I went to New Zealand to do high school at 15. 15 years is a long time to pick up a language! I think it’s mostly coz I never immersed myself in Chinese culture – I don’t listen to Chinese songs etc so I never had any reason to go beyond simple conversational use.

I still wanted to do the narration in Chinese though coz I like the idea of bilingual videos. However, I encourage you to turn on CC for English subtitles since they’re probably more accurate and conveys what I mean better. I wrote the text in English first before attempting to translate it verbally into spoken Mandarin and needless to say, it took a lot of takes.

Someone even brought a Kit Kat + M&M custom made cake for Eli’s birthday! We were the ones to eat it though. Haha.

Love Live Cosplay Documentary feat. MilkyWay

MilkyWay

Yes, I’m calling it a documentary coz I’m being pretentious and I spent 12 hours editing it. I was actually quite lucky coz I never read my emails (sorry guys but it’s true). It just so happened that I couldn’t sleep (see previous post) so I was going through all my stuff and I found a flyer about a cosplay event by Evolve Mall. I went to the event page and came across a promo video featuring the MilkyWay girls.

I thought it was really good. I’ve been watching a lot of cosplay dance covers by Love Live groups coz I want to make my own and also to improve my video editing skills. I creeped on the MilkyWay posts and found a girl called Vicky, who turned out to be one of the leaders. I messaged her the night before (yesterday) and asked if I could tag along and film them, not just their performance, but also shadow them and eat with them and interview them.

I gave her my number and she said she’ll discuss it with the other group members and got back to me 20 minutes later saying it was okay with everyone. Thus, I went there this morning to film them. They actually had two performances but I only managed to get the first one since I had to leave at 3 pm. It was a really fun experience since I’m a huge fan of Love Live and it’s always nice to see a local group do so well.

MilkyWay Love Live

I have been trying to make more YouTube videos lately – this is my second one specifically for this purpose. My better half and a LLSIF friend told me the first one was ultra shaky and barely watchable and I took that feedback to heart. This time, I spent 12 times the amount of post-production work on the video. Well, it probably won’t take so long for a pro but I just installed Adobe Premiere CC a few days ago!

I did learn a lot of things about video editing too, and I found out that I really like doing it. I like talking to people and getting good video and I like arranging the sequences to make a cohesive film. The music sequences in this one isn’t as good as I want coz I didn’t have a tripod with those swing/tilt/stabilize things. I’ll need to get one so next time I do something like this, I’ll have one static camera pointing at the stage (like how the music video is) on tripod while I actually hold the second camera.

I did have a second one today but I couldn’t operate both. The idea is the static one is for wide screen whole stage shots while the one you’re holding (with stabilizer) goes for close ups. Thus, I can focus on the trio who’s currently singing and this will allow me to cut from the full stage shot to a close up. Also, in the interview segment I had a lot of trouble deciphering the words.

That’s completely my fault coz I didn’t wire everyone up. I also didn’t have 9 microphone units but they’re actually quite cheap so I’ll definitely get some if I want to explore more on doing videos like this. When you record something with external sound, it gives you a lot of flexibility especially with B footage and the voice overs can even go on unrelated stuff, which I wish I did for editing ease.

Also, my Chinese isn’t very good. I can understand conversational Mandarin but once you get to difficult words, I’ll be totally lost. I went to New Zealand at quite a young age to study and I didn’t learn Chinese in Malaysia anyway. I had to puzzle out the meaning via context (very useful) and a bit of guesswork so I hope the translations are somewhat accurate.

I wanted translations and closed captions for YouTube coz the video is almost entirely in Chinese. YouTube is a very English-centric medium, unlike Nico Nico Douga or Youku so English subs are necessary. I want it when I watch the Love Live Sunshine radio dramas and skits anyway, wouldn’t be able to understand otherwise. Turn on CC if you want to read the English subs, I also spent a few hours writing them.

I’m getting a lot better in many ways and even though I’m very frustrated at not being able to sleep (the insomnia is killing me) at least I’m learning new skills and doing stuff that I love. Thanks to Vicky and the rest of the MilkyWay cosplay group for letting me hang out with them today! It was a really interesting experience and I’ll see you all at the next event.

I’ll be concentrating more on YouTube videos now so let me know what you think – feedback and criticism is always welcome. Cheers!

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