The Veronica Mars Movie Project: Thoughts of A Proud Backer

With less than an hour to go, the Veronica Mars Movie Project has broke all the possible records on Kickstarter: (1) fastest past $1,000,000, (2) fastest past $2,000,000 and (3) most number of backers (now over 90,000 and still counting). As a true marshmallow, I of course backed this project, no questions asked.

I'm a backer!
I’m a backer!

Needless to say, the past month has been really exciting for a fan like me. (Heck, the first few hours when we already hit the $2,000,000 mark was absolutely insane!) Having loved this series from the very beginning and writing about the show a number of times on my old blog, the reality of having a Veronica Mars movie to look forward to is just plain exhilarating. Seeing the numbers continue to rise day by day has been both believable yet unbelievable at the same time. Now that it’s ending, I just want to say a few things.

As a backer, having a hand at making this happen is rewarding in itself. The shirt, DVD, etc are just icing on the cake. I’ve long believed that Veronica Mars fans are some of the most rabid, enthusiastic and awesome people ever. Now, we have solid proof of our numbers and our deep pockets… Pockets that reveal themselves when something like this is at stake… even if the show ended over five years ago. I love you guys!!!

In a few more minutes, the project is about to go off the ground. The screenplay has been written; and cast members are slowly getting on board. I just want to say that I understand the pressure Rob Thomas, Kristen Bell and company must be feeling right now… the pressure to deliver the best possible movie that would make all this worth it (for us fans and for them). As far as I’m concerned, though, I have complete faith in their ability to come up with something amazing with the funds that they’ve raised… so no need to worry about little ‘ol me! Just go make that movie!

Anyway, I know this would just be a blip in the radar since I’m not some high profile VM fan… But I want to say THANK YOU:
– to Rob Thomas, Kristen Bell, Jason Dohring and the rest of the cast: for loving this show and this character so much that you never gave up on it. You continued to fight in bringing her back and thought up ways to make it happen even if very few believed how AWESOME and NUMEROUS the fans are.
to Kickstarter: for being such an awesome site that makes projects like these a reality.
– last but not the least, to all the fans worldwide: for the nonstop support and continued LoVe for all things Veronica Mars. I’m so proud to be one of you. You guys are the BEST EVER!

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Surviving 2012

We all survived the end of the world. Again.

WRONG. I SURVIVED!
WRONG. I SURVIVED!

It’s been a looming prophecy since the movie came out over two years ago. I didn’t watch it, by the way. And face it, we all thought it’s a bit ridiculous that a group of people who weren’t able to predict their own extinction would be able to foresee the end of the world as we know it. Still, recent natural disasters made me think, “What if?” What if the world were to end suddenly? I didn’t really consider this thought as a major driving force in my life this year; but this teeny tiny possibility pushed me to make the most out of 2012 while I’m still young, kicking and very much alive. I’m pretty sure you know of these life lessons; but I’m sharing them with you anyway.

It’s never too late for a transformation.
Frustration over my physical health pushed me to change my body this 2012. I’m proud to say that I’ve lost a significant amount of weight over the past few months. I’m almost at my goal; but at this point, I’m already happy with what these changes brought out of me: more confidence and more self-control. As a bonus, I am loving shopping again! RTW sizes fit again! A bunch of old clothes I kept are being used again! It just feels good!
In 2013. I’m looking forward to finally achieving a healthy and stable weight and keeping it off for good. Also, I’ve started experimenting with new styles of clothing and hopefully, I’d be able to adapt and pull off a new look by next year. Time to change some more!

These ladies get to bond a lot!
These ladies get to bond a lot!

Keep in touch.
Always make an effort to keep in touch with old friends. I’m happy to still be planning meet-ups with my high school and college friends after 10 years. After all, catching up on Facebook just isn’t the same as catching up over lunch and gossiping about what your batch mates have been up to. Even if you don’t see each other as often as the girls in Sex and the City do, a get-together once or twice a year is enough to keep the ties tightly bound.
In 2013. More meet-ups and bonding, hopefully… A group trip, perhaps?

Chocolate Hills, Bohol -- woohoo!
Chocolate Hills in Bohol — woohoo!

Get out there and travel!
I traveled more than ever this year. Let’s see… Singapore, Hong Kong, Misibis Bay, Boracay, Batangas, Bohol… All beautiful places. With every trip, I am reminded again and again how awesome it is to take a break and see what’s outside the confines of Metro Manila.
In 2013. I’m in the process of planning my first out-of-SEA (Southeast Asia) trip. I just need to get my stuff in order. I’m also going back to Singapore with an intention to make a quick stop to Legoland Malaysia. It’s going to be totally awesome!!!

Wicked -- before the show started.
Wicked — before the show started.

Watch a bunch of shows.
I’m not just talking about TV shows or movies. I’ve never regretted plopping down cash for a good concert or theatrical performance. This year was off to a good start when I dropped everything and flew to Singapore just to watch Wicked. Hearing “Defying Gravity” live for the first time seriously brought tears to my eyes. It was a truly amazing experience. Aside from that, I screamed for NKOTBSB, Maroon 5, Lady Gaga and Foster the People. Of course, I had my share of regrets: missing Katy Perry in concert and Phantom of the Opera. Never mind. There’s always next year!
In 2013. More foreign acts worth watching, I hope.

2013, Here I Come!
I haven’t completely visualized 2013 for me; but I’m looking forward to it. I just need to internalize my resolutions and actually COMMIT to them. Here’s to more (life) experiences and more changes (for the better)!

Happy New Year!

the IT list #5: Reflections on 2011

“the IT list” A series of posts that highlight the various stuff, old or new, that I’ve been doing… reading, watching, eating or simply obsessing over recently. It’s my personal countdown.

the IT list #5
Here we are yet again… the end of another year. I can’t help but think this one came by quicker than ever before. In some ways, I’m glad and can’t wait to kick start a brand new year.

The year 2011 was a pretty difficult year for me. I encountered some challenges personally as well as career-wise; and the year didn’t exactly end with a bang as compared to 2010. Still, it brought up lessons that I can’t help but reflect upon, however cliched some of them may be. Some may seem shallow. Some may seem (pa-)deep. However, all these sum up my thoughts on the year that was.

#FIVE
This year, I had the good fortune of being able to watch three concerts: Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars and The Script. There were a lot more acts that came and went; but I’m thankful to have witnessed these shows. All three artists are very different; but I enjoyed them all. I live for music. I love it. For me, spending a couple thousand bucks to enjoy a show and the crowd was well worth it.

Live shows make you appreciate your favorite artists more. You as a fan get to know them a little bit better as entertainers rather than just voices heard on the radio. In 2012, I’m hoping there’ll be more foreign acts coming that are worth my time and hard-earned money.


#FOUR
This year, I had the chance to participate in projects other than local television commercials. When I was lucky enough to be given an opportunity to try my hand in other formats, all I could think of was, “Why not?” Anything is worth a go.

Let’s see… a short film, an out-of-town shoot in El Nido, a television show, an MTV… I am proud to have taken part in these kinds of shoots even though they weren’t exactly a walk in the park to put together. Honestly, I didn’t exactly love doing all of them either, as with most jobs. Some were great. Some were… Eh. But I learned A LOT from doing them. There were a number of challenges; but at the end of the day, knowing that I have gone through projects of varying requirements and difficulty makes me feel as if I’m ready for anything come 2012.


#THREE
I wanted to watch The Lion King in Singapore, so I did. Not even a lost passport stopped me from reapplying and rebooking my ticket. And you know what? I had the time of my life. It’s impossible not to.

This year, I was also able to take a trip to Zambales & Olongapo, get on a road trip to Camarines Sur (for the Ad Congress) and bask in the beauty of El Nido, Palawan (for a shoot). I rode The Mummy and Battlestar Galactica rides (human and cylon, mind you). I got to zip line over the sea. I swam in crystal clear waters. Say what you want about traveling: exhausting, draining, expensive… Still, it’s always fun being in an unfamiliar place. I already have one trip planned for next year; and I can’t wait to add some more to that. Biyahe lang!


#TWO
Most of the time, I drown in television shows that unread books just pile up in my room. In 2011, I pushed myself to read more books compared to previous years. When I got back into it, I couldn’t stop. I was reminded of how engaging and rewarding reading is. Graphic novels, chick lit, fiction, non-fiction… I read a lot of them this year. And I vow to read more of them in the coming year.


#ONE
I’m a person who tends to lose things; and this was a banner year for me. I’d rather not get into the stuff I lost. That’s all in the past. However, with every loss, there’s a lesson; and with all the strength I could muster, I will avoid the mistakes of the past year. I’ve had my share of hard lessons; but hopefully, with luck on my side, things will be better next year.

To sum up, 2011 has taught me to just go for it. As the Globe ads say, “Go lang nang go.” Think before you do; but just do it. Whatever “it” is, no matter how hard “it” may be, with strength and will, things will probably be fine. And hey, if things don’t turn out perfectly, you could always try again.

Propos And The Mockingjay

Propos And The Mockingjay

PERCEPTIONS, ADVERTISING & PRODUCTION IN THE HUNGER GAMES

*possible spoilers to the books in this article

The past year, I have been watching too many television shows that I’ve neglected the books I’ve bought. That is why I’ve decided to finally read them last month. I started with Bossypants by Tina Fey (funny!), then Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (eye-opening). Last weekend, I started on The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. After the first book, I took a pause from the TV shows because it got me hooked. I had to finish the trilogy.

The Hunger Games Trilogy

The Hunger Games trilogy takes place in an unidentified future time period after the destruction of North America, in a nation known as “Panem.” Panem consists of a rich Capitol and twelve (formerly thirteen) surrounding, poorer districts which cater to the Capitol’s needs. As punishment for a previous rebellion against the Capitol wherein the thirteenth district was supposedly destroyed, every year one boy and one girl from each of the remaining twelve districts, between the ages of 12 and 18, are selected by lottery and forced to participate in the “Hunger Games.” The Games are a televised event where the participants, called “tributes,” must fight to the death in a dangerous outdoor arena until only one remains. It is required viewing for everyone in the districts. (from Wikipedia)

The books are great in that they have a lot of things going for it, pushing the story forward. Layer after layer, readers would encounter a number of themes. There is government control, politics and war. There’s family, friendship and love. There’s class conflict, survival and sacrifice. But over and above all of these, what fascinated me the most is perceptions of reality and how media & advertising play an important part in all of it.

The Reality Show

I’m a fan of reality television; and I lean more towards the competition genre. Shows like Top Chef, The Sing-Off, Junior Masterchef, The Amazing Race and Project Runway are just some of them. The Hunger Games is, at its core, a kind of reality competition program… only the contestants are terribly young; and what they’re fighting for is the right to live. It’s an extreme and heightened incarnation of the reality competition concept; but much like the programs we watch faithfully, a large part of the viewing experience is audiences judging the contestants’ character based on what they see on screen. Behind all of that, we know that there are a lot of cogs at work in putting together the show: script, editing, direction, design… Still, we sometimes forget all that and just get sucked in with whatever drama the participants are getting into. As for the contestants, they’re usually themselves while in the competition. However, in the back of their minds, how audiences will perceive them is a huge factor with how they act. Nobody sets out to be disliked, especially when you’re going to be watched by millions of people.

In this book, we are inside Katniss’ head. It’s a first person account of someone who is in the competition. A lot of the things she does while in the arena is driven by her desire to gain sponsors and public support, therefore helping her to victory. Behind the scenes, the Gamemakers who design and control the competition, make sure that viewers are kept entertained. Needless to say, they’re ignoring the fact that these are kids dying in front of the camera. It’s all just for entertainment. For example:

We spent one Hunger Games watching the players freeze to death at night. You could hardly see them because they were just huddled in balls and had no wood for fires or torches or anything. It was considered very anti-climactic in the Capitol, all those quiet bloodless deaths. Since then, there’s usually been wood to make fires. (The Hunger Games, Chapter 3)

The idea of watching people curl up and die is gruesome for us; but them considering it as boring is just a reflection of how the Gamemakers have to keep things interesting for the audience. Bouts to the death are better than freezing to death.

As I hike along, I feel certain I’m still holding the screen in the Capitol, so I’m careful to continue to hide my emotions. But what a good time Claudius Templesmith must be having with his guest commentators, dissecting Peeta’s behavior, my reaction. What to make of it all? Has Peeta revealed his true colors? How does this affect the betting? Will we lose sponsors? Do we even have sponsors? Yes, I feel certain we do, or at least did. (The Hunger Games, Chapter 12)

In Katniss’ head, she’s always conscious of who’s watching and what they’re thinking. It affects her behavior and her motivations in the game; because in the end, it has an effect on the support she gets and ultimately, on her survival.

The Public Image

Aside from the parallels to reality shows while reading about the games itself, I was most interested in the parts where Katniss had a public image to sustain before and after the competition. When I stick to the simply superficial side of this “public image,” they remind me of advertising and what I encounter everyday in production. I couldn’t help but relate when I read these parts being highlighted, especially in the third book Mockingjay, where the war is at its peak and a battle between state and opposition is heightened via television and media… Five things: (1) the mockingjay, (2) the talents, (3) the prep team, (4) the taglines, (5) the propos production.

Continue reading “Propos And The Mockingjay”

A Story About Heels

I LOVE SHOES.

That is probably no surprise since I’m a girl. But it has to be said. I love buying them. I love wearing them.

I was organizing my closet this morning; and I got curious about my shoes… I counted how many I currently own, not including house slippers. The magic number is 23 pairs. This covers all my sneakers, heels, boots, flip flops, flats and sandals.

Exhibit A. My Collection of Footwear

Women in America own, on average, 19 pairs of shoes. My number is only a few pairs over that; so it’s not too bad, right? After all, if you look closely at my collection, most of them are worn out and old. I haven’t bought a pair in months. The newest one I own (Vans shoes)… I won at a raffle. Still, this collection is made up of purchases in the past four years that I’ve been earning my own money. I’ve also given away a couple of pairs within that span of time. Who knows how many I’ll own in another four years. I’ll get back to you on that.

Most of the shoes I buy are appropriate for my job: comfortable, without heels, low maintenance. This pretty much covers 75% of my collection (Exhibit A, 2nd row to last row). Chucks are my favorite, followed by Fit Flops, followed by some splurging here and there (Adidas Originals and Onitsuka Tiger).

The shoes across the top of my collection (Exhibit A, 1st row) are for formal events, parties and special occasions. I only bought these over the past two and a half years. I didn’t like going to formal events; and that pretty much buried the need to purchase girly shoes such as heels or style items such as boots. I may have owned some heels in the past… for prom or for my sister’s or my brother’s wedding; but if I could get away with wearing ballet flats instead of heels, I’d grab that opportunity. That’s not the case anymore.

The first pair of heels that were truly mine (I chose it. I paid for it.) are Steve Madden (Exhibit A, 1st row, middle). It was cute. It was not that high. It was easy to pair with simple semi-formal outfits. It was safe.

The second pair I bought changed things. I walked into a Nine West boutique at Gateway Mall and saw a display of shoes on sale. I was thinking of buying boots for a while; and this one caught my eye (Exhibit A, 1st row, 2nd column). However, it was HIGH… four to five inches high. I was reluctant; but my sister pushed me to try it anyway. The moment I wore those heels and stood up. I couldn’t speak. It looked great. It didn’t matter that I may have to practice walking with them at home for the next few months before actually wearing them to an event. I had to buy it. That’s when I learned the power of heels and its effect on the female form. No wonder women go crazy over them.

Given what I do, it’s pretty obvious why I go for comfort when it comes to footwear; but since making that realization a few years back, I guess having a couple of shiny happy heels and boots don’t hurt (that much). Tiis ganda na lang. (Endure suffering for beauty.)

Veronica Mars is Smarter Than Me

“the quarter-life crisis revolves around the parent — the sinking feeling that a certain path might lead to what you don’t want to become or, on the other hand, what you want to become.”
– Raymond Ang, “Reality bites, so bite back”

This guy hit the nail on the head.

I read the article in The Philippine Star a little while ago. It caught my eye because of the name Veronica Mars, a character in a show I love so dearly. It started with a reference to her thoughts on Alexander Pope’s “An Essay on Man,” which is simply, “Life’s a bitch until you die.” This coming from a teenager… a teenager on television, of course… but a teenager, nonetheless. It may be cynical. It may be “dark.” But at its core, I believe it’s true.

I’m saying this after my optimistic little birthday entry. Go figure.

His piece then goes on about our generation’s fixation on the quarter-life crisis and how it may have been a result of technology and the vast number of ways we can pursue an endeavor. It can get pretty confusing. Personally, I’ve chosen one path since graduating, but I’m still not sure how long I could and would stay on this career track. I love doing a number of things; and I know that I’ve held back on certain interests in pursuit of getting ahead with this job. This is where the line I’ve quoted above is spot on.

I’ve asked myself a number of times if I’m on the right track. Is this turning me into what I want to become in life? I sometimes love what I do. I sometimes hate what I do. Does this mean I should get up and leave or should I stick with it? Should I be doing more? Question after question after question. It sucks thinking these things. And I never feel good as I’m running down every single one. This is the quarter-life crisis we’re all talking about.

How do I deal? Simple. I do my best to ignore these questions and just live my life. I may go back to them from time to time… pondering… wondering… But at the end of the day, I’m living with my decisions. Whatever may come of it, bring it on. Get past the bad stuff to get to the good stuff. If I think I’m missing out on some things because of the course that I’ve taken, I just suck it up and move on. After all, if I try to take on too many things, I might kill myself sooner… then I won’t enjoy this bitch of a life longer.