Friday, June 26, 2009

Remember the WTO event in Singapore

Remember the WTO event in Singapore
One of the most memorable days of my career at Caldecott Hill is in Dec 1996. The company the then TCS gave support to the WTO event at the Suntec City where the conferences were held and a big show "ONE" at Sentosa.

The World Trade Organisation(WTO) Ministerial Conference hosted by Singapore drew about 4,000 delegates from more than 120 countries. This prestigious international event held from 9-13 December 1996 paved the way to greater economic co-operation and understanding among the participating nations. As host nation, Singapore rose to the occasion and achieved tremendous in the staging of this major event.

Besides the big effort put in by the crews of radio and Television , the mega show at Sentosa also stretched our resources to the limit. The show "ONE" captures the guiding spirit of the WTO one world of many nations, one mission of working together, one show of diverse cultures. This heartwarming and moving show is produced by Kenneth Liang and his team of Lim Puay Kim and Steven Ong. From the company the big event was co-ordinated by Niam Chiang Meng with capable engineers Loh Siu Yin and John Tan . The Outside Broadcast Crew included Seah Hong Gim,Ong Kim Bok, Yew Tian Hock etc. The CEO was Lee Cheok Yew.

I was pleased with the outcome of the technical support for the whole event. I enjoyed "ONE" as well. My favourite was Sarah Brightman singing Music of the Night.

You can view a video of her at

Info above also contributed by John Tan. Email me if you have more to say and memories of the event.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

the first kiss

Do you remember the first kiss on local Chinese drama??

Chinese drama productions in the company started when it rolled over to a statutory board –the Singapore Broadcasting Corporation. The first was Seletar Robbery broadcast in July 1982 followed by the Army Series. Both were popular with the locals. But one of the common complaints at that time was that the dramas were ‘clean’ and not so realistic. Unlike the shows on US television and Hongkong. For example there was no kissing scenes. The producers were concerned that SBC's government regulator might not like it. And so this feedback was noted and with more Hongkong producers recruited..what the heck if there was no kissing Singapore's local drama would never compete with Hollywood and Hongkong! Eventually the first kissing came about in one of the series on channel 8. (Can anyone reading answer this .. who were the actor/actress in the first kissing scene of our local drama and the title of the drama series? The first correct answer will receive a prize from the blog administrator. You can email or use the comments link)
The newspapers went to town when the first kiss by our local artists was telecast on channel 8 in the 80s.
And for info the first kiss in US was recorded in 1896 on motion picture in a film by Thomas Edison. It was between John C. Rice and actress May Irwin (please watch
And the first inter-racial kiss on US television was in the Star Trek series episode “Plato’s Stepchildren” first aired in Nov 1968.....
Please email information on your favouriste kisses on foreign and local television, maybe from your personal experience as well . email:

Thursday, June 11, 2009

the Golden Reunion

Remember the Golden Reunion at the Indoor Stadium

I found this CD in my library last week. It is titled the
Golden Reunion – a channel 5 presentation of the unforgettable gathering of local pop icons of the 60s and 70s produced by Ken Lim of H Hype Records.
When I was part of the TV studio crew in the late 60s I enjoyed their presence in television studio one and four almost every week. They came for the variety shows which in those days had magicians, jugglers , singers and magicians all in one night of
great entertainment fun. The popular ones I could remember were Sakura, Rita Chao, the Tidbits, the Quests, Anita Sarawak and the Crescendos. And of course I could remember the booming voices of the comperes in the likes of Larry Lai and Tan Hock Lye.

About the event Ken Lim Director of Hype Records had this to say:

On 9 Dec 1994, a local pop icons of the 60s and 70s performed before thousands at the Singapore Indoor Stadium to commemorate the first successful season of Television Corporation of Singapore’s musical nostalgia programme Rollin’ Good Times. These
pop icons were flown back from all over the world . Anita Sarawak from Las Vegas,
Anneke Gronloh from Amsterdam, Sakura Teng from New York, Veronica Young from France and the Blue Diamonds from Holland. After more than 2 decades for some, they performed in this historic concert in Singapore with other unforgetables- Rahim “Nat King Cole”Hamid, Julie Sudiro, The Quests, Ann Hussein, Zul, Mel & Joe Ferdinands
And Masquerades. The concert was hosted by popular singers, Douglas Oliveiro and Jessica and television host Loretta Alabbons. The evening included the winners of the talent quests in Rollin’ Good Times backed by the TCS Orchestra. It was a golden reunion of stars, memories of whom have never been forgotten”.

Share your memories of work and fun on Caldecott Hill. Email to

"Memories are not only for the rich and famous"

Saturday, June 6, 2009

we remember the Film Processing Laboratory

-we remember the Film Processing Laboratory
When we started the first TV channel portable video cameras and video cassettes were at its infancy. News footages were shot on film and rushed to a film processing laboratory outside RTS for processing. Because of transport and processing delay getting news out on time was always a problem.. To improve the immediacy of news for the channel we had the first black film processing on Caldecott Hill. Mr Benjamin Cunha deputy chief engineer was asked to head the Film Processing Lab. He had this to say in one of the TV interviews when asked what were the teeching problems in the new unit:
“None of us had any training or experience in film processing when we started. We had the services of a BBC Film expert to help us along the way. We had problems of getting the right balance of chemicals for the processing. And we experienced during a period scratches on the film from the early processor. With time we managed to get the Film Laboratory running well and infact not only we were servicing news, current and affairs we were accepting jobs from outside RTS ”
Miss Jumiah Karim who started work in the Lab in 1975 and spent thirteen years remembers the heydays of the work in film processing laboratory. Camera and Producers would queue and wait for the films to be processed, then edited to ready for newsreels on the same night. Speed was the essence and later years when viewers were more appreciative of quality film scratches and other related defects had to be removed and edited quickly for transmission . When Electronic News Equipment became possible, the pressure on time was reduced somewhat. And in 80s the Fim Lab was made obsolete by the profileration of portable cameras and video cassettes (Jumiah now works as a Senirl Library Executive at MediaCorp.
Mr Mun Chor Seng Senior Cameraman during the period had this to say.
“On 15 February 1963, the inauguration of TELEVISION SINGAPORE with apilot monochrome service was launched on one channel. The Camera &Sound provided the filming needs for News and General Section. Thefilm used was 16mm monochrome Reversal Film and the processing wasprovided by Cinecraft at De Sousa Avenue, next to the Bukit BatokBoys' Hostel. The processing time for 100ft of filming took about 45minutes to complete. We needed at least 3 hours from the start offilming then the completion of film processing and editing before thefinished footage can be aired on the News Programme. Whatever footagethat could not make it for transmission in the News Programme will beused as soon as possible in the next News Programme as Newsreels.By 1968, Cathay Kris in East Coast Road, took over the processing ofmonochrome for Reversal and Negative films. In addition, they alsoprovided the prints from these Negative film.We set up our own Colour Film Processing Lab in 1974 for Kodak 7242Colour Reversal Film and later included the Kodak 7239 Colour NegativeFilm.The entire Chinese Drama for the Army Series was shot with Kodak 7242Reversal Film. It was transmitted on 4 March 1983."
Francis Chowdurie Senior Film Editor was one of those who loved film and was sad to see it go.He said:” Although film is slower than videotape, the new media did not do justice to actors and actresses. It made then 10 years older. Of course the advantage of video is you can see the results of your shoot almost immediately”