Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I remember the NDP

I remember the NDP
My first encounter with the NDP was in the year 1969, two years after joining the Department of Broadcasting. I was rostered to work in the black and white NEC TVOB van as a sound assistant. My job was to install and operate effects microphones. The mics were hanged on the lamp-posts along High Street. That year the contingents marched past this road. I remembered on the day of the live telecast the late Mrs Wong forwarded instructions to producer “ More effects sound more effects sound!” She was monitoring the progress of the parade at the master control room on Caldecott Hill together with some senior management staff(which included George Ang the Chief Engineer then). And I was a young sound operator trying desperately to oblige with more effects sound. Later on I found out that that there were viewers who complained that the effects did not bring up the fullness and boom of the Parade. It was then that I realized how important each and every staff in a TV show was especially the NDP.
Since that year I had grown from doing sound, microwave transmission, vision control , supervisor , engineer work to even Chairman of the Technical Committee a few times –responsible for vision, sound and lighting for the whole Parade. The most memorable Parade was in 1986 when together with Colonel Tang Mun Poh we brought night-lighting to NDP. As mentioned elsewhere in this blog, it was the biggest challenge we had ever faced in an Outside Broadcast Operation and to this day the night segment became the essential part of the NDP.
The NDP has progressed over the years with better planning, better equipment and better people. There were never a shortage of creative ideas. We used to think that the NDP was the best for a particular year but only to see the following year surpassed the previous. I must have left organizing the technical part for the last 10-15years and was clearly looking forward to my retirement when the boss suddenly assigned me the job of co-ordinating the NDP recording in 3Dimensional Television. It is my last fling so to speak and I am looking forward to this year’s parade (year 2010)with enthusiasm and excitement. And certainly very glad that the workforce at Caldecott Hill has matured over the years and could work very closely together now for this mammoth event happening this year at the Padang on 9 August. Watch out for the 3D telecast on Ch 37 in Sep/Nov 2010 and the main telecast in full HD on MediaCorp Channels on the 9th.

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