Thursday, November 29, 2012

N.E.mation! 7 Production Week 1

I’m one of the 5 N.E.mation! Ambassadors this year! (Check out the badge on the side) N.E.mation is an annual inter-school animation competition for students to express their thoughts on Total Defence.  These students may come from secondary schools, JCs and centralised institutes.

N.E.mation began in 2007 and they are into the 7th season now.  Although this competition may sound easy, but getting into the top 10 teams is really no mean feat!  Students have to go through not one, not two, but THREE rounds of judging before having the opportunity to produce their animation clips.

Every year, there will be a theme for the competition and “Together We Overcome” is N.E.mation! 7‘s selected theme. 2013 marks the 10th year anniversary of the SARS crisis we faced and this theme is to serve a reminder that Singaporeans are ready to face unpredictable crises and together as one we can overcome these obstacles. Okay lah, I actually thought that really is quite meaningful. :)   

* * * *

The top 10 teams are currently in the Production Phase of the competition.  They have started working on their animation clips at the Prodcution Site (NYP).

The winning team of N.E.mation!  gets to fully sponsored trip to visit a renowned overseas animation studio!!!!  They get to see how famous animated films like Kung Fu Panda, Shrek and Ice Age were made.  HOW AWESOME IS THAT.  Last year’s winner went to Sony Pictures in the USA.  *jeles*

Besides that, some animation clips were also nominated and awarded from other organizations.

As the ambassador of N.E.mation! 7, I will be following the progress of the competition and of my teams!  I am assigned to two teams and they are:

(Second from left onwards) Xiao Cong, Qian Joo, Zoe and Belinda (not in picture)

Madeforsam of Dunman High School


Top: Felicia (the gif maker!),  Janice (the hyper bunny)
Bottom: Sumithri, Sheryl 

Zenith from National Junior College

I went down to NYP last week and met them briefly.  I wanted to find out what they have been working on, the idea/story behind their animations and their choice of medium.

Prior to meeting them, I have read their online team blogs to try and find out more about them and I think Zenith really did a great job with that.

Zenith chose paper cutting and water color, whereas Madeforsam chose “jumping” clay, or hobby clay. 

Tents were a mess but hey, that’s the fun part of production! A neat workspace means never do work. Hehe.

I love Madeforsam’s choice of medium!! This type of clay wasn’t available in my “era” (GAWD I’M OLD).  I asked the girls what was so special about the material, and they had explained that it is lighter (feels like a softer version of foam board), more flexible (they could mould the characters to precision), and convenient (use dryer to harden the clay). 

I also saw what keyframes were. It’s a frame-by-frame depiction of the characters are going to move in the clip.

Zenith caught on time lapse video

Zenith is a very dynamic group of girls, and have been friends for a long time. They are a very close-knitted bunch, and is FULL OF ENERGY!  Two of the girls weren't present the first time round due to CCA commitments.

 The girls from Madeforsam may be a bit more reserved, but they work well as a team.  The girls respect each other's work space and help whenever needed.  Although they all come from different classes, they share the same passion for Art.  Two of them met in Art class, while the other two in Art Club.

Check out a time lapse video of madeforsam work in progress! Lots of work go into the making of the characters.

Part of the winners‘ fate lies in the hands of online voters so please vote for Madeforsam and Zenith!!!

So here are the instructions!  Please help me with a few clicks! 

2) Under "Top 10 Teams" tab, you will find each team has an individual "Like" button and their current number of votes. 

3) "Like" madeforsam and Zenith!!

If you're interested in stop motion and/or animation works, do check out more behind-the-scenes footage and progress of other teams as well.  :)

Tweet to #NE7, #NE7C10 (Zenith), #NE7C03 (madeforsam) ! 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Ricciotti: Italian Gourmet Food @ The Star Vista

 I've never ate at an Italian restaurant before so Ricciotti's my first!

A home-style Italian restaurant, Ricciotti at The Star Vista is a cozy restaurant tucked in a corner along the main road.

The restaurant at this outlet is of a contemporary design, and the Ricciotti Pizza Pasta Grill aims to serve authentic Italian gourmet food in Singapore.

Ricciotti currently has three outlets in total - one at The Riverwalk, the second one as China Square Central, and the third one at The Star Vista.  A group of us gathered at the third outlet this week to try some of their Italian cuisine. :)

We were all seated at a long table, so we all had to share the food that was served. Sharing is an important tradition in the Italian culture, and this reflects the warmth of eating Italian food, which makes the "cucina nostrana" (home-style) especially true in this case.

While the chefs were preparing the food for us, we got bored and started playing the Kid's activities! It was quite fun though.

The temperature in the restaurant was way too cold and it didn't help that it started pouring the moment we started eating.  A lot of us were freezing! I had to order Hot Tea and Hot Chocolate (let the wait staff know the thickness of your drink, if not the chocolate might be too sweet) to keep myself warm. Because of that, I didn't try their signature Blood Orange.

We tried a huge variety of Italian food that afternoon - mussels, boneless chicken, pork ribs and pizzas.

Our first dish was the Fresh Black Mussels with Toasted Garlic Bread. Our side of the table got the white wine sauce (Bianco), the other side tomato sauce (Marinara).  The mussels are big, fresh and juicy! I love mussels with white wine sauce. 

Um, didn't get to eat the garlic bread though. Two pieces nia.  :/ But it looks crispy and savoury, toasted to perfection.  Too bad for me. :(

Following that we had a platter of snacks and I have to tell you the Suppli (fried ball-shaped thing) is super yummy! They are actually rice balls stuffed with beef ragu and mozzarella cheese. Sinful but totally worth the sin for. Hahahaha.

Pork Ribs!

Although we didn't get to taste Ricciotti's best-seller, Linguine Al Granchio, we did however try the Pizzotto (pizza with bacon, mushrooms, egg, pomodoro and mozzarella), and the signature grill item.

Here it is:

Grilled Boneless Chicken with Ricciotti's Signature Marinade (there's a spicy version too, but I prefer the non-spicy one).   This is 1.5kg worth of boneless chicken meat here and you can eat to your hearts' content! Share it with your family and friends/

Other signature dishes include the Ricciotti Salad (Mixed greens, pork bacon, grilled bell pepper and shaved parmesan), Parma Panini (Parma ham, mozzarella and rucola), and the Spaghetti Marinara.

- - -
As for desserts, they have quite a selection.  Fragole is a mix of strawberries, mascarpone and balsamic glaze; Nutella, well, Nutella and chopped hazelnuts and; Mela, made from apples, cinnamon and honey.  Their signature though, is Cannella, which is cinnamon sugar with mascarpone and raisins.  Prices are in the range of $10++ for desserts.

My favourite is the Tiramisu, because unlike the usual ones which can be awfully sweet, this one actually tastes BITTERsweet. Awesome. 

After a day of hard work, wine and dine at Ricciotti.  They do carry wines, spirits, beers and cocktails. Moreover, Italians like to drink before dinner so maybe you can learn from the Italians, heh. So if you work nearby then can just pop by with your co-workers!

With Executive Chef Gero Dimaria

Ricciotti also serves Daily Specials which I thought was pretty cool, since I can try different foods on different days. Prices for Daily Specials start from $28.

One last thing!  Ricciotti is pronounced as "ree-chore-tee"! Don't make the same mistake I did .... ree-sio-ti...

Okay I'm hungry now T_T

Thursday, November 8, 2012


My favourite film director and producer is back with his latest work, Frankenweenie!

From Walt Disney Studios and Tim Burton comes a dark and quirky film - Frankenweenie - which probably also has a peculiar sense of humor as well.  I have been a fan of Tim Burton's works and this is definitely a must-watch for me. :)

According to the producers, the story tells of a young boy who loves his pet dog (Sparky) so much so that he tries to revive him back to life. In the process of doing so, he had gone through a series of monstrous experiments and came across many adventures that perhaps are not all smooth-sailing!

I think I can understand how Victor (the young boy) feels when his best pal left him.  I love my pet dog very much and can't imagine the day when she dies!  But when the day comes and I have to keep QQ by my side forever, I would do either one of the following (or try them all!):

  1.  After she passes, I will freeze her (instead of burial or cremation), extract her faulty organs, and replace them with young/fresh ones in order to prolong her life! 
  2. While she is still alive, I will extract her DNA and pass it to a scientist and mutate QQ into a better breed of canine so that she is immune to diseases and old age! 
  3. If all of is in the Matrix right now, I will store all her data so that I can program the both of us in it to live forever and not grow old. 
Now here's the trailer for Frankenweenie:

Catch Disney’s FRANKENWEENIE in cinemas this 15 November 2012 and like the Official Walt Disney Studios Singapore Facebook Page, follow the @disneystudiosSG and subscribe to Official Disney Studios Singapore YouTube Channel! Powered by Blogger.