Tis time to leave the books in dust, and oil the unused armour’s rust.

MDA Raps…

OK, in case you were wondering why my sudden departure for so long…it’s cos other things in life have kept me very very busy of late, and part of that is related to this thing you see down here.

I’m sure all of you have seen it by now. The MDA rap.

Yes, I have been preparing to register for grad studies at various US universities for film. So, I am glad that MDA has produced this video, if it means what I think they mean.

Now, regardless of what reaction you might have to it, it’s earnest and sincere, maybe too much of both. But whatever, all I have to say to the MDA is: I don’t care how goofy your corporate videos are, your actions are going to speak louder than words.

So I hope that means you know what you should do when I apply for your Media Education Awards next year, don’t it?

Because my dear MDA, I dunno if you have heard of a guy named Pearry Reginald Teo, and quite unlike anyone in the MDA video above, he looks like a poser you’d find crowding in the underpass near the Esplanade on weekends:

But looks can be deceiving, he has become the first Singaporean as of today to have made a film in the USA starring Bai Ling and Faye Dunaway (yes, that Faye Dunaway, who remembers BONNIE AND CLYDE, one of my favorite movies?) called THE GENE GENERATION, a dark sci-fi action flick. And yet, he is the sort of person that our industry and education system have too frequently overlooked;

Teo could well be making history with The Gene Generation as he appears to be the first Singaporean director to make a Hollywood film.

The Whitley Secondary School alumni never tried to make his name in Singapore, starting his film-making career in the United States.

His is perhaps the road less travelled. He completed his high school education in Australia when learning Chinese at secondary school in Singapore proved to be too big a hurdle to clear. But he had to return to complete National Service.

“I kind of knew when I got out of the army that I wanted to go into film-making, but I never thought I would do a million-dollar-budget film in Los Angeles,” he admitted.

“I wanted to do commercials and music videos, maybe work in a smaller production company in Singapore.”

He wanted to apply to enter Ngee Ann Polytechnic, but realised he’d still be in the army when the semester started. So he went on to study at the Santa Monica Community College – but dropped out midway because he did not agree with the way the lecturers taught.

“Coming from Singapore, I thought I should get an education because it meant everything. But the funny thing about school in the US is that people don’t respect it the way we do in Singapore. The big directors are trained hands-on,” he said.

“My parents, being the traditional sort, were not happy when I dropped out of school. So I made a deal with my dad, that he should give me two years to try and make it. If I failed, I’d go back to school and get a double degree.”

He didn’t fail.

And you know what, we hear so little of him in our local news. Now, I can understand why. Personally I don’t take too kindly to angsty-pangsty dark sci fi films watched by fat Wiccans with nose rings. Plus, this guy’s Myspace page looks like it belongs to one of those overgrown adolescent metalheads that specialize in mass-market alienation and think Marilyn Manson is the apex of all subversiveness. Nevertheless, he is still an artist, and he has made it without help from MDA or the likes, with a very unique and personal vision.

So, MDA, are you listening? If you’re going to specialize in Singapore made content, you have to realize that it’s got to be all sorts of content that are to be made. Even if that content is the sort of brain-numbing massmarket alienation created by overgrown adolescent weirdos.


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