Minzy’s decision to leave YG Entertainment was good for her overall, and is influential. (…) CL either left YG recently or is gonna leave the company soon.

One of the reasons why 2NE1 disbanded is because Minzy – the girl group’s main dancer, lead vocalist, and youngest member – decided to leave YG Entertainment during her group’s ridiculously long, two-year hiatus.

Since YG singers, producers, song writers, etc. work under the strict restrictions of their “company” – which is run by brothers Yang Hyun-suk and Yang Min-suk (both of whom I’ll refer to as the “company” throughout this post) – they seldom see their ideas and dreams realized.

That’s why Minzy left YG, and why CL has either left the company or is most likely leaving the company soon. 2NE1’s members didn’t just suffer from their final group hiatus; they became tired of wishing for group and solo activities to happen (since everything from song and TV appearances have to be checked and approved by their bosses), and annoyed by the lack of support from their company whenever they were criticized (about their appearance, skills, behaviors, and thoughts).

Continue reading “Minzy’s decision to leave YG Entertainment was good for her overall, and is influential. (…) CL either left YG recently or is gonna leave the company soon.”

BLACKPINK’s Secret Weapon: Jisoo

Jisoo officially serves the visual role in YG Entertainment’s girl group, BLACKPINK.

In BLACKPINK’s latest comeback, she stole the spotlight and captured the hearts of many with her huge vocal improvement, versatile beauty, and powerful dance in the music video for “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du”.

But few noticed how she has always exceeded the expectations of a visual even long before the group’s debut.

Image result for blackpink jisoo ddu du ddu du

Continue reading “BLACKPINK’s Secret Weapon: Jisoo”

Audition #3: I Got the Lead Role… and Turned It Down

After filming for “House of Cards” was done, I received an e-mail from my college’s theater department about an audition for a local summer playwrights festival.

Score.

Auditioning for an acting role is definitely a step-up from auditioning to become an extra.

Continue reading “Audition #3: I Got the Lead Role… and Turned It Down”

Audition #2: “Netflix & Chill”… with Myself (Part I)

Soon after I failed my first audition, I found the opportunity of a lifetime.

I’ve been looking for this opportunity for at least a year and a half, … maybe since spring of 2017.

I succeeded in finding the casting calls to Netflix’s “House of Cards”.

Image result for house of cards

(In this blog post, I recount the events leading up to finding the “House of Cards” casting calls. I’ll be talking about the actual audition in my next post.)

Continue reading “Audition #2: “Netflix & Chill”… with Myself (Part I)”

YouTube Hypes Up Fans with “Premiere”

YouTube will introduce a new feature called “Premiere” for content creators to upload ready-made videos and set its premiere date and time for it to be playable.

Users will be able to see the premiere date and time, set a reminder (which I assume will pop-up from their bell icon on the top-right corner of their YouTube desktop page, and pop-up as a notification on the phone), and chat with each other in a chatroom.

The “Premiere” feature is similar to YouTube’s “Livestream” feature.

In fact, there are content creators who use the “Livestream” feature to broadcast video premieres; they would have an on-screen stand-by message or countdown clock for users to see when the actual livestreaming will happen. The problem with premiering videos through the “Livestream” feature is, of course, the fact that users can assume that they can instantly watch the premiere of a video when they see the livestream indicator next to the video’s thumbnail.

The “Premiere” feature has its own set of problems as well. There’s no countdown clock to excite fans who are eagerly anticipating content to be uploaded, and the total number of views for a video are hidden. The latter issue is the biggest issue of the two because there are fans who are concerned about how many views a video gets within 24-hours after its premiere. I’m assuming that YouTube hid that information so that users don’t confuse the number of total viewers with it.

One thing that isn’t specified in YouTube’s overview of the “Preview” feature is how long the chatroom will be active. Some of you probably think that the chatroom will disappear as soon as the video is playable.

The problem with the comments section is that it’s automatically set to display top comments. Because of that, it feels like there’s not much engagement going on until you switch the view to “Newest first”.

Capture

Suppose the chatroom remains active during the video’s first 24-hours of being posted. If the chatroom and comments section are going to be available at the same time during that 24-hour window, then they can help promote engagement on YouTube. Seeing comments pouring into the chatroom makes users feel like they’re part of a large and excited fan group, which in turn makes them wanna really appreciate the content they’re gonna see. If users don’t like seeing the chatroom, then it would be cool if they can disable the chatroom so that they can enjoy reading the comments section instead for longer and more thoughtful messages.

Some content creators such as Etika (seen in the video above) switch between YouTube and Twitch.

Twitch doesn’t have a “Premiere” feature like YouTube, but it’s “Livestream” feature is much more attractive and customizable because it supports the use of extensions. Extensions come in different styles and functionalities. Anyone can make extensions. And, most importantly, they can be viewed by mobile and desktop viewers.

YouTube’s annotation buttons aren’t really attractive on videos.  In fact…

As of May 2017, the annotations editor has been discontinued. This means you can no longer add new or edit existing annotations, only delete them. You can continue to see reporting data for your existing annotations.

The reason why some content creators prefer livestreaming on Twitch instead of YouTube is because of YouTube’s unusable annotations feature and the fact that it’s mostly a place for people to watch videos, and not so much to actively engage with other users.

Small and successful content creators have learned that livestreams and chatrooms are essential to maintaining, growing, and engaging with an audience.

Promoting the chatroom and notification features may increase traffic on YouTube, but YouTube has so many unresolved issues that make the YouTube experience kinda bad.

Have you ever noticed that there are users who consistently get their comments featured? Or bots? Self-advertisers? YouTube gamer and vlogger PewDiePie has an infamous video called “Goodbye Comments.” that addresses the annoyances that those spammers bring. Despite how that video was posted in 2014, the issue continues to remain at large.

Will chatrooms be another place for people and bots to spam comments? It’s very possible to employ chatbots to create the illusion of chatroom flooding.

Will YouTube’s “Premiere” feature be successful and functional? I highly doubt that celebrities will rely on this feature to promote their channels. Content creators that have a reasonably large fanbase and/or enjoy producing episodes and skits like WongFu Productions can certainly benefit from this feature.

Should Hollywood Movies and TV Shows Be More Scientifically Accurate?

Two years ago, my Physics I professor mentioned the movie “Gravity” when talking about torque, velocity, and other basic physics concepts… because the movie’s writers got them all wrong. He warned his students that the way Hollywood depicts physics will make it more difficult for us to understand real-world physics.

In a way, he’s right. We watch movies and TV shows “believing” (or getting used to the idea) that huge explosions can result from minor collisions, people can jump across huge gaps, people can stand up after getting hit by a heavy object… Yeah, in the back of our minds we know that cinematic effects are added to scenes to make on-screen stories seem more interesting than everyday life. But some subtle unrealistic depictions in movies and TV shows can seem realistic… so realistic that we choose to believe them without question.

“The most frequent sci-fi physics sin is, without a doubt, the incredible sounds emitted by all those zooming spacecraft, all those exploding planets, all those laser beams whizzing by. As every student learns very early on, sound waves need a medium through which to pass in the form of vibrations to be heard. Air, water, the membrane of your eardrum–all are sufficient media to transmit these vibrations. And as we all know, the cold vacuum of space is unfortunately devoid of anything substantial enough to serve as a transmissive medium. It’s true, however, that those unfortunate enough to have their spacecraft destroyed be in a spaceship while it was exploding would certainly hear quite a racket for a few split seconds from inside, as the sound vibrations passed through the ship itself and into what was left of the cockpit’s pressurized atmosphere as it broke up. But once the damage was done, we’d be back to space’s normal, somber silence. But hey, I guess all those sound designers and THX-equipped theaters need to be used for something, right?” (Source: PopSci)

On the other hand, sci-fi films and shows like “Star Trek” have inspired future STEMists. A lot of techies and “Star Trek” fans love to talk about how the show introduced the idea of the cellphone, but there are, of course, other inventive concepts that the show introduced such as the tablet.

Remember when the iPhone was revealed back in 2007? There were rumors about how Apple will compete with cellphone companies, but no one expected Apple to introduce a “button-less cellphone”.

The iPhone gained popularity SLOWLY. Today, a lot of people (especially young adults, teenagers, and pre-teens) are obsessed with using touchscreen smartphones for gaming, messaging, camera, news, shopping, and social media apps. But back then, can you believe that few people realized how valuable the iPhone’s multi-functional capabilities are, let alone how a “button-less phone” is possible?

So, should movies and TV shows be more scientifically accurate?

In some ways, yes. Movies that try to tell more believable stories like “Gravity” should get their scripts reviewed by scientists. Fun fact: Neil deGrasse Tyson (the iconic guy behind the “We got a badass over here” meme) complained about how the stars in the night skies shown in “Titanic” were inaccurate, and James Cameron updated the scenes after hearing Tyson’s complaint because he loves science.

In other ways, sci-fi should still be promoted in the entertainment industry.

One of my favorite sci-fi scenes of all time is from the movie “Blade Runner”, starring Harrison Ford. That movie’s villain, Roy Batty, is an AI robot who said one of the most emotional movie quotes of all time – his “Tears In Rain” monologue:

I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.

You don’t really have to understand what that movie’s about. Those two things I mentioned about the villain can make some viewers think about a future of “Astro Boys”, robot ethics, innovative things, … etc.

A lot of things that seem unrealistic in Hollywood films now may end up becoming real in the future.

What if, in the future, someone invented special listening devices to hear sounds in outer space? That’s a far-fetched thought, but I guess it’s an interesting thought.

I read Jules Verne’s “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” when I was in elementary school, and little did I know that Jules Verne is regarded as an influential man for many inventions that characterize the 20th-century. I’ve seen Leonardo da Vinci’s odd sketches of planes and tanks when I was a kid too, and little did I know that he imagined those vehicles before someone built them.

It’s pretty evident that some people come up with creative ideas and solutions that are related or inspired by unrealistic phenomena depicted in films. So, because of that, I’m against the idea of making movies “more scientifically accurate”.

Instead, I’d like to see more STEM educators teach students about biology, technology, physics, etc. through analyzing popular films that students have most likely seen. That should keep students interested in STEM, and help them better understand abstract STEM concepts.

Music & Artist Critique (from a K-Pop Fan): “No Tears Left To Cry” by Ariana Grande

I’m not an Ariana Grande fan, so I’m surprised that I found myself enjoying this song yesterday.

So, without further ado, here are my honest opinions about Ariana Grande and her latest song, “No Tears Left To Cry”:

Image result for ariana grande no tears left to cry

I know that Ariana Grande’s voice and music have been compared to Mariah Carey’s, and that she’s criticized for being a “rude diva”. I don’t really follow celebrity news, but I’ve heard those things about her from comments on YouTube and social media :-/.

I’ve heard some of her songs in the past (i.e. “The Way”, “Baby I”, “Right There”, etc. etc.), and understand people when they criticize about her “not-so-understandable pronunciations” when she sings.

I also know that her brother’s gay from an interview that her brother did of BTS :-/.

I’m not a fan of “Western music” because 1.) I’ve been too immersed in K-Pop, and 2.) I never really liked the “messages” behind Western music nor the happenings in the Western music industry.

The Western music industry seems to thrive on sexual behaviors, sexy images, illegal behaviors, rudeness, scandals, negative gossips, etc. etc. …

That’s why I’m such a huge K-Pop fan. Yeah, the K-Pop music industry shares the same negative things I mentioned about the Western music industry, and they bank on “enslaving” K-Pop artists. But on the bright side, the K-Pop music industry promotes a more positive image that includes politeness, cultural exchange and understanding, and friendly interactions between singers and fans.

The main reason why I gave “No Tears Left To Cry” a listen is because of BTS’ appearance in the Billboard Music Awards 2018. One of the nominees for Top Social Artist (I believe) was Ariana Grande, and she performed her song “No Tears Left To Cry” at the awards show. Her performance was okay to me, and I didn’t really get attached to the song yet. I also saw fan-cams of BTS enjoying Ariana Grande’s performance, so that’s cool.

I even saw the music video of “No Tears Left To Cry” when it was trending on YouTube. The song didn’t really catch my attention then either because the MV didn’t really look that interesting to me. Yeah, the MV was quite cinematic, but still…

So I gave the song another chance by just listening to the audio. And I gotta say that her voice sounds really crystal clear and the sound effects in the background are stunning (particularly, that strange low whistle during the chorus sounds unusually great).

I don’t really know what kind of message is behind this song, or if this song really says anything meaningful. But from what I’ve heard in the YouTube comments, this song is “dedicated” to the victims of her Manchester concert bombing. I don’t really know if that’s true, but for sure she did comeback with this song after the bombing happened.

The song sounds catchy for a Victoria’s Secret runway show and malls. Heck, this song makes me feel like a fashionista.

Sadly, it doesn’t seem like the song has a specific choreography to go with it. (Or maybe the Billboard Music Awards 2018 performance showed the actual choreography for the song?) Anyways, if that’s the case, then I wish choreographers would come up with something energetic to compliment the “vibin’ ” that goes on throughout the song. For instance, Madonna’s “Vogue” dance really captures and accentuates that fashionista-vibe you get throughout her song.

From what I’ve seen, Ariana Grande isn’t really a dancer. That’s the case for most singers in the Western music industry – they heavily rely on backup dancers while they sing and maybe dance a little during live performances and in MVs.

The Western music industry usually fails to showcase singers who have great raw, un-auto-tuned voices and great dance skills. “No Tears Left To Cry” is a great song for Ariana Grande because it kinda breaks her away from that “Mariah Carey image” and the usual pop genres like EDM (which are quite evident in a lot of her “non-Mariah Carey sounding” songs like “Break Free” and “One Last Time”). It might be too much to wish that she can learn to dance (just like how Bruno Mars learned how to dance along to his “jukebox songs”), but if she can show a little more sophistication in her dance performances and MVs, then maybe her songs may seem a little more enjoyable to me.