Sketch comedy – Letters from my Internet PenPals

Letters from my Internet Penpals,
how we learn about the culture of another country.

In every sketch, some homely smiling guy or girl will check their email and get excited about receiving an email from their internet penpal. They will then read out the email, the audience will hear it as an internal monologue voice-overed by the guy/gal.

However, the emails are BAD – weird, disgusting, criminal, gory, full of bad English, loony, mad. For example: “A male goes to bed on the rail of a train in Fukuoka today and did train suicide.”

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Script for “Models” webisode

This week, I took part in a scriptwriting course organised by the Singapore Media Academy.

We were to “write to the brief” and the brief was: Write a script for a 5-minute episode based on the show concept “Models”, a web series aimed at the English-speaking, affluent Asian audience.

During our brain-storming sessions with the lecturer Lawrence Gray, we settled on the 3 main characters: Kay Kay (sexy), Ris (talented) and Lilian (homely).

I was to write  Episode 3, where the girls model clothes for their online blog-shop.
Here are 2 versions of the script:  models_ep_3_ver1 (1st draft) and models_ep_3_ver2 (final draft).

I am the crab pretender

Many years down the road, he would finally seek treatment with a psychiatrist to undo the years of damage of pretending to eat crab while struggling with the confounding mess of disembodied limbs encased in tough shell, (dammit if this is not evidence of inedibility), in order to seem normal and fit in with his friends in a social activity called the seafood dinner.

Yes, I am the crab pretender. I wanted to fit in. I wanted to fit in. But I can’t take it anymore. I wanted everyone to be happy at dinner. But no more, I shall not pretend anymore. Let this be said to the world! Give me your crab dinners and I shall go! Gladly! But I can’t pretend I’m a crab lover like the rest of the world anymore! Give me chicken, preferably deboned!

To Dhalsim, the fire-breathing yoga-practising Street Fighter

Dear Dhalsim,

How did u get this way?
You’re a fire-breathing yoga-practising street fighter, with elephants and elaborate carpet patterns in your white palace, your arms and legs they can extend so far and touch the other end. This room is not big enough for the two of us, wherever I run, I cannot hide. Because you like to shriek Yoga-Fire! and teleport right behind me.

Dhalsim, your AI is not too dull but you’re a sim. So after a few tries I learnt how to make you over-reach yourself too many times and I can jump over to you and give you my quad-hit combo that I practised many times twisting joysticks and banging buttons in dark empty arcades after school.

So now you’ve lost. And wow I finally beat you.

You’re mangled and bruised, your yoga powers spent, you hardly utter a sound, your head hung low.

But I realise even when I’ve beaten you, you still win me.

Because I can never make my knee touch my head like you. Nor teleport. Nor live in a giant palace full of riches inside a rickety wooden cabinet of electronic circuits and transistors forever.

Teach me yoga so I can beat Blanka please.

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Elementary, my dear Watson. This is how you lose fat…

Watsons had a running campaign with the Straits Times’ Mind Your Body section, for different weeks, they’ll have a advertorial with the topic-of-the-week and conveniently promote some related health supplements at the same time.

Apparently, detoxication is part of losing weight. Which I only learnt in clearer detail while researching about the topic. Writing for health ads is hard because you have to be careful not to make misleading claims. Or the HSA will clamp down on you, my brother!

Lorenzo CashBack Offer

The brief was to advertise the Lorenzo furniture store’s CashBack offer.

We looked through the stock images and this girl who’s shouting kind of stood out. And the idea for the headline was to be a shout, like the popular “I Want My MTV!” campaign in the 80’s.

In this case, it’s GIVE ME MY CASHBACK!
A playful eye-catching statement to interrupt people while they’re reading the news.

“What? Cashback? What’s this?… Ah-huh, not bad… Maybe i’ll drive down and take a look today.”

And in case you’re thinking there’s a space missing between Cash and Back, well the promotional mechanic was called CashBack, like customers will receive a certain CashBack amount with each purchase. So that’s how the headline went like that.