This is a post exclusively about Media Tycoon and the work we put in it. (As in other competitions jaaye bhaad mein, good or bad for me… The score’s better on the GOOD side, by the way!)
I am hearing the hissed questions there!
What IS Media Tycoon? The simple answer? It is a new way that the MBCETians found to torture us poor souls who thought we had a shot at 10,000 bucks.
Long long ago, there was this confused soul who went by the name Shruti and her friend who told her about their college fest. She said they might not be able to make it, because CET had exams. He told her about this competition called Media Tycoon, which asked a group of 20 to create a TV channel, its logo, it’s programmes and send an abstract. After which, if selected, the Tycoons had to shoot a 10 minute clip, show a 10 minute skit onstage and answer questions. The little girl was terrified of the work it entailed and told the big ogre that. He encouraged her to tell her classmates about it and dutifully, she did. Along the way, her VCQ partner (now to be called Sir. Bouncelot) realised that they needed 10K worse than anyone else and bugged her into finding people crazy enough to join this grand venture..
Lightbulb moment. She called 5 of her friends from her class and discussed it with 4 others from the other class and then was born: I-SPY- The 24 hour Detective Channel. Then commenced discussion of the abstract to be presented, and then the little girl sent it and thought no more about it than to wonder, “gee how WILL we get time to shoot anything, if we have exams?”
Lady luck was smiling. They got selected. The college was blessed with strikes and a measles-chicken pox epidemic. Her joy knew no bounds and the good news spread like wildfire. “Spread the word, we’re going to GO to town with I-Spy.”Saturday came and along to a house marched all the soldiers, little knowing the trials and tribulations that lay in store. Like King Arthur’s knights arriving to take their seiges around the Round Table, they sat down and ‘discussed’ far-fetched ideas and programmes.
An example: A phone in show called Neighbourhood Watch. A superhero calls in to talk to the resident detective, from a phone booth, complaining that someone had stole his costume…. Close up of superhero’s red face…. pan out (nothing too vulgar… it would be penalised…) I hope you get the idea!
After 4 hours of brainstorming, the half-sleepy combatants decided to retire with as much sanity as they could muster. More tomorrow, fellows!
At TIME class on Sunday, about 8 of the Tycoons got together and talked about programs, vetoed programs and people and FINALLY came up with ideas that some liked.
The next day, the 7 girls met at the confused soul’s house to talk about the programs, since she lived nearest the college. Her neighbour and a classmate dropped in and were showed the music and the ideas that accompanied (NOT vice versa)
At 1:30 finally, off the “Trycoon”s set, in order to shoot some scenes in college. But before that could happen, some MORE discussions!
All of them sat in the Panjaarakaadu, yakking about the ideas they’d gathered and … you guessed it, arguing. The complement of 20 were done, and the confused soul was even more confused. She kept counting and came up to 21…then 19… then 20 again.. “Ahhh! Leave it!!!”
At 3:30, the security had enough and pushed the Trycoons out of the kaadu into the evil world of “THE ROAD” .. There the much- maligned heroes (and heroines) stood, while teachers went down the driveway looking at them with the expression, “Oh so THIS is what you do in your spare time!” All of the m-m h & hs wanted to scream.. “LOOK at the ratio!! Dammit!!”
First scene to be shot, was Saroj Khan (or Rajappan) being slapped by the super-model. It took 10 takes and was HILARIOUS.. It was quite a miracle that he didn’t get beaned on his head by the other members. This wonderful scene was followed by others equally wonderful and shooting was done for the day.
The next day dawned bright and sunny and the male members thought that it was a good idea to venture forth and shoot where no man had ever shot before :- (not when every other sane CETian was at home, sleeping) the back of the Indoor Stadium. The female members, meanwhile, were in assorted places, but some were still at the confused soul’s place discussing ideas and having no lunch…
At 3:30, they set forth again, into the uncharted territory beside the Men’s Hostel to shoot a “real crime scene” (a dramatisation, of course.) They roped in the self-same Security Guard who had shooed them off the premises for uhm… hanging out in the Acacia to act in the video. But NOW, he was an ally and a jolly good actor too! Kudos!
The scene was of two roadside romeos, troubling two girls, getting pickpocketed and in a complete deviation from whatever was happening, a student getting beaten up by 2 goondas. (hmm, Fly, you’re a sadist 😀 *high five*)
That day, confused soul had long discussions which jacked up her phone bill with all the members and started losing her temper… a little bit. Sir Bouncealot felt helpless, what COULD the World do???!!!
Wednesday came to the rescue, the gallant Sir Bouncealot decided to shoot the Sholay- reenactment at a mini woods and the team descended on Vasanthi’s house. Confused soul brought her paint and her brushes and painted Fly- now to be called Chelandi Manshan red and black, so that even his parents would not’ve known it was he. (Dude, it was an IMPROVEMENT!!)
Unfortunately, he not only enjoyed the experience, his need for paint could never be satiated!! The team then tied him to a tree and went for lunch (we wish!), but it was close enough.
The Scene: C-M tied to a tree, other crew members getting turbans and calculating camera angles. After one hour of dilly-dallying, C-M was sweating red (AND STILL ENJOYING IT) and the shot was canned, after which Cameraman Super Josa had fun taking videos of people dancing :(.
After an unfortunate episode with acting, confused soul swore off any more of the same!
Graphical design was on. C-M’s house became a hub of activity as our Cameraman and he and confused soul began talking even more… Covers were designed and discarded, posters made, and ideas killed. The other guys went to the Museum to THINK about a script and the rest shot for a ghost house flick.
The next day, Crossroads began and so did the last day of discussion. The team met at C-M’s house and Confused Soul had so much running around to do, she became even more confused! The Stage Show still wasn’t seeing any progress as at LEAST 10 ideas were vetoed and the script was ONE BLANK PAGE.
Meanwhile, SOME people wanted to play NFS-UG!
Finally, at 5 pm, sound dubbing done, the girls left. The poor guys had MUCH more work ahead of them.
Confused soul sat down before her computer and promised the guys she’d work along with them, but fell asleep at 11:30.
At 12:30 am her phone rang and she woke up, to do some more posters. Kya kare dimaag chal nahin raha! Shamster did a Spy-Darr Man for us and C-S fell asleep at 3:30 am..
After minimum amount of sleep, everyone had other work to do on Friday. The rehearsals were on at No-Kill’s house, without a concrete script for the Stage Show yet! Most of the members had other competitions and kept flitting to and fro and back again. C-S had her BM rounds and couldn’t sleep and tried to sleep through rehearsals. No go!
At 6:00 pm, everyone showed up, while C-s was running up and down for her physical stress round, wherein she was more soaked than stressed. After a change of clothes, she STILL wasn’t fresh! She got the script and the gallant Sir Bouncealot informed the pretty damsel-in-distress that she was in deeper hot water, namely she was team captain!!
And here she was, paper in hand, nothing memorised and with a headache the size of a small country. What could go wrong NOW, right?
WRONG. Oh BOY, are you wrong!
I-Spy was on second. I delivered the introduction to people saying “ahhhh Stop with the English!” (Err, don’t look at ME! You hear my Mal and THEN comment!)
The video was good and people liked it, but the worst was yet to come…The stage show S U C K E D… It sucked even more because we knew what other ideas we’d come up with and what we did (News, Weather and Talent
round) came nowhere upto what we wanted it to be.
All of us were dreading the Q & A round; one of the judges was GS Pradeep (of the Ashwamedham fame). I was mentally kicking myself, because I had recommended we spoof his program and they’d said “Too Boring, Shrutz”
First question to me, tired, angry and completely worn out, “Why did you read out from the paper?”
By the time I put words together, someone else had already spoken and the carnage was on. The judges SHREDDED us! There was no hope of winning after that was over.
The conclusion was “Innovative, but badly conceived stage show. We liked the video and expected more!”
Want to hear how bad it was?? After everything, our Saroj Kumar asked the judge “Sir, Shavathe kuthalle”, when Santosh Pali said, “Oh, so you ADMIT you’re a corpse.”
We were all wincing after the exchange and as we got off the stage, we were mentally cursing everyone. Here we were, having done all the work ourselves and feeling very sorry for ourselves and there were the others, having secured professional help. I didn’t want to see or hear anything more, but my friends were staying on, so I thought “Ahh. What the heck!?”
I stayed on. All of us had identical glum expressions, when Sam and Sohan trotted up with what they thought were words of condolence! Most CETians came and said “The video was great!”
Of COURSE, it was great.
We’d lost a week’s sleep and food and phone bills over it. The other teams had taken the easy way out, taken professional help and made documentaries and interviews. How simple is THAT!
Reshmi came and sat next to me and said ruefully, “We still had fun, didn’t we?”. Yeah, we did, but the acknowledgement would’ve been great!
Spirits were plummeting even further when we saw SCT’s stage show. The entire college (MBT, I mean) was behind them, especially since they were chanting MB-CET, MB-CET. Some bright sparks from our college decided to take the refrain, — (deep silence) CET, –CET and when the gore was done, they sang out ABCDEFG….After 4 teams were done, I went and asked the organisers when the results were out. Not that we wanted to know, but we were all there, so why not?
Pradeep got onto stage. Sohan grinned at me and asked me what was to happen if we won. I smiled and said “Pigs will fly..”
Pradeep talked…. AND talked. We had all tuned off and were thinking of creative ways to murder him after intensive torture. Suddenly a junior came running upto me and said, “Congrats”..
“Uhh! Why? Is the first announced yet?”
“So we got third?” Spirits were slightly up.
“Second?” (Oh wow! HOW?)
“Okay, there are four teams, he’s announced 4th, 3rd and 2nd and hasn’t called CET yet.”
Heartbeats stilled down and I shushed everyone, straining to hear from the backstage. Suddenly the words came “First goes to College of Engineering, Trivandrum.”
All of us launched into space, bouncing up and down, screaming and yelling ourselves hoarse. It was not the money, it was the craziness associated that we will remember!
Sohan pulled my arm and asked, “Where are the pigs, Shruti?” I was too hysterical to talk. Jeryn was screaming, (while jumping up and down) “They’re all there. You can’t see them. It’s too dark!! Look up!!”
The team members who had gone back home were called and the news was given. We pulled our logo and took a group photo. It was 11:45 pm and much later than most of us had ever stayed up… Life WAS fair, after all!!
Dedicated to: Those wonderful people who stayed up all night and did all the work. Especially to Josen for being the ace-camera man with the steadiest hands and to Ashok for doing all the work we asked for and more with the graphics. Special thanks to Shamster for doing the web of intrigue and to the Flying Pig for providing the computer and the basement! Also, Anand, here’s an aspirin, GO TO SLEEP!!
Cast: (in alphabetical order)
Shruti (!!!) (yeah I didn’t know either!!)
Afterthought: I loved every second of it. Loved working with the team. We truly ROCKED!! This is how college ought to be….. Like Sir Bouncealot said, I got to know some people *handshakes*, got to know some people better and hope that we can always have fun when we get together!