Tuesday 17 January 2012

Speaking of The Noose, see the PowerPoint that started it all

To take credit where it isn't due, I can truthfully say that if not for me, The Noose (currently in its fifth season on Channel 5) wouldn't have made it to air.

No Leticia the maid. No Barbarella the SPG. No International Emmy Award nomination.

Yeah, I made it all possible!

No, I didn't create The Noose. But I created the PowerPoint presentation.

It all began in 2006 when I was still working at MediaCorp as an executive producer. I think I was working on the final season of PCK Pte Ltd at the time.

There was going to be pitching session for new programmes for Channel 5.

The producers were broken up into teams to come up with new concepts to pitch. I was in charge of a team of three or four people.

I remember meeting in a tiny room at MediaCorp with my team and regretting the white, yellow and blue Beetlebug shoes I was wearing because they didn't quite achieve the look I was aiming for.

Anyway, I asked my team if they had any ideas for new shows.

One of them, Prem Anand, said he had this idea that he had pitched before and was rejected because it was deemed too politically sensitive, but he wanted to try again.

Prem is a very large guy. I once gave him a size-XL jacket I bought at Robinsons that was too big for me. I was kinda hurt he never gave me anything back. That'll teach me for not trying on clothes before buying them.

Anyway, his idea was a show called The Noose.

We discussed it. I liked the idea because I thought it could be like The Onion on TV, but I also thought it would most likely be rejected again.

Still, I decided to pitch it anyway, just so we had something to pitch.

So imagine my surprise when after we pitched The Noose, the response was rather positive. The reservation about the political sensitivity remained, but everyone seemed to like the idea.

I didn't think it would go any further than that.

So imagine my bigger surprise when Channel 5 later commissioned a pilot.

I was even more surprised (and worried) when one day, out of the blue, I was told that I would be working the show.

But before I did anything, just a couple of days later, I was told just as suddenly I wouldn't be working on the show after all.

Which was probably for the best. If I had done The Noose, it would be a different animal and not become the hit it is.

I resigned from MediaCorp soon after.

That, in total, was my involvement with The Noose.

The Noose is pretty much Prem's baby. At best, I helped midwife it.

And for fans for The Noose, below is the 2006 PowerPoint presentation I created for the pitch which started it all. (Remember, this was long before anyone thought of casting, Michelle Chong, etc.)

As a bonus, also included in the PowerPoint is the concept for a sitcom called My Dad's The Principal, which was my idea and was also pitched but thankfully, never produced.

I guess the moral of this story is that even if you have been rejected before, don't give up because, well, you never know. You could give Michelle Chong's career a boost.

Hey, maybe My Dad's The Principal still has a chance.

COLUMN: Best of sitcoms: Why The Noose and not this award-winner?