Friday, October 15, 2004

[Ta Kung Pao & The Sun 15/10/04]

Hit TVB drama "War and Beauty" has finished airing, but many viewers still miss the classic scenes and there has been a surge of pirated VCD's available on the market. In order to avoid losing out on the profits of this popularity, TVB has decided in a unique move to launch a set of limited edition special boxed set DVD's of the series at the beginning of November. There will only be 3000 sets available that are available for pre-order and the normal VCD sets will not yet be available.

TVB's Deputy External Affairs Chief Tsang Sing Ming indicates that in the past, TVB will only release VCD versions of series at least five years after the show has been aired, so releasing this special edition DVD set is a groundbreaking move. This special set of DVD's will be packaged in a gold-coloured box containing eleven DVD's with three episodes in each one. The discs also contain subtitles in traditional and simplified Chinese as well as English. There will also be a bonus DVD that includes interviews with the cast and crew and some behind the scenes footage as well as autographed postcards of the six leads, a souvenir brochure, a copy of On Sin's handkerchief and Yee Shun's herb pouch. Each DVD set will be individually numbered and priced at $588. TVB will also be holding an autograph session with the stars upon the launch of the DVD set.

A fight has already started for the reservations for these sets, with most of the sets with serial numbers containing 8's and 9's already gone. Also, there are some rumours as to why only On Sin and Yee Shun's items are included - is this a suggestion of who will win this year's favourite female lead award?

Priority for the reservation has been given first to TVB staff and artistes and when Charmaine Sheh heard about these sets, she was very excited, saying: "I am still choosing my favourite numbers and my family and friends have already asked me to order some for them. I don't mind which number I get." Currently in Shanghai, Maggie Cheung indicates: "I will try my best to get some, I hope to get a few more for my family and friends and stand a better chance of receiving a lucky number." Bowie Lam says he did not know about internal pre-ordering, saying: "We should give more opportunities to the public, but I will buy one as a keepsake." Gigi Lai indicates that the company has reserved one for her as a souvenir and Sheren Tang says: "I have chosen my birthday date 0302! I am planning on buying two sets, but I think 3000 is too few and will result in broking." As for Moses Chan, he says the company has saved a set for him and when asked what number he would like on it, he says: "I don't like the number 8." TVB Production Resources Deputy Chief Lok Yik Ling indicates that she does not believe that there is a fight for numbers going on internally, but she has bought several sets for her friends.

As for the fight on already for internal orders, distributing company Modern Audio's General Manager Chim Fung says: "Although the box set has not yet officially been launched, the response from internal orders has already been very active and the lucky numbers of 8 and 9 have had a lot of reservations on them. There have also been some duplicate requests, so we will handle these accordingly." With this sudden decision to release the DVD's, is this to do with the fight against piracy? Mr Chim replies: "Not at all, it is just to meet the demands of the markets. (Are you worried that 3000 sets will not be enough?) We don't want to spoil the occasions, so we will not be publishing any more limited editions. (Will there be an ordinary version?) It will be at least three or four years before the normal versions will be available."

Em's note:
If you're interested in ordering a copy of the DVD box set, you can click on the link below for the TVB.com e-shop. However, it is currently ONLY AVAILABLE FOR SHIPPING TO HONG KONG ADDRESSES, so you might have to call on friends or relatives to help you out here. If I find out about overseas availability, I will update.



[Ta Kung Pao 15/10/04]

Nancy Sit was invited to Singapore earlier to act as a host and judge in a talent competition. The contest is open to contestants from 3 to over 70 years old and had a huge response from the public, who filled the venue to bursting. Nancy says: "One day was a singing competition and there were over a hundred contestants, most of them housewives. As there were just too many entrants, we could not listen to the entire auditions and could only see about sixty people. Those who did not manage to audition became very angry and threatened to burn down the TV station."

On this trip, Nancy was also invited as a guest at a kidney dialysis centre opening, where she met the Singapore president and his wife, making her very happy. At the same time there was a charity show and a stage show that requested Nancy's appearance for January next year together with cast members from "Virtues of Harmony". Nancy will be discussing this with the other cast members when she returns to Hong Kong.


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