If you’re a BLINK with Apple Music, you have a chance to listen to BLACKPINK’S first album called THE ALBUM early.
BLACKPINK will premiere brand new music just ahead of the release of their debut album THE ALBUM (YG Entertainment/Interscope Records) during a special live stream event with over 1000 of their Apple Music super fans from all over the world.
The group will also chat directly with fans during a Q&A moderated by Apple Music Global Creative Director and host, Zane Lowe.
You can check out the listening party with Apple Music by going to apple.co/nmdblackpinklive. Event starts at Friday, October 2 at 11AM GMT+8.
THE ALBUM is BLACKPINK’s first album since their debut back in 2016. The group is composed of four members: Rosé, Jisoo, Jennie, and Lisa.
Trese: The story behind the dubbing
What the process was like
Much has been said about the dubbing work of the Netflix Animé series Trese. Everyone from showrunner Jay Oliva, Filipino voice talent Inka Magnaye, and that random Facebook friend you don’t really talk to anymore has weighed in.
We’re not going to get into details of what people have said. We’re sure there’s no shortage of that on social media. Rather, we’re here to explore what transpired in how the show came to be. Netflix arranged a media conference with the following key figures in the series:
- Tanya Yuson — Series writer and co-producer
- Wes Gleason — English cast and voice director
- Rudolf Baldonado Jr. — Filipino voice director
The observation we made from our ‘What to expect’ article proved to be true. The whole series was indeed first dubbed in English and was then translated to Filipino and other languages later.
This was one of the many challenges that Baldonado Jr. had to deal with in translating the material to Filipino.
“What we got was already finished work. So the casting process for us is a little different because we had to consider who did the original first — what were the characters that they molded through their voices. And then, how the animators matched it with the visuals,” said the Filipino voice director.
“The Filipino dub had to be cast according to how they (English cast) started it.”
There were also a few terms that didn’t exactly have a direct Tagalog translation. Baldonado Jr. cites the word “Underworld” which loosely translates to “Impyerno.” In the context of the series, “Impyerno” doesn’t exactly capture how “Underworld” was used as the place where all the monsters and ghouls came from.
This is also the reason why it’s primarily called the Filipino version. Because the team pulled from other languages in the country which fits the context of the words used in English better.
Working with Liza Soberano
Naturally, these same challenges applied to Liza Soberano who played Alexandra Trese in the Filipino version. Soberano was very much aware of her voice quality, tone, and twang according to Baldonado Jr.
“She knows where she’s coming from and she knows what she needs to work on,” said Baldonado Jr. “She was trying to focus on three things (voice, language skills in Filipino, and acting).”
Baldonado Jr., who is a 23-year veteran in the localization and voice dubbing industry, provided exercises for Soberano to address all these. The pair aimed for a voice with a lower register and one that sounded more stiff which, the voice director said, was in contrast with Soberano’s natural tone.
The voice director was very much aware of the criticisms online. But he remained cheerful and positive throughout the media conference. However, he lamented that he wished he had more time to polish the work with Soberano.
— Netflix Philippines (@Netflix_PH) June 17, 2021
What’s up with all the accents?
Noticeable in the English version is the variety of accents by the characters. Shay Mitchell, who played Alexandra Trese in the English dub, mostly maintained her American accent. But the rest of the cast added more to the mix. Series writer and co-producer Tanya Yuson and English voice director Wes Gleason said this was by design.
“The accents vary, I think, as we found a neutral, what we call ‘Manila accent’, but that’s because our melting pot is from different people with different backgrounds,” said Gleason.
“Some of their relatives or references might have been a little stronger with an accent or a little more in one region than the other. So, I think our show kind of shows that diversity, and hopefully in a good way,” he added.
Yuson backs up the melting pot analogy.
“It’ll be the first time an international audience would hear, on a wide platform, English spoken with that flavor,” said Yuson.
“It would be weirder to me if it’s in English language set in Manila and then you have, either it’s very American or British. The diversity for accents in Manila, anyway, is a lot… we wanted to present that in a way that’s also accessible to an international audience,” she added.
Strength behind a Filipino cast
The influence of the Filipino cast for the English version didn’t stop with just the accents. Everyone from Manny Jacinto (The Good Place) to Lou Diamond Philipps (La Bamba) pulled from stories from their relatives and loved ones about Philippine folklore involved to bring the characters to life.
Authenticity was the primary driving force in the casting decisions. That’s on top of the voices fitting the characters according to Gleason.
“A lot of the actors had familiarity with the folklore in the Philippines. They were coming in with tales of their mothers scaring them. The mananngals, the tiyanaks, the duwende, all these things. Everyone had their own little tale to tell.”
Gleason, who naturally had to do his research on the folklore, leaned on the casts’ experiences to help shape the voice direction.
“Anyone who had that background but was also giving us great options for the read, we gravitated towards them.”
A few more fun nuggets from the conference
Manny Jacinto, who plays Maliksi, may have initially read for Crispin and Basilio as hinted by Gleason.
“He (Jacinto) read for a different role that he was cast for. We heard his approach on one character, or characters — that’s not a spoiler — and hearing that just felt like this role was a better fit.”
Darren Criss (The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, Glee) was very excited to be part of the cast even telling Gleason, “How can I not be a part of this? My mother would kill me if I’m not a part of this!”
Tanya Yuson said working with just six (6) episodes was pretty challenging. The ideal number of episodes could have gone anywhere from eight (8) to 22. However, they made sure that even with just six episodes, they could set-up the world and still have a satisfying ending.
Watch Trese on Netflix.
Plunge into a dark world in Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness
A thriller series based on Capcom’s beloved franchise
Resident Evil proved to be one of the most popular game franchises of all time, spanning different console generations. For over 25 years, Capcom produced some of the most jaw-dropping, horrifying game releases that shake people to their core. Just last May, they released Resident Evil: Village to a fanfare of everybody simping for Lady Dimitrescu.
Apart from the games, Resident Evil also received several television and movie adaptations, bringing the same horror to the big screen. From live-action movies to animated TV series, these provide a good amount of fan service to long-time fans of the games. For 2021, Capcom has a new series that I believe fans will also appreciate upon release in RESIDENT EVIL: Infinite Darkness.
A series of unfortunate events
The world of RESIDENT EVIL: Infinite Darkness still revolves around the whole zombie encounter-theme the games follow, but on a rather global scale. In the year 2000, U.S. special forces were sent to intervene in the ongoing civil war in the region of Penamstan. However, tragedy struck when the helicopter fell from the sky, and the special forces were annihilated. At least, that’s what they believe happened.
Fast forward to 2006, back in the United States, a hacking incident occurs within the White House. To avert more disaster, the government invited four agents to investigate but were met with strange circumstances. As it turns out, a horde of zombies infiltrates the building and the agents, along with the U.S. S.W.A.T. team, fight them off.
It’s an anime series that tackles a ton of mystery about the events of the past, and how they catch up in present time. In essence, the agents seek to unravel what truly happened that day in 2000, and how they could avert another disaster from happening.
A familiar face returns to the scene
Remember how I mentioned that there are four agents assigned to the investigation? Well, one of them is Leon S. Kennedy, one of the main playable characters in Resident Evil 2. In this series, he looks a bit older and wears a more formal attire than a police uniform. In an interview with Director Eiichiro Hasumi, he explained to me why they picked him in the first place.
According to him, Leon’s character provides a “lot of freedom to move around” in terms of the storytelling aspect. Compared to someone like Chris Redfield, for example, Leon’s character doesn’t necessarily tie him down to any specific roles or places in the story.
As seen in his character design, Leon looks a bit more tired — as if the youth in his aura was sucked out of him. Director Eiichiro notes that he is “in a slightly bitter position” compared to his younger self. How exactly will this version of Leon deal with the crisis of Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness? We’ll find out soon enough.
Managing your expectations a bit
So, what can you expect from RESIDENT EVIL: Infinite Darkness when it comes? For starters, it’s a fully animated TV series that Director Eiichiro hopes would be easily digestible for everyone. It’s a series that reveals everything slowly, and eases you in on what’s happening with every bit of new information.
Secondly, while I’ve already mentioned Leon’s presence, you will also see Claire Redfield, another protagonist from Resident Evil 2. In the series, she serves as a volunteer for TerraSave based in Penamstan, and even does her own set of investigations. Where these investigations will take her, you’ll have to find out on your own!
Finally, there will be zombies and zombie killing, like a lot of it. I mean, it’s par for the course for the games to have zombie killing, so the anime series should include it. As for the zombies they will be killing, again, you have to watch the series to find out.
RESIDENT EVIL: Infinite Darkness will arrive on Netflix on July 8, 2021.
Smart brings 25 K-Pop acts closer to the Philippines with KCON:TACT 4U
+1 J-Pop group to complete the lineup
Some people behind the GadgetMatch team (including me) are total fans of K-Pop. With this in mind, we’re here to give you the best news for any K-Pop fan out there!
Smart Communications Inc. is bringing back the most-awaited K-Event of the year. Lo and behold, the KCON:TACT 4U virtual festival that will be held from June 19 (Saturday) to June 27 (Sunday). All you have to do is to access gigafest.smart every 8PM (Philippine time) to access the online concert. For the best streaming experience, just register to Double GIGA Video on the GigaLife App.
There aren’t just one, two, not even just ten K-Pop acts. There are a total of 25 K-Pop acts ranging from female and male groups, plus one J-Pop boy group to make it a whole lot fun, sizzling, and entertaining. Here are all the acts you should watch out! (in no particular order).
LOONA is gearing up for their latest comeback with the album ‘[&]‘. Orbits shouldn’t feel too excited about “Paint The Town” as the song wouldn’t be released within the whole duration of the virtual festival. Instead, expect them to perform their latest hits ‘“Why Not” and ‘“Star” (or “Voice”, its Korean track counterpart).
You’ll go head over heels with fromis_9‘s visuals and vocals — especially with their latest summer bop “WE GO”. This is one of (if not) the best 2021 summer releases out there.
OH MY GIRL
Another summer hit pop track in the list is OH MY GIRL’s “Dun Dun Dance” that will surely make you dance all day and all night long with its catchy tune and soothing vocals of each member.
EVERGLOW is also one of the latest girl groups to release a fresh new track last month. While it’s not as refreshing as other tracks, “FIRST” will totally make your heads and ears flip because of how powerful it is.
Speaking of powerful, ITZY’s “M.A.F.I.A. In the morning” is one of the most streamed K-Pop tracks around. With thousands of MIDZYs in the Philippines, expect them to populate the viewer count once the virtual festival starts.
Weeekly is currently one of the most popular new generation of female idols. With the ever increasing attention among the girls and their 2021 hit track “After School” plus the release of their latest collaborative track “7 Days Tension”, these cute yet refreshing bops would definitely make a lot of fans sing along and giggle with their cuteness!
Weki Meki is one of the most underrated girl groups out there that you should definitely check out. “COOL” may not be their latest track this 2021 but it’s totally catchy alongside their other releases such as “OOPSY” and “DAZZLE DAZZLE”.
Just like LOONA, SEVENTEEN is one among the K-Pop acts in the lineup that’s also gearing up for their comeback. While “Ready To Love” isn’t confirmed to be in the performance list, “HOME;RUN” should definitely be performed by these 13 amazing boys.
Stray Kids (SKZ)
Stray Kids (also known as “SKZ”) are TWICE and ITZY’s brothers! Not to confuse you with the K-Drama, but they recently won the survival show Kingdom. Expect them to perform hit tracks such as “Back Door” and more.
THE BOYZ (TBZ)
Another group in the list that participated in the survival show Kingdom was THE BOYZ (or TBZ). Recently, their song “The Stealer” is gaining rounds online — and that song should definitely be performed in this virtual festival.
Dubbed as FNC Entertainment’s “First Boy Dance Group”, SF9 will surely make a lot of FANTASYs swoon. Even non-fans would surely drool over them.
After so many years of dispute between Mnet and YG Entertainment, iKON is ready to amaze iKONICs with their amazing performances. They’re also one among the competitors in Kingdom. And yes, they’re BLACKPINK’s older brother group — and Lisa performed with them during their “Classy Savage” sing and dance craze. “Love Scenario” in 2021, anyone?
Another Kingdom competitor is none other than BTOB. Known for their angelic voices, they surely threw a punch in the survival show — even if they’re the oldest competing group out of the bunch. After years of hiatus, they’re finally back on track. Coincidence or not, they’re sub-unit BTOB 4U will make your eyes bawl with “Show Your Love”.
BTOB’s younger group, PENTAGON is also set to perform in this year’s KCON:TACT. Other than their latest track “DO or NOT”, they’re also popular for their hit song “Shine”.
If you’re one among the veteran K-Pop fans like I am, you’d know that CNBLUE is one among the classic boy bands out there. Known for their great vocals and musical instrument skills, you’d be delighted to see them again after years of hiatus. Who knows, they might perform their classic hits this 2021?
Other than CNBLUE, HIGHLIGHT is also one of the classic K-Pop groups in this list. TL:DR, they originally came from Cube Entertainment (yes, the sole agency of BTOB and PENTAGON) under the name BEAST. If it rings any bell, they’re that boy group who made a lot of fans cheer and roar for years. Their latest track surely proves it’s “Not The End” of their journey together.
From the same company as Weki Meki and other prominent actors in South Korea, ASTRO surely knows how to act hot and cool while singing and dancing in their latest track “One”. And for all Cha Eunwoo supremacists out there, you should know by now that he belongs to this group.
If you weren’t aware, this group comes from the same label as MAMAMOO and their latest group PURPLE KISS. While both weren’t included in this year’s KCON:TACT lineup, ONEUS will make viewers dance such to a groovy and psychedelic track.
ONF (pronounced as On and Off) is OH MY GIRL’s younger brother group! Not sure if “Dun Dun Dance” and “Ugly Dance” were both coincidental with their “dance” naming scheme, but this crazy awesome Cyberpunk-ish concept has continued from their last release “Beautiful Beautiful”.
Home of INFINITE, Lovelyz, ROCKET PUNCH, and DRIPPIN, Golden Child is one of the underrated groups that need to be recognized for their talent. While completely going with their concept, they still try other concepts that surely suit their group image — and “Breathe” is one of those tracks that deserve more recognition.
This 4-year-old group is also set to step their foot on KCON:TACT 4U. Among other acts in the list, A.C.E is also preparing for their upcoming comeback with the title track “Higher”. But don’t expect too much and just enjoy their latest released track, “Down” for now.
The third group from FNC Entertainment in this list alongside CNBLUE and SF9 is none other than P1Harmony. Their ultra-catchy hip-popping track “Scared” makes them look and sound distinct from their brother groups.
“Get Away” is just three months old, but Filipino VERRERs would actually want to hear this charismatic and sexy track live — even if it means of just watching it virtually this pandemic.
‘TO1’ was rebranded from ‘TOO’ and their latest comeback song surely proves how powerful they are as a group. TL:DR, they were also formed in a survival show called ‘To Be World Klass”.
A group composed of popular members from the survival shows “MIXNINE” and “PRODUCE X 101”, GHOST9’s set to have a “cinematic live” segment instead of a live performance during this year’s festival. It might be their latest track “Up All Night” that will surely make you up all night.
Ha Sung Woon
Haneuls would definitely stay online to watch Ha Sungwoon’s latest track ‘Sneakers’ especially with its refreshing summer song. If you’re still unaware, he’s one of the original members of WANNA ONE, a project group formed from the PRODUCE survival show series.
The only J-Pop act in the roster
They’re the only J-Pop act in the lineup. Also, they’re the only active group from the PRODUCE series franchise.
Not to be confused with the group ‘TO1’, JO1 hopes to be one of the most sought after J-Pop acts with amazing vocals and visuals on the line. Watching and listening to “Born To Be Wild” further proves that.
Here’s the full schedule lineup if you want to catch your faves!
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