Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Disney+ Singapore's Super Fun Star Wars Lightsaber Workshop With Fightsaber (23 September 2023)

Last Saturday (23 September 2023), Red Dot Diva and her geek pal Leo Cheong had a chance to be part of Disney+ Singapore's special event for a bunch of subscribers. The streaming company hosted a Star Wars Lightsaber Workshop and it was a blast! 

It was the first time Leo attended a Disney event at their premises, and here is his short write-up about the fan huddle!


Masks haven't been trendy or ubiquitous since the heydays of the Covid pandemic, but I happily donned my Darth Vader mask for this special occasion. Hosting winners of the latest Subscribers Perks Programme competition at their swanky HQ, Disney+ Singapore put on a literal light show that will not be forgotten anytime soon.

No party is complete without epic loot and it doesn’t get more epic than an Ahsoka Tano Legacy Lightsaber Set worth a cool S$529.90 (US$387.95). Reminds me of Shinomori Aoshi’s double kodachis from Rurouni Kenshin/Samurai X.

For those not in the know, the latest live-action Star Wars TV series AHSOKA, is in full swing exclusively on Disney+. Making the force jump from animation, the series continues the adventures of Anakin Skywalker's disciple and includes the return of some fan favorites like *SPOILER* and *SUPER SPOILER*! Brought to life by the stunning Rosario Dawson, Ahsoka navigates through a post-Empire galaxy and expertly slices and dices her way with the aforementioned twin lightsabers when words don’t cut it.

Party attendees were treated to a performance complete with expert lightsaber choreography and cosplay by Fightsaber Singapore and a hands-on demonstration by Jedi Master Mikoda, and his lovely Jedi colleagues.

With the crowd sufficiently warmed up, everyone was raring to snag the grand prize (the ‘smaller’ prizes weren’t too shabby either to be honest). After a few rounds Star Wars trivia questions and some very happy winners, Disney+ made sure nobody left empty handed with goodie bags for everyone!

Kudos to Fightsaber Singapore for an excellent spectacle. Check out their social media if you're keen on starting your Jedi Master journey.

Huge thanks to Disney+ for their generosity and hospitality. If you're not already a Disney+ subscriber, you're missing out on epic experiences and high quality streaming entertainment.


Darth Vader Plushie was at the event too! See what he was up to!

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Gamescom Asia - Grab Your Tickets For The Entertainment Zone!

Here's a reminder for the gamers out there. Have you got your tickets to this year's Gamescom Asia's Entertainment Zone? The consumer segment returns to a physical format from 20 to 22 October 2023, when Gamescom Asia's returns to Suntec Convention Centre.

Capcom Asia has already announced their presence at Gamescom Asia, and there will also be indie publishers showcasing their games. Other than the game publisher booths, attendees can enjoy watching e-sports on site, live panels on stage, play boardgames, buy merchandise, and take pics with cosplayers. Watch out for more exciting announcements as the gaming event of the year draws nearer.

Superfan tickets are very limited, and only Superfans are allowed entry on 20 October (Fri) before the general public. These special tickets cost SGD 65, and are available to purchase till 19 October or until sold out. Superfans will also get an official swag bag that includes a reusable tote bag, special lanyard and keychain, PLUS a 15% discount on all other official merchandise. It's a sweet deal for those who want to get the first dibs on the exhibition hall and try the new games and gear which will be promoted during the event.

As for the public, attendees will be able to enter to the convention on 21 and/ or 22 October (Sat/ Sun) by getting single day tickets. Single day ticket prices are at SGD 19 each.

Before ticket runs out, buy them at this link: https://gamescom.asia/ent-b2c/buy-tickets.

Do note that the ticket prices stated above are before booking fees.


Check out previous articles relating to the write-up of Gamescom Asia show:

* Gamescom Asia 2023 - Capcom Announced For Inaugural B2C Entertainment Zone

* Gamescom Asia 2023's Entertainment Zone To Shift To Physical Format (19 to 22 October 2023)


Gamescom Asia is the satellite event of Gamescom, the world's largest event for computer and video games and Europe's largest business platform for the games industry. Both events are organized by Koelnmesse, one of the world's largest trade fair companies.

For more information and the latest updates, visit Gamescom Asia website, or follow their social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Discord, TikTok, and LinkedIn.


If you enjoy my content, feel free to help keep the blog and other Red Dot Diva endeavours going via ko-fi. Thank you for your support!

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Pop Toy Show Singapore (8 - 10 September 2023) - Meet Toy Designers Alex Solis, Jon-Paul Kaiser, Luke Chueh, Simone Legno and More!

Remember the time, one of our major pop culture event was called STGCC or Singapore Toy, Game and Comic Convention? And then, somehow, after a couple of years, both the “T” and the “G” segments became more and more non-existent? Even after the show was renamed, the gaming aspect came to almost zilch except for table top games. And last year, Hot Toys - who was usually a major exhibitor - did not even have a booth there.

This provided a lucrative opportunity for someone else to fill the niche regarding designer toys in the local scene. Enter POP MART, a leading China toy company that champions for collectible designer toys, coupled with their innovative marketing strategy. They have taken advantage of the popularity of the blind box culture amongst the younger crowd, and have sunk their roots in Red Dot Island with a flagship store at Funan mall, plus a few other shops spread around the island.

To expand their reach to pop-culture enthusiasts and toy collectors even further, POP MART Singapore has launched its inaugural POP TOY SHOW - the company's first festival held outside of China. POP TOY SHOW opens its doors this weekend from 8 to 10 September 2023 at Sands Expo & Convention Centre.

Other than getting your hands on more cute DIMOO, MOLLY and PUCKY blindboxes and figurines (there is no such thing as not enough space for a hardcore collector! hahaha!), what else can you expect from POP MART'S mega showcase festival? Well, based on their social media announcement, the event is looking up to a be a designer toy collector's haven.

Firstly, the artists of the popular POP MART toy figures - Agee & Yap, Ayan Deng, Kenny Wong, Lang, Pucky, and Skullpanda - will be attending the show. Joining them are a few internationally reknowned designer toy artists will be making their way to POP TOY SHOW, armed with their exclusive artwork and collectibles. So far, the list names local hot favourite Simone Legno of Tokidoki, Alex Solis, Jon-Paul Kaiser, Luke Chueh, Punk Drunkers and Quiccs. Phew! This is a great chance for you to get your precious stuff signed at the show! Do check out the guest signing schedule on their website.

Next, POP TOY SHOW has lined up a series of interesting events for each day's stage programme, including presentation by studios like Smobler and Chiko Roko, live drawings by Jon-Paul Kaiser, Lesdoublewood, Luke Chueh and more, and even an auction of WETWORKS' exclusive figure. There are also key panels about toys on Friday and Sunday, but the one that Red Dot Diva says is worth a shoutout is Women In Toy Art moderated by Jessica Emmett and featuring speakers Erika Tay, Klaris, Sarah Isabel Tan, Steffi and Yang Ovo. Go to this link to see what other segments might interest you for the day(s) that you are attending - https://poptoyshow.sg/pages/stage-programme

The directory of exhibitors who will be at the upcoming POP TOY SHOW is pretty impressive. And well, guess what? Hot Toys will be exhibiting at the event too! So will BE@RBRICK - now with extra notoriety cred due to the recent billion-dollar money laundering bust here. Locally-based toy designers like Daniel Yu, Jessica Emmett, Sarah Isabel Tan and Ziqi Wu will make their presence felt at the show as well. These names are just the tip of the iceberg. You can check out the exhibitor roll at POP TOY SHOW'S website.

This has been a long time coming for ardent designer toy collectors and creatives in the toy design field. Grab your tickets and join the party at the POP TOY SHOW this weekend!

Where: Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre, Halls D & E
Date: 8 to 10 September 2023 (Fri, Sat and Sun)
Admission: SGD 32.00 per person for 1-day access. Various other multi-day and group options available. Please check the ticketing link.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Singapore Comic Con 2023 (SGCC) - Tickets Are Available Right Now!

It is time again to gather your geek squad and get ready to strut into this year's Singapore Comic Convention (SGCC). The pop-culture event will return to Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre on 9 and 10 December 2023.

SGCC will be taking up 5 halls of the convention centre on two floors, Level 1 and B2. As in past years, the event is part of the Singapore Media Festival and supported by The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) Singapore and the Singapore Tourism Board.

Red Dot Diva wishes that organiser Generation Experience is able to announce at least one or two main guests at the same time tickets are available. Many of the geeks she knows are holding back on getting tickets right now, but it seems that they banking on generic traffic to be flowing in rather than hardcore geeks. Well, whatever works for them.

Last year's SGCC comic book guests were interesting. So, it would not be farfetched to assume that Generation Experience already has a list of fantastic guests in store for this year's show. We would just need to wait for the guests announcements on SGCC's social media channels.

Other than that, SGCC has started posting teasers on the exhibitor booths who will be on the showfloor. These include the insanely popular Aussie animated pre-school series BLUEY, local toy store Simply Toys, LEGO/ The Brick Shop and Art-2 Gallery.


Tickets are available right now from the Klook website. (Note: The prices exclude $2 Klook booking fee per ticket.)

For a 10% discount on tickets (capped at SGD 7.00), go sign up for a FRANK by OCBC Card before grabbing your tickets. More details on the codes to use are on the Klook website.

Early birds, which are those who purchase tickets before 31 August 2023, are automatically entered into the SGCC 2023 lucky draw. Prizes include a LEGO The Mandalorian N-1 Starfighter set, a Sabermach Xentinel V2 lightsaber and Pop! Star Wars: Star Wars Celebration 5pk SWC 22 iEX.

Regardless of who might be the guests for SGCC, there will be lots to do, like panels, cosplay competition, orchestral performances, and more. Even if you are not attending SGCC because of the guests, the event is a great time to reconnect with the local geeks and those who will be visiting from neighbouring countries. Red Dot Diva recalls that during last year's SGCC, the reunions with the Filipino artists like Harvey Tolibao, and Boey the creator of the When I Was A Kid book series, were such a joyous occasion for her and the friends of the Glam Bloggers Alliance. It is also an enriching adventure discovering artists and creatives at Artist Alley. In fact, the Artist Alley is Red Dot Diva's hangout venue during SGCC.

The geeks are what makes SGCC more fun than you expect. Red Dot Diva's cannot wait to make new memories with you all again!

Where: Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre
Date: 9 & 10 December 2023 (Sat and Sun)
Admission: SGD 35.00 per person per day. SGD 65.00 per person for 2-day tickets.
*Kids under 12 enter FREE! (Each paying adult can be accompanied by a maximum of 2 children under 12)

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Illustration Arts Festival 2023 - From Cute Designs to Demonic Girls and Shaolin Monks

This year's Illustration Arts Festival (IAF) is held at a hall within the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre (SCCC). The event was organised by the Organisation of Illustrators Council (OIC Singapore) together with and 32CM32CM.

Red Dot Diva arrived at the venue just past 1230 PM. Registration at the ground level was smooth and quick. It saves time if you have pre-registered and booked your slot via the Eventbrite website. By the way, there is also a food and drinks stall just beside the registration lines if you need some nourishment. You will not be able to access to the IAF market space via the elevators. Instead, you would need to ride several levels of external escalators to Level 7.

Once, she reached Level 7, Red Dot Diva welcomed the air-conditioning because she had endured a mostly an unshaded walk from Tanjong Pagar MRT station on such a hot, sultry day. The venue hall was very spacious. There was ample space for everyone to move around, which made browsing along the neat rows of artist booths (about 90 of them!) such a pleasant experience compared to other art fairs. An interested crowd was already gathering, with more people streaming in after lunch time.

Red Dot Diva observed that there were more young illustrators who were boothing this year. Some of their ideas and designs are interesting, but a number of them tend to be similar, and do not quite stand out amongst the crowd, especially those of the kawaii variety. Still, cuteness may be your jam, and such illustrations range from food related designs to adorable animals.

However, Red Dot Diva was more interested in those that have built a unique style of their own, and that was how the dark, gothic horror of freelance graphic designer Parin Cashmony's booth caught her eye. The macabre aesthetic of his wares was like a black, enveloping cocoon in the midst of all the cuteness. He was also selling demonic-fueled figurines that he designed and then, crafted them himself in limited quantities, using 3D printing.

Another interesting booth you have to visit is Vivian Lee's. In fact, you could smell it before you see it. Vivian is Malaysia's first Coffee Caricature Artist. Her drawings, using coffee beans as ink, are so intricate. She has a set of art prints and postcards of the Chinese zodiac coffee art available for sale, as well as an art book.

If you are looking for quirkier comics and graphic novels to read, head to local indie publisher Difference Engine's booth. The staff manning the booth are eager to give you an introduction of their publications, which range from fun, family friendly stories like Amazing Ash & Superhero Ah Ma by Melanie Lee and Arif Rafhan, to more serious social issues like Worlds Apart: A Conversation About Mental Health by Wayne Rée and Nurjannah Suhaimi.

One of the best things of attending such art markets is connecting with friends and acquaintances. So, Red Dot Diva was happy to spend a few minutes catching up with artist friend Sarah Isabel Tan aka onibi_art. Sarah's character designs lean to the pop-culture but with a cheeky twist to them. She also loves monsters, and makes vinyl toys. Go check out her Smol Bear vinyls, as well as the Darumao.

Next to Sara's booth is self-taught illustrator Poon Yew Fai, the creator of wuxia book SHAOLIN AND YOU. The book has a unique Chinese scroll design and is full of beautiful rendered martial arts poses, like a training manual. The book costs SGD 36, but if you decide to get the tote bag, the bundle costs SGD 40. Red Dot Diva could not resist taking up on the bundle. The tote bag was so eye-catching, and was of a good quality too. Now, she can wander into the concrete jungle Jianghu, like an urban badass.

Besides artist booths, there were interesting talks and workshops held outside the market hall. Families with children can also have a smidgen of fun with ART-ZOO's giant inflatable cactus sofa placed at the concourse. There was even a corner where tattoo enthusiasts can observe tattooist Jasper Tan aka tiredbutwoke at work. IAF 2023 seems to have a range of activities covered for the casual art appreciators to the industry creatives, all held in a safe, comfortable environment.

While ambling around the showfloor, Red Dot Diva overhead a boyfriend telling his partner, “I'm a Science person, and this is like too much art for me.Red Dot Diva found this comment rather strange because if you are a Science person, you would realise that there is artistry in nature and science. Does he know of the Fibonacci sequence? So, don't be put off if you think that you are a ‘science person’. Art is for everybody, and a good way to get started on appreciating art is taking that bold step into this year's IAF.

Don't miss the chance, the festival is still running for a second day on Sunday, 30 July.

Where: Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, 1 Straits Boulevard, Level 7
Date: 29 and 30 July 2023 (Sat and Sun)
Time: 11 AM to 7 PM
Admission is FREE



The Inaugural Illustration Arts Fest Held on 28 to 30 October and 4 to 6 November, 2016

Illustration Arts Festival Returns On 12 & 13 August 2017 With A Bigger Artists Market

Illustration Arts Fest is BACK on 22 & 23 September, LASALLE McNally Campus

Illustration Arts Festival 2023 - Meet Local and Regional Artists At Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, 29 and 30 July 2023

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Illustration Arts Festival 2023 - Meet Local and Regional Artists At Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, 29 and 30 July 2023

The fourth edition of Illustration Arts Festival (IAF), brought to you by the Organisation of Illustrators Council (OIC Singapore) and 32CM, is back in action at Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre (SCCC) on 29 and 30 July 2023. The first IAF was held in 2016 with foreign indie press East London Comics Arts Festival (ELCAF) and Nobrow Press making their presence felt on the showgrounds. There was supposed to be an IAF held in 2020, but like many other physical events scheduled in that year, the Covid-19 pandemic forced several organisers to cancel or postpone their plans.

With Red Dot Island back in business this year, the IAF will be hosting over 100 local and regional artists across 90 booths. These artists will be featuring their original artwork and content, so art lovers will have plenty of opportunities to connect with these creatives. One of the artists who will be on site is self-taught illustrator Poon Yew Fai, whose wuxia book SHAOLIN AND YOU has caught the eye of famous martial arts Jet Li. Not only can you grab a copy of Poon's book, he will also be doing signing sessions. But, Red Dot Diva thinks his special Shaolin wuxia tote bags (see below), which will be on sale at his booth, are pretty awesome.

Other interesting artists visitors can meet at IAF include EBAO (co-founder of art collective DPLMT), Ziqi Wu (well known for his vinyl toy series Monster Little), Shian, and Erikartoon.

Besides booth hopping and busting your wallets, there are two workshops announced. They are:

* Sew-A-Pin with illustrator Siqi (@laughandbelly)
Date/ Time: 29 July, 11 AM - 1 PM
Cost: SGD 8.00 + SGD 3.85

* Creative Zine Making with Beverley Ng (@madebybeverley)and Aik Beng Chia (@aikben9chia)
Date/ Time: 30 July, 11 AM - 1 PM
Cost: SGD 25.00 + SGD 2.29 Fee

In addition, there will be free talks on both days. Artist Shanlyn C will be sharing about how she created her brand Mushroom Mountain while local indie comics publisher Difference Engine will be providing their insights on how to make meaningful books with a South-East Asian narrative.

You can find more information about these sessions, and book for your tickets at Eventbrite.

In fact, you are strongly encouraged to register at Eventbrite to gain access to the IAF. Red Dot Diva understands that this is because the hall's capacity is capped at 600 at any one time for safety reasons. There will be a Walk-In line for those without e-tickets, but it would help with crowd management if you pre-register for a timeslot. The admission rules are also on the Eventbrite page. So, click on to this link to book your relevant timeslot(s). Admission to IAF is free of charge!

Where: Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, 1 Straits Boulevard, Level 7
Date: 29 and 30 July 2023 (Sat and Sun)
Time: 11 AM to 7 PM
Admission is FREE



The Inaugural Illustration Arts Fest Held on 28 to 30 October and 4 to 6 November, 2016

Illustration Arts Festival Returns On 12 & 13 August 2017 With A Bigger Artists Market

Illustration Arts Fest is BACK on 22 & 23 September, LASALLE McNally Campus

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Gamescom Asia 2023 - Capcom Announced For Inaugural B2C Entertainment Zone

Here is a piece of exciting news for this year's Gamescom Asia, which will be held from 19 to 22 October 2023 at Suntec Convention Centre. Capcom, one of the largest gaming developers and publishers of the world, has confirmed their participation at this year's inaugural B2C Entertainment Zone. The B2C zone will be held on 20 to 22 October 2023, with 20 October open to business visitors and a limited number of pre-registered fans only. Gaming enthusiasts will be very familiar with Capcom's best-selling series like Resident Evil and Street Fighter.

For the last two iterations of the gaming festival, the B2C segment had been scuppered due to Covid-19 social restrictions. The key B2C highlights in 2021 and 2022 were broadcasted mainly via Gamescom Asia's online shows PRIMETIME and STUDIO, and it was just not the same as having gaming fans gathering physically on site, where you can wear your favourite costumes, or meet your friends and bond together over the love for gaming.

We are extremely excited to open the Entertainment Zone onsite to the public for the first time this year. We know it has been long anticipated by passionate fans and gamers and we look forward to welcoming them to gamescom asia. As the team works to put up a good show this year with new highlights and expanded mainstays, we invite companies to join us and make gamescom asia the premier Southeast Asian destination to showcase and testbed their games, latest gaming products and services, and reach an audience that is unique to the region,” said Mathias Kuepper, Managing Director and Vice President Asia-Pacific of Koelnmesse Pte Ltd, the organiser of gamescom asia.

Not only will Capcom be making its presence felt at Gamescom Asia 2023, companies like Xsolla, AWS for Games, Unlimit, and Worldline, have also been confirmed as sponsors for the event. In addition, the B2B Trade Zone will be expanded at this year's exhibition floor, and will consist of exhibitors and pavilions from Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Japan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong S.A.R., Taiwan, Canada, Israel, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, USA. Some big names have already been confirmed to be speakers on the conference stage. This include CD PROJEKT RED (Cyberpunk 2077, The Witcher), Focus Entertainment, SUNSOFT and Ubisoft.

So, what can gaming fans expect to see at the Entertainment Zone? There will be well-known game publishers and indie studios showcasing their current and upcoming games as well as group play zones. Esports will definitely held on site for so that fans can root for their favourite players and teams. Fans can also enjoy the range of interactive and live entertainment on stage, cosplay, boardgames, merchandise, and more. Oh, and if you get hungry for nourishment, you can attack the range of noms at a designated food alley.

At gaming festivals, Red Dot Diva always found the indie section to be intriguing because these publishers tend to create more quirky and unique games. She is glad to learn that there will be an all-new Indie Wavemakers area where fans and industry folks can test new indie releases and demos. In addition, there will be an Indie Wavemakers Live Stage, where indie exhibitors can share about their products.

Also, in partnership with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), the SEA Game Awards winners will be recognised for the first time at Gamescom Asia. The winnners will be announced at MYDCF 2023 (Malaysia Digital Content Festival) on 29 September 2023 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The SEA Game Awards aim to recognise and celebrate creativity, artistry, and technical genius of the finest game developers from the Southeast Asian and International video game industry.

If all these announcements are making you eager for Gamescom Asia 2023, look out for further announcements regarding ticketing. Tickets for the public will start to go on ssale from end-July.

And for those who will not able to visit Red Dot Island for the festival, do not worry. The show's trademark online shows PRIMETIME and STUDIO will return on 19 October and 22 October respectively to help beat the FOMO-feeling, and you will still be able to keep your finger on the pulse of the latest gaming highlights.


Check out previous articles relating to the write-up of Gamescom Asia show:

* Gamescom Asia 2023's Entertainment Zone To Shift To Physical Format (19 to 22 October 2023)

* Gamescom Asia 2022 - A Peek At The Physical Trade Zone


Gamescom Asia is the satellite event of Gamescom, the world's largest event for computer and video games and Europe's largest business platform for the games industry. Both events are organized by Koelnmesse, one of the world's largest trade fair companies.

For more information and the latest updates, visit Gamescom Asia website, or follow their social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Discord, TikTok, and LinkedIn.


If you enjoy my content, feel free to help keep the blog and other Red Dot Diva endeavours going via ko-fi. Thank you for your support!

Saturday, July 1, 2023

Diva's Movie Review - Spider-man: Across The Spider-verse Is A Dazzling Work Of Art

Just after two weeks of its theatrical release, SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE raked in an impressive USD 400 million at the global box office. Achieving this box office number is no mean feat for a superhero animated film, and ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE, the sequel of 2018's SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE, is now Sony's highest-grossing animated release in history. The film continues its money-making gains at the international box office by crossing the half a billion (USD) mark this week.

ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE follows about a year after the events of the first movie. Back at her own world, Gwen Stacey/ Spider-Woman (Hailee Steinfeld) has been dealing with her personal demons. She is feeling emotionally fraught after losing her best friend Peter, and being not able to reveal her secret identity to her dad. Later on, Gwen is roped in to join the Spider Society, which is headed by Miguel O'Hara (Oscar Isaac), the intense and intimidating Spider-man 2099 from Earth 928B. The secret society had been created mainly to prevent the collapse of the multiverse, and consists of numerous Spider-variants as members.

As for Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), life has been busy-intense. Miles believes he is able to juggle life as a normal teenager as well as being the friendly neighbourhood vigilante. “I can do both!” has become his mantra. But in actual fact, Miles is struggling with the balancing act, and his parents sense that something is amiss with their son. Even though his schedule is packed to the max, Miles still feels lonely. He thinks his parents will never be able to fully accept his super-powered persona, and he sorely misses his fellow Spidey-pals, especially Gwen.

After a challenging attempt to capture Spot (Jason Schwartzman), the so-called ‘villain of the day’, Miles receives a surprise visit from Gwen. Meanwhile, fed up of not being taken seriously, Spot hones on to his evil purpose, and turns out to be even more powerful than expected. Gwen and Miles tries to stop Spot's plans to disrupt the inter-dimensional timelines, and are hurled into a multi-verse jumping adventure with life-changing consequences.

Since its release, film critics and movie audiences around the world have been singing praises of ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE. Red Dot Diva agrees with all the kudos - it is her favourite film in 2023 so far.

When it comes to the second instalment of a trilogy, there is a risk that it will not be as memorable as the first. It is like that oft uttered phrase: ‘you never forget your first love’. Red Dot Diva thought SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE was one of the best animated superhero stories she has ever seen. So, she was a little afraid that the sequel might be a disappointing experience. As it turns out, she found ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE to be an immersive and unforgettable 136-minute ride. Red Dot Diva is still vibing from its after effects to this day.

ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE thrusts you on a series of universe jumps and introduces a number of new characters, but it never loses track of Miles Morales' story as well as the sub-plots. This is due to the innovative animation team of over 1,000 artists from various studios who has managed to create a different aesthetic for each character. For instance, Gwen is accompanied by a green and pink watercolour style ‘mood ring’. The enthusiastic Pavitr Prabhakar/ Spider-man India (Karan Soni) from the bustling city of Mumbhattan web-slings in an animation style inspired by a 70's comic book, while anti-establishment cool cat Hobie Brown/ Spider-Punk (Daniel Kaluuya) is fleshed-out via a cut-and-paste zine type sequence. All these distinctive looks are fused together to form the film's visual language that flows fluently with the compelling script and Daniel Pemberton's electrifying soundtrack. It is ingenious, really.

Also, as someone who appreciates villains in story-telling, Red Dot Diva appreciates that ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE has provided Spot with a unique backstory and motive. A superhero's desire to save the world is as good as the villain he has to face, and Spot has become one of the most formidable supervillain in a Marvel superhero movie. There is also the dilemma of what does it take to make someone a villain? Does considering the effects of a multi-universal crisis count?

ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE is not only a beautifully made film, it is also a deeply emotional and relatable one. Red Dot Diva says it is worth watching more than once, as there are so many things to take away from the multiple story arch. One of the key takeaways is about finding a place to belong, which everyone of us can identify with.

As part of the Live with Red Dot Diva series, Red Dot Diva has hosted a movie review and discussion of ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE with her geek bro Jedd Jong and good friend John Yeow.

The movie review can be viewed on the RDD Youtube channel here:

Please subscribe to the RDD Youtube channel!


Check out other Spider-man movie reviews:

* Diva's review of SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME


Sunday, June 18, 2023

Writer/ Director Anthony Ferraro Talks About The Making of Horror Sci-fi Short Film Wakener

Horror sci-fi short film WAKENER is a laudable contribution to the enduring Cthulhu Mythos that originated from iconic American writer H.P. Lovecraft. The indie piece, starring Rhomeyn Johnson, Nimo Purcell, Sapna Gandhi, Anthony Di Petro and Jonathan Castile, is the brainchild of writer-director Anthony Ferraro. Ferraro is best known as the creator and host of the popular Create Scifi Youtube channel.

WAKENER tells the story of an impromptu mission to investigate the sudden appearance of a mysterious ghost ship that carries ancient tech. Despite budget constraints, the cinematography look sleek and very well-executed. Ferraro is undoubtedly a skilled scriptwriter and world builder. He manages to set up each of the character's individual motivations that propel towards the unfortunate events at the finale.

It is also impressive how Ferraro and his team were able to visually capture the audience's attention through artful lighting of the cast, accompanied by detailed self-built costumes, props and sets. Some of the acting was not as nuanced as Red Dot Diva would have preferred, however, the atmospheric feel of the film as a whole, was a haunting and memorable experience.

After watching WAKENER a few times, Red Dot Diva wanted to find out more about what goes behind the scenes. She had the pleasure of chatting with Anthony Ferraro about the production process.

Red Dot Diva: Hi Anthony, WAKENER looks stunning! I know it takes creativity and skill to craft a short story. For WAKENER, how do you ensure that you are able to capture the essence of what you wanted to convey in terms of the script? (The phrase “I don't speak helmet.” is so catchy, by the way!) How many versions did you go through?
Anthony: You bring up an important question. Many years ago, when I first started writing, I found it so difficult that when I finally finished something, it was such a relief that I'd resist changing anything. However, I quickly learned that the writing process is never over, and if you really want to capture something, you need to write and rewrite it. With WAKENER, by the time we shot the film, there were about 24 revisions of the script. There was approximately a three-week gap between filming the main story on the ship and the supporting story at the Satellite Station, and the script for the station scenes underwent a few more revisions right up until we shot it. However, it's worth noting that I do readings with the actors to see how things are working. The line about the helmet was in an early draft, and when the actor spoke that line during rehearsal, I knew it was a keeper.

Red Dot Diva: Have you worked with the actors in WAKENER before?
Anthony: I do make an effort to collaborate with actors repeatedly. Coming from a theater background, my mindset has always been to create a theatrical company. In the case of WAKENER, I specifically wrote the film with Rhomeyn Johnson in mind for the lead role of Zee, the Space Ship Mechanic. Rhomeyn had previously worked with me on a few of my other projects in supporting roles, and his exceptional talent made me want to create a film that showcased his abilities. Jonathan Castile, who played the lead Mandalorian character in my Star Wars fan film, takes on the role of the Mummy character in WAKENER. As for the other actors, it was my first time collaborating with them, but I am confident that I will work with them again in the future.

Red Dot Diva: Any interesting anecdotes that happened on set?
Anthony: In the scene of the satellite station, there are a few background actors walking around. Since I create the costumes myself, similar to rewriting a script, I experiment with different versions. I had a few extra costumes, so at the last minute, I realized the space station appeared too sparse. In the eleventh hour, I decided to dress the two Production Assistants (PAs) on set in my backup costumes and include them in the scene. This type of situation truly adds to the fun and lightens the mood for me.

Red Dot Diva: Other than the small budget, what was the most challenging aspect of filming and producing WAKENER?
Anthony: The most challenging aspect I always encounter in ultra-low-budget productions is the multitude of hats I need to wear. If we're only two days away from shooting and I require a new set piece, I can't simply pick up the phone and hire someone; I have to make it myself. If an actor or crew member drops out, it's up to me to find a replacement and adjust the schedule accordingly. And even in the midst of directing, if catering is late, I have to handle the situation. It's what I sign up for every time I embark on one of these ultra-low-budget films, and while I know what I'm getting myself into, it's always a challenge.

Red Dot Diva: What is your favourite Lovecraftian story or film?
Anthony: That's an easy one: “The Call of Cthulhu” by H.P. Lovecraft. For me, it has an Indiana Jones-like quality, and when I read it, the story unfolds cinematically in my mind's eye. As someone who adores world-building, the entire Cthulhu mythology is incredibly inspiring for me and my work. It's something I strive for, even though it surpasses my abilities because it keeps me constantly pushing myself to improve.

Red Dot Diva: Do you think a filmmaker should always try to make something original or work with classic and established styles and tropes.
Anthony: That is not for me to say. Personally, I believe that everything has been said, and what's truly intriguing is how you choose to express it and filter it through your own unique experiences.

Red Dot Diva: Are you already working on your next short film project?
Anthony: I have three feature films that I am currently trying to get made. As for the short films, I create them myself as a way to improve my film-making skills. The goal is to eventually make feature films. The main difference is that with shorts, I have the ability to will them into existence, regardless of the budget. Some shorts have budgets under a thousand dollars, while others have reached thirty thousand. I hold the destiny of those films in my hands. However, with features, it's all about convincing someone to invest the necessary funds. One interesting observation I've made during my journey to raise money for a feature is that in the film-making business, it's more viable for someone to invest in a low-budget feature if it falls within the horror genre. Consequently, I recently wrote my first horror film titled “Tatters”.
Red Dot Diva: Oooh! I am a big baby when it comes to scary movies, but I'll definitely be looking forward to your next film!

Watch WAKENER on Create Scifi's Youtube channel, and maybe you will be inspired to make your own indie short film too!


Check out my previous interview with Anthony Ferraro about his Star Wars short film, FORSAKEN MANDALORIAN AND THE DRUNKEN JEDI MASTER!

Forsaken Mandalorian and the Drunken Jedi Master Star Wars Fan Film - Q&A with Create Sci-fi's Anthony Ferraro

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Sci-fi Short Wakener by Anthony Ferraro To Debut At Create Sci-fi Youtube Channel, 9 June 2023

Acclaimed writer/ director and indie film-maker Anthony Ferraro is paying homage to the works of H.P. Lovecraft with his next short film WAKENER. H.P. Lovecraft is one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. He is best known for his weird fantasy, horror and science fiction stories, particularly the Cthulhu mythos, which continues to inspire artists, authors, film makers and game developers around the world.

In his latest horror-scifi film WAKENER, Ferraro tells the tale of a broken ship technician and an ambitious young officer, whose paths collide while investigating a Ghost Ship, which holds ancient tech that has been outlawed. What kind of monstrous fate is waiting for them within the mysterious ship?

Since 2017, Ferraro has been creating scifi-related content on his Create Sci-fi Youtube channel, with various tutorials on how to create costumes and props, as well as practical tips about screenwriting and film making. The Youtube channel has now grown to garner over 3 million views and 38K subscribers. His cinematic short films are also posted in the popular Youtube channel for sci-fi and pop-culture lovers to enjoy.

"I aimed to redefine low-cost filmmaking, crafting a high-impact cinematic experience in WAKENER. By pushing boundaries with budget-friendly sets, effects, and creatures, my goal was to overcome budget limitations and deliver a captivating genre movie," said Anthony Ferraro.

Making short films is not easy. Budget and time are always the key constraint in any film production, and these factors are even more crucial in independent films. Red Dot Diva admires Ferraro for his ingenious creativity and dedication in getting his film projects completed - all with astounding results.

"Driven by necessity, WAKENER compelled me to embrace creative problem-solving with limited resources. Working within a modest budget, I formed relationships with skilled crews in Los Angeles and collaborated with talented local SAG Actors. As the filmmaking journey unfolded, the joy of creating overshadowed budget considerations. Bringing this vision to life with old and new friends was truly exhilarating. Proudly, WAKENER stands as a testament to our collective efforts," Ferraro added.

Watch the trailer for WAKENER, and look out for its debut on 9 June 2023!

Red Dot Diva appreciates how the scenes are lighted up. The play of light and shadow definitely adds to the mood of the film. In fact, WAKENER won Best Visual Effects - short at the Festival Award 2022.

The film stars Rhomeyn Johnson and Nimo Purcell, featuring Sapna Gandhi, Anthony Di Petro and Jonathan Castile. Other credits can be found in the trailer video's description.


Check out my previous interview with Anthony Ferraro about his Star Wars short film, FORSAKEN MANDALORIAN AND THE DRUNKEN JEDI MASTER!

Forsaken Mandalorian and the Drunken Jedi Master Star Wars Fan Film - Q&A with Create Sci-fi's Anthony Ferraro

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Enter The Upside Down At The Stranger Things - The Encounter At Bugis+ Mall (30 June to 1 August 2023)

The supernatural world of Stranger Things, Netflix's popular horror series with an 80's vibe, will manifest on the 7th floor of Bugis+ from 30 June to 1 August 2023. The immersive retail experience called STRANGER THINGS - THE ENCOUNTER is a partnership between Netflix and designer toys and collectibles studio Mighty Jaxx.

Get your 80s' gear ready, and pretend you are Eleven or Mike. Then, gather your gang to take down the dangerous creatures all set to destroy your entire world. You might even want to call upon the Hellfire Club (Red Dot Diva salutes to her fave character, Eddie *sob*) as backup. You will need help, especially when the evil Vecna has plans for world domination.

What you can expect at STRANGER THINGS - THE ENCOUNTER? Check out the list below:


There will be 6 iconic locations from the Stranger Things universe for you to explore. The themed rooms are Palace Arcade, Hellfire Club, Joyce's House, The Lab, The Upside Down, and the infamous Creel House. There is an additional space for Starcourt Mall, which houses retail and F&B (see below for more information).


Get your hands on exclusive Stranger Things collectibles and merchandise at the event's store.


You can collect digital collectibles during your encounter. The XPass is not only your admission ticket, you can use the digital collectibles to customize your XPass to reflect on your personality.


Head to the Starcourt Mall for retail therapy, and enjoy food featured in the series, like Scoops Ahoy and Surfer Boy Pizza. Have you wondered what Scoops Ahoy ice cream tastes like? Well, here's your chance to find out!

By the way, the vintage location is an actual abandoned mall in Duluth, Georgia. Before filming for Stranger Things Season 3, the dead body of 19-year-old Silling A. Man was found in the Subway restaurant. The young woman was murdered by her romantic partner. Talk about scary, right?

Rest assured, the Starcourt Mall set in this experience should be a happier, less spine-chilling for fans of the series.

STRANGER THINGS - THE ENCOUNTER is going to be an unforgettable event for fans of the series. But, don't visit the Upside Down alone. After all, in the Stranger Things universe, it's all about family and true friendship, and not also, Kate Bush's song Running Up That Hill.

Where: Bugis+ Mall, Level 7
Date: 30 June to 1 October 2023
Time: 2 PM — 10pm (Mon to Thu), 10 AM —10 PM (Fri to Sun)
Expected Duration:45 minutes
Cost: SGD 39 per pax on weekdays; SGD 49 per pax on weekdays. VIP passes with merchandise is at SGD 109 per pax on weekdays; SGD 119 on weekends. Admission tickets to the Starcourt Mall retail and F&B areas are available on-site for SGD15.
For check more information on ticket prices here: https://mightyexperiences.com/tickets/ste-sg

More Information: https://strangerthingsencounter.com