Senior Producer of 8TV, Primeworks Studios, 2008
Diploma in Interactive and Multimedia Design
When you’re still young, go all out to learn. Most of the time, you’ll be behind the scenes. Take failures as a learning experience. Straight A’s is nothing, it’s your performance at work that matters. And always keep updated on current issues, for example, by watching BBC or CNN news.
24 October 2008
Man behind hit TV series
Written by Christine Chan
Senior TV producer Arzuan Anuar is the man behind the scenes of 8TV’s reality show Field Trip! USA’ that began airing every week starting 19 October 2008. The 10-episode foreign student exchange series revolved around eight Malaysian students, eight American cities and eight high schools.
“It was an amazing experience,” Arzuan said of the work involved in producing the series. “We spent five weeks in the US, covering cities like Texas, New Jersey, Oregon, Arkansas, Colorado, and Washington DC.
“It felt good when the series were aired.”
Other top shows produced by Arzuan and his team are One in a Million, second season, 8TV Quickie and Latte at 8.
He has also produced music videos for local Malaysian bands such as Faith by Seven Collar T-Shirt, Ternyata by Estrella and Curtains from They Will Kill Us All.
As producer, Arzuan’s work includes planning the entire process and flow of the show or music production including getting contacts, organising the timeline, directing, managing the team and recording live shows. He specialises in live shows and music videos.
Describing his involvement in the production of One in a Million as a good learning experience, he said, “We got to meet new people all the time. We learned from others as well as through our work. Good public relations is vital for survival in the industry.”
We got to meet new people all the time. We learned from others as well as through our work. Good public relations is vital for survival in the industry.
The show took eight months to complete, and Arzuan, with his production team, were relieved when it was over as it had begun to form a routine.
“However, we managed to identify new talent and the show changed many people’s lives for the better, giving them more opportunities,” he said.
His firsthand look at the local music industry has opened his eyes to some realities. “In Malaysia, there is a changing perception of local gigs. Previously, the budget for promoting local gigs was small, but now large sums of money are spent on the local scene. 8TV is the trendsetter and now, a few million Ringgit could be spent for just one show. Thus, we can see that the local music scene in Malaysia is growing,” he said.
“Besides that, Internet television is slowly creeping in and eating into the television market. So, we need to find new ways to retain the television viewership or create a new Internet channel to reach our target audience,” he said, adding that Gua.com.my was set up by Media Prima to penetrate the Internet market.
Arzuan, who left his hometown in Kedah to attend university, found the environment at the Cyberjaya campus energizing.
“There is healthy competition among the students. It pushed me to be proactive and strive to do more, achieve more. The university enabled me to polish my presentation skills and hone my leadership qualities,” he said.
The university also provided fertile ground for friendships, and as a result, Arzuan has friends of multi-ethnic origins and from all over the world. In addition, he said, “Some of my lecturers treated me like a friend.”
His advice to students who want to be in the production line is first, to know that it involves a lot of hard work. “When you’re still young, go all out to learn. Most of the time, you’ll be behind the scenes. Take failures as a learning experience. Straight A’s is nothing, it’s your performance at work that matters. And always keep updated on current issues, for example, by watching BBC or CNN news,” he said.
Success is the feeling of satisfaction after all the hard work in planning and executing a show. The feeling is derived from high ratings and it is gratifying to know so many people watched your show. It’s like getting a pat on your back.
Arzuan underwent a four-month internship at 8TV, working as assistant to former executive producer Michael Christian Simon, and learning the basics of editing, directing and broadcasting.
“Success is the feeling of satisfaction after all the hard work in planning and executing a show. The feeling is derived from high ratings and it is gratifying to know so many people watched your show. It’s like getting a pat on your back,” he said.
Arzuan describes himself as having an open mind and a positive outlook towards life. He prefers a borderless world without limitations. To his mind, failure is no reason to stop trying to do something.
He is keen to pursue his interest in games and wants to be a game developer. He also plans to produce a mega TV 2D cartoon animation series. Among those whose work he admires is award-winning French screenwriter, film commercial and music video director Michel Gondry.
Above all, he aspires to set up his own production house and be his own boss.