Rajvinder Rai Singh
Director, Distort the Tomato, 2008
Diploma in Interactive and Multimedia Design
Liking the job is not enough as passion is what you need to pull you through hard times. When you feel burn out, passion drives you further and sees you through it.
19 December 2008
Small Change, Big Differences
Written by Christine Chan
Rajvinder Rai and his partner, Aslam, wanted to name the company that would be their brainchild something funky, weird, and would make people jolt up and notice. The result of it is Distort the Tomato Sdn. Bhd., a post-production house that has currently worked with top advertising agencies in Malaysia such as McCann Erickson, Ogilvy & Mather, Saatchi & Saatchi, Grey Advertising and J. Walter Thompson (JWT).
Despite the success that Rajvinder is experiencing today, Rajvinder experienced a medical emergency during his years as a student in Limkokwing University of Creative Technology. Suffering from a case of spontaneous pneumothorax (holes in the lungs), he was forced to defer his internship to the very last semester of his studies.
I’m really thankful for having lecturers in Limkokwing University who placed me in Liquid Post Production House. They have good connections in the industry, and every student to them has potential hence they will try to help in every way to secure a place in the industry
Little did he know that the differing turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as he was hooked up with Liquid Post Production House, where he was offered a permanent position right away. It was a move that would catapult his career to great heights.
“I’m really thankful for having lecturers in Limkokwing University who placed me in Liquid Post Production House. They have good connections in the industry, and every student to them has potential hence they will try to help in every way to secure a place in the industry,” he said.
At Liquid Post Production House, Rajvinder was in charge of tape operations, taking care of the server room, doing motion graphics, special effects and offline editing. “It was my formative years and a period of exploration for me,” said Rajvinder on those early days in the industry.
To seek greater experience and exposure to the industry, Rajvinder moved on to BW Films Sdn. Bhd., where he was hired as the Production Assistant. Television commercials soon became his forte as he learned to handle talent casting, lighting set up, assisting the director during commercial shoots and many more.
In 2006, Rajvinder set his heart on offline editing, and moved on again to another post production company, 111 Eye. Describing the situation as being thrown into the deep end of a pool and expected to swim on his own, Rajvinder explained that without having a senior to guide him, he was forced to learn as quickly and as much as possible.
He is extremely grateful for the experience as it offered him the opportunity to work with big name clients that boosted his portfolio, such as Dome, Maxis, Honda, Heineken, and Malaysia’s Sports and Youth Ministry. After one and a half years of employment, Rajvinder left to become a freelancer and continued maintaining a list of high-profile clients such as Maxis, DiGi and CIMB Bank.
During his stint as a freelancer, he met Aslam, and the two of them decided to pair up and form Distort the Tomato Sdn. Bhd. which came into being on July 2007.
Although it is a very young company, the production house already has an impressive list of clients, including the ZOOM Malaysia Campaign 2008, a project aimed at promoting tourism from the Middle East and India. Within the next five years, Rajvinder hopes to turn Distort The Tomato into a full fledged post production house to cater to upscale projects and to set up a new working culture where it is able to breed creativity, inspiring both employees and clients.
“If you wish to succeed in this industry, you have to be passionate and dedicated to your work. You need to be truthful to yourself from the beginning, knowing that this is really what you want in life,” he advised.
Caring for others and lending a helping hand, a listening ear, or a shoulder to cry on is a spontaneous act, and there should be no specific time and place for it, the little things in life may create big things in life for another person.
“Liking the job is not enough as passion is what you need to pull you through hard times. When you feel burn out, passion drives you further and sees you through it.”
Rajvinder has fond memories of his time as a student in Limkokwing University. “The lecturers made a whole lot of difference as they gave me plenty of exposure to the industry,” he said.
The student of the university’s Diploma in Interactive Multimedia and Design also said that the diverse culture and variety of students on campus have also helped him in understanding and learning about the world, hence opening and broadening his perspectives on life.
“I made a lot of friends and it was a fun place to be in. I was taught to think and come up with my own ideas,” he said.
“Usage of tools can be learned but creative thinking is a learning process by itself and that is what you can find right here at Limkokwing University.”
The Ipoh-born Rajvinder also considers himself a down-to-earth person who believes in the importance of committing one’s self to doing good deeds. Ever thankful to his parents who acknowledged his passion and took the time and effort to understand his line of work, Rajvinder believes that success is not a destination but a journey of achieving, whereas a person who has never failed has never learned.
Above all else, good deeds that extend beyond monetary charity can go a long way in helping out another person.
“Caring for others and lending a helping hand, a listening ear, or a shoulder to cry on is a spontaneous act, and there should be no specific time and place for it,” he said, adding that, “the little things in life may create big things in life for another person.”
As someone who received his springboard into the industry while he was an intern, Rajvinder is keen on returning the favour to any young, talented and determined person working in the film and broadcasting industry. “Distort the Tomato is looking to hire new and upcoming talent, and we’re looking forward to meeting gifted and driven young people interested in gaining experience in this field,” said Rajvinder.