Saturday, December 01, 2012

Lose Your Shirt

Yes that's Maja Salvador, currently starring in a soap opera with Kim Chiu and currently still the face  most associated with Coby, best known to me (until recently) for various makes of portable DVD players that the pirates of our many flea markets make use of, to test DVDs for potential buyers.

Perhaps it's this image that had the executives of Coby saying at every opportunity that they were a US company and their devices were meticulously built to meet both US FCC and UK standards of quality. Then again that could just be my bias talking, and considering the range of gadgets (tablets and pads) the bright boys at Coby displayed, my bias should shut up. Also: Maja Salvador, who looks a damned sight better in real life than in her promotional pictures for Coby.

When I originally began to write this blog post, I'd wanted to crow. I'd been somewhat attached to a teevee show that people (photographers, students, models, gadget buffs) actually bothered to watch, never mind that the pay (at least, my pay) was likely going to be in smiles and  rainbows until we got ourselves some heavy (and regular) sponsors who weren't going to gyp us with cheap X-deals.

(An x-deal in and of itself isn't a bad thing. At its heart, it's an eXchange of products or services. It's great if the  parties involved are cash-strapped and the products, discounts or services exchanged are of enough value to stand in for cash. Often, it's a great way to get value and lowered costs. It works well for gadget shows, but it can't always be the go-to policy all the time. My feelings toward X-deals is an old hangup from my days in comics. In 2000, we were always worried about how and when we were going to come out with the next issue, considering that money was always only trickling in, despite our loyal and sizeable fanbase.)  

Yes, yes, I'd indentured myself to someone else's Camelot again sometime in May of this year. But back to why I'd wanted to crow. Business in my shop was winding down, but at least I was part of something bigger than myself again, a cause I could appreciate. I was seeing new places and meeting new people-- people whose needs I could conceivably service one day. I was borderline broke, but life was looking good.         

When Coby had its launch at Mango Tree at the Fort some months ago, I was my usual combination of traits: sleep-deprived, cash-strapped, hopeful, happy, and on assignment. I'd brought my own tripod and was raring to get in some practice with my own Panasonic and one of the CGTV Canons. Granted, the assignment had changed so that videographer Dex had become superfluous.  Despite the situation, I was in good spirits: a job was a job and my superfluous presence still had to count for something to the people who'd eventually pay me. I'd signed up, after all, because I believed in the show. I'd do it again if time reversed itself and I'd be faced with the choice of being even tangentially part of it.

It's been standard practice to give away Camera Geek TV merchandise to the people who help out the show: sponsors, models, spokespeople, executives. I was at least paid in real currency (thank you, Jama!) for the shirts I'd made for CGTV. For this one event, though, I hadn't made any. I did bring along one of my old black CGTV shirts, in case I'd have to be seen in front of someone else's camera. (You gotta keep pushing the brand, after all.) Imagine my surprise when I found out we ran out of CGTV gear to give away.

I'd wanted to crow because Maja Salvador wrapped the shirt-- my shirt-- around her waist when she posed for photos with the CGTV staff. Photo below is courtesy of Fluffy Peña and Fluxus Studio, and the idiotic smile on my face is courtesy of my feelings of nervous ambivalence.

I was more than happy to give up my shirt to Ms Salvador. She's a bankable actress and a lovely individual who, like Emma Stone, can put anything on and make it look good, unless she's being asked to do robotic poses for the Coby ads. Digression: I learned that day that I'm still a guy, so that pretty much reassured me that I'm still human. It also explains half the ambivalence I was feeling. The other half can be explained thusly: I wished I'd made a newer batch of shirts so that she'd have something that was more worthy of her status as spokesmodel and friend of the show. As happy as I was that my shirt had found its way into her hands, I'd have been much happier if  it was newer and packaged accordingly.

I was also thinking of other things while awkwardly posing for this photo and trying not to show that my academic interest in MS Salvador had become a schoolboy crush-- feminisim, the objectification of women, ethics. 

Trust Dex to throw a wet blanket on most other people's wet dreams.