Hangout with ST: Behind-the-scenes work for NDP pays off

Multimedia journalists Alyssa Woo (left) and Hairianto Diman (right) anchored the show, which is usually broadcast from a studio in the ST newsroom on Thursdays.
Multimedia journalists Alyssa Woo (left) and Hairianto Diman (right) anchored the show, which is usually broadcast from a studio in the ST newsroom on Thursdays.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM ST VIDEO

SINGAPORE - Viewers of Hangout with ST were treated to an exclusive look into the workings behind the National Day Parade (NDP) on Thursday evening (Aug 9).

Some of the highlights of the show included snippets of the fireworks preparation process and how naval divers executed their parachute dives.

This National Day edition of the video series by The Straits Times was broadcast live from the Marina Bay floating platform and also featured interactions with audience and performers.

Multimedia journalists Alyssa Woo, 27, and Hairianto Diman, 30, anchored the show, which is usually broadcast from a studio in the ST newsroom on Thursdays.

It took place from 5pm to around 5.55pm, and was streamed live on ST's Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Two other journalists, Mr Basil Edward Teo, 29, and Mr Jose Hong, 27, joined the crew for this special edition.

Mr Teo reported from the F1 Pit Building, where he talked to performers, while Mr Hong interacted with members of the audience at the floating platform.

Ms Woo said: "It was so heart-warming to see everyone dressed in red and some families in matching T-shirts. Hearing everyone cheering made me feel proud to know that Singaporeans love their country."

The electric atmosphere also left a deep impression on Mr Hong.

Mr Hong said: "Even though I have watched the preview and the show multiple times, the energy feels even more intense on the actual day."

The show kicked off with performers backstage talking about their stories from NDPs over the years.

Subsequent highlights of the show included pre-recorded videos of NDP creative director Boo Junfeng and fireworks committee chairman Low Miang Hwei sharing how they prepared for the parade.

Viewers were then taken on a ride out to sea in another pre-recorded video, where they got an exclusive look at how the fireworks were sorted and protected with three layers of waterproofing.

Other video packages showed the stories behind four groups of performers, namely the Naval Diving Unit, performers, mascots, and two people involved in the aerial fly-past.

In the live segments of the session, a motivator from charity organisation Touch showcased the funpack, while chairman of the NDP show support committee, Lieutenant-Colonel Raymond Koh, talked about the logistics behind the parade.

The extra hours put in on Saturdays preparing for the big day were worth it, said Mr Hairianto.

"We wanted to bring something special to our ST readers and viewers, with something that we have not done before," he said.