Loving his dream job

16 Jan 2019 / 18:47 H.

DID YOU know that in-flight movies and TV shows are curated independently from our Home Affairs Ministry’s Film Censorship Board? Someone has to sit through the movie or TV series, and comb through them thoroughly for anything that the client airline deems inappropriate.

Watching TV shows and movies for work may seem like a dream job, but according to 29-year-old Mohd Hasmizee Mohd Afandi who works for a company that sieves through in-flight entertainment, there is more to the job than leaning back and enjoying a show. It takes a keen eye, an ear for detail, and a meticulous personality.

How did you get the job?

“It all started with a friend about five years ago. She said that there was a job that she needed help with, thought I’d be perfect for it, and asked me if I wanted to give it a chance.

“Even if you try and find the job on job hunting sites, you might not see it, because it is listed as ‘operation coordinator’.

“This is because the position is more than just watching TV shows and movies.

A more significant part of the job is paying close attention to screenings and data entry. There is no room for mistakes for the client.”

So, what do you do at this job, exactly?

“We split into teams and screen TV shows and movies for certain elements like sex, nudity, gory violence, and anything our clients do not want such as logos of competitor airlines, images of planes crashing, and stuff like that.

“However, the most significant part of the job is putting in metadata into the system.

We screen the shows closely and take notes. In the end, we enter information about the show such as the list of actors and a summary of the system.

This is the data and information used in the in-flight entertainment system.”

What if the movies and TV shows have these unwanted elements?

“We send a request to the show’s studios for these scenes to be cut.

In extreme cases, we will not include them at all.

“It is then up to the directors if they would let us do these edits.

Some may refuse citing reasons such as it would take away from the story, or that it would change the meaning or intention of the show.

“We also screen foreign movies, so we have to pay close attention to the subtitles.

However, there is also a risk that what is said on screen and what is translated does not match perfectly.”

Can you share with us some of the memorable movies and TV shows that you’ve watched for work?

“The first movie is Red Sparrow. It is a spy thriller about how women are trained to use their bodies to exploit men to get information.

As you can imagine, there are many parts of this movie that needed to be flagged.

“Another one is Deadpool.

Although it is a comedy, there are a lot of profanity and gory scenes to look out for.

“As for TV series, there’s Westworld. It’s about a world where androids are used as hosts in a rich man’s playground.

Basically, a Western theme park where the rich can live out their cowboy fantasies.”

Is it a 9 to 5 job?

“Well, technically it is. For TV shows, we need to watch whole series, and we try to do as many movies as we can in a day.

“However, because of the amount of focus we have to put into it, it can get very tiring.

“Airlines cycle in a new batch of entertainment materials into their in-flight entertainment system every so often.

“So when the time comes, it is crunch time for us.

“We need to hit specific targets and fulfill requests.

“These are the times where the days grow a little longer than usual.”