Head of broadcasting Tommy Lee Kean Wei, has a wealth of experience in the broadcasting industry and has joined the college to further develop and grow the department by forging closer ties with employers through his years of working relationship with them. Students will have opportunities to work with producers and gain knowledge from other industry players.
Tommy’s first brush with the media happened when he was offered a role as a control room technical director with TV3. He learned on the job and did a lot of technical work which involved making sure that the programme ran smoothly and within the allocated time.
He then pursued his Masters and quickly secured a job as a producer with RTM. Focused on producing programmes for the Chinese community, one of his favourite projects was the production of an 8-minute programme, aired in 5 consecutive days. He started out with the intention to search for 5 different Chinese sing seh to talk about the use of different herbs to treat all sorts of conditions. Because deadline was tight, he ended up with only 4 sing seh and made a quick decision to use the fifth day for all sing seh to give advice on the best ways to use herbs and the dos and don’ts.
“Sometimes, you just have to think on your feet, be flexible and creative with ideas. There are so many unforeseen challenges and to do well, you have to keep calm,” he advised.
For better job prospects, Tommy ended up in Astro, where he put his pride aside and started learning from the basics. He was involved with programmes like singing, which wasn’t what he had in mind, but, Tommy carried on and finally, received a promotion to become a producer where he had free reign to pursue topics that he was passionate about.
“I love producing human interest stories and I believe that it’s important to have the 2 Es – entertainment and education. Entertainment on its own is soulless, while education on its own is boring. Combining both will balance up the work so that it’s more attractive to the viewers,” he added.
Tommy is currently lecturing students on the broadcasting diploma and degree programmes in Han Chiang College.