Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sykes Asia's Newest Site at Makati is Now Open!

Sykes Asia Inc, a company that prides itself as the pioneer in the Philippines’ BPO industry, formally opened its new facilities at the heart of Makati yesterday, August 14, 2013.

SYKES President and CEO Chuck Sykes performed the traditional ribbon cutting ceremony together with the company’s key personalities Dan Hernandez – Executive Vice-President for Global Strategy, Mike Henderson – Senior Vice-President for APAC and Dean Van Ormer – Vice-President for Philippine Operations. Gracing the occasion were industry movers Dr. Gloria Alberto –President of the Philippine Association of University Women, Mr. Elmer H. San Pascual – PEZA Promotions and Public Relations Head and DTI Secretary Gregory Domingo.

The newest site of Sykes, formally called Sykes Glorietta BPO 1, started building last March 30, 2013. The 18, 769.80 square metered office can accommodate over 2500 employees and as of July 1, 2013 has 4 floors and will hopefully finish completion by September 18, 2013 by adding two more floors.

The ribbon cutting was followed by an intimate event, Sykes Shift, highlighting achievements of Sykes thru the years and formally opening Sykes Glorietta site.

Bamboo entertaining Sykes employees during the launch.
 Sykes Glorietta BPO 1 boasts comfortable and collaborative workplace for its employees and at the same time enhancing their productivity. Here's a glimpse into the employee-centered workplace as the future of the BPO.

"The building is a major project by SYKES, because we believe that employees are our premium to our longevity - we want to give them the best.  We also want to show that a career in the BPO is very progressive, especially since the industry has become a very significant part of the economic landscape.  It's our contribution for the forward move of BPO," said Mr. Dean Van Ormer, Vice-President for Philippine Operations.

For 15 years now, Sykes has been providing nothing but the best and beneficial to it's employees and clients. Sykes has been developing Filipino skills, Filipino talents and Filipino ingenuity and placing them in the forefront of global scenario. Sykes proudly boasts it's very unique Culture of Support.

I am personally proud to be part of Sykes. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Director Zach Snyder Unites Superman, Batman in One Explosive New Film


On the heels of the worldwide success of “Man of Steel,” director Zack Snyder is bringing together the two greatest Super Heroes of all time—Batman and Superman—for the first time on the big screen. The announcement was made last July 20, 2013 by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, and Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

The current hit, “Man of Steel,” has taken in more than $630 million at the worldwide box office to date, and climbing. Along with its star, Henry Cavill, the upcoming film brings back Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane. The new Batman has yet to be cast.

Snyder is co-writing the story with David S. Goyer, who will then pen the screenplay. Production is expected to begin in 2014, with an anticipated release date in Summer 2015.

“2 GUNS” Fires off Teaser Trailer

 Academy Award-winner Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg lead an all-star cast in Columbia Pictures' "2 Guns," an explosive action film that tracks two operatives from competing bureaus who are forced on the run together. But there is a big problem with their unique alliance: Neither knows that the other is an undercover federal agent.

            Catch the film's teaser trailer here.

            Synopsis: For the past 12 months, DEA agent Bobby Trench (Washington) and U.S. naval intelligence officer Marcus Stigman (Wahlberg) have been reluctantly attached at the hip. Working undercover as members of a narcotics syndicate, each man distrusts his partner as much as the criminals they have both been tasked to take down.

            When their attempt to infiltrate a Mexican drug cartel and recover millions goes haywire, Trench and Stigman are suddenly disavowed by their superiors. Now that everyone wants them in jail or in the ground, the only person they can count on is the other. Unfortunately for their pursuers, when good guys spend years pretending to be bad, they pick up a few tricks along the way.

            Opening across the Philippines in September 2013, “2 Guns” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Visit http://www.columbiapictures.com.ph for trailers, exclusive content and free downloads. Like us at www.Facebook.com/ColumbiaPicturesPH and join our fan contests.


 Columbia Pictures unveiled a brand new official image from One Direction's upcoming 3D documentary, “One Direction: This Is Us.” The photo features Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan and Liam Payne all donning dark sunglasses.

            Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock (“Super Size Me”) produced and directed the film which shows an access-all-areas, behind-the-scenes look into what it’s like to be One Direction today.

            One Direction – Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson – were discovered by Simon Cowell on the U.K.’s “The X Factor” in 2010. The band quickly gained a following to become one of the competition’s all-time most popular acts, finishing in the final three and garnering a gigantic and loyal fanbase along the way. In March 2012, One Direction’s debut album, “Up All Night,” made U.S. history, as it was the first time a U.K. group’s debut album entered the U.S. Billboard 200 chart at No. 1. The band has sold over 13 million records worldwide. Today, One Direction released their sophomore album, “Take Me Home,” which includes the No. 1 single, “Live While We’re Young.”

            Follow @1D3Dmovie on Twitter for exclusive updates about the movie. The official movie account on Twitter will announce news using the hashtag #1D3Dmovie.

            Opening across the Philippines in August 2013, “One Direction: This Is Us” will be distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Visit www.columbiapictures.com.ph to see the latest trailers, get free downloads and play free movie games.

GRAVITY Drops Teaser Trailer and Poster

Academy Award® winners Sandra Bullock (“The Blind Side”) and George Clooney (“Syriana”) star in “Gravity,” a heart-pounding thriller that pulls you into the infinite and unforgiving realm of deep space.  The film was directed by Oscar® nominee Alfonso Cuarón (“Children of Men”).

Warner Bros. has just released the film’s teaser poster and first trailer which may be viewed here.

            In the film, Bullock plays Dr. Ryan Stone, a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky (Clooney) in command of his last flight before retiring.  But on a seemingly routine spacewalk, disaster strikes.  The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalsky completely alone—tethered to nothing but each other and spiraling out into the blackness.

The deafening silence tells them they have lost any link to Earth…and any chance for rescue.  As fear turns to panic, every gulp of air eats away at what little oxygen is left.

But the only way home may be to go further out into the terrifying expanse of space.

“Gravity” was written by Alfonso Cuarón & Jonás Cuarón.  Alfonso Cuarón and David Heyman (the “Harry Potter” films) are the film’s producers.  Stephen Jones (“Knowing”) served as executive producer with Nikki Penny (“Clash of the Titans”) co-producing.

            A Warner Bros. Pictures production, “Gravity” will be released in the Philippines in October 2013 in 3D and 2D and distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment company.

CARRIE Conjures a New Poster

 Columbia Pictures has released online the second one-sheet art of its upcoming suspense-thriller, “Carrie” based on the best-selling novel by Stephen King and starring Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore.

            “Carrie” is a reimagining of the classic horror tale about Carrie White (Moretz), a shy girl outcast by her peers and sheltered by her deeply religious mother (Moore). The teenaged girl unleashes telekinetic terror on her small town after being pushed too far at her senior prom.

            Directed by Kimberly Peirce with a screenplay by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, “Carrie” also stars Judy Greer, Portia Doubleday, Alex Russell, Gabriella Wilde and Ansel Elgort.

            Opening across the Philippines in October 2013, “Carrie” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Visit www.columbiapictures.com.ph to see the latest trailers, get free downloads and play free movie games. Like us at www.Facebook.com/ColumbiaPicturesPH and join our fan contests.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Marvel’s “GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY” Begins Production

“Guardians of the Galaxy,” the next epic adventure from Marvel Studios has started shooting at the UK’s Shepperton Studios.  Directed by James Gunn (“Slither,”“Super”) from his screenplay, with a story by Nicole Perlman and Gunn, the film will introduce audiences to a whole new side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  

The all-star cast includes Chris Pratt (“Zero Dark Thirty”, “Moneyball”) as Peter Quill aka Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana (“Star Trek Into Darkness”, “Avatar”) as Gamora, Dave Bautista (“Riddick”) as Drax the Destroyer, Lee Pace (“The Hobbit,”“Lincoln”) as Ronan the Accuser, Michael Rooker (AMC’s “The Walking Dead”) as Yondu,  Karen Gillan (BBC TV’s “Doctor Who”) as Nebula, two-time Academy Award® nominee Djimon Hounsou (“Amistad”, “Gladiator”) as Korath, with Academy Award® winner Benicio del Toro (“Traffic”) as The Collector,  Academy Award® nominee John C. Reilly (“Chicago”) as Rhomann Dey, and six-time Academy Award® nominee Glenn Close (“Albert Nobbs,” “Fatal Attraction”) as Nova Prime

Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” is slated for an August 1, 2014 release in the U.S.

Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige is producing the film.  The executive producers are Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Jeremy Latcham, Alan Fine and Stan Lee; the co-producer is Nik Korda.

The creative team includes director of photography Ben Davis, BSC (“Wrath of the Titans”, “Kick-Ass”), production designer Charles Wood (“Thor: The Dark World”), BAFTA-nominated Editor Fred Raskin (“Django Unchained,” “Fast Five”) and Academy Award®-winning editor Hughes Winborne, A.C.E. (“The Help,”“Crash”), and Academy Award® winning costume designer Alexandra Byrne (“Marvel’s The Avengers,” “Elizabeth The Golden Age”).  The film will also shoot at Longcross Studios, and locations in and around London. 

Marvel Studios’ last two releases were “Marvel’s The Avengers” and “Iron Man 3,” which are the #3 and #5 highest grossing films of all time and the two highest-grossing films ever released by the Walt Disney Company.  The two films are the #1 and #2 all-time domestic 3-day weekend box office record holders at $207.4 million and $174.1 million respectively.  The studio’s upcoming release schedule includes “Thor: The Dark World” on October 30, 2013, and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” on April 4, 2014. 


Warner Bros. has just unveiled the new trailer of director Alfonso Cuaron's upcoming sci-fi suspense thriller “Gravity” codenamed “Detached” which may be viewed here.

            Academy Award® winners Sandra Bullock (“The Blind Side”) and George Clooney (“Syriana”) star in the heart-pounding thriller that pulls you into the infinite and unforgiving realm of deep space.

            In the film, Bullock plays Dr. Ryan Stone, a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky (Clooney) in command of his last flight before retiring. But on a seemingly routine spacewalk, disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalsky completely alone—tethered to nothing but each other and spiraling out into the blackness. The deafening silence tells them they have lost any link to Earth…and any chance for rescue. As fear turns to panic, every gulp of air eats away at what little oxygen is left. But the only way home may be to go further out into the terrifying expanse of space.

            A Warner Bros. Pictures production, “Gravity” will be released in the Philippines in Oct. 3, 2013 in 3D and 2D and distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment company.

‘Chloë Grace Moretz’ Hit Girl is back in Kick-Ass 2

Kick-Ass wouldn’t be half the hero he is without Hit Girl, and no sequel would begin production without her in the mix.  Imagined by Award winning writer Mark Millar as a tribute to his eldest daughter, Hit Girl has struck a chord with readers since her introduction and grown exponentially in popularity.  The young woman who brought her to life, Chloë Grace Moretz, has been working up a storm—earning critical acclaim in such fare as Let Me In, as well as working with the likes of Martin Scorsese in Hugo and Tim Burton in Dark Shadows and soon to be seen starring opposite Julianne Moore as the title character in the remake of Carrie.  Like her co-stars, she was thrilled to step back into her Kick-Ass role as Hit Girl, unfazed by the commotion caused by her appearance the first time around.

"The obvious difference is that I'm older now, and the difference between 11 and 15, which is how old I was when we finished, is that you're a different person, obviously," Executive Producer Neal H. Moretz reveals. "You're calculating more ideas, you're experiencing more things in your own life, you're not just living through other people's eyes, you're making your own decisions."

For the 2010 film, the now 16-year-old actress took the world by roundhouse kick with not only her acting abilities, but her phenomenal mastery of weaponry and martial arts.  Indeed, Moretz didn’t know she was prescient when she joked at the premiere of the first film that she wanted to ride a purple Ducati: Hit Girl’s bike of choice in Kick-Ass 2.  Laughs Moretz: “To get in the costume again and do all the stunts was pretty amazing.  I’ve had such a great time reliving the character and bringing in more dimensions, while taking an older approach to the role.  I liked seeing what I could play within the part.”

Steven Seagal and Steve Austin in Maximum Conviction

When former black ops operative Tom Steele (Steven Seagal) and his partner Manning (Steve Austin) are assigned to decommission an old prison, they must oversee the arrival of two mysterious female prisoners. Before long, an elite force of mercenaries assault the prison in search of the new arrivals. As the true identities of the women are revealed, Steele realizes he's caught in the middle of something far bigger than he had imagined. Fists will fly and bones will shatter as the situation escalates with every passing minute.

The two Steve’s are working every muscle in their bodies in this one, and maybe it’ll get Sylvester Stallone’s attention for Expendables 3, but at least fans of the two will get some fun action from the men.

Also starring Michael Paré (The Virgin Suicides, The Philadelphia Experiment), Aliya O’Brien (Kill Switch, Bringing Ashley Home) and Bren Foster (“Days of Our Lives,” Drowning), Maximum Conviction is a relentless thrill ride that lets the shell casings fall as they may.

“Maximum Conviction” is released and distributed by CrystalSky Multimedia. Showing on August 14. Nationwide.


Marking a significant expansion of his already ambitious plans for the much-anticipated AVATAR sequels, Academy Award®-winning filmmaker James Cameron announced that the films have grown in number from two to three. James Cameron hires writers to collaborate with him on the films.

            Additionally, to help bring his growing AVATAR universe to life and to expedite the process, Cameron has hired screenwriters Josh Friedman (War of the Worlds), Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver (Rise of the Planets of the Apes), and Shane Salerno (Savages, Salinger) to collaborate with him on the screenplays for the three films.

             The three pictures will be filmed simultaneously with production beginning next year.  The release of the first sequel will be in December 2016, with the second to follow in December 2017, and the third a year later. AVATAR 2, 3, and 4 will be produced by Cameron and Jon Landau through their Lightstorm Entertainment banner. Like the original film, Lightstorm will work with Joe Letteri and his team at WETA Digital to realize the worlds of the sequels.


Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions announced today that Christopher McQuarrie will direct the next “MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE” film.

McQuarrie will direct from a screenplay by Drew Pearce, with Tom Cruise reprising the iconic role of Ethan Hunt, who was first introduced to moviegoers in 1996.  The project will be produced by Cruise through Tom Cruise Productions, Paramount and J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot, who served as producers on previous films in the hit series.  Skydance Productions, who served as co-financers and executive producers of the last installment, will work closely with the team in the development and production process.

“I am thrilled to reunite with Chris for the latest installment in the Mission series," said Cruise. “I began producing the films with the goal that a different director with his own vision would make each one.  Chris is an extraordinary filmmaker who will deliver the heart-pounding action and thrills that audiences around the world have come to expect from the Mission: Impossible franchise.”

Added Adam Goodman, President of Paramount Film Group: “The Mission series is special for its signature directors; Chris McQuarrie keeps this tradition thriving.”

KakaoTalk is now in the Philippines!

KakaoTalk, Korea's no. 1 social mobile social app and with 100 million users worldwide, is now in the Philippines!

Free chat, text messaging and calls have been the hit lately and with a lot of social app available for millions of users, people are on the verge of choosing the app that's fun, fresh and fit for them.

This social app is free of charge and is available on iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows, Bada and even PC. It is very convenient in sending messages, pictures, video, URLs, contact details and even schedule. It also supports video calls and group calls with as much as 5 participants.

Get to know KakaoTalk with these cool features:

o Group chat and multimedia sharing: Users can create group chat rooms with an unlimited number of friends in KakaoTalk. KakaoTalk supports sharing of text, photos, videos, voice notes, contact information and schedules.

o Free 1:1 and group voice call: KakaoTalk offers both 1:1 and group voice calls with as many as five speakers. Features including Talking Tom and Talking Ben voice filters add fun and excitement to voice chat. KakaoTalk is also the worlds’ first to provide free group calls in HD quality.

o Animated/sound/still emoticons and themes: KakaoTalk is the first mobile instant messaging service to offer animated emoticons and stickers, which users can include in their chat bubbles. KakaoTalk offers tens of thousands of different emoticons, including localized digital content in Japan and Indonesia.

o Security: Kakao securely encrypts all messages to ensure user privacy and all messages are deleted from the servers after a minimal length of time.

I particulary like the PLUS FRIENDS feature - it is design to allow users to select and receive content related to their favorite brands, companies and stars. Connect with KakaoTalk's ambassadors like K-Pop star Big Bang and Pop Star Princess, Sarah Geronimo.

Know more about KakaoTalk by following their official media accounts:
o        Facebook : www.facebook.com/kakaotalkph
o        Twitter : www.twitter.com/kakaotalkph

o        YouTube : www.youtube.com/kakaotalkph

Add me up on KakaoTalk - Cathietotzkie

Meet the Nooglers of THE INTERNSHIP

Both trying to catch up with the digital world, Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn did not look far for reference in the tech-comedy "The Internship." Instead, admittedly they drew from their own experience how it's like to swim in the digital age.

                “This was not a difficult role to prepare for.  I don't know that much about computers, only in the past few years, I discovered how to work the internet,” says Wilson.  “And Vince had to be one of the last people in the world to get a cell phone, so he might be even further behind than me.We’re both trying to catch up with the digital world.”

                Confronted with that world’s lightning-fast pace, Billy and Nick must somehow excel at Google amidst an army of today's breed of geeks and super-achievers.

Up and coming young star Dylan O’Brien portrays Stuart, a Noogler who is too cool for school. “Stuart is the cynical one,” says O’Brien, who recently landed the central role in 20th Century Fox’s thriller "The Maze Runner." "He doesn’t want anything to do with the life around him. At the beginning, he is very much only involved in his technology,” says O’Brien. “Bill and Nick teach Stuart to live amongst the world and everyone around him.”

One Noogler with a keen disinterest in Billy and Nick (apart from his quest to humiliate them) is Graham.  Everyone loves a juicy antagonist, and Graham is as opportunistic, if not downright mean, as they get. “He is the kid in class who is the know-it-all," says Wilson. “Graham is the evil intern who is trying to sabotage their plans,” says Max Minghella, who portrays Graham.

Holding her own against Graham, as well as her own teammates, Neha Patel, played by Tiya Sircar, is a closeted nice girl with a deceptive naughty streak.  “Neha tends to say things that make people raise their eyebrows,” explains Sircar.  “She says some pretty crazy things, but it’s all talk.  Neha is actually a good, studious girl." Like her counterparts, Neha, is displeased when the team is saddled with the technologically inept salesmen.  “The younger members of the team feel like they are working with two dead weights,” she points out.

Another teammate of Nick and Billy’s is Yo-Yo Santos, played by (Fil-Am) Tobit Raphael in his film debut.  Yo-Yo is an anxiety-riddled perfectionist and a dutiful son. “He has a very oppressive Asian mother who wants him to succeed and wants him to have that perfect job,” says Raphael. “And he takes out a lot of it on himself.” Through Yo-Yo’s relationship with Billy and Nick, he conquers his inner demons to emerge as a confident young man.

The filmmakers selected the young actors who would reflect the generational divide, embody the Google personae, and possess a comedic constitution that complements Vaughn’s and Wilson’s improvisational dexterity.

                “The Internship" is also about these two generations melding and the culture of Google.  We wanted a supporting cast that adds strength to the duo at the center,”says Vaughn.

                Take a peek into the world of Google when "THE INTERNSHIP" opens August 14 in theaters from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

THE INTERNSHIP Two Generations Melding and the Culture of Google

 The world over have seen the airfield battle to capture the golden snitch in one of the most phenomenal (recently) wrapped-up teen-wizard movie “Harry Potter.”  In another universe called Google campus where great thinkers converge to create something new being  featured in the movie “The Internship,” they have found a way to reinvent the game of quidditch on ground.

                Starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, “The Internship” finds Nick (Owen Wilson) and his partner Billy (Vince Vaughn), as two newly unemployed watch salesman trying to find employment with a limited skill-set in a world that appears to have passed them by.

                 “As salesmen they are incredibly good at what they do,” says director Shawn Levy, “but the whole profession of selling in person, in an age where most people are increasingly buying their goods on the Internet, is on the wane. So they are downsized, suddenly unemployed, and Vince's character comes up with this idea of applying for an internship at Google, a company that represents the vanguard of the new economy. It's a long shot, but this possibility of self-reinvention is exciting to Billy and Nick and they take their shot.”

                It required a certain amount of Googliness on the part of Levy and production designer Tom Meyer to reimagine a world where innovation intersects with fun and purpose.  “We scouted Google a number of times.  It's quirky, idyllic, strange, and very specific,” says Levy.  “But, it was clear to us that there's no way the production could shoot at Google for an entire month and a half, because they're an ongoing business.  So we needed to find a way to replicate Google in Atlanta, which I initially thought would be impossible.”

                But infrastructure alone does not a Google campus make. “When you go to Google, the most important thing that you take away from it is its non-traditional aspect and out of the box thinking,” says Meyer.  “Google reps said to me when I was trying to recreate it, ‘Do it, but keep the spirit of what Google is about.’”

                “For each one of the sets we did a photo-real illustration, or a model, or both, then sent it off to Google, and had conversations back and forth,” adds Meyer.  “I tried to capture that feeling that you take away when you’re an employee or visitor there.  There’s a huge sense of playfulness.  And the idea of a healthy body and mind is central to Google.”

                 “This isn’t Owen and Vince being interns at Corporate Office Number 5.  This is Google; this is Oz,” adds Meyer.  “So, the film starts off in the first act at a normal, almost retro-office environment, which we call Kansas [as in the “Wizard of Oz” setting], our black and white atmosphere.  And then, when you go to Google, you hit those primary colors, the clean glass, white walls, and wacky, crazy objects, which provided a real sense of a pop and wonder.’”

                Ultimately, “The Internship’s  Googliness is that it’s not just about life at Google.  “It's about every one of us who'd like to believe that another shot is possible,that another kind of chapter in the story of you is possible,” says Levy.  “I don't know anyone who doesn't relate to that; whether you're 16, 22, or 40, we all want to believe that we can change our lives – that it’s never too late.  And so, the movie is really about possibility.”

                In other words, we must dare to search.  Billy and Nick remind us that the best is yet to come, and that old dogs are capable of learning new tricks.  With guts, grit and Googliness, everyone has a chance.  So, dream big, dream again, dream some more.  Because the world loves second acts.

                “The Internship” opens August 14 in theaters from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.


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