The wait is over and I can finally post my behind the scenes photos!
Executive Producer and Videographer, Kevin Li granted me exclusive access to capture behind the scenes action during the filming of HBICtv Season 3, Episodes 3 and 4. Click SE03 – 03 and SE03 – 04 to watch both episodes.
Filming occurred at Oakridge Mall. As organizers were setting up the “Fleurs de Villes” event, Pam, Joy, Diana and Chelsea were in Oakridge Mall’s Pretty Things flower shop receiving private flower arrangement lessons.
Shortly after the mall closed organizers blocked both ends of the main walkway so they could host a VIP customer appreciation event. Mannequins adorned with outfits made from fresh flowers were the main attraction.
For more images of flower dresses, click Fleurs de Villes.
At the same time the best dressed mannequin judging contest took place, the HBICtv cast and crew filmed Episode 3 & 4. There were a few curious onlookers but guests of the event admired the flower adorned mannequins, sipped wine, nibbled on macaroons and listened to a pianist play classical music.
While the flower arrangement lessons were planned, the cast member’s conversations and actions are completely unscripted. Kevin and two assistants follow cast members as they chat with each other, participate in the events and interact with event hosts and guests.
Filming can continue or end as conversations ebb and flow.
Sometimes when Kevin is filming two cast members, the other cast members occupy their time by posing for selfies, talking with each other, watching the filming or texting their friends.
Drama is injected into episodes through studio filmed interviews. They use the time to provide running commentary about earlier filmed events.
I was grateful for the opportunity for the behind the scenes access. Unlike other types of photo shoots, this session was quite challenging. In a modeling shoot you have total control and communicate directly with the model. However, this shoot was completely different. I waited patiently for opportunities to unfold. Secondly, the best angles for a flattering photo were occupied by the film crew! Also I couldn’t use my flash for fear of disrupting the filming. Lastly, the ideal time to photograph cast members was between filming. However, I could sense those brief moments of down-time were needed to relax. So I kept my distance. Just as I learned where to stand and when to take a photo, the filming was over! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining in any way. It was simply a different type of photo shoot.
Your HBICtv Crash Course
If you’re new to the YouTube reality series, here’s a behind the scenes recap!
Originally named “Ultra Rich Asian Girls”, each episode was (and remains) completely unscripted. It was a day-in-the-life glimpse of four Girls living in Canada’s west coast city of Vancouver. Some in the Asian community weren’t comfortable with the way the Girls flaunted their wealth and denounced the series. I’m told the series is banned in China for the same reason. Initial local media coverage was mixed. Some mainstream media outlets covered the launch as a lifestyle series while, others critically judged the series based on the series’ two minute trailer. The world traveled and media savvy Flo Z played a critical role in dispelling myths and advocating Producer Kevin Li’s vision for the series.
The first season was a bit catty as Flo Z did little to hide her irritation with Coco Paris. With a seven year age difference Coco was no match for Flo. Towards the end of season 1 Coco burst into tears. The Girls made a splash as they attended a variety of public events such as Vancouver Fashion Week, the Luxury & Supercar Weekend, the Deighton Cup and more. The season ended with a trip to Italy. Coincidentally, our paths crossed several times. Despite the drama between the cast, the Girls were always respectful and polite to those they encountered at events.
The HBICtv acronym changed from “Hot Bi**h In Charge” to “Hot Boss In Charge”. With the arrival of Ray, Pam and Weymi, the focus shifted from personal interactions to Ray’s marketing business, Pam’s modeling agency and Weymi’s plans to start a luxury lifestyle magazine. Diana made her debut and worked with Chelsea to hand deliver small gift baskets to the homeless. To understand (and support) Chelsea’s pregnancy, Diana spent several days wearing a pregnancy vest.
Chelsea is the original cast member. Sometime between Season 2 and Season 3 Chelsea became a new mom. It’s interesting to watch her perspective on life slowly change. Diane and Pam have returned from Season 2, Joy returned from Season 1 and Ray and Weymi have departed. The Wall Street Journal wrote about the series in 2014 but world-wide media is starting to take notice of the series. In June 2016 Al Jazeera aired a balanced story on their 101 East series called “China’s Rich Girls”.
Former Cast Members
Click Ultra Rich Asian Girls for Season 1
Click HBICtv for Season 2