Howie Mandel Videobomb Fox LA LIVE Newscast – Why I’m Guilty as an Accessory

Sunday, 6 January, 2013

Howie Mandel #videobomb Fox LA LIVE Newscast

Did you see the talented comedian Howie Mandel (@HowieMandel) #videobomb Fox LA LIVE Newscast on Jan 2nd, 2013?! That was an awesome moment! And we (a few friends and I) were guilty as charged in coaxing Howie to make his impromptu LIVE TV appearance! Here is the funny clip of Howie Mandel #videobomb Fox LA LIVE Newscast!

So why are we guilty as charged?! What roles did we play in coaxing Howie? Well, you are in for a special treat! “Crimes/pranks” have never quite been captured like this, from the inception, to the coaxing, to the actual execution, and then the final we laughing our heads off all over a few short minutes! Have a watch of how we created this magical #videobomb moment right in our Fox LA Google+ Hangout!

I just LOVE Howie in his quick witted spontaneity, you just can’t fake stuff like this. I first met and listened to Howie live when he came to the yearly Banff World Media Festival in 2011 to receive an award of distinction.

Howie Mandel at Banff World Media Festival 2011

You can watch this very entertaining non-stop funny “In Conversation with: Award of Distinction Winner, Howie Mandel” (with transcript). Here is an excerpt,

Everything I’ve ever been punished for, expelled for, hit for, is what I seem to get paid for and now I’m being distinguished for it, but the thing is the people who supported me are the people who love like, and those were few and far between, my family and my friends, but when I got into this business, what’s amazing is it’s such a group effort so any cameraman that I’ve ever worked with, any script writer that I’ve ever worked with, any producer, network executive or anything, they’ve all supported me and made this possible.

All I do really, and this is what Woody Allen says, is “I just show up.” 90% of success is just showing up and I’ve always done that from day one, from when my career started. I didn’t even have a career, I wasn’t pursuing a careers. I’m still not really pursuing a career. I’m not, I showed up at Yuk Yuks in April 1977 I showed up at Yuk Yuks because I don’t dance, and didn’t like going to discos and they’d opened a comedy club in Toronto and I showed up to see a show and I was fascinated [...]

I can’t speak more highly of Howie as great comedian and as a frank, blunt and honest person willing to talk about his own life challenges. And if you have time, also watch this insightful interview of Howie by Howard Stern which I watched to prepare my Google+ Hangout questions for Howie.

Concluding Thoughts about our Google+ magic

I’m a Google+ Hangout News Consultant and I’ve been using using Google+ Hangout since the beginning in July 2011 and Google+ Hangout On Air (G+ HOA) since its launch in September 2011. To me, G+ HOA is one of the most powerful new broadcasting tools available. But like in the world of cooking, even if you have a great knife, an awesome mixer, etc you still have to have great chefs and first rate ingredients to create magic!

And in our first 2013 Fox LA Google+ Hangout with Howie Mandel, that magic was created because our guest Howie rocked and we rocked! Who are we? We are our host Maria Quiban, and co-hosts Anthony Ramos, DeAno Jackson, Jimmy Louis, Kempton Lam (me), Kim Beasley, Matt Moore, Paul Roustan, Sheila B. DuBois, Stormy Henderson (screen thumbnail order from left to right).

note: This article is cross-posted by me at examiner.


Lisa Kudrow at Banff for Web Therapy

Friday, 3 June, 2011

Lisa Kudrow - Web Therapy (Meryl Streep episode)

Lisa Kudrow - Web Therapy (Julia Louis-Dreyfus episode)

Lisa Kudrow will be at Banff World Media Festival 2011 to receive an award of excellence in digital media for Web Therapy. It is a very innovative and funny show. Have a watch of the Meryl Streep episodeJulia Louis-Dreyfus episode, and Molly Shannon episode. It will be quite fun to see Lisa and listen to her interview at Banff.

Update: see a brief report of me meeting and listening to Lisa at Banff.


The CTV National Fellowship for Banff World Media Festival is Open – Application deadline Apr 15th

Tuesday, 8 March, 2011

The CTV National Fellowship for Banff World Media Festival is Open, apply now. Application deadline is Apr 15th, 2011. Here are some info,

CTV National Fellowships, made possible through the CTV-CHUM benefits, are intended to encourage professional development in the television industry by enabling emerging creative talent – including producers, writers and directors (i.e., program makers) – to attend the Banff World Media Festival. Fellowships are not intended for established professionals, nor are they intended for entry-level candidates. Applicants must have a minimum of one significant production credit in writing, producing, or directing.”


Eugene Levy to Be Honoured at BANFF 2011!

Wednesday, 2 March, 2011

Eugene Levy is one of the most funny comedian and character actor in the world, he will be honoured with an Award of Excellence at Banff World Media Festival 2011! Eugene will also be giving a Master class which I will look forward to attend.

You can register for the June 12 – 15 Banff event here.


Howie Mandel to be Honoured at BANFF 2011

Wednesday, 15 December, 2010

Banff World Television Festival (June 12-15, 2011)

Howie Mandel to be honoured at Banff 2011

Howie Mandel is a cool Canadian actor and I am looking forward to seeing him at BANFF 2011. Here is the press release,

Howie Mandel, veteran actor, comedian, author and game show host, will be honoured at BANFF 2011 with the prestigious Award of Distinction. As part of the Banff World Television Awards, the Award of Distinction recognizes an outstanding Canadian whose body of work has set the standard for excellence in the country’s entertainment industry.

With an impressive career encompassing virtually all aspects of the entertainment spectrum, Howie Mandel has been selected as emblematic of the influential role Canadians play in the global entertainment industry.

Previous Award of Distinction winners include Eric McCormack, Kim Cattrall, Paul Gross, Colm Feore and Paul Haggis.”


NETFLIX to be honored at BANFF 2011

Thursday, 9 December, 2010

NETFLIX to Be Honored at BANFF 2011

I’ve attended Banff World Television Festival (BWTF) for many years now and I always find lots to learn and few must attend sessions. BWTVF has just announced that NETFLIX will be honored at BANFF 2011 and Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer of Netflix, will accept the award and give a feature interview and give people a chance to hear Netflix’s strategy and vision for the future.

You can find more info on how to register for the 2011 Banff World Television Festival here.

Here is the press release text. Read the rest of this entry »


Tony Lacavera, Globalive & WIND Mobile Chairman, post Banff World TV Festival interview, July 2010

Friday, 9 July, 2010

Tony Lacavera (WIND Mobile) & Konrad von Finckenstein (CRTC)

It was my pleasure finally to meet Tony Lacavera, chairman of Globalive & WIND Mobile, in person at the CRTC Breakfast at 2010 Banff World TV Festival after interviewing Tony over the phone in Sept 08 and Dec 09. I wanted to video interview Tony after the breakfast but he had a plane to catch so Tony promised to let me have another phone interview with him.

This article contains some of the questions and my research for my July 2010 phone interview with Tony (mp3) or (streaming audio here).

- I asked Tony about his experience of meeting the CRTC chairman Konrad von Finckenstein in person and if they resolved any disagreement.

- Tony talked about how he reached out to find international financial backings and ultimately finding Egyptian financial backings from Orascom to launch WIND Mobile. How Tony met Orascom‘s Business Development Officer Michael O’Connor (a Canadian from Peterborough, Ontario) and then meet Orascom‘s executive chairman Naguib Sawiris. (More in this undated Financial Post story, “Globalive consortium ‘did it all in six days’)

- How is WIND Mobile preparing for Sept 1st, 2011 when analog TV broadcast goes digital and those old analog TV frequency spectrum becomes available ? Any plans to bid for some new frequencies? (note: WIND currently doesn’t have coverage in Quebec.) Is WIND ready for new competitions from winners of the upcoming auction?

- Is WIND Mobile worried about Rogers’ soon to be launched new wireless brand Chatr? Will WIND match offering and prices from Chatr? It is worth noting that Tony gave a very different response than Mobilicity.

- On Twitter, it seems like @WIND_Cares is not as helpful nor as responsive as @Telussupport or @RogersHelps. Does WIND plan to improve on its Twitter’s responsiveness?

When I asked Tony about Twitter, I have the following case in mind: A Fido user complained about Fido repeatedly (two examples here and here) and got a significant escalation: “escalating this to Office of the President” from @RogersHelps, here, and here. And finally ended with user’s satisfaction here (almost) and here (for real on 3:40pm, 7th July, 2010).

So I think WIND can do a much better job here.

- Good to see WIND Mobile is keeping its promise and keeping an open blog taking users’ comments and feedback. Does WIND find it difficult to get useful insight from the comments and feedback which sometimes has lots of “noise”? I asked Tony to give some specific ideas or suggestions from users that WIND has implemented, unfortunately Tony wasn’t able to give me any examples.

- Tony mentioned that both him and Ken Campbell, WIND Mobile CEO are available to Canadians when the other wireless providers aren’t.

- Tony was really proud that Better Business Bureau gives WIND Mobile a B+ rating recently while other wireless providers were given “F”s.

note: Upon further investigation, I don’t know if BBB gives out rating to the wireless company as a whole or to a particular store? For example, Rogers is getting an “A+” in this Halifax location and Bell Mobility is getting a “D” in this Mississauga location. It seems to me, in this case, a company-level rating is more useful than a store-level rating.

- WIND Mobile had lots of network problems a few weeks ago in my area (Calgary SW) and it seems to have improved in the last few weeks. While Tony was unable/unwilling to tell me how many network towers are in Calgary, he told me the total number of towers have doubled since launch.

- Is WIND Mobile able to get network or tower sharing access with incumbents? In an April 2010 speech, Tony mentioned that WIND had sent over 100 sharing requests to the incumbents and had no success. Unfortunately, this is still true! The incumbents are doing their best to NOT help WIND. :)

- The top WIND Mobile data user has been reportedly used 118 GB in one month. I suggested that using the rate of 5 cents per MB charged by the incumbents, 3 GB max data for the best $100/moth plan, the additional charges for the additional 115GB will be $5,888!!! Tony talked about the existing well publicized fair usage data policy with no cap, which I think is very fair.

- Tony also talked about how WIND see Public Mobile and Mobilicity as pure play wireless company. And since there aren’t much details on Shaw’s wireless plan, Tony didn’t have much to say yet.

- Finally, I asked Tony will WIND consider selling out to the big three in a few years down the road. And what kind of new promotions are coming up in coming months.

If you haven’t already, please have a listen to my July 2010 phone interview (mp3) or (streaming audio here).

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In the following 2010 Banff World TV Festival video, Tony introduces CRTC Chairman Konrad Finckenstein, and Chairman Konrad talks about Tony.

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Some other interesting speech or talk by Tony.

Video of Tony on BNN talking about WIND Mobile unlimited data plans and Rogers’ Chatr. [HT MobileSyrup]

WIND CEO Anthony Lacavera Keynote: CTS 2010

Tony Lacavera at the Empire Club Speech [HT MobileSyrup.com]

Globalive, DAVE & Public Mobile debate at 2009 CTS [by MobileSyrup] [note: weak audio & video, but good content]


TiVo CEO Tom Rogers interview @ Banff World TV Festival 2010

Friday, 9 July, 2010

Tom Rogers, CEO of TiVo

It was my pleasure to interview TiVo CEO Tom Rogers when he was at the 2010 Banff World TV Festival.

In the interview, Tom and I talked about TiVo’s relationship with the advertising industry and television networks. When people are fast-forwarding commercials using technologies like DVR, television “needs to find different forms of inventory that involve different technologies as a way to present that [advertising] so that the advertising is compelling”. Tom gave the example of TiVo’s ability to pause live TV, so viewers can search and find any products appearing in a TV show (a sweater worn by an actress, a golf club used by an athlete, or any products on screen at the moment) and then turn the thought into an actionable transaction where the viewer can buy the product. TiVo is putting a lot of meta data into the TV content and movie content and in doing so, create a lot of “transaction opportunities”.

I also asked Tom When will TiVo come to Canada? And will the data collected by TiVo be transferable to Canada and other countries.

TiVo CEO Tom Rogers interview @ Banff World TV Festival 2010

Tom Rogers, CEO of TiVo

Tom Rogers (r), CEO of TiVo

Here is Tom’s Banff bio.

Tom Rogers is President and Chief Executive Officer of TiVo (NASDAQ: TIVO), the creator of and a leader in television services for digital video recorders (DVRs). With a career that operates at the nexus of where media, technology, advertising and public policy come together for more than two decades, Tom brings to TiVo a distinctive blend of operational leadership and corporate strategy experience across multiple facets of the industry. Read the rest of this entry »


Dick de Rijk, “Deal or No Deal” creator, interview at Banff World TV Festival 2010

Thursday, 8 July, 2010

Dick de Rijk, "Deal or No Deal" creator, at Banff 2010

Dick de Rijk, creator of the international sensation Deal or No Deal, attended 2010 Banff World TV Festival and I interviewed him to talk about the inspiration and process of how he created the successful TV format Deal or No Deal. Dick and I also chatted about the different international versions of the show including the Italian version and the highly rated Hong Kong version of Deal or No Deal known as “一擲千金” where the models were prominently featured on TVB’s website.

Here is my video interview with Dick de Rijk, creator of “Deal or No Deal“.

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The following is Dick’s bio at Banff.

Dick de Rijk
Creator
Deal or No Deal

After working as a creative executive in the advertising and gaming industries, Dick partnered in 1999 with Joop van den Ende, creating some instant TV-successes in Holland. A year later he formed a creative team with John de Mol specializing in “global TV-formats”. In 2004, de Rijk signed an exclusive partnership with Endemol International that resulted in numerous worldwide format successes. In 2007, three of Endemol’s top-5 format properties were created by de Rijk, including their number one blockbuster – on air in some 150 countries – Deal Or No Deal. Under his new alliance with ProSiebenSat.1, Dick will be based out his offices in Hilversum, Netherlands.


Ian Brennan, creator/writer Glee (19 Emmy nominations) @ 2010 Banff World TV Festival

Thursday, 8 July, 2010

Ian Brennan, creator/writer Glee (19 Emmy nominations) @ 2010 Banff World TV FestivalThe wildly popular TV show Glee (imdb), with 19 Emmy nominations, has become a favourite show of mine. Emmy nominees for best actress (Lea Michele as Rachel Berry), best actor (Matthew Morrison as Will Schuester), and in particular Best Supporting Actress (Jane Lynch as the mean and nasty Sue Sylvester) were a ton of fun to watch.

It was my great pleasure to meet, listen, and learn from Ian Brennan, creator/writer of Glee at the 2010 Banff World TV Festival. The following are video clips of Ian‘s Master Class and press conference.

Press conference

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The following is Ian’s bio from Banff.

Ian Brennan
Writer, Glee
“Glee marked Ian Brennan’s first foray into television writing. Brennan began his acting career in Chicago working with the prestigious Steppenwolf and Goodman Theatres. He later moved to New York to pursue other opportunities in television and film, and has been involved with off-Broadway plays at the Vineyard, Playwrights Horizons and MCC Theatres. Brennan is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago. He was inspired to write Glee – a television show about a high school show choir – after participating in his high school’s show choir that never won anything and whose director later spent time in prison.”

An intro about the session,

“Brennan was inspired to write Fox’s smash hit show “Glee” – a television show about a high school show choir – after participating in his high school’s show choir that never won anything and whose director later spent time in prison. Read the rest of this entry »


Chat with Cam Lizotte, animator, at Banff World TV Festival 2010

Thursday, 8 July, 2010

The following is my video chat with Cam Lizotte, animator at Camosabee Animation Studios, at 2010 Banff World TV Festival. Also take a look of Cam’s demo reel & portfolio.

P.S. I found this video clip from NFB.

P.P.S. I met Cam by chance at a Banff breakfast. It was nice to see him again by chance the following day, this time, part way through his breakfast, he got a chance to pitch his animation projects to a broadcaster. :)


Jason Priestley “Call Me Fitz” at Banff World TV Festival 2010

Wednesday, 7 July, 2010

Jason Priestley & me

I really enjoy the pilot of Jason Priestley‘s new TV series “Call Me Fitz“, it looks like great TV where Jason plays Richard “Fitz” Fitzpatrick, “a morally bankrupt used-car salesman whose consequence-free life is complicated by the arrival of do-gooder Larry (Ernie Grunwald), another salesman who claims he is Fitz’s conscience.

In the following clip, you will see Jason and the show creator Sheri Elwood at Banff talking about “Call Me Fitz“.

Note: I want to add that the cool and character fitting underwear wore by Jason in “Call Me Fitz” were designed by a Canadian company (Ginch Gonch) and we first heard about the brand/business pitched on CBC TV on Dragons’ Den in 2006. It looks like the company was sold in July 2008. Anyway, good job by the PR team to get Ginch Gonch products featured.

Here is a trailer of “Call Me Fitz“.

Jason talking about “Call Me Fitz” at MIPTV.

At Banff, Sheri talked about finding “Fitz” in Jason after watching this QTV interview of Jason on the internet. I think this is a good lesson for actors/actresses as you never know how and where you will be discovered for a role.

More info:

- Cast grows for ‘Call Me Fitz’ – Ernie Grunwald among actors joining Jason Priestley in sitcom (Hollywood Reporter)

- Jason Priestley embraces role created by South Shore producer (southshorenow.ca)


Ricky Gervais wins Sir Peter Ustinov Award for Comedy @ 2010 Banff World TV Festival

Thursday, 24 June, 2010

Ricky Gervais and his wife Jane Fallon with RCMP officiersRicky Gervais & me

To us Canadians, the world famous funny comedian Ricky Gervais is Ricky Dene Gervais (watch Ricky’s acceptance speech to find out why)! :)

The following is red carpet interviews with Ricky including my question to Ricky about the finale of Extras (highly recommended funny comedy).

The following is Ricky‘s speech and a brief clip after receiving his award.

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This is part of the amazing scene from Extras I love so much and a very insightful and enjoyable interview “Ricky Gervais in His Most ‘Postmodern’ Interview Ever“.

Here is a quote from Ricky, Apr 29, 2011 Update “Week one hundred and sixty-six – April/May 2011” – “That happened with Extras a bit. It wasn’t till the last episode that people realised it wasn’t really about all the famous people in it.

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Check out some of the YouTube clips of RICKY GERVAIS on Inside The Actor’s Studio.

Here is one clip (unless they remove it),

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June 19, 2011 update: Just discovered Banff has an official YouTube video of “Ricky Gervais accepts the Sir Peter Ustinov Award” but since it doesn’t pan to show Ricky‘s or Jane’s reaction, I think, imho, my video gives a much better viewing experience.

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The following is Ricky’s Banff bio.

“At the turn of this century, Ricky was preparing to star and direct a pilot he had written with Stephen Merchant for the BBC, called ‘The Office’. It went quite well and a series was commissioned. It first aired at 9.30pm on Monday 9 July 2001 on the BBC. The rest as they say is history.

It is the most critically acclaimed sitcom of all time becoming the first British comedy to win a Golden Globe. In all, Ricky has won three Golden Globes, two Primetime Emmys, and seven BAFTAS.

‘The Office’ is the most successful British comedy of all time being shown in over 90 countries with seven remakes. The NBC version is the most successful US remake of a British show for over 30 years. It reached the magic 100 episodes in 2009 and has started its first phase of syndication.

Ricky won his first Emmy as Executive Producer on ‘The Office’ (US) in 2006. He won his second for ‘Extras’ in 2007. Only two British sitcoms have won Golden Globes – ‘The Office’ and ‘Extras’.

Over a 10-year period Ricky Gervais has become the most influential British comedian since Charlie Chaplin. He is an award-winning stand up and his tour ‘FAME’ became the fastest selling UK stand up show in history selling an untouchable 100,000 tickets in 9 minutes! He played to 500,000 people that year including his first US tour, which was recorded as an HBO special at Madison Square Gardens. The show received three Emmy nominations.

He was named in Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People In The World, one place behind Nelson Mandela. This annoyed Ricky who said of Mandela… “He didn’t do anything for 25 years”.

He is the only guest star of ‘The Simpsons’ to also write an episode. It became the highest rated Simpson’s episode of all time on Sky One in 2006. He also appeared on ‘Sesame Street’, which he says is the highlight of his career.

In 2005, Ricky turned his hand to podcasting and is now in The Guinness Book Of Records as the most downloaded internet show of all time. He was the first to charge for podcasts the following year and has now clocked up a staggering 180,000,000 shows downloaded. ‘The Ricky Gervais Show’ has been the number one selling audiobook in the world since 2006. In 2009 it was made into a 13 part animated series for HBO. It is currently being sold around the world and will air in The UK on Channel 4 in March 2010.

In 2004 his children’s book ‘Flanimals’ was published going on to sell over a million copies. It is currently being made into a Hollywood movie in which Ricky will star as the Puddloflaj- a fat sweaty wobbler – (The Puddloflaj that is).

The beginning of the next decade is looking good for the fat bloke from Reading too. He started the year as the first host of The Golden Globes since 1995, with an estimated world TV audience of 250 million. His new animation premiers in February. ‘Cemetery Junction’ is out in April and his new tour will spread to The US and other parts of the world.

For more info check out www.rickygervais.com


Oscar winner & director of The Cove wins Banff Green Grand Prize

Thursday, 24 June, 2010

Louie Psihoyos, Oscar winner & director of The Cove wins Banff Green Grand Prize

The Cove” is a documentary I love and highly recommend. It was my pleasure to see Louie Psihoyos, Oscar Winner and director of The Cove won the Green Grand Prize at the 2010 Banff World TV Festival.

In Louie‘s acceptance speech, Louie talked about measuring a documentary’s success in terms of the people you changed. And a movie as a “Weapon of Mass Construction”, something that changes millions of people’s life. “We are not making movies, we are trying to start a movement.

Here is the award winning trailer (yes, the trailer won award too) of the Oscar winning documentary.

The following is from the press release.

GREEN GRAND PRIZE
Green Grand Prize: Louie Psihoyos, Oscar Winner and director of The Cove. The prize recognizes outstanding achievement in creating public awareness and understanding of environmental issues through the use of visual media. Psihoyos was selected as a result of nominations received from all around the world, honouring his tremendous impact on a global level. Dr. David Suzuki, president of the Banff Green Jury, presented the award to Mr. Psihoyos.”


NextMedia & Banff World TV Festival 2010 – Day 1 & 2

Tuesday, 15 June, 2010

Tony (WIND Mobile) & Konrad (CRTC)Ricky Gervais & me

The 2010 NextMedia & Banff World TV Festival (combined into one event this year) is turning out to one of my most favourite Banffs possibly because I made a few changes this year. In each of my previous Banffs (starting with my first one in 2006, attending as a CTV Fellow), I tried to pack and do as much as I can every minute which exhausted me completely.

So I decided for my coverage this year, I am no longer going to kill myself to try to write & post as much as I can during the festival (I tweeted a little but not that much). What I decided to do instead is to attend as many interesting sessions as possible, meet and interview some cool & insightful people and share these experiences with you in articles and video clips or video interviews later.

So stay tune for my upcoming blog entries (tagged with bwtvf2010).

The following is not an exhaustive list but only a few that came to my mind,

- the CRTC Chairman Konrad Von Finckenstein speech and an introduction by WIND Mobile Chairman Tony Lacavera (see my previous phone interview with Tony after the gov of Canada overturned the CRTC decision in Dec, 2009). [Tony wasn't able to do a face to face interview at Banff because he had a plane to catch but he has agreed to another phone interview.]

- an interview with Tom Rogers, CEO of TiVo

- an interview with Dick De Rijk, Creator of the worldwide popular game show Deal or No Deal

- an interview with comedian Ricky Gervais (this entry may take longer as I want to include materials and quote from an hour long sit-down interview that Ricky did with an interviewer at one of the session)

- the story of how the Dragons’ Den show format finally manage to break out of Japan and become an international success starting with UK BBC.

- Well, it is getting late and 11:07pm already. I better stop now and get some rest for tomorrow’s reporting (I am hopping to be able to leave before 6pm, will see).

Incidentally, a few reporting colleagues covering Banff have asked me, what do I plan to cover in Banff? Well, I guess for each Banff, there are usually a few people/topics I want to write about, but the rest I just cover topics that are interesting and insightful to me and I hope you (my readers) will find them interesting too.

Here are some photos I’ve taken at Banff2010, enjoy.

*** P.S. ***

2010 Banff World TV Festival articles by reporting colleagues from other media outlet:

Canadian TV ‘crap’: Alberta culture minister [Lindsay Blackett] (CBC, with audio)

Comments on Canadian TV get Alberta minister in trouble – ‘Why do we make such shit here?’ Blackett asked Banff festival (Edmonton Journal)


Ricky Gervais to return as Golden Globes host

Wednesday, 28 April, 2010

I am delighted to find out the funny and insightful comedian Ricky Gervais is to return as Golden Globes host in 2011. Very looking forward to meeting Ricky at the 2010 Banff World Television Festival (bwtvf) in June.

Banff World Television Festival

From Ricky’s site,

“The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has invited Ricky reprise his hosting role after the success of this year’s show back in January.
Read more here in Variety.
And listen to Ricky’s reaction on Ryan Seacrest’s radio show.”

By the way, from UK Guardian,

“The next series from Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant will be Life’s Too Short, a sitcom about actor Warwick Davis, who is 3ft 6in tall. “It’s about his life: the life of a showbiz dwarf. He plays himself, we play ourselves, it’s sort of like Curb Your Enthusiasm,””


William Shatner to receive Lifetime Achievement Award at Banff

Tuesday, 2 March, 2010

From Banff World TV Festival,

William Shatner to be honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award

Best known as Captain Kirk from the original Star Trek, William Shatner will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2010 Banff World Television Festival. With a career spanning more than 5 decades, Shatner has leveraged his fame to build enduring properties as a director, producer, author, recording artist, screenwriter and spokesperson.

A brand unto himself, Shatner’s next project is the recently announced Sh*t My Dad Says, based on the popular Twitter account that’s infamous for quotes like “A parent’s only as good as their dumbest kid. If one wins a Nobel Prize but the other gets robbed by a hooker, you failed.”

This reporter is excited and look forward to bring you some report when Captain Kirk attend Banff in June.


Attend 2010 Banff World Television Festival

Tuesday, 9 February, 2010

Banff World Television Festival

Since I first attended Banff World Television Festival (bwtvf) as a CTV Fellow in 2006, I have reported on Banff and NextMEDIA conferences every year since. I was thrilled to attend Banff and report on CTV Flashpoint, ran into Brett Wilson & Sarah McLachlan and interviewed Brett, interviewed Ron Moore (Battlestar Galactica), watched Doug Ellin (Entourage), and interviewed David Hoselton (House).

Every year, I eagerly await announcements of exciting events or speakers that will lead me to block off my time and decide I will attend bwtvf and NextMEDIA conferences. OK, I know it is a short drive from Calgary to Banff, but I don’t want to report simply because I have to. I want to attend and report because I LOVE to!

Well, for 2010, because of one man, I am again going to attend and report from Banff World Television Festival with the most excitement and eagerness because I just LOVE Ricky Gervais and consider Ricky one of the most talented comic mind and producer/creator of shows in our time.

If you are remotely connected in the entertainment business, find time to attend 2010 Banff World Television Festival and you will learn a lot, plus you get to meet Ricky. Here is the press release from Banff about Ricky.

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Ricky Gervais to be Awarded Sir Peter Ustinov Comedy Award at BANFF / nextMEDIA 2010 - British comedian and recent Golden Globe host to participate in tell-all interview about his career and success

February 8, 2010, 9:10 pm

Banff, AB – The Banff World Television Festival and nextMEDIA are delighted to announce that Ricky Gervais will be presented with the Sir Peter Ustinov Comedy Award, at this year’s event taking place June 13-16 at the Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Alberta. The award acknowledges outstanding comedic performances – prominent comedic actors who have received this prestigious award include John Cleese, Bob Newhart and Kelsey Grammer.

In addition to being recognized for comedic excellence, Gervais will also chart his career and success to date, in an interview, which delegates can attend.

Over a 10-year period Ricky Gervais has become the most influential British comedian since Charlie Chaplin. He is an award-winning stand up and his tour ‘FAME’ became the fastest selling UK stand up show in history, selling an untouchable 100,000 tickets in 9 minutes.

Named one of the 100 Most Influential People In The World by Time Magazine, one place behind Nelson Mandela, Ricky has also won two Emmys and three Golden Globes. ‘The Office’ is the most successful British comedy of all time being shown in over 90 countries with seven remakes.

This is probably the greatest honour of my career. Only the Nobel Peace Prize can top this, but I will only accept that in person if the ceremony is held somewhere as beautiful as Banff. I think they Fedex, luckily,” says Ricky.

Read the rest of this entry »


Dejero Labs – Powering Live Webcast of Olympic Torch Relay

Wednesday, 18 November, 2009

Dejero Labs

From CTV, “Groundbreaking technology powers Olympic Torch Cam“. Plus this video via @CTVOtorch, “Video from Canada AM : Alon Marcovici describes cutting edge technology for the live cam following the torch. http://bit.ly/4CzmwE

Based on what I understand at the moment, I think the smart people at Dejero Labs in Waterloo, Canada are doing some groundbreaking stuff. Take a look of these cool features.

I am trying to get more information from the Dejero Labs team and will add more neat info to this entry if I have things to add.

P.S. I’ve been attending the Banff World TV Festival (for broadcaster and producers) and NextMEDIA conferences since 2006. And I have always been on the lookout for cool technologies. Dejero Labs is really cool in my eyes.

P.P.S. For my blog entry about the Torch relay itself, see “Live Webcam @ Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay“.


Brett’s Garden Party: 777 Run for Sight, Canadian Tenors, and the beautiful Sarah McLachlan

Monday, 29 June, 2009

Last week, I had had the pleasure of attending Brett Wilson‘s yearly charity Garden Party. Each year, party guests are invited to make a donation to a featured charity. And this year over $100,000 was raised to fight blindness through 777 Run for Sight where Norma Bastidas is “running 7 ultramarathons [over 100 km each] in 7 continents in 7 months to raise funds for the blind and the visually impaired.” (see my earlier blog entry here)

It was very enjoyable listening to The Canadian Tenors performing at the party. And the highlight of the party for my better half and me had to be listening to the beautiful and accomplished Sarah McLachlan performing with the Tenors (singing Tenors’ Hallelujah) and then performing a few solos. Sarah’s performances were just beautiful and wonderful for us as it was our first live & really up close performance by Sarah!

Now, I first met Brett and Sarah at the 2009 Banff World TV Festival award ceremony where I also interviewed Brett.

Sarah, Brett & me

So to me, Sarah & Brett seems to be more than just friends, but then only they really know!  :) :) In person, Brett & Sarah are just super nice and very friendly people. I think it is in part of our Canadian DNA to be nice and friendly. :)

P.S. The following are better quality videos [recorded elsewhere] of the songs we had the pleasure to listen to at the party that evening. Enjoy.


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