Watch “Revolution Trilogy” 睇「革命三部曲」

Friday, 18 March, 2016

Director/producer/independent reporter Kempton Lam has made three documentaries in the last decade from 2004 – 2015. Collectively, the three films are known as his “Revolution Trilogy「革命三部曲」. Kempton’s debut documentary Long Hair Revolution 長毛革命 has been collected by the Canadian national archive since 2009.

You can have a watch of the three films on YouTube (projected on your HD TV) or the links here. Enjoy!

Long Hair Revolution 長毛革命 (full-length 2005) (read film & Canadian national archive info)

HKtv Revolution 香港電視革命 (full-length 2015) (read Director’s Statement)

Umbrella Revolution: History as Mirror Reflection 雨傘革命實錄:以史為鏡 (full-length 2015) (read Director’s Statement)

 


(videos) Werner Herzog (once ate shoe to inspire Oscar winner) offers online filmmaking class – with Lesson Plan 1 – 24

Friday, 20 May, 2016

Guardian, CNet, Slate, IndieWire are reporting Werner Herzog, the world famous director of over 70 films including dramas (Rescue Dawn, Queen of the Desert, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans) and documentaries (Grizzly Man, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Into the Abyss)), is offering an online filmmaking course later this summer on the online training site MasterClass.com.

To this reporter, Herzog has long been seen a great mentor/teacher after watching the 19 minutes short film “Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe” (YouTube video link) some years ago. Werner and Oscar winning Errol Morris may simply see each other as just old friends. This reporter personally sees Werner as mentor/teacher of Errol. Having “shoe eating” friends in our lives is sure a great way to inspire/push aspiring filmmakers/anyone to achieve more! (time code 8:18 is the start of the shoe eating moment)

Have a look of a brief promotional trailer about the course where interested potential students can learn about the online master class.

And here is an annotated Lesson Plan #1 – #6 for Werner Herzog’s filmmaking MasterClass:

Lesson 01 – INTRODUCTION

Hear from the master, a self-taught filmmaker who’s battled the impossible to tell his stories, on why he now wants to inspire future filmmakers to be good ‘soldiers of cinema’.

(Reporter’s note: Have a read of “Werner Herzog on Being a ‘Soldier of Cinema’ and the Relative Nature of Facts (Q&A)“, THR, 8/15/2013 by Alexandra Zawia)

Lesson 02 – TEACH YOURSELF STORYTELLING: WATCH FILMS

Werner teaches you how to watch films critically to learn from them, giving us an example of how to learn how to open a film from one of his favourite films of all time.

(Reporter’s note: In an Open Culture 2014 May article “Werner Herzog Picks His 5 Top Films“, a few free to watch films are shared online. Werner has high praise for D. W. Griffith (1875 – 1948) known as the “inventor of Hollywood”.)

Lesson 03 – TEACH YOURSELF STORYTELLING: READ

Reading opens up new worlds and gives you a new perspective to approach storytelling. Werner highlights the importance of reading, and gives you mandatory reading.

(Reporter’s note: Werner recommends reading The Warren Commission report (also known as “Report of the President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy”. You can download the whole report as a single PDF image file (81MB) from gpo.gov page using this link. The online HTML text version may be easier to read for some people.)

Lesson 04 – WRITING A SCRIPT

A screenplay is not a screenplay until you see the whole film in front of you. Werner shows you how to write a script to inspire everyone to make the film.

Lesson 05 – FINANCING FIRST FILMS

Werner teaches you how to overcome the excuse of not having money for a film. Learn how to finance your first film and make it for $10,000.

(Reporter’s note: Werner has talked about working in any job for half a year to save up enough money to make films. To quote an IndieWire interview “Werner Herzog Says Independent Film Is a Myth (and 7 More Good Ideas From the FIND Forum Keynote)“:”My answer is just roll up your sleeves and work where there’s real intensity of life. Don’t work in an office. Work as a bouncer in a sex club. Something like that. Work as a guard in a maximum security prison. Earn the money and then make your film, no matter what.“)

Lesson 06 – NEGOTIATION SKILLS

Learn how to negotiate in a tough industry and to have the confidence to fight to tell the story you want to tell.

Lesson 07 – LOCATIONS

Werner’s films are set in some of the most beautiful (and dangerous) places in the world. Learn the importance of location scouting, and adapting to your environment.

(Reporter’s note: Werner is known to be willing to go to some extreme measure to continue shooting in some locations despite obvious danger. In one incident fondly retold by Werner in this two hour long video “An Evening with Werner Herzog“, posted Sep 30, 2010 by University of California Television (UCTV), he actually got challenged for his permission to film in a location one time. He then proceeded to produce some beautifully forged documents a few days later for the officials. Yes, the permission by the “president” was a fake!)

An Evening with Werner Herzog

Lesson 08 – LEADING THE PLATOON

Inspire your crew, and lead them down paths that they’ve never been on before to tell the story you want to tell.

(Reporter’s note: Watch the clip “Werner Herzog on why he makes films” especially starting at 0:23. You will see a giant steamship being pulled up to the mountain top for a film Werner was shooting. One of the many cases that perfectly illustrates the theme of this lesson.)

Read the rest of this entry »


(video) Intel Staged and Filmed First FAA-Approved 100-Drone Swarm

Friday, 6 May, 2016

AdWeek reported today (and with spectacular video footage), “Intel Beautifully Lit Up the Desert Sky With the First FAA-Approved Drone Swarm: Palm Springs stunt offers a glimpse of what’s to come“.

Watching the Intel produced beautiful marketing footage backed with emotive music, one is easy to feel inspired with awe by the seeming magical ability to fly 100 drones in choreographed formations that can easily evoke feelings when people watch fireworks explode in the sky! Absolutely stunning view!

While AdWeek jokingly mentioned alien invasion, “Though for accidental, uninformed witnesses, such eye candy might also conjure fears of an alien invasion.” It also stated clearly, “But once the FAA’s rules go into effect, anyone who passes an aeronautical knowledge test every two years will be able fly a drone—and everyone everywhere will get used to seeing bright flashes zipping around overhead.”

Aeronautical knowledge test only for now. Do we need more?

Lets conduct a thought experiment. Drones can carry a payload. In fact, Amazon.com talked/hyped about delivering packages using drones as reported recently as in April and then in a CNN report yesterday, “Forget drones. Jeff Bezos continues to invest in a 20th century flying innovation that helps deliver all of its packages — airplanes.

Now, imagine 100 drones (or 1,000 drones in the future (potentially in the not too distant future) as claimed by the Intel promo video) carrying a payload flying in choreographed formation, in fact just flying in a straight line one after another towards an unsuspecting target.

There are existing anti-drone countermeasures available in the market that can disable drones to help defend passenger jets and vital facilities. Some even claim to be able to “detect the location of whoever is remotely piloting the drone, allowing police to swoop in and arrest them.”

Drone swarm flying in choreographed formations are beautiful like fireworks in the sky. But both utilize technologies that can be used for destruction and harm.

P.S. This article is cross posted to examiner.com by the author.

P.P.S. Here is a “Making of Drone 100” video.


Air Canada backs down on $40 fee/”ransom money” to seat child with parent

Saturday, 30 April, 2016
20160429 Air Canada backs down on $40 fee:%22ransom money%22 to seat child with parent

Air Canada backs down on $40 fee/”ransom money” to seat child with parent

CBC News reported the Canadian travelling public has made history Friday afternoon and forced Air Canada to back down on $40 fee/”ransom money” to seat child with parent!

Late Friday morning before the surprise flip-flop decision by Air Canada, this reporter conducted an exclusive video interview with Dr. Gabor Lukacs, a Canadian air passenger rights advocate acknowledged by the Canadian Federal Court of Appeal, to talk about the CBC reported Thursday news of “Air Canada says parents must pay to guarantee 2-year-old can sit with them on flight“. Lukacs did not mince words and stated Air Canada’s “mechanism is based on deception and based on fraud. Actually, Air Canada has the legal obligation to seat children with the parents, either try to do it at the time of check-in online, if it doesn’t work then at the airport to move passengers around, at the gate, and finally on the flight itself.“Lukacs went on to state, “Air Canada was asking for ransom money [from parents] to ensure that their kids are sitting with them.

In Lukacs’ note on the Air Passenger Rights Facebook page, he grounded his legal arguments based on Air Canada’s own Domestic Tariff Rule 115(D) which addresses the seating of children next to their parents or accompanying adults who travel within Canada and Air Canada’s own International Tariff Rule 10(C)(1) which deals with the seating of children next to their parents or accompanying adults who travel on international (or transborder) itineraries.

Given what Air Canada’s own Tariff Rules have stated, the words “Air Canada says it has amended its policies after a leading air passenger rights advocate criticized an incident …” as reported by CBC News seems disingenuous. As Air Canada just need to actually do what it has legally promised to do as per the above two tariff rules.

In light of Air Canada backing down on its $40 fee/”ransom money” to seat child with parent, Lukacs was asked on Friday night for his reaction and he stated,

This is a complete victory for children and their parents. I am very glad that common sense prevailed over greed.

The Canadian travelling public made history today: it showed that public outcry can force even a large corporation such as Air Canada to back off within hours.

I am pleased that my note on Facebook contributed to travellers’ understanding of the issue, and ignited such a strong reaction.

Postscript: This reporter has interviewed Lukacs many times over the years and agrees with the Canadian Press observation in a 2015 article, “Lukacs’s advocacy for passengers rights is less about his personal experiences, he said, and more about seeing an area where he feels he can make a positive change for Canada. “It really looks like it takes somebody who wasn’t even born in this country to say ‘OK this is wrong,”’ he said. Lukacs has become someone to whom Canadians reach out with their air travel frustrations.

Note: This article is cross-posted on examiner.com by this author.

May 1st, 2016 Update: In an earlier Facebook comment, Dr. Lukacs emphasized the following:

The ruling does not apply to pre-reserved seats. Pre-reserving seats is an extra service, and there is nothing wrong with Air Canada asking passengers to pay for it.

The problem is that Air Canada is forcing parents to pre-reserve seats by telling them that without doing so, their kids may end up seated next to strangers.


Woz – Great minds of our time

Wednesday, 16 March, 2016

Steve Wozniak is truly a great and kind man, definitely one of the Great Minds of Our Time. Here are two videos of Woz with 32 years in between!

(1984) Rare video of Steve Wozniak from 1984 talking about computing, joining Apple and the Mac

(2016) Steve Wozniak’s Formative Moment

 


Google’s AlphaGo AI defeats grand master Lee Sedol (final score: 4-1 in 5 matches series)

Wednesday, 9 March, 2016

(updated March 15th, 2016) I loved the game of Go and played many many games in my high school years. And as a computer scientist, I am still shocked and surprised of AlphaGo defeating grand master Lee Sedol (李世乭) 4-1 in a five matches series. As I hoped, Lee managed to at least won one game in the series.

(updated March 18th, 2016) The following are some news, video clips, and commentaries.

The following are some Match 1 news and video clips (including the full match livestreamed video). Read the rest of this entry »


Watch HKtv Revolution

Friday, 4 March, 2016

Watch my new documentary HKtv Revolution 香港電視革命 (with English & Chinese subtitles) in this stranger than fiction time. Love to hear your feedback. (note: you can use Chromecast or Apple TV to watch this on your HDTV)

在這個比小說更離奇更荒謬的世代,請讓我分享紀錄片「香港電視革命」(中英文字幕)。請留言,寫下您寶貴的意見。(注意:您可以使用Chromecast或Apple TV 放上您的高清電視觀看)

HKtv Revolution 香港電視革命 (full-length 2015)

1) Watch HKtv Revolution 香港電視革命 in a “stranger than fiction” time

As our real world is often stranger than fiction, you are invited to watch HKtv Revolution 香港電視革命 to witness and reflect what HongKongers had gone through in the last few years in fighting with the CY Leung Hong Kong SAR government for their simple “rights” to watch some good TV shows.

Why March 2016 is especially “stranger than fiction”? When HKTV’s license application was first rejected in 2013, as you will learn in the start of the film, the CY Leung government claimed it worried about “cut throat competition” might lead to lower programming quality. Well, after watching the slow sinking of ATV (the one of only two free-to-air TV broadcasters in HK) in 2015/2016, we now have positive proof how ridiculous that “cut throat competition” claim was!

In recent months, ATV had trouble paying salaries of its hundreds of employees, still own many employees millions in wages, hadn’t been paying its broadcast license fees to the government for months, and couldn’t even pay the service/maintenance fees for its elevators (so ATV employees had to walk up the stairs to work), etc. And ATV’s liquidator accounting firm Deloitte finally announced on Thursday (March 3rd) evening that it will dismiss almost all ATV employees!

And after Deloitte’s announcement, ATV investor came out to flaunt a case of ‘cash’ at press conference in last-ditch attempt to save ATV (see news #2 below). The cash flaunting event later became even more of a farce as news media spotted (news #5 and #7 below) that the stacks of HK$ 1,000 bank notes were propped up by empty boxes and HK$ 100 notes to give an appearance of a fuller box of HK$ 1,000 bills!

As ATV shuts its broadcasting down in the coming days, after close to 59 years of continuous operation, I hope you will enjoy and gain some insight watching HKtv Revolution 香港電視革命 in our turbulent and “stranger than fiction” time.

2) Review HKtv Revolution 香港電視革命 on IMDb

Please (pretty please) rate & review the film at IMDb, it is easy and it helps spread the words of the film.

I hope you enjoy the film (on your big screen HDTV or your computer) as much as I in making it. Feel free to post any questions you may have re HKtv Revolution 香港電視革命. And I definitely appreciate your time in leaving me any words of encouragement.

My best,
Kempton

Director of “Revolution Trilogy” (革命三部曲)
2005 Long Hair Revolution 長毛革命 (watch online)
2015 HKtv Revolution 香港電視革命 (watch online)
2015 Umbrella Revolution: History as Mirror Reflection 雨傘革命實錄:以史為鏡


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