Watch “Revolution Trilogy” 睇「革命三部曲」

Friday, 18 March, 2016

Director/producer/independent reporter Kempton Lam has made three Cantonese documentaries with English subtitles (廣東話、英文字幕) 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)

 


A Look Back: 10 Years of Banff World Media Festival

Thursday, 25 August, 2016
A Look Back: 10 Years of Banff World Media Festival

A Look Back: 10 Years of Banff World Media Festival

Ten years ago in June 2006, I was awarded a CTV Fellowship to attend the prestigious Banff World Television Festival. Since then I’ve attended to report on most of the yearly Banff World Media Festival (Banff’s new name). Based on my personal experiences, I recommend the annual Banff gathering be something someone working in media/entertainment industry should attend at least once in her/his life (and may be even yearly). Great way to pitch projects to concentrated groups of decision makers from around the world, to meet and make friends with industry peers, and learn from the many Master Classes you given by some of the best creatives in the industry.

Take this year as an example, knowing HBO Chairman and CEO Mr. Richard Plepler will attend the 2016 Banff, I did some research including watching these two videos to prepare. And I ended up learning lots from attending and meeting Richard in his Company of Distinction Keynote: HBO’s Richard Plepler Banff World Media Festival Banff. And yes, I felt totally honoured when Richard compared me to his mother after I asked him about his work experience at “RLP International quoting what I learned from his commencement speech to the Franklin & Marshall College Class of 2015!

Let me share just another highly insightful and fun to watch video from the 2016 Banff:  In Conversation with Sir Peter Ustinov Comedy Award Recipient Russell Peters. I love Russell Peters even more as I heard the etalk co-host Lainey Lui asked Russell, “You’ve been making this kind of money for the last few years and you are still hustling, 250 shows, 120 cities, 25 countries, you are still hustling with an immigrant work ethic!

(More info on Russell‘s new show “The Indian Detective“)

In the last 10 years, I’ve met and interviewed a lot of creatives and senior executives at Banff. The following are some samples of my video interviews.

*2010) Meeting someone I really admire like Ricky Gervais was epic and wonderful for me. I was able to capture his “Award for Comedy Speech” which I think is better/more fun than the official Banff version shot with more expensive video equipment. (watch and read my full 2010 report of Ricky here)

And asking Ricky a brief question on the 2010 Banff red carpet was something I still remember fondly today, six years later.

*2008) Two years before I met Ricky, Banff attendees had the pleasure to meet the highly successful producer Jon Plowman (photo) who came to Banff to accept his Lifetime Achievement Award for his work as former head of BBC comedy and producing/executive producing great shows like Absolutely Fabulous, The Office, Little Britain, and The Vicar of Dibley! I wrote a brief report in 2008 but didn’t shoot any video. I did walk up to meet Jon and personally thanked him for his great work!
*2011) Mike Farah, President of Production, Funny or Die
,
*2010) TiVo CEO Tom Rogers interview,
*2013) Watching “VICE co-founders Shane Smith & Suroosh Alvi at Banff 2013” was a lot of fun and then interviewing “Shane @ Banff ” was awesome given how much VICE Media has grown since 2013!

*2012) “Masterclass with Terence Winter creator of Boardwalk Empire at #banff2012” (more info on Boardwalk Empire)

*2012) And my video interview with “Terence Winter, Creator of Boardwalk Empire at banff 2012

*2011) Tom Perlmutter, NFB Chairperson,
*2010) Tony Lacavera, Globalive & WIND Mobile Chairman audio interview, (It was fun for me interviewing Tony, an University of Toronto alum, over the years. In March 2016, Shaw Communications Inc. closed its acquisition of Wind Mobile for $1.6 billion.)
*2008) David Hoselton (Producer of House) (I LOVE House so it was interesting for me to know that creator David Shore and producer David Hoselton were University of Toronto Law School buddies.)
*2012) Duncan Fulton, SVP Canadian Tire, talks about cutting edge advertising/e-commerce technologies at #banff2012 (Since then, Duncan has been promoted to President FGL Sports Ltd in March 2016.)
*2007) Jane Mote, Director of Life Style, UKTV,
*2007) Vicky Taylor, Editor, Interactivity, BBC Television,
*2007) Dale Herigstad, Chief Creative Officer, Schematic,
*2007) Greg Goodfried, Co-creator and Executive Producer, Lonelygirl15, (note: In 2012, AdAge reported that “Everyday Health Buys Lonelygirl15 Producer EQAL in Expansion to New Genres” quoting TechCruch which “pegged the price at $15 million plus a $5 million earn-out“. EQAL founders are Miles Beckett and Greg Goodfried.)
*2007) Dawn Airey, Director of Global Content, ITV,
*2012) Paul Chard – The most interesting person at #banff2012 to me,

One of the most insightful people I’ve met at Banff
*2009) Gary Carter’s Storytelling in the Digital Age (2009) (Long list of videos, highly recommended even the 2009 content may seem a bit dated)

Attended and filmed,
*2012) “In Conversation with Chuck Lorre (Creator of Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory)“,
*2010) “William Shatner speaks with ‘The Big Bang Theory’ creator and showrunner Bill Prady“,
*2012) “Conflicts in Reality TV and psychological profiling – The Chicken or The Egg – Most fascinating and controversial session at 2012 Banff
*2010) “Ian Brennan, creator/writer Glee (19 Emmy nominations) @ 2010 Banff” (extensive video)
*2013) “Julia Louis-Dreyfus talks about Veep and other topics at Banff World Media Festival 2013

*2012) This was a lot of fun and insight for me, “Master class Q&A with Glen Mazzara – The Walking Dead at 2012 Banff World Media Festival

*2006) Finally, It was my honour to meet and listen to Oscar winning director & writer Paul Haggis at my absolute first Banff in 2006. I wish my “professionalism” hadn’t stopped me from asking for a photo! Oh well, something I have regretted ever since. Anyway, the story of how Paul broke into Television is something I will likely remember for the rest of my life! Enjoy!


*** More
2016 Banff World Media Festival stuff and one 2012 Master Class with Chuck Lorre (creator: Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory).

*2016) I think Girls is one of the most cutting edge and funny TV comedies in recent years. I had the pleasure this year to attend and listen to Jenni Konner talk in person. And I enjoyed the session very much.

Comedy Master Class with Casey Bloys and Jenni Konner (note: Casey Bloys is senior vice president, HBO Entertainment)

*2016) I didn’t know the name Jay Baruchel but after watching this, I discovered I’ve watched A LOT of Jay‘s stuff without knowing his name and I LOVE them all! Very insightful: “In Conversation with Canadian Award of Distinction Recipient Jay Baruchel

Further references:

*2016) Richard Plepler: Stick with the Optimists (background research for Banff 2016)

*2016) HBO CEO Richard Plepler: Full Discussion @The Paley Center for Media (background research for 2016)

*2016 Banff) “The Night Of” Master Class: A Closer Look at HBO’s Limited Series Model featuring Academy Award-winning writer Steven Zaillian. After watching the video, I realized one of my favourite films “Searching for Bobby Fischer” was written and directed by Steven and he talks about it at timecode 16:10.

*for 2016) Westworld: Teaser Trailer (HBO) (brand new to viewers at Banff, publicly released after 2016 Banff)

*2012) In conversation w Chuck Lorre (Creator: Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory) at #banff2012

P.S. On a personal note, I want to thank Scott Benzie, Lindsay Nahmiache, Robert Montgomery, and, for the last 10 years, many other team members for their kind help at Banff and arranging my press credentials, etc. I really enjoyed attending Banff and I’m happy to share what I learned with my readers/viewers.

It has taken me some time to create this post and I am still amazed how many great creatives and industry senior executives I’ve met and tried to learn from all these years. And there are still some that I haven’t listed! Like in 2009 when I met and interviewed Ron Moore who amazingly re-imagined Battlestar Galactica (BSG)!

Let me mention something most people might have missed. For a few years in a row, I noticed Tony Lacavera, Founder and Chairman of Globalive & former WIND Mobile Chairman, was sponsoring the Banff CRTC Breakfasts. (see my 2010 report) A side benefit was Tony got some “face time” to chat with CRTC Chairman Konrad von Finckenstein (photo of the two at CRTC Breakfast). Well, to me, that was money well spent in the long game of business! As you may know, this March 2016 WIND Mobile was sold to Shaw Communications Inc. for $1.6 billion.

If you ask me, I say the C$1.6 billion deal has to be one of the biggest deals that Banff World Media Festival has *indirectly* facilitated! Pretty cool!


Focused Ultrasound Thalamotomy will ‘revolutionize’ treatment of brain diseases

Wednesday, 24 August, 2016
20160824 Dr. Michael Schwartz and Dr. Nir Lipsman

20160824 Dr. Michael Schwartz and Dr. Nir Lipsman

CBC News had a great Facebook LIVE Q&A session with neurosurgeons Dr. Michael Schwartz and Dr. Nir Lipsman from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. And a great news report (with video)  “No scalpel, no drill: Medical procedure to treat uncontrollable hand tremor a ‘game changer’“. Here is an excerpt,

“The technology “will open up a new era that will revolutionize the way brain diseases will be treated, eventually benefitting millions of patients,” says Dr. Kullervo Hynynen, director of physical sciences at Sunnybrook Research Institute. He also helped develop the technology. […]

Doctors hope to apply the technology in the treatment of other diseases like Parkinson’s and epilepsy.”

(Note: In the LIVE Q&A you can hear neurosurgeon Dr. Nir Lipsman talk about Parkinson’s disease and this new procedure at timecode 3:03.)

Here is a video “Neurosurgery – with sub-titles, ending with MR image” with subtitle text.

Reference: New England Journal of Medicine, August 25, 2016 “A Randomized Trial of Focused Ultrasound Thalamotomy for Essential Tremor” (PDF file)

P.S. On a personal note, it may be way too early to speculate but I do wonder how far can the procedure go (its first pilot study published in 2013 as reported in NEJM), I do wonder openly/hopefully if one day it could be used to help patients with glioblastoma like my friend Maria’s husband Sean had unfortunately suffered. Well, after a quick search, I managed to find this 2014 study reported in NIH, “First noninvasive thermal ablation of a brain tumor with MR-guided focused ultrasound


CyberbullyTroll, ThankYouCanada, IEX, PokemonGo FeverDying, 葉廣權 JosephIp

Tuesday, 23 August, 2016

*) “Kevin Smith Daughter: Director Responds To Cyberbully In Best Way Possible” //To anyone who has had to deal with comment trolls – or is a comment troll – this is an amazing story, perspective and an even better response.// [HT Sarah Geddes]
//here’s a nickel’s worth of free advice for folks like this Troll: if you hate me (or my kid) this much, the better use of your time is to make YOUR dreams come true, instead of slamming others for doing the same. The best revenge is living insanely well – so if you wanna get back at a 17 year old girl for the grievous crime of enjoying her life, the best way to do it is to succeed in your OWN existence. Show the world WHY we should be paying attention to you instead of anyone else.//

*) Rosie MacLennan pens thank you note to Canada ‘I was proud of my journey … no matter what happened that day, my family would love and support me’

//Dear Canada, The Olympics have come to a close and my hope is that the spirit and the energy of the Games will live on. The Olympics are an incredible celebration of humanity where 207 countries gather in one place, living as one community, share meals under the same roof and have one shared vision and idea: the pursuit of excellence.//

*) Fortune, “Here Are the Stocks You Can Trade on IEX’s New Stock Exchange

//Then the following week of August 29, IEX will begin listing a much wider universe, including all NYSE- and Nasdaq-listed stocks. It’ll begin with all stocks whose symbols begin with the letter “Y” or “Z,” adding later in the week securities whose tickers start with letters between “V” and “Y.” Finally, on Sept. 2 (the Friday before Labor Day), IEX will roll out all other remaining stocks for trading as a full-fledged stock exchange.

IEX’s gradual phasing in of the stocks should reduce the likelihood of any snafus with early trading on the system, as there can sometimes be kinks with new stock-trading technology. Bats Global Markets BATS -0.50% , a rival exchange that made its own transition to a national market in 2008, has experienced serious software glitches that caused it to cancel its own IPO in 2012, but ultimately went public this spring.//

*) Waterloo Record, “WLU grad shook up industry even before his IEX exchange opened

*) android authority “Pokemon Go fever is dying off

*) Forbes, “New ‘Pokémon GO’ Update Will Finally Tell You How Strong Your Pokémon Are

*) HK01 “【Pokemon GO熱】此情不再? 活躍玩家一個月銳減千萬

*) “【專訪】譚詠麟、關淑怡的幕後功臣 葉廣權細說逾 30 年唱片監製生涯” Fascinating read. [HT Pasu]
//返工除了錄歌,就是聽歌,聽落好似好嘆。「其實好辛苦!日日返十幾個鐘頭工!唔使錄音的時候,都要不停聽啲日本歌、韓國歌,搵適合嘅做 cover(改編歌),又要打去搵啲 publishing company 問有冇歌可以畀我聽,日日係咁聽係咁聽」,Joseph 說枱面通常有過千隻歌等住佢聽,有時更要同其他監製爭歌,因為大家 Read the rest of this entry »


Sportsmanship, StrangerThings‬, RickyGervais, PokemonGO, ISIS, Lognon, HyundaiTestDriveAmazon, Windows10‬Malicious‬

Tuesday, 23 August, 2016

*) #‎sportsmanship #‎IOC //The two Olympic runners who helped each other cross the finish line after falling together in the middle of their race have been awarded a prize for embodying the Olympic spirit.
New Zealander Nikki Hamblin and American Abbey D’Agostino were awarded the Pierre de Coubertin award on Saturday night by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for epitomising the Olympic values of fair play and sportsmanship.//

*) I binge watched the last 6 episodes of ‪#‎StrangerThings‬ on ‪#‎Netflix‬ in one night. Great story telling. Cute pix. [HT Michelle]

*) (with video) This is Canada. And this is wrong and unacceptable. ‪#‎fail‬ “CBC INVESTIGATES Prison guards in N.B. used ‘inappropriate’ force on inmate, report says

*) (with video) Ricky is insightful and funny (most of the time). “Ricky Gervais on Trump, Brent and fame

*) (GREAT photos) Some of the most memorable moments of ‪#‎Rio2016‬! ‪#‎GoCanadaGo‬

*) “爸花錢買了兩次Pokémon GO誘餌” Very well written article by a son (non-gamer) about his Pokemon Go playing father. How they started communicating more. // 爸從來不打遊戲,自從手機裡裝了遊戲軟體,他每天都要藉口出去散步,一去就是一兩個小時。後來我才知道他是跑到家裡附近的公園,跟一樣在玩 Pokémon GO 的年輕人學習遊戲攻略。爸說年輕人都很熱情,樂於指導老人家,他常常找他們聊天 … //

*) “ANALYSIS Chaos could be the reward of victory over ISIS in Iraq: Brian Stewart” //”The moment there is what you might call victory against ISIS, then you are up against all the problems that caused this crisis in the first place,” Yezid Sayid, senior analyst with the Carnegie Middle East Centre, told the Washington Post recently. Read the rest of this entry »


Omran is alive. His older brother, 10-year-old Ali, is dead.

Sunday, 21 August, 2016

#ArcOfTheMoralUniverse Unfortunately, “on Saturday the story took an even more tragic turn when Omran’s older brother, 10-year-old Ali Daqneesh, died from the injuries he sustained in the blast that destroyed their family’s home on Wednesday.

We in the international community (Canada, US, UK, and others) failed the many Alis, Omrans, and Syrians in this war. They died and suffered under our watch. We, the member states of United Nations, love to *talk* Responsibility to Protect (RTP) doctrine but usually end with massive “Failure to Protect” unless our national interests (oil, other resources, our own securities) are at stake. Have we not learned enough from the tragedies in Rwanda and the Balkans in the 1990s? I hope/wish and agree that “Omran’s picture must be a turning point in Syria’s war“. And I will add my voice to urge our Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of Defence Harjit Sajjan to try to do what is right, on our behalf.

At the end of the day, there is no escape that Ali and many other Syrians had died in this war, and Omrans and many other Syrians suffered under our watch and we failed them. Whether we keep on failing our Syrian brothers and sisters, letting them die, allowing the refugee crisis to get even worse, or we say enough is enough and actually commit to stop this massive human atrocity, it is up to us “word citizens” to tell our governments what need to be done.

The arc of the moral universe may be long, but it decidedly and increasingly does not always bend toward justice. Why does that matter? Because it means that too many children will never get to grow up, period. Let alone grow up in a morale universe that bends towards justice.” – The Honourable Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella (1946 – ), Closing Remarks at Nuremberg Symposium – May 4, 2016

Ref1: “Brother of Boy Who Became Face of Syria’s Humanitarian Crisis Dies

Ref2: “Omran’s picture must be a turning point in Syria’s war

A week later another colleague from M10 hospital rang me and told me he had treated Omran, the young boy whose picture had gone viral on social media. To be honest, I had not seen the picture. He simply wanted to tell me that the boy had survived and he had treated his deep scalp wound and he was going to be discharged home.

I asked him whether he wanted to go on television and contacted the BBC and Channel 4. He was willing to do this but not to show his face, as he would surely have been targeted by the regime. To see him talking on my television brought a lump to my throat. He is the kindest and nicest human being I’ve ever worked with. He has been there from the start of the war and his only words on the television were: “Please help us.” […]

The picture of this little boy must be a turning point in this war. It must not be looked at and forgotten within 24 hours. I have pictures on my phone and in my computer of all the cases that I dealt with when I was in Aleppo. These images are far worse than the image of Omran. They are of dead and dying children. I have given lectures showing these pictures and have had people in the audience crying. Why has the world become heartless?

When President Obama talked about crossing the red line after 400 children were killed by chemical weapons outside Damascus in 2013, he was awaiting the outcome of a vote on action in the British parliament. In the end it was close, with 285-272 voting against military action against the Syrian regime. If the west had shown strong leadership, I have no doubt that the Syrian military hierarchy would have collapsed. George Osborne said prophetically: “I hope this doesn’t become a moment when we turn our back on all the world’s problems.” It’s not often that a politician gets it right, but he did then.

I packed my gas mask and spent six weeks in Aleppo just after that statement in 2013.

[HT Zohreen]

Story of Syrian boy moves CNN anchor to tears


Journal of Design and Science (JoDS)

Saturday, 20 August, 2016

Journal of Design and Science (JoDS) launched by Joi Ito, Director, MIT Media Lab is one of my new favourite journals. Check it out.

  1. Design and Science by Joichi Ito is a great read!
  2. The Enlightenment is Dead, Long Live the Entanglement by Danny Hillis
  3. Age of Entanglement by architect and professor Neri Oxman
  4. Design as Participation by Kevin Slavin
  5. デザインと科学 by Hiroo Yamagata and Joichi Ito (I think this is the Japanese version of Design and Science)

Excerpts from Design and Science I found fascinating.

“//MIT Professor Kevin Esvelt who describes himself as an evolutionary sculptor. He is working on ways of editing the genes of populations of organisms such as the rodent that carries Lyme disease and the mosquito that carries malaria to make them resistant to the pathogens. The specific technology – CRISPR gene drives – are a type of gene edit such that when carrier organisms released into the wild, all of their offspring, and their offspring’s offspring, and so on through the generations will inherit the same alteration, allowing us to essentially eliminate malaria, Lyme, and other vector-borne and parasitic diseases. Crucially, the edit is embedded into the population at large, rather than the individual organism. Therefore, his focus is not on the gene editing or the particular organism, but the whole ecosystem – including our health system, the biosphere, our society and its ability to think about these sorts of interventions. To be clear: part of what’s novel here is considering the effects of a design on all of the systems that touch it.//

/Rethinking Academic Practice
MITx and edX are now helping the world by making lectures, knowledge, and skills available online to students everywhere in an organized way. The MIT Press, the Media Lab, and the MIT Libraries could serve a parallel role by creating a new model for academic interaction and collaboration, breaking down the artificial barriers dividing intellectual discourse. Our thinking is to create a vehicle for the exchange of ideas that allows all those working in the antidisciplinary space between and beyond the disciplines to come together in unexpected and exciting ways to challenge existing academic silos. Our aim is to create a new space that encourages everyone, not just academics, to come together to create a new platform for the 21st century: a new place, a new way of thinking, a new way of doing.//

//As participant designers, we focus on changing ourselves and the way we do things in order to change the world. With this new perspective, we will be able to tackle extremely important problems that don’t fit neatly into current academic systems: instead of designing other people’s systems, we will redesign our way of thinking and working and impact the world by impacting ourselves [7] [8].//

//[6]The irony that this feels a bit like an academic paper is not lost on me, but this is sort of like a viral gene therapy designed to penetrate the membrane of the academic system without trigger an immune response and then modify the host system from within.//”

The article “The Enlightenment is Dead, Long Live the Entanglement” is interesting to read but the three videos at the end are just epic cool to watch. Here are their descriptions. Read the rest of this entry »


20160817 Bolt, De Grasse, Spohia Lee (IEX), Susan Cain

Wednesday, 17 August, 2016

[HT CBC News’s video] Yes! These two bros! :) //These two! All smiles between Bolt and De Grasse as they cross the finish line http://bit.ly/2b0FOh2 #FriendshipGoals //

[HT IEX Trading] “Woman Behind ‘Flash Boys’ Exchange Approval Preps for Next Fight” //A native New Yorker, [Spohia] Lee graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a degree in mechanical engineering, and experience working in cryogenics, solar energy and thermodynamics labs. Long before Lee helped IEX take the first steps toward its biggest goal, she had worked on creating a walking device for paraplegics for her undergraduate thesis. She wasn’t keen on taking an engineering job in a far-flung locale, so she decided to attend law school at New York University. She held jobs at electronic broker Investment Technology Group Inc. and spent 10 years at Liquidnet Holdings Inc., which operates a private trading venue.
‘Stronger Stomach’
“She’s clearly got a stronger stomach than most general counsels,” said Tyler Gellasch, a former SEC official and securities lawyer who heads the Healthy Markets Association, an investor advocacy group. “It’s clear she has helped shape their strategy in a way that says, ‘We’re going to be smart, we’re going to take on a fight, and, frankly, we’re not afraid to lose.’”
The SEC’s approval — which gives IEX license to operate on par with the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq Stock Market and other exchanges — comes with several prizes, including the ability to list companies and a greater voice in oversight of the entire $25 trillion U.S. stock market. The regulator’s blessing came against vocal opposition from those large exchange operators, and other market players including Citadel LLC, which argued IEX’s 350-microsecond “speed bump” on orders would amount to putting a pothole on the superhighway of the U.S. stock market.//

[HT Susan Cain]  //During the seven years it took me to write Quiet, I really had no idea whether anyone would read it, once it was published. People often ask me how I dealt with that uncertainty. The answer is Read the rest of this entry »


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