Happy 50th Birthday Ricky Gervais !!!

Saturday, 25 June, 2011

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

It was my pleasure to meet and interview the world famous funny comedian Ricky Gervais and his girl friend Jane last year at Banff. Of course, to us Canadians, he is Ricky Dene Gervais!

Check out my video interview and Ricky’s award acceptance speech video from 2010 Banff World TV Festival!

Happy 50th Birthday Ricky !!!


William Shatner speaks with ‘The Big Bang Theory’ creator and showrunner Bill Prady @ 2010 Banff

Sunday, 19 June, 2011

Last year at Banff 2010, I had a great time attending the insightful and fun “in conversation” between William Shatner and ‘The Big Bang Theory‘ creator and show runner Bill Prady. I just discovered the official Banff team had actually uploaded the full video of the session. I’ve finished watching the 7-part video of the chat again and absolutely loved it. Have fun & enjoy.

William Shatner – Part 1

Part 2 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 2008 and Dec 2009. 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. :)


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