My Favourite Dramas of Calgary International Film Festival 2011

Monday, 3 October, 2011

The following are trailers and interviews of some of my favourite dramas at Calgary International Film Festival 2011.

Take This Waltz (trailer, Q&A at TIFF, red carpet)

Late Bloomers (trailer)


Goodbye Entourage – For the Fans – Doug Ellin 2008 interview at Banff World TV Festival

Sunday, 11 September, 2011

Goodbye Entourage. Reposting a 2008 article with video.

Doug Ellin (“Entourage”) & me at 2008 Banff World TV Festival

*******

I am a big Entourage fan and I’ve watched every single episodes of the series and can’t wait for the next season to start. If you haven’t watched Entourage before, it is ultimately a show about male friendship. Like Sex and the City (if you can see pass the sex and talk of sex), it is a show less about sex than one about female friendship.

Anyway, I was looking at some of my videos captured at the 2008 nextMedia and Banff, I realized I haven’t posted the following videos interview of Doug Ellin, creator and exec producer of Entourage by author Bill Carter. I figure some Entourage fans might find the videos interesting to watch.

Doug talking about the Harvey Weinstein character in the show.

Doug talking about various things.


Can you name this font and say something about it?

Wednesday, 7 September, 2011

Can you name this font and say something about it?

Can you name this font (high res photo) and say something about it?


Does Creativity Require Constraints?

Wednesday, 31 August, 2011

Good read from Psychology Today, “Does Creativity Require Constraints?

I recently picked up a book about Monet to learn more about him and his painting. So here is a quote from the article,

“Goals of the creator. [...] A good example is Claude Monet. His habitually high level of variability in painting was learned in childhood and through early apprenticeships. What truly set Monet apart though was his ability to maintain such variability throughout his career by constantly imposing task constraints on his own work.”


Helpful Neighbour & Future Business Partner?

Thursday, 25 August, 2011

Helpful Neighbour & Future Business Partner? - pix 01

Thomas has been our really helpful neighbour for the last few years. How helpful? For example, we really appreciate him coming over yesterday to help us installing the above beautiful Moen faucet (why Moen?) and a new pull mechanism for our window blind. (see below, left photo is the heavy duty metal window blind, right is the C$48 pull mechanism that pulls and holds the blind in place)

Helpful Neighbour & Future Business Partner? - pix 03Helpful Neighbour & Future Business Partner? - pix 02

Thomas even taught me what is a blind rivet & showed me how to use a rivet gun to install the new pull mechanism!

Helpful Neighbour & Future Business Partner? - pix 04

(update) re-grout

(update) Thomas also helped us re-grout the bathroom tiles. See following before and after pictures.

re-grout bathroom tiles - pix 01re-grout bathroom tiles - pix 02

re-grout bathroom tiles - pix 03re-grout bathroom tiles - pix 04

The Talented Thomas

Thomas recently finished his studies in international business at Mount Royal University and is looking for a job. Let me know if you know a good company that is hiring someone with international business education.

Now, I’ve seen some of Thomas’ school work and I think he does a wonderful job in them. Case in point, Thomas and his teammates were asked to create a marketing plan for Calgary Tower. One night, Thomas asked me to take a look of his work-in-progress. I didn’t know what to expect and thought I would see a nice students’ assignment (a marketing plan on paper with nice graphics). No no no, what I saw wasn’t the “usual” stuff at all!

Thomas and his teammates did some nice academic work and the creative display which was designed and built by Thomas (putting in a lot of additional time and his own money) was simply stunning!

I don’t use “stunning” easily and I am picky with design. (see *note below) Thomas showed me a paper prototype marketing display which looks beautiful and showcased the Calgary Tower. And from the beautiful looking paper protype, over the next few days, he transformed and refined his original paper prototype into a 3-D steel display. Thomas used a beautiful sheet of metal and machine-cut the side-profile of Calgary Tower onto the sheet metal! The resulted metal display was just beautiful and stunning! Amazingly executed. Totally beyond my expectation!

Future Business Partner?

As I get older, I try to work with talented people that I like. So I seriously hope that one day Thomas and I can find a great product idea that we can turn into a business. I think it can be very nice for us to become business partners and to create something cool together.

I often remind myself that our house has two garages (one of them heated), three parking spots, and we have precisely one car! So, in some sense, the spare parking spot in the heated garage has been waiting patiently for me to build a business/product! Will see what happen. :)

Once Thomas and I come up with a great product idea, I truly think we now have the fundraising & pre-sell tool like Kickstarter and other “tools” to help us make our dreams possible.

*******

*note: I am picky with design stuff. When I first saw Thomas’ stunningly beautiful metal display for Calgary Tower, it immediately reminded me of the beautiful cover of my design book SPOON which uses steel (more precisely, Promica® Pristine steel, a lightweight polymer-coated steel) as a book cover!

I love and try to look out for good design. While I can’t design anything, I hope my years of loving good design will help me in recognizing “great” and separating them from the “OK” and “ordinary”.


Kevin Roberts, CEO worldwide Saatchi & Saatchi keynotes nextMEDIA Toronto 2011

Thursday, 11 August, 2011

Kevin Roberts, CEO worldwide Saatchi & Saatchi at nextMEDIA Toronto 2011

I’ve been reading Kevin Roberts‘s ideas for years and even created Kevin’s Wikipedia page. So it is wonderful to see Kevin is coming to Canada to share his insights. The following is from the nextMEDIA Toronto 2011 (Dec 5 – 6) press release. If you are in Toronto during that time, register to attend.

CEO worldwide for creative agency Saatchi & Saatchi, Kevin Roberts is a marketing pioneer with a heart for nostalgia and has been bringing popular brands to market and straight into consumers’hearts since the early 1970s. Roberts has worked with large-scale international clients such as Carlsberg, TMobile, General Mills, Procter & Gamble, Sony Ericsson, JCPenney, Toyota and VISA Europe among others.

Roberts is the author of a number of best-selling books, including Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands, in which he describes the emotional connections we create with the brands we’ve grown tolove.

So, here’s the real question: How does your brand achieve Lovemark status? Well, fear not, Roberts is heading to nextMEDIA Toronto this year to help you solve that very problem.

Named one of the top ten ideas of the decade in 2010 by advertising and marketing news website AdAge, Lovemarks transcend brands, leaving their iconic symbols emblazoned in the hearts and memories of consumers worldwide.

Join Kevin Roberts at nextMEDIA Toronto 2011 for an informative keynote session about hisLovemarks theory, offering crucial insight into the future of marketing and an analysis of the way we identify with our favourite brands.”


Fashion TV (a Fashion File substitute)

Thursday, 11 August, 2011

More than two years have passed, I’m still not ready to forgive or forget CBC for killing my beloved Fashion File with the silly “Host Hunt” reality TV show and then cancelling the show in March 2009. Anyway, thanks to my new G+ French friend Laurent, he linked me to Fashion TV the other day. It is fun to watch while I will just have to accept Fashion TV as a substitute of Fashion File minus the journalism that I love and treat it as a camera at the shows.

By the way, after checking out the site a few days ago, I posted this question on G+2012 Brazilian designed swimwear? OR 2012 New York designed swimwear? I think the Brazilian ones are more imaginative and interesting. What do you think?

Mara Hoffman (NYC) Swimwear Show – Miami Swim Fashion Week 2012 – Bikini Models | FashionTV

Aline Weber – Top Brazilian Bikini Models 4 – Swim Fashion Week

***

Aug 11, 2011 Update: Here is an excerpt from the 1998 Spring RRJ article (internet archive link) (emphasis added),

“[...] 10-year-old Fashion File is self-funded, surviving on commercial and international sales revenues. Réjean Beaudin, executive in charge of production at Fashion File, says his show is more news-oriented than FT, largely because the CBC expects the show to contain at least some journalistic elements to justify carrying it on Newsworld. “We always push the envelope to try to get that extra bit of news information, that extra little piece of something that makes our show a little smarter. I don’t believe in hiding the issues.

While Fashion File, like FT, isn’t above showing flashes of bare breasts and buttocks and can scarcely be described as investigative, there is a greater journalistic component.Fashion File’s host, Tim Blanks, contributing editor to Toronto Life Fashion magazine, is disinclined to let an issue pass without at least remarking upon it. Blanks, who resides in London and whose journalism background includes current affairs and political reporting, believes fashion journalism isn’t an oxymoron. “What I’m always trying to do is have a conversation with the viewer that’s a little more interesting than just what colours, fabrics and hemlines are all about.” For instance, Read the rest of this entry »


Inspired by …

Wednesday, 10 August, 2011

Here is a list of people & song that is currently inspiring me.

(Borrowing and expanding an idea from Wired magazine.)

[Note: I've added this list to the About Kempton page.]

Thinker: Marshall McLuhan

Artist: Oscar Claude Monet

Investor: Warren Buffett

Inventor: James Dyson

Entrepreneurial creativeness: Richard Branson

Advertiser: Kevin Roberts

Hotel: Four Seasons, Issy Sharp

Fashion: Fashion TV

Song: Firework by Katy Perry


iPad app review: Moving Tales’ This Too Shall Pass

Tuesday, 9 August, 2011

Moving Tales - This Too Shall Pass iPad & iPhone App

Apple iPad app:  ”This Too Shall Pass

Price: US$ 6.99

Star rating:  5 out of 5 stars

Review: The team at Moving Tales has done it again. ”This Too Shall Pass“ has beautiful 3D animation, engaging voice over, music, sound effects, and great message in the story. In fact, as in Moving Tales‘ first app “The Pedlar Lady of Gushing Cross” and “Unwanted Guest“, these stories are great for kids (and adults)!

I ended up enjoying the story of ”This Too Shall Pass“ in one sitting, like watching a beautifully written story book in the form of a movie. I am happy to see the Canadian team of Moving Tales is doing well and getting international recognition that it deserves. Feel free to have a watch of my previous Skype video interview with Matthew Talbot-Kelly, Founder of Moving Tales.

P.S. With its localization in Spanish and French with beautiful voice over, I recommended the apps to my Spanish speaking friend to use the app as a tool to help teach her daughter Spanish! :)

Here is a trailer and promo clip of ”This Too Shall Pass“.


My Google+ Bragging Rights

Saturday, 6 August, 2011

Long Hair (Leung Kwok-hung) on the phone (which is almost always)

My updated Google+ Bragging rights sounds cool to the very biased me:

Kempton’s first feature-length documentary Long Hair Revolution (2005) is preserved in Library and Archives Canada‘s permanent collection “for the benefit of present and future generations”.

Watch Long Hair Revolution free online here.


Inspired by and Rescued Bruce Mau plus Books I Love

Thursday, 4 August, 2011

I want to thank Bruce Mau for inspiring me since 20010103 when I fell in love and bought a copy of his autographed Life Style (blue cover) at David Mirvish Books. So I took an opportunity to make this video.

As you can see in the video, I thanked Bruce by picking up 4 copies of Life Style and casually laid a copy at each of my coffee tables and desks so I can read them at random and without worry about getting them dirty.

You can click to see the original full size readable version of the following photos. And from these two Flickr sets, “Bruce Mau Life Style & Massive Change” and “Books I Love“.

05 Bruce Mau

Books I Love

Incomplete Manifesto for Growth - Bruce Mau (readable at original 1796 x 1880)

P.S. Checkout these articles, “Bruce Mau Design tries to solve Toronto’s problems” and “Design Principal“.


Google+ Impressions, Predictions, and Forecasts

Wednesday, 27 July, 2011

Google+ logo

Initial Google+ Impressions

On June 30, 2011, only 2 days after the launch of Google+, my friend Garry and I were chatting about his 3D TV (I mentioned I would wait for glasses-free 3D TVs after chatting with Tom, NFB Chair). I answered yes when Garry asked me if I had heard of Google+. I told him I was wasn’t that excited about Google+ after wasting my time and was disappointed by Google Wave and Buzz. At the same time, I wasn’t totally dismissive and asked my friend to play with Google+ some more and tell me how he thinks about the tool.

Eight days later on July 8th, after reading some more positive press and my friend’s Eva’s positive experiences with it, I turned around and ask Garry and Eva for an Google+ invite. And I officially joined on July 9th cautiously. You see, Buzz gave me such a bad taste, that I told it to buzz off!

Current Google+ Impressions

I have now been using Google+ about over two weeks. I can now say I’ve been really impressed with what I see and what it can do for me as a **tool**. To me, Google+ is a powerful tool to learn and to use to achieve things. (more on the “things” in future postings)

Sure, there are still many different problems or enhancements to be made but it is a tool that I have confidently included in my toolbox.

As an aside, I never quite see Facebook as a “tool” to me, not like Google+ is a tool to me.

Predictions & Forecasts

There are people/technologists/journalists who can’t help themselves but give lots of Google+ predictions or forecasts. I can’t and won’t give you predictions or forecasts. If you can or are willing to predict & forecast how a one month old baby will grow up to be like a few years down the road, you are much “smarter” and “braver” than I am.

To end this article, let me use two of my favourite forecast-related quotes by Edgar R. Fiedler from my quotes I love collection,

The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers.” and;

If you have to forecast, forecast often.


Flower faucets drip tiny flowers – Sweet mystery of life

Saturday, 23 July, 2011

Flower faucets - by Shirley Lo

Photo used with permission, copyright: Shirley Lo
Check out her beautiful photo album.

On a sad day like yesterday, I was delighted by the momentary distraction by Shirley Lo‘s beautiful picture. Inspired by Shirley‘s words and not knowing if the photo has a name, I am calling it “Flower faucets“. Just hope Shirley doesn’t mind.

How did the photo inspire me to call it “Flower faucets“? Well, it started by me complementing Shirley and “asking” her a question which lead to a beautiful exchange. Sort of a sweet mystery of life. Since the exchange is public comments posted on the photo album, I will quote them here (using first names instead of G+ full names) with some followup comments.

Kempton: Beautiful & lovely photo [Shirley]. How did you get the tiny flower into the drop of water? Another mystery of life. :)

Shirley: thanks, Kempton ! haha water drops from flower faucets automatically come w/flowers :)

Kempton: Well said Shirley, I can sea an ad in your words. :) Thanks for your inspring pix & words.

Kempton: P.S. Shirley, may I have your permission to use this photo to write an article in my blog please (with credit to you of course)? Given what happened today in Norway, I would like to write something to distract and cheer myself up a little.

Shirley: Kempton check your pm :)

The above exchange was beautiful in that it creates something out of nothing. (More on this later.) An act of creativity is something positive and contributory to the society (small or big). The horrible act yesterday stood in stark contrast that it bought deaths and destructions which I needed some distraction from.

Now back to the sweet mystery of life (to me in this case, the process of creative inspirations). You see, like a game of tennis, I sent the ball over to Shirley by “asking”, “How did you get the tiny flower into the drop of water? Another mystery of life.” It was fun for me to come up with the question/comment. Instead of a polite thank you, Shirley came back with a witty comment, Read the rest of this entry »


Happy 100th birthday, Marshall McLuhan in his own (and others’) words!

Thursday, 21 July, 2011

Marshall McLuhan - pix 00

Happy 100th birthday, Marshall McLuhan! [HT Gary]

Have a look of Open Culture,”Marshall McLuhan: The World is a Global Village

Marshall McLuhan – The World is a Global Village (CBC TV)

Check out “Tom Wolfe on Marshall McLuhan for His 100th Would-Be Birthday

Have a listen to CBC Jian Ghomeshi opening Q essay, “Jian on Marshall McLuhan’s 100th birthdayRead the rest of this entry »


Reflecting on Marta Blicharz’s Exhibition – Self-Referenced Abstract Art

Wednesday, 20 July, 2011

By chance, I come across Marta Blicharz‘s very cool & interesting MFA exhibition “Breaking The Spell – Exhibition“. Check out the Exhibition if you haven’t seen it yet.

I got more curious about abstract art especially after my 2008 interview with abstract artist Christine Cheung. I try to keep an eye of whats new and exciting. I am happy to say I found something that interested me in Breaking The Spell. Here is how Marta describe an interesting abstract image “A Sultry Blonde in a Red Dress Touching Her Lips Seductively” (emphasis and link added),

“One of the exhibited images included a display of the ASCII symbols from a single JPEG file, 4 by 6 inches in size, and 300dpi in resolution. Of course that JPEG image was not shown, but in it’s place I have put up 5.5 panels, each 4 by 6 feet in size, with a 9.5 point Monaco  typeface. I had to break down these panels into 11 by 17 inch pieces to print them affordably and store them easily. It was titled: ‘A Sultry Blonde in a Red Dress Touching Her Lips Seductively.’”

Sultry Blonde got me into a bit of Matrix-ish thinking. I want to try to extend Marta‘s idea a few steps further and define the new idea (to me anyway) of a “Self-Referenced Abstract Art”.

Here is my preliminary idea of how to create a piece of Self-Referenced Abstract Art.

Step 1) Take a JPEG image “J”  Read the rest of this entry »


REI’s decentralized Twitter approach

Monday, 18 July, 2011

Interesting read (excerpt with emphasis included) from Adage, “REI’s Twitter Strategy Is No Longer Camping Out at HQ – Outdoor Retailer’s Decentralized Approach Will Allow Local Staffers to Address Regional Needs

When it first started dabbling with social media a few years ago, REI, like most companies, set up a centralized team to handle outreach to bloggers, fans on Facebook and, later, communications on Twitter. While it won’t completely disband that team, the localized tack means the company is relying on far more staffers to participate in its social-media efforts. And it’s coordinating those efforts without the help of an agency. REI works with BBDO, Atlanta, for traditional creative duties and Prometheus Media for media duties, but has thus far handled much of its digital efforts and social media in-house.

“We are not moving away completely from a national presence,” a spokeswoman told Ad Age via email. “The local teams will be in addition to our national presence. Also, in terms of staffing, we have a handful of employees at each location participating in social media. They may play different roles within retail (customer service, outreach, product specialist, etc.).”

Inherent in the experiment is a lot of trust. The approach could be risky for REI because it’s not only a few, but now dozens or hundreds of employees that are empowered to talk about about the brand. Jordan Williams, manager of digital engagement for REI, told Ad Age that certain staff members are being identified as experts at handling customer complaints, others at communicating new product arrivals and features, and others as people who can provide local travel advice.

But Mr. Williams said it’s no different than what happens in the offline world. He noted the company has more than 9,000 employees and trusts its people every day to interface with customers in person, so why wouldn’t they trust them to do the same online?

After I tweeted Jordan in reply to his AdAge tweet,

I think u are on the right track. Unintended consequence: your local complaints may get national exposure, if handled …

and “correctly, means your national standard is enforced. If handled badly, flip side may be a variation of http://t.co/1lmQiyd

it resulted in a nice exchange,

@Kempton Fair point. But the crux of the issue is bad local experiences already get (potentially) national attention. But this means local..

@Kempton …teams can more likely make a bad experience better before it goes national as they’ll hear it and deal with it (we hope).

@jordancwilliams Right, bad experience won’t stay local. Local team gives local care, eg “Pls visit K street store to exchange 4 a new one”

@jordancwilliams right. resolve it locally. makes the customers happy and give them reason to want to shop again in the future.

As I wrote, I like REI‘s Decentralized Twitter Approach. On the surface, HQ has “less control” but I believe, ultimately, it will up everyone’s game and deliver a better customer service experiences.

Best of luck to Jordan and his team at REI.


University of Michigan Solar Car Quantum Mock Races

Saturday, 16 July, 2011

Photo Credit: UM Solar Car Team - Joe Menzia carefully sorts modules and attaches them to stiff cardboard using 3M Polyimide tape for testing.

From University of Michigan Solar Car Quantum Mock Races, LIVE (emphasis added, check it out while it is LIVE (as of 11:15am MST, 16 July, 2011)) (update: see below for new mock race videos from today)

The defending National Championship Solar Car Team is about to embark on a one thousand mock race around Michigan’s lower peninsula. This race allows the team to simulate race-like conditions and gain valuable on-road testing. The team gets to go through all the aspects of solar car racing; including intervehicle communication, caravan travel and safety procedures. In particular the strategy division will get to perfect their race day action plan.”

Here is the UM promo video “100 Days to Win the World“,

Mock Race: MI | Day 1: Solar Car at 50 MPH

Mock Race: MI | Day 1: Solar Car St. Joseph’s Control Stop

Mock Race: MI | Day 1: Morning

July 18 update: Mock Race: MI | Day 2

See my previous articles in 2011 and 2008,

* June 2011, “UM Quantum becoming a Solar Car

* June 2011, “Quantum’s First Road Testing – University of Michigan Solar Car Team

* Aug 2008, “U of Michigan 2008 Solar Challenge (video)

* July 2008, “U of Michigan at 2008 North American Solar Challenge


Yoyo Sham 岑寧兒 and Charatay 格勒底

Sunday, 10 July, 2011

三人行 - Yoyo - pix 01

I am slow and just discovered the cool sound of Yoyo Sham 岑寧兒 (Facebook) (her website) and her accapella group Charatay (格勒底, the six members are 岑寧兒、陳詠謙、張傑邦、梁仰詩、洪豐盈、袁慧妍) (Facebook). You can find out more about her music by joining her Facebook group and check out Charatay. [HT Eva]

At the moment, I love her best in her part of 三人行 – 重編新唱版本.

Here are some other songs to check out from a quick YouTube search of her name Yoyo Sham 岑寧兒 and also from the Charatay Bong’s YouTube channel.

Hill Cheung 10 Years (re-edit ) (May 2010)

Read the rest of this entry »


More user created Harry Potter in Pottermore – Coming in October 2011

Sunday, 3 July, 2011

Pottermore - by J.K. Rowling

Thanks J.K. This looks cool and very promising. Especially this bit,

“… so Pottermore will be built, in part, by you, the reader”.

I am very excited by what Pottermore can potentially achieve. Now, I have zero inside knowledge of the project but I will try to share with you my thought and ideas on how Pottermore could and should be built. Some cool things can be done? What fun ideas are possible. To start, here are a few random rough ideas.

1) As a design goal, Pottermore should be created with users of all ages and level of sophistications in mind.

Meaning something for younger players to “just play with” and very easy to customize, to create their own special world. And at the same time, also powerful enough for sophisticated users to seriously play to create new “things” (see below).

(side note: The Pottermore design team should help guide the fans away from simply recreating what they have seen in the movies. But it is really up to the fans.)

2) On a small scale, allow sophisticated fans to “create” the look & feel of all notable objects and items in the Harry Potter world (including all the magical objects). Allow the framework for sophisticated fans to “create” their own “enchanted coins” for example.

3) On a bigger scale, allow fans as cooperative community to create all the notable places in the Potter world, rooms, streets, alley, etc together as a team via the site. May be there can be a place where interested fans can come together to help “build” the dinning hall in Hogwarts.

4) Allow enough flexibility, so the popular rendering (look & feel) of an item can be voted upon by members. Very importantly, each and every individual fan created items should be accessible (by links or “ids”) so fans can create their own specialized version of Pottermore experiences and simply see and experience a “popular” version.

5) A fan should be able to “share” her/his Pottermore customization (whatever she/he chooses for the total look and feel) so her/his friends or others in the community can “see” it and then customize base on it. I think it is important and nice to give credit to everyone that help in the process, may be attach these credits/thanks for help in the system somehow.

6) The designers of Pottermore should keep an open mind as they design the systems because, to make Pottermore a success, the system needs to be flexible enough to change and grow with the imagination of the fans.

I look forward to seeing and learning more Pottermore. I hope I will be positively wowed and won’t be disappointed. Will see about that.

[HT Kevin Roberts]


Corla Rokochy, Snappy Socks, interview at Brett Wilson’s Garden Party 2011

Friday, 24 June, 2011

Corla Rokochy, Snappy Socks

It was my pleasure to finally meet Corla Rokochy (Snappy Socks) in person after watching her pitched on Dragons’ Den and talked about her business in Feb 2011. The following is my video interview with Corla at Brett Wilson’s Garden Party 2011.

The following are a few highlights of my video interview with Corla,

0:00 Corla talks about Snappy Socks and shows us some of her cool socks.

0:35 How much money did Brett invest in the business and what was the story?

0:52 How did the Brett’s money impact the business?

1:14 With that money, how many pairs of socks were bought and sold? Read the rest of this entry »


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