Watch “Revolution Trilogy” 睇「革命三部曲」

Friday, 18 March, 2016

Director/producer/independent reporter Kempton Lam has made three full-length documentaries from 2004 – 2015. (Cantonese with English subtitles 廣東話、英文字幕) Collectively, the three documentaries 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 watch the three films at this YouTube Playlist (projected on your big screen HD TV or on your computer 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)


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


The Boston Globe Spotlight Team & My Hope for FactWire

Thursday, 14 January, 2016

Spotlight the movie, about The Boston Globe investigative news team Spotlight team, was announced as one of the Oscar nominated best pictures this morning. I have yet to watch Spotlight and I look forward to watching it sometime. Worth checking out how The Boston Globe covered/reviewed the movie. :) (e.g. “Superb ‘Spotlight’ doesn’t turn journalists into heroes“, “How the ‘Spotlight’ movie got made“, etc)

Fairly or unfairly, I am setting the 45+ years old Spotlight team as benchmark for FactWire News Agency 傳真社, a brand new (not yet in operation) Hong Kong based crowdfunded investigative news agency. FactWire just announced it has finished its hiring process yesterday.

In life, I try to benchmark against some of the best examples (as far as I know) around the world as aiming high and falling short is better than aiming low and exceeding the target. Mr. Ng Hiu-tung 吳曉東, CEO of FactWire, is well aware of the expectations people/funders have on him so I don’t think I am adding any extra pressure here. I hope FactWire will bring us insightful, comprehensive, and fully linked/referenced (with original source documents (watch this Q&A)) investigative reports in the coming months and years. I also hope FactWire can work out its business model so it can become a financially sustainable business.

Disclosure: Like many people who helped with FactWire’s crowdfunding project, I made a tiny immaterial contribution as I believe Ai Weiwei‘s saying of “A small act is worth a million thoughts“.

Here are some very insightful video clips. Starting with this Globe produced clip entitled The Boston Globe Spotlight Team (~12 mins)

DP/30 @ TIFF: Spotlight, The Real-Life Journalists (~31 mins)

KEYNOTE: A Hollywood ‘Spotlight’ On Award-Winning Boston Globe Investigation (~47 mins)

Michael Keaton Discusses ‘Spotlight’ | The New York Times (~2 mins) Read the rest of this entry »


Uber, Hong Kong gov profiled ‘success story’, raided by HK police, Uber drivers arrested

Tuesday, 11 August, 2015
Uber, Hong Kong gov profiled ‘success story’, raided by HK police, Uber drivers arrested

Uber, Hong Kong gov profiled ‘success story’, raided by HK police, Uber drivers arrested

Uber, a controversial taxi alternative that connects private drivers with riders, has its Hong Kong office raided by Regional Crime Unit of Kowloon West today as reported by ABC news. Three Uber Hong Kong employees (age 21 to 29) and five Uber drivers were arrested according to the Hong Kong Chinese media Apple Daily news.

While Uber has run into various legal troubles in different parts of the world including Canadian cities like Calgary (brief operation in 2014, currently halted), Edmonton (pending court case), and Ottawa (taxi drivers released vigilante-style video, Ottawa police and bylaw officers laying 32 charges against Uber drivers), this may be the first time Uber employees and Uber drivers have been arrested in a high profile police sting operation. Especially considering the fact that Uber was just recently in May 2015 featured in an investHK Success Story (PDF file) (investHK is a Hong Kong government department tasked “to attract and retain foreign direct investment which is of strategic importance to the economic development of Hong Kong”.) (2015/05 investHK Success Story 投資推廣署 – 成功個案 PDF)

According to the HK government official May 2015 investHK Success Story (PDF) ,

“InvestHK provided Uber with significant support, including information on public transportation and advice on market entry strategy prior to its launch.”

Let’s think about it for a moment. A government department helping a multi-billion foreign high-tech company with “significant support” including “advice on market entry strategy prior to its launch” sounded like a perfect task and job well done for investHK. And that would fit HKSAR Chief Executive CY Leung‘s often talked about desire to establish an Innovation and Technology Bureau (創新及科技局) very well.

It is not like Uber has changed its business model since May 2015 when Hong Kong government talked about her “significant support” including “advice on market entry strategy prior to its launch” in its investHK Success Story. This reporter is not a lawyer but to many casual observers, the Hong Kong government’s prior “significant support” including “advice on market entry strategy prior to its launch” might be seen by some, fairly or unfairly, as potentially a form of entrapment.

Does Hong Kong still have a stable business environment where innovative entrepreneurs can work under a fair legal system where rule of law still matter? Will the Hong Kong government explain what rules, laws, or regulations have changed between May 2015 (a “success story”) to August 11th where people were arrested and equipment and records confiscated as part of a criminal case investigation?

An earlier version of this report is cross-posted to examiner.

Note 1: Uber is not operating in Calgary even it operated briefly in 2014 before insurance concerns halted the service. In separate polls conducted by the city and the company finds majority of Calgarians embrace idea of Uber. And more importantly, officials from cities like Calgary are willing and working with Uber to try to bring more choices to citizens in a manner that protect the safety of riders.

Note 2: This reporter has uploaded saved copies of the English version of investHK Success and Chinese version of investHK Success Story 投資推廣署 – 成功個案 as part of this news reporting as per fair dealing provisions of copyright law for readers to read and research for themselves. At press time, it appears that both the English and Chinese “success story” files have been deleted from the investHK website. Some Hong Kong Facebook users voiced their suspicion that the HKSAR government might have deleted the files to avoid embarrassment or incriminating evidences.

20150811 Uber Sucess Story deleted - English

20150811 Uber Sucess Story deleted – English

20150811 Uber Sucess Story deleted - Chinese

20150811 Uber Sucess Story deleted – Chinese

11th August 2015 Update: On the night of August 11th, Uber Hong Kong stated “Uber ensures that all trips have insurance coverages” and they will “fully support their drivers” and “fully cooperate with government officials, work to improve current legislation, putting safety and benefits of passengers and drivers first.” (rough translation from Chinese).

For the record, here is the media in Chinese as reported by Apply Daily,

「一直以來,香港市民已明確、清楚的表達,欲享有更多元化和更完善的交通方式。Uber 致力提供安全、可靠及優良的服務,以滿足市民對高效交通服務的需求。與 Uber 合作的司機,使用創新科技平台,提升工作安排的彈性並增加收入。Uber 亦確保所有行程都有保險保障,每位 Uber 司機都必須通過全面的背景審查。我們百分百支持與我們合作的司機,亦期待與有關當局通力合作,推動完善現行的法例,將乘客及司機的安全和利益放在首位。」

Further report here (首次放蛇搗信用卡收費白牌車 警打擊Uber 拘5司機3職員) and here (警檢控 料將案件作測試個案).


Women’s Horizon (好風景) documentary film review

Tuesday, 9 September, 2014
Women’s Horizon (好風景) HK documentary

Women’s Horizon (好風景) HK documentary

Documentary title: Women’s Horizon (好風景)

Directors: Jo Ho Ka Wui (何嘉滙) and Bryan Chang Wai Hung (張偉雄).

Casts: Kitman, Esther, Kai Kai (佳佳), Charlene, Chan Hei (陳熹).

Film rating: **** out of 5

Film review:

Women’s Horizon (好風景)  is documentary that recorded the different small slices of lives of five Hong Kong women from 2010 fall to 2012 spring. In 58 minutes, the filmmakers were successful in getting the viewers to see how the five women living their lives and for this reviewer, to care about them all. The filmmakers were careful in telling/reminding the viewers by putting up slides on screen part way through the film stating “We are not comparing or judging. We don’t want the audience to generalize all Hong Kong women either. This might only a be a tiny part of their life. Going in front of the camera may cause hesitation or glossing over issues, We want to capture that brief moment of their sincere reality.

Without heavy hands nor trying to sensationalize things, the film gives viewers windows to the women’s work lives, family lives, their aspirations, their disappointments, their dating/love lives, and more. And at one point, we felt like an intimate participant along Kai Kai’s political protest and can emphasize the changes she must have gone through since the beginning of the film.

Watching the film, there are many scenes with Kitman, Esther, Kai Kai, Charlene, and Chan Hei that put a smile on my face, made me laugh out loud, got me thinking, felt sad, and got me scared for what I saw on screen. These are signs of a good documentary.

As far as this reporter knows (plus checking with Jo), Women’s Horizon is possibly the first Hong Kong documentary that wishes/plans to come back to revisit the same documentary subjects in a few years time (if the documentary subjects are willing to participate). Jo mentioned to this reviewer in an video interview that she and Byran were inspired and influenced by the British Up Series when they were planning the documentary in 2010. As a big admirer and lover of the Up Series, this reviewer hopes Jo & Byran’s wishes will come true and viewers will have the pleasure to learn more about Kitman, Esther, Kai Kai, Charlene, and Chan Hei in a few years.

=======

Women’s Horizon (好風景) film outline,

“[Women’s Horizon (好風景)] Paints a portrait of five unique Hong Kong women. Kitman, a big fan of online sweepstake;; Charlene, a dance instructor and urban fashion shop owner;; Esther, growing up in in a christian community aspiring to live the life within the church;; Chan Hei, was an advocate for the fair treatment of sex workers and is employed at a bookstore;; Kai Kai, Representative of the League of Fanling North Villages and Residents. The documentary recorded their lives from 2010 to 2012. It represents a history of their growth, a reflection of their temporal moods and aspirations for the the future. The images filmed are like five mobile mirrors into individual lives revealings their feeling intentionally or unintentionally. The documentary is not aiming to judge but solely at catching a glimpse of the women’s innermost feelings in this era.”

Here is a trailer,


Cantonese interview with Jo Ho, co-director of HK documentary Women’s Horizon (好風景)

Tuesday, 9 September, 2014

Jo Ho Ka Wui (何嘉滙) is the co-director of HK documentary Women’s Horizon (好風景) with Bryan Chang Wai Hung (張偉雄). A documentary that recorded the lives of five Hong Kong women from 2010 to 2012. Here is a description of the five women from the film outline,

“Kitman, a big fan of online sweepstake; Charlene, a dance instructor and urban fashion shop owner; Esther, growing up in in a christian community aspiring to live the life within the church; Chan Hei, was an advocate for the fair treatment of sex workers and is employed at a bookstore; Kai Kai, Representative of the League of Fanling North Villages and Residents.”

Here is a trailer,

When Jo and Bryan were first planning to shoot Women’s Horizon in 2010, they talked about being inspired by the British Up Series documentary that has “followed the lives of fourteen British children since 1964, when they were seven years old.” The directors of Women’s Horizon hopes to revisit the lives of the five Hong Kong women in a few years to make another documentary. Over the two and a half years, the filmmakers made the documentary with their own money and shot ~60 hours of footage and editing the footage down to a 58 minutes documentary.

Here is an extensive and exclusive interview with co-director Jo Ho Ka Wui (何嘉滙) conducted on the eve of the film’s world premiere on September 9th at the Chinese Documentary Festival 2014.


The Art of Producing 監製的藝術

Thursday, 20 February, 2014
Kashy 8pm 2014 Feb 28 Concert Banner

Kashy 8pm 2014 Feb 28 Concert Banner

The Art of Producing 監製的藝術:
My journey as a concert producer 踏上演唱會監製之路
I do many things. I am a management consultant, documentary film director/producer, …, and now I’ve taken on the role as a concert producer. 我做很多種工作。我是管理顧問,紀錄片導演/監製,…,現在再加上演唱會監製的角色。
Some people say when you have done it, it is not bragging.有些人說,只要您真的做過,便不算車大炮。
I’ve never attended film school and then my first and only full-length documentary is in the national archive of Canada. 我從未上過電影學校,而我的第一套紀錄長片現正收藏在加拿大聯邦政府“國家圖書檔案館”之內。
I tell this story not to brag but to illustrate the capacity to learn within each and everyone of us. 我說這故事不是想自誇,而是想帶出您我每人都有的學習潜能。
Do it. Learn it. Get better. Do it some more. Learn some more. […] 做。學習。做得更好。做多一些。學多一些。[…]
Singer/songwriter Kashy Keegan, me and a team of great professionals (theatre & music) and unpaid volunteers (camera and production assistant) are working very hard to organize Kashy’s concert! 創作歌手Kashy Keegan、我及一個專業與義務的團隊,大家正在很努力籌辦Kashy的演唱會!
Kashy’s concert happens in 8 days at 8pm, Friday Feb 28th, 2014 in Hong Kong. Kashy的演唱會8日後,2014年2月28日,星期五,晚上8點在香港舉行。
We still have lots to do, music video to shoot, school visit to sing with students, media interviews, plus trying to sell out this concert! 我們還有許多事要做,拍攝音樂短片,參觀學校及與學生合唱,媒體採訪,試賣更多票,把這場演唱會賣個滿堂紅!
As producer, it is my job to be creative and to make things happen. 作為監製,我的工作是勇於創新,無中創”有”。
We have done some ground breaking things and will do some more in Hong Kong. 創新的事我們已經做了很多,到香港後將會試做更多。
The business/science of producing is not easy but the art of producing is harder. 監製(生意/科學)難,但掌握監製的藝術更難。
The “Art of Producing” is about the magic of producing something, out of nothing! 監製的藝術是一門從無中創”有”的藝術!
Please wish us luck! 請祝我們好運!
– Kempton – 錦堂
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Kashy’s Hong Kong Dreams Come True Concert :: Friday 28/2/2014, Y-Theatre, Youth Square, Chai Wan. HK$198 & $168 Tickets on sale NOW! > http://www.urbtix.hk :: telephone booking: 2111 5999 (10am – 8pm)
Kashy香港夢想成真演唱會,星期五 28/2/2014,Y綜藝館,青年廣場,柴灣。HK$198, $168 門票現正於各城市電腦售票處、網上及電話購票熱線發售!> http://www.urbtix.hk ,電話訂票:2111 5999 (10am – 8pm)
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