2011 Top 10 Ads

Saturday, 17 December, 2011

2011 Year in Review - Pix 03

It is that time of the year to pick Top 10s. Here is my list of 10 favourite ads in 2011. Please share your favourite ad or ads in the comment section.

The T-Mobile Royal Wedding – who would forget this timely and well-produced ad? :)

Maria Aragon – Born This Way (Cover) by Lady Gaga – A self-promotional video by the 7-year-old Maria. A video that connected her with Lady Gaga and the rest is history and legend. I say a win-win for Maria and Gaga.

BORN THIS WAY – Lady Gaga performs with Maria Aragon live in Toronto (March 3rd) – One small promise kept by Lady Gaga has helped Maria fulfill some of her dreams for sure.

Motorola – Empower the People – Good ad, too bad the product was priced too high and the product never sell too well. [blogged in Feb 2011]

NextBigThing 60 Final – Samsung

Lenovo “Boot Or Bust” Air Drop – Turning something as boring/technical as a 10 seconds boot time into a dramatic ad with its “behind the scene” making of video is definitely a great idea executed well.

Zeitgeist 2011: Year In Review – A great way to advertise a whole bunch of Google products in a way that you want to watch the video! Nicely done.

Time Is Love 2011電視廣告「這三年間」- 2分鐘電視劇場版 – (Chinese ad, love this short version)

Google Chrome: Lady Gaga – Google: “The Web Is What You Make of It” Agency: Google Creative Lab Launch date: May 2 Views: 21.2 million [HT AdAge]

Google Chrome: Justin Bieber – Google: “The Web Is What You Make of It” Agency: Google Creative Lab Launch date: May 2 Views: 21.2 million [HT AdAge]

Jennifer Lopez – Papi – Fiat: “Life Is Best When Driven” Agency: Doner Launch date: Sept. 12 Views: 27.4 million. I didn’t like it at first but have grown to enjoy it by the end of the 5+ minutes music video/ad. [HT AdAge]

2011 Year in Review - Pix 07

2011 Year In Review

Friday, 16 December, 2011

2011 Year in Review - Pix 01

Great video of 2011 Year in Review

2011 Year in Review - Pix 02

2011 Year in Review - Pix 05

More photos here in this Flickr collection.

Guide to Final Day of Calgary International Film Festival 2011

Sunday, 2 October, 2011

Sun, Oct 2nd

12:00pm Becoming Santa (Eau Claire) Watch my video interview with ”Becoming Santa”‘s Santa/producer Jack Sanderson & director/producer Jeff Myers

2:30pm, Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey

4:30pm Almanya – Welcome to Germany (Eau Claire)

7:00pm The Salt of Life (Eau Claire)

TIFF 2011 Red Carpet videos

Tuesday, 13 September, 2011

Have a watch. [HT Baylea]

* “‘A Dangerous Method’ – Viggo Mortensen at the TIFF 2011

* “‘Eye of the Storm’ – Geoffrey Rush at Toronto Film Festival 2011

More Red Carpet Videos here.

2011 Pulitzer Prize winner Barbara Davidson

Sunday, 28 August, 2011

Here is a insightful CBC News feature video story of 2011 Pulitzer Prize winner Barbara Davidson (Los Angeles Times) for her intimate story of innocent victims trapped in the city’s crossfire of deadly gang violence. Highly recommended.

Kevin Smith at the 2011 NAB Show

Monday, 22 August, 2011

Check out the following two videos thanks to Avid.

036 – Kevin Smith at the 2011 NAB Show (Main Stage)

037 – Kevin Smith at the 2011 NAB Show (Keynote)

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.”

Braeside Stampede Breakfast 2011

Saturday, 9 July, 2011

Last year (in 2010) I reported on our community centre’s Stampede Breakfast with Prime Minister Stephen Harper (with photos & video), this year I ended up reporting about a group of concerned Calgarians trying to Save Glenmore Park. Anyway, here are some pictures from Braeside Stampede Breakfast 2011.

By the way, if you are in Calgary during 2011 Stampede (July 8 – 17), make sure you find time to attend one or more of the many free Stampede breakfasts in town.

P.S. While Harper didn’t attend the breakfast this year, the local alderman Brian Pincott and MLA Paul Hinman were there to help out with the breakfast and shake some hands.

Braeside Stampede Breakfast - pix 02

Braeside Stampede Breakfast - pix 01 Read the rest of this entry »

Brett Wilson’s Garden Party 2011 attendees (plus gov/AB) raised $300K+ for Dare To Care

Friday, 24 June, 2011

Brett Wilson's Garden Party 2011 - DareToCare.ca

My better half and I always look forward to attend Brett Wilson‘s Garden Party. Great food, great party, and most importantly, each year there is a worthy cause that Brett ask attendees to support. (See the worthy causes for 2010 & 2009.)

For 2011, about 1,000 people attended the Garden Party, and the cause is Dare To Care. I think what Dare To Care does is very important work (especially in our SMS, Facebook age). Have a read of Dare To Care‘s intro (emphasis added),

The Dare To Care program is a fully comprehensive approach to dealing with bullying and challenges within school communities. This comprehensive approach involves students, teachers, parents and the community in an effort to eliminate bullying and other dangerous behaviours from their schools and, in turn, create an atmosphere of tolerance and respect.

The Dare to Care program helps school communities, from Kindergarten to Grade 12, create a common language which then allows for more consistent intervention and follow through when dealing with challenging issues.

The attendees of Garden Party 2011 (along with up to $100K matching fund from Government of Alberta) raised over $300K for Dare To Care!

Please have a watch of my video interview Dwayne Peace, (Dare To Care), video interview with Elle Boetticher (Pro Elvis Jumpsuits), and video interview with Corla Rokochy (Snappy Socks),

By the way, here some photos from the party. More photos here in this flickr set.

The Partyfilm crew

Brett with Lindsay Blackett, Minister of Culture and Community SpiritEleanor Boetticher, Pro Elvis Jumpsuits

Dwayne Peace, Dare to CareCorla Rokochy, Snappy Socks

P.S. Over the years, I have my serious difference of opinions with Minister Lindsay Blackett on various government policies and his views of the Canadian TV industry expressed at Banff. Last night, I set those differences aside and went up to warmly congratulate Minister Blackett on doing a wonderful thing for Alberta school kids by matching the donation to Dare To Care on behalf of the Alberta government and Albertans for $100,000. Alberta school kids deserve all the help and love we can give them. Thank you Minister Blackett and the Government of Alberta.

CBC Rex Murphy on the Vancouver riots

Friday, 17 June, 2011

CBC Rex Murphy on the Vancouver riots - pix 02

I don’t agree with CBC Rex Murphy too often. But I think Rex’s opinions in his insightful piece last night (June 16th in The National) on the Vancouver riots were right on. Also have a read of my preliminary Top 10 Canucks Riot Lessons – Turning the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riot into a Teachable Moment.

Here is an excerpt from Rex‘s National Post Full Comment piece “Punish those who tore the heart out of Vancouver” (looks like the same speech as he said on The National, emphasis added),

Those clod poles, ne’er-do-wells, vandals, punks, thugs and assorted clueless dolts who smacked people around, piled on others, fought with and sought to injure police, set fire to cars, broke into stores, trashed and looted at will in Vancouver Wednesday night — all are a pathetic pack of cowardly destructive losers. An older generation, not bent by the winds of political correctness would rightly have called them the scum of the earth.

There aren’t any excuses for what they did. None. None. At. All. If these whiny, pampered, useless sacks of skin even try to claim it was because their team lost, then they haven’t got the intelligence of a ball of mud. Fools don’t need a motive to be fools, and destructive and threatening fools, such as those who rioted Wednesday night in Vancouver are no exception to this rule. This kind of fool will riot when “his” team wins as easily as when it loses, the game was just a convenient trigger.

[…] Vancouver deserved better Wednesday night. Canada deserved better. Even the Canucks, who had a long worthy go of it up to the final games, deserved better.

The rioters are a third-rate band of losers who still managed to cast a shadow on what should have been — win or lose — a wonderful night for all the country. Everyone in Canada who loves hockey and Canada despises these people.

CBC Rex Murphy on the Vancouver riots - pix 04

CBC Rex Murphy on the Vancouver riots - pix 05 Read the rest of this entry »

Top 10 Canucks Riot Lessons – Turning the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riot into a Teachable Moment

Thursday, 16 June, 2011

Top 10 #CanucksRiot Lessons - Turning the Riot into a Teachable Moment

Here are my top 10 preliminary lessons learned after the 2011 Stanley Cup riot #CanucksRiot. As Canadians, we have to take charge and turn this heck of a mess (with nearly 100 arrest) into a teachable moment. Otherwise we are condemned to repeat the same mistaken again and again until we actually learn it.

Please feel free to add your own lessons learned.

My Top 10 #CanucksRiot Lessons in Our Social Media Age

10. There are so many cellphone photos & videos taken of the #CanucksRiot already posted on Facebook/Flickr/YouTube. There will be lots of evidences to hold the rioters/looters accountable under our laws. [Jun 17 update: “Olympic hopeful suspended over link to Vancouver riots“]

9. Think for a moment: People who took photos & videos of the rioters’ crazy acts were indirectly “giving” the rioters an interested audiences and cameras to perform to! Yes, this is paradoxical and contrary to #10.

8. Take public transportation. Do not park your vehicles near the general area where you expect a ton of people to gather in a public event (in this case, well over 100,000+ people). Plus public transportation is better for the environment anyway! :)

7. It only takes a few short hours to undo a positive international image that takes _years_ to build!

6. The “Kissing photo” at the Vancouver riot had generated lots of web interest.  Is this our collective minds hoping/wishing to see something positive out of this mess?

"Kissing Couple" at Vancouver Stanley Cup Riot identified as Australian man Scott Jones and Canadian woman Alex Thomas

See NPR story for the photo and the “story” of this may/may not be staged photo. (Last update I read was from June 16, 4:58pm ET)

June 17, 6:01am MST update: Various media are reporting the news (originally from Nine MSN) that the man in the photo is Australian Scott Jones and the woman is Canadian Alex Thomas. For more, see CBC News report (with video news report and Skype video interview of the father of Scott Jones), Guardian, and Vancouver Sun.

P.S. The mystery story behind the “Kissing photo” reminded me of the Oscar winning director Errol Morris‘s interesting three-part New York Times blog series on a puzzle involving two 1855 war photos.

Jun 17, 11:30am MST update: Scott’s mom said, “I knew it was him because he doesn’t have a lot of clothes with him and he always puts on the same thing. I’d have to have my house flooded to get on the news, but he just has to kiss a beautiful girl.” [HT Atlantic Wire & Kevin]

For more about the “Kissing Couple” photo, see “Australian Scott Jones & Canadian Alexandra Thomas – Kissing Couple in Vancouver Riot identif.

5. People who took photos of themselves with burning cars or rioting acts as the backdrop were actually “fuelling” the symbolical flames of the riots.

4. Rioters/looters’ self incriminating photos will _forever_ be archived on the internet. “Youthful” indiscretions now leave a _permanent_ and non-erasable trail.

3. Riots can happen in any major Canadian cities (Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, etc). We just can’t defend against organized criminal minds/mobs who are ready to take advantage of special events or occasions to loot/rob/steal. Essential items in a rioters/looters tool kit are simple things like newspaper boxes, portable chairs/tables, bandanas, hammers, gasoline in bottles to start fires or use as Molotov cocktails. How can you defend against a few committed criminals in a sea of thousands without harming the innocent people by accident?

2. Social media/online initiatives like @VancouverClean on Twitter and “Canucks fans against the 2011 Vancouver Riots” on Facebook can have meaningful & positive impact in our real world. Show the rioters/looters and the world that committed citizens _can_ and _do_ make a positive difference.

1. A picture worth a thousand words. So far, here are 37,000 words inPost Riot Clean Up Pictures” under the Facebook group “Canucks fans against the 2011 Vancouver Riots“. OK, I cry easily. And yes, I cried when I looked at this, this, this, and this pictures.

In particular, I started crying when I looked at this picture because thoughtful and committed people are thoughtful and committed _individuals_ coming together to achieve a common goal!

Good luck to us all!


Here is one of the quotes I love.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
– Margaret Mead

17th Jun, 2:39 pm update: Reading this “Bruins fan spat on and beaten up during Canucks game” made me sick and very sad.

Post 2011 Stanley Cup Game 7 Vancouver Riot

Wednesday, 15 June, 2011

It pains my soul to see my fellow Canadians rioting in Vancouver after the Canucks losing Stanley Cup Game 7. To my friends, it may be easy to condemn all Canucks fans or Vancouver as a city for the riot. To me, I believe there will always bad citizens amongst us and there are nothing stopping drunken and angry citizens in our own cities in rioting.

I feel sad and ashamed of what my fellow Canadians have done and are doing in Vancouver. I am shocked and disappointed, Canadians are much better than this. I feel ill in encouraging a visiting friend to take in the game and join in the party in Vancouver. I hope she gets home safely.

A very sad day.


Update: What we say or do in a crisis reflect a lot of our characters. My friends living outside of Vancouver, try not to feel too superior or smug to our fellow Canadians. A day of potential national pride turned into a night of destructions. This is a sad day for Vancouver, a sad day for Canadians across the country. A sad day.


Looting update: The Bay and some brandname stores are being looted. Even London Drugs are being looted! What a sad day in seeing Canadians in Vancouver engaging in all these illegal acts. Vancouver St. Paul’s hospital is currently in “code orange”, so no medical staff are leaving, in case of “mass casualty incident”.


6:39am, June 16 update: Facebook page Post Riot Clean-up – Let’s help Vancouver

If you live in Vancouver and are disgusted with the riots last night, please spare a few minutes in helping. It only takes a few to break windows, destroy properties and steal, but it takes a city to rebuild and cleanup. Go @VancouverClean Go !!!

Vote on May 2nd – These young people are voting! You should too!

Wednesday, 27 April, 2011

Remember to vote on May 2nd.

University of Toronto Mississauga Vote Mob

Halifax Vote Mob

Usask Vote Mob 2011

Read the rest of this entry »

Thanks Vote Mobs – There is Hope in Canada – Vote on May 2

Thursday, 21 April, 2011

As a passionate Canadian, I am shocked and disparaged by the lack of respect for democracy and ethics by Stephen Harper. In these dark hours, the student-organized Vote Mobs across Canada shine a bright light and reminds me there is still hope in Canadian democracy.

Please VOTE on May 2nd, 2011.

Waterloo Vote Mob

UBC Vote Mob!

Brock University Vote Mob

Carleton University Vote Mob… with a Twist!

McMaster University Vote Mob: Reach For the Stars

University of Victoria Vote Mob – RESPECT

University of Guelph Vote Mob –Dog Days are Over


Click here for more entries and videos about vote mob!

Video of Final Cut Pro X Intro at SuperMeet (NAB 2011)

Thursday, 14 April, 2011

MacRumors (with extensive 50+ minutes video clip), “Video of Final Cut Pro X Introduction Now Available” [HT @joshjanssen]

Here are the video clips (very clear 720p video available). Clip 1 and clip 2. [HT Les Machineurs for the vids]

NABShow 2011 tidbits of info

Monday, 11 April, 2011

Following is a collection of NAB Show 2011 info that caught my eyes so far. I will add more later.

James Cameron and Vince Pace NAB Show 2011 Opening Keynote

Dejero Demonstrates Live HD Wireless Broadcasting Using Panasonic Toughbook at NAB Show 2011

* Studio Daily, Sony Spotlights F65 4K Camera at NAB (Sony press release)

* Some more hints about the Next Final Cut Pro at 2011 preNAB meetup with video (starts around 3 minutes point) (also see this older news New Apple Final Cut Pro at NAB 2011)

ThunderBolt Products Starting to Roll Out at NAB

* Apple Insider, “New MacBook Pro Thunderbolt port gets attention at NAB 2011

* Quantel, NAB 2011 build up diary from the team in Vegas

* [via @Quantel], Ian Vertovec, DI Colorist at Light Iron, will be on the Quantel booth at #NABShow today & Tuesday at 3pm talking about “The Social Network“. (see also “Five Questions: Ian Vertovec, Colorist, Light Iron Digital”)

James Cameron and Vince Pace NAB Show 2011 Opening Keynote – Launched CAMERON – PACE Group (CPG)

Monday, 11 April, 2011

Update: Check out video clips of the keynote and extensive clips of the press conference. Official NAB Show Daily news, “Cameron, Pace Keynote Sets Tone for the Show


James Cameron and Vince Pace at NAB Show 2011

Screen capture source: NAB Show 2011

James Cameron and Vince Pace at NAB Show 2011

Photo source credit: @ReubenLangdon (photo)

NAB Show 2011 Keynote by James Cameron and Vince Pace

I wish I could be at NAB Show 2011 and attending James Cameron and Vince Pace’s NAB Show 2011 Opening Keynote to see they launched CAMERON – PACE Group.

James Cameron and Vince Pace Form New Venture to Accelerate 3D Solutions Across All Entertainment Platforms“, April 11, 2011 Official press release,

““Our goal is to banish all the perceived and actual barriers to entry that are currently holding back producers, studios and networks from embracing their 3D future,” said James Cameron, Co-Chairman of CAMERON – PACE Group. “We are dedicated to building a global brand that is synonymous with high quality 3D and spans multiple channels, from features to episodic television, and changes the boundaries of what is understood to be 3D material.”

CPG‘s mission is to step up industry-wide efforts to help filmmakers realize 3D’s full potential as a creative and powerful storytelling medium and accelerate the growth of the next generation of 3D solutions across all platforms,” said Vince Pace, Co-Chairman and CEO of CAMERON – PACE Group. “Through our expanded reach and new generation of 3D solutions, we will deliver a variety of creative tools including SLATE2SCREEN™ 3D production services, educational workshops for industry professionals in FUSION 3D and FUSION 3D Mobile Workflow Units that support end-to-end solutions for both the live and recorded production environments. CPG will deliver CAN DO solutions.”

CAMERON – PACE Group already has an extensive list of current and upcoming projects, including “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” [Kempton: Cool!] “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” [Kempton: Cool!] “The Three Musketeers,” “The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” “Life of Pi,” and “47 Ronin.” For a more extensive list of CPG projects, as well as a comprehensive overview of CPG’s available products and services, please refer to, www.cameronpace.com.”

Also see news from NYTReutersPC magazine, and Hollywood Reporter,

““Broadcasting is the future of 3D,” Cameron said, predicting that in as few as two years, “everything will be produced in 3D” and 2D versions will be extracted from that.”

On a personal note, the more I read about Jim (see “The Futurist: The Life and Films of James Cameron“), the more I admire him as a determined artist, filmmaker, and businessman.


Apr 12, 2011 Update:

* Studio Daily, “ARRI Teams with CAMERON-PACE Group on Alexa M Development

* Guardian, “James Cameron expects 100% 3D within the next five years – All film and TV will be made in 3D soon, says Avatar director as he launches venture promoting industry take-up of technology

New Final Cut Pro X announced tonight (available in June for $299) at NAB 2011

Wednesday, 6 April, 2011

April 14, 2011: MacRumors (with extensive 50+ minutes video clip), “Video of Final Cut Pro X Introduction Now Available” [HT @joshjanssen]

THR, “Avid CEO Weighs in on Rival Apple’s New Editing Software

“Reacting to Final Cut’s newest incarnation — which was greeted with wildly enthusiastic applause when it was unveiled Tuesday night — Avid chairman and CEO Gary Greenfield told The Hollywood Reporter: “I think what was reiterated last night is what we have been telling our customers for a long time, that Avid is the company that wakes in the morning focused on professional workflows — professional workflows for professionals who making a living doing what they are doing. That is what Avid is about. That is the type of capabilities that Avid is going to continue to add to its products.

“Whenever Apple does something, they do it well,” he added. “No one really knows until the product is out. There were a lot of unanswered questions. But I think it just reminds people that Avid is going to wake up and serve your professional needs.””

Apr 13 Update: “Final Cut Pro Got A Huge Makeover: Here Are The 10 Best New Features

Apple outs 64-bit Final Cut Pro X, more pro video updates to come

MacRumors, “NAB 2011 Final Cut Pro Supermeet Coverage [Final Cut Pro X Announced]

According to MacRumors, “- Shipping in June on App Store. $299. – No mention of Final Cut Studio or Final Cut Express.” Hmm, what about the other applications? Will they get a new coat of paint or does that mean Apple Final Cut Studio is no more?

Hollywood Reporter, “The new version of its nonlinear editing software — a 64-bit system with a new interface that supports picture resolution up to 4K — will list for just $299.

Note: Got to watch a bit of some LIVE USTREAM of the demo, it was neat while it last.


From THR “Apple May Reveal New Version of Final Cut Pro Next Week” (emphasis added),

“On Tuesday, organizers of SuperMeet — which has attracted more than 1,000 guests in past years — contacted its sponsors to say that Apple had upped its participation and was exclusively taking over the presentation stage, one scheduled sponsor told The Hollywood Reporter.

Sponsors slated to participate during the Tuesday event at Bally’s are Avid, Autodesk, Blackmagic Design and Canon. THR has learned that Avid’s involvement — along with its planned guest speaker, director Kevin Smith — had been canceled.

Wish I could be at NAB to take in James Cameron’s keynote and the reveal of the new FCP.

2011 Oscar Press Room

Monday, 28 February, 2011

Colin Firth – ‘Best Actor’ For ‘The Kings Speech’ – Press Room

Natalie Portman – ‘Best Actress’ For ‘Black Swan’

Christian Bale – ‘Best Supporting Actor’; ‘The Fighter’

Melissa Leo – ‘Best Supporting Actress’; ‘The Fighter’

CBS News: “Aaron Sorkin: Oscar win like being hit with bat

CBS Video: “The Social Network” writer Aaron Sorkin on his Oscar


Here is a clip of Colin Firth at Toronto when The King’s Speech premiere at TIFF 2010 on his birthday, complete with a Happy Birthday to You sang by the audiences!

Newsweek Oscar Roundtable 2011

Friday, 25 February, 2011

My definition of a great evening is one where I am with good friends and we just talk and talk. The wonderful yearly Newsweek Oscar Roundtable gives me great insight to the actors and actresses (Colin Firth, Natalie Portman, James Franco, Annette Bening, Michelle Williams, Nicole Kidman) as people and how they do their “job”.

Part 1 of 7

Part 2, part 3, part 4, you can find the rest easily.

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