Monday, November 28, 2011

MM2011 to MMTO!

After another successful Merging Media conference, some may think we would like to take a wee break...

But it was not to be... It appears we are going to stretch our wings and indeed take flight as MM goes eastward to Toronto! The big city lights and Canada's broadcasting hub beckons. I've been invited to produce the Merging Media transmedia seminar+lab in partnership with CMPA's Toronto office, and the lovely Katie Jeffs is my partner in crime. This initiative was successfully delivered by our good friend and colleague Anita Ondine in Vancouver this spring and we are collaborating with her to bring the program that we tailor made for our Canadian media folk, to Ontario.

You know how they speak about planting seeds, and this is such a nice example. We invited a handful of broadcasters to our lab in April, and they went back to Toronto and told their teams and viola, next thing we know, they are supporting our efforts to bring the event to TO!

Now its not our 2 day flagship conference we are presenting, but one never knows what the future will bring. With MeshWest here in Vancouver on Dec 5, we may just do another cross-country cross-media event in the soon enough, to some other friendly Canadian city?

Stay tuned!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Welcoming 2011 with open arms!

A blank canvas once again, what a nice place to be!

Each year has been challenging for me over the past 4 years, but in stepping into the new year this time, it is with much more confidence and direction than ever before, because the canvas I encounter is mine own, and the result of a successful year before of prepping the groundwork for Merging+Media to become more than a one off event to help grow the media industry.

Support from The Canadian Media Production Aassociation to move forward with a slate of activities for the 2011/12 year has played a large part to the game plan. I am especially excited that elements of the initiatives we are introducing to the 2011 program arise from the feedback from participants that attended our inaugural event : The Merging+Media Conference+ Mastercass in October. We're hoping to meet the needs of our community with 3 events next year. More fun and excitement to come...

Stay tuned in January when we announce our plans at

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Merging+Media 2010 a success

Thanks to the support of all our Industry Partners, Community Sponsors, Speakers and team of volunteers, The Inaugural Merging Media Conference and Masterclass was very well received and has received tremendous feedback!

Some 230 participants attended the two day event on Oct 28-29 and we are pleased to report that 100% of respondents who answered our survey want Merging Media to be an annual event. Yes, Vancouver - we will return in 2011....with more world class speakers and more Best in Class presenters! Thank you all for the support, we would not have been able to do it without you!

For some great pix and Robert Tercek's Keynote, go to

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Merging+Media - Where Media Makers Converge!

Delighted to announce that Pentimento Productions's latest and extremely exciting project is taking shape and moving along at Turbo speed :)!

We've incorporated Merging+Media Productions Inc. to produce the first Merging+ Media Conference + Masterclass, an inaugural Cross-media industry event that's packed with goodies for the Conventional and digital media producer, to take place on 28-29 October, 2010. M+M Productions Inc. is our sister-company that handles event production and it has signed a Partnership agreement with the Canadian Media Production Association (formerly CFTPA) to present M+M! 300-400 top media producers will converge at the spanking new event venues at the Woodwards Heritage Complex, where both the Masterclass and Conference will be held.

The two day feast will feature top international speakers and sessions on the business of producing successful cross-platform productions. Much of the impetus to organize this event came from my discussions with many developers and producers in the community who felt there was a lack of understanding on the business prospects involved in Cross-platform production. So....we have taken the challenge to present a Business Conference with topics that will include funding+ financing, new business models, and showcase cutting edge platforms+technology as well as "Best in Class" Case studies from both the Digital+conventional convergent space. The Masterclass held the day before the Conference will bring together 30-40 producers for a Masterclass led by a International transmedia expert. The full day hands-on sessions are designed to help Producers with multi-platform projects receive quality mentorship from industry experts on their proposals in development.

Some great industry partners are already on board such as Knowledge Network, BC Film and UBC-Continuing Studies. I'm totally stoked at the in-kind support that's also been committed by NFB, The Social Agency, NRC-IRAP, iXLd and the W2 Community Media Arts community, just to name a few:)!.

M+M's Conference Office is now located in the heart of downtown at the CMPA's BC Branch office in The Vancouver Block, a charming 1912 Heritage building at 736 Granville Street (it's the building with the clock tower behind London Drugs). For those who I've spoken to about this initiative, thanks for your valuable input, I hope to incorporate all your great ideas into this event....Drop by when you're in the hood and find out more about what's in store!

More news at !

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Canada Media Fund Transition...the buzz continues!

Great news for digital media producers! The CMF Experimental Stream deadline has been extended from June 21 to July 5, 2010, at the request of its stakeholders -

The extra lead time appears to be very welcome because the recoupment policy for this stream will only be announced this week, and somehow, many producers are still trying to wrap their heads around the new guidelines. Frankly, I don't blame them. I've been chatting with a group of digital media producers over the past few weeks and at in Kelowna last week, and while I thought most have been just apathetic towards investigating CMF funding - as it doesn't fit kindly into their independant business model - I'm slowly beginning to realise that there's more to it...

With $27 mil available in funding for the Experimental Stream alone (they unfortunately never did get around to changing that misnomer), $13 mil on Development and $324mil on the production of "Convergent" projects, it's hard to ignore the opportunities available. So is it just awareness that is lacking or are producers just wary to dip their toes in at the first round, so that the the administrators can iron out the kinks in the new set up before attempting to apply? My guess is that its a case of both contributing to the lethargy. Does there need to be more clarity and awareness? I think yes - on the part of both funders and producers alike. But who's responsibility is that? Hopefully, Banff will be a place where some of the kinks are straightened out and confusion clarified.

A website developer I know was flummoxed when he was asked during an Experimental application interview what his "Distribution Channel" was for his online project and was driven to further confusion, when "www" was not regarded as an acceptable response. Are we just trying to insert square pegs into round holes? Have we moved from the traditional paradigms or are we merely regressing? Will this experiment succeed? I truly hope so. It would be a major shame for the digital media industry if this window of opportunity closes, just because no one was really paying attention.

So if you're not part of the elite admiring the snow capped Rockies and are the humble digital media creator still hacking at his keyboard to complete your application for the Experimental Stream, or are just finding it problemsome understanding the ROI or navigating the application process, please do drop me a comment below with your thoughts.

Let me know how you think we can navigate this transition better. I'm reaching out to get feedback to feed into an industry initiative to help producers come closer to understanding the business of convergence and hopefully access available CMF funding. It may be just one step towards providing an open platform to allow digital media developers to connect with their traditional media counterparts - but its much better than apathy.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Pondering the Pentimento

"It looks like something that you can eat", Howard Donaldson of Disney remarked when I handed him my business card at GDC Canada.

It was the not the first time that I have encountered that reaction to my company name "Pentimento".  The word sounds  like the more familiar "Pimento" - a sweet cherry pepper not unlike a capsicum. In fact, the term "Pentimento" is an art term, derived from the Italian meaning 'repentance', and the plural pentimenti are the changes in composition which a painter makes while producing an oil painting. Today, the term is often used in the context of discovering masterpieces beneath paintings that have been painted one over another.

Which brings me to the reason that I have chosen it as the name for my media consultancy, Pentimento Productions. For I am undeniably attracted to, and choose to involve myself in projects that are more often than not multi-layered and enjoy a degree of depth. Over the years, I have learnt that the more thought and time devoted to the shaping of a production, event or organization, the more lasting the value & experience for both producers and participants. As one of my collegues noticed, I am a typical "early thrasher", with many a 'pentimenti' done at the planning stages of my projects, so that in the final stages, the final execution is clear and precise, yet continues to exhibit a strong and lasting foundation.

This year, I will be helping the dedicated Vancouver Film and Television Forum 2010 team add another layer to their traditional film and television conference programming. We are discussing ways to add a strong digital media component to speak to, and assist participating producers who wish to understand the recent Canada Media Fund guidelines better and to develop a better handle on producing projects for the newly introduced Convergent and Experimental Streams. In developing this strand, I hope we will be able to attract not only the traditional television/film producer to this annual conference, but also the interactive producers keen to partner with their more conventional media counterparts.

Drop me a line if you wish to give your input....and help us create another layer, another dimension to this continually evolving industry. We're not opposed to multi-pentimenti, if that's what is required to create a masterpiece.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Navigating Nine Lives...

I sent one of my contacts my resume recently and he replied quite instantly..."Holy Cow!"

My resume tends to surprise quite a few people due to its length... and depth. Prior to coming to Canada, I had a full life and my career was at its peak, as Deputy Director of the first Film Commission in Singapore, when I left. I had paid my dues in a high profile career as director, producer and award winning Filmmaker in the film and broadcasting industry in Asia, long before I reached these shores. So arriving in Vancouver, British Columbia and immediately landing a job at Telefilm Canada as an Investment Analyst was a blessing for sure, but not surprising to those who had known me in my "Previous Life".

My career path over the past 9 years here has not been as simple or illustrious but it has been fulfilling, with twists where I thought I would have been taking a turn and each "Life" taking me deeper into areas of a constantly evolving media industry that I would ne'er have ventured on my own, had not my capricious "Career Path" led me there. And just when I thought I had negotiated eight of my nine "Lives" and I believed I had finally landed on "home base", another crook in the path carried me forwards into the next phase. God willing something has always turned up, bigger and brighter than before...stroke after stroke until a full picture materialised, multi-faceted and sometimes multi-challenged.

Prayers abundant were always answered, though often not in the form that I had sought or in a manner I recognised immediately. What I did recognise were the faces along the way. The people who have understood my sincerity in word and deed, and helped me along the journey.

I await with bated breath, eager to encounter more of these kind faces and another "Life" ahead on turning this corner...