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...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Pentimento Productions encore - The Mighty Pheonix roars!

Well. I'm breathing normally now, it's been a wee transition, but a mighty good one! It's great to know that you've made the right move and done the right thing. I am now on week 3 of re-resurrecting my consultancy Pentimento Productions once again and am already busy helping a few key contacts with their projects.

Steve Wandler's metabridge project for one (see, a good worthwhile event that gives me a chance to continue helping the tech startup community. I'm helping Steve usher in top Silicon Valley and BC investors & business executives to Kelowna to network in a relaxed atmosphere with promising startups in the tech community. Edition 4 takes place at a vineyard and golfcourse! If you're keen to sign up, let me know.

Steve's a good egg and has always helped me out when I was in a tight spot lining up events like New Media BC's Fusion Forum and the VX -Washington Roundtable. It's good to be able to return the favour:)!