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Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum

Posted by Ken Bautista in Travel

Today was the big day. Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum day. It was a long one - started off with an early morning breakfast with the other DELF speakers. Flash back a few months ago when I was invited to present at DELF by my friend Hal Josephson who was producing the event. I gladly accepted because it was a great opportunity.

DELF Speakers Group
DELF speakers - Front: Hal Josephson, Nicholas Yang (CEO, Cyberport), Me, Lorraine Justice (Director, School of Design, Hong Kong Polytechnic University); Middle: Rita Cahill (Principal, RTC Productions), Michael Stephens (Lawyer, Wingnut Films), Paul Wang (Executive VP, Imagi), Lifeng Wang (Founder, Eastar Digital), Andrew Senior (Head of Creative Industries, British Council), Ivan Yau (Formal Principal Anchor, TVB News); Back: Lawrence Behrs (CEO, South Park Media Company), Scott Ross (CEO, AWOL Pictures, Former CEO, Digital Domain), Warren Franklin (CEO, Rainmaker Studios), Edward Jones (Principal, The Light Exchange)

And what an opportunity it was. DELF is an international event that links up Hong Kong’s digital creative industries with the global digital content industry to exchange ideas, share experiences, and forge collaboration. This year’s theme for DELF was “The Future of Digital Storytelling”. The speaker line up was loaded with international award-winning presenters in special effects, digital film, animation and interactive entertainment. I spoke on a moderated panel called “Content Creators: The Changing Face of Content” as we talked about what the next generatation of content creators bring to global entertainment markets?” I got to talk a lot about what we’re doing with projects like C.I.E. and why developers and producers need to think in multi-platforms to engages today’s connected audiences.

The DELF luncheon celebrated the “Digital Pioneers” program, which is an initiative between the British Council and Hong Kong Cyberport. The program is focused on supporting the development of young creative entrepreneurs in Hong Kong and the UK via international mentorship, overseas work placements, industry-specific capacity building activities and peer activities. I got to know the six winners of the program over the last few days - they are definitely ambitious young entrepreneurs working on some really interesting and creative things in the world of digital media. I look forward to keeping in touch with them all.

Me and the Digital Pioneers
Me crashing the Digital Pioneers photo shoot

The day was capped off by one last dinner with all the DELF speakers and other dignitaries. In reflecting back on today, it was definitely a success and a great opportunity to meet and interact with world-class creators, producers, entrepreneurs and leaders. My thanks again go out to Cyberport CEO Nicholas Yang and Hal Josephson for inviting me to participate in such a great event.

03.21.2007 | No Comments »

 

Rain!

Posted by Ken Bautista in Travel

Today’s activities focused around Hong Kong FILMART - is Hong Kong’s International Film and Television Market. FILMART is one of several events that make up Entertainment Expo Hong Kong, which brings together film, TV, digital entertainment, and music events to provide a backdrop for weeks of business deals, screenings, and entertainment.

Canadian Consulate LuncheonTeam Alberta (and Zoe) pre-luncheon

Today was also my first speaking gig during my time here in Hong Kong. I was asked to give a presentation at a luncheon hosted by the Canadian Consulate in Hong Kong called “Canada Meets You at FILMART“. I was last on the agenda, after Canadian Heritage Director Keith Chang and BC Film Executive Director Richard Brownsey, who gave a talk on the film and television industry in Canada. My talk was all about the digital media industry in Canada. Unfortunately they didn’t have a projector on hand so I could show all the sweet looking digital content, so I had to make the audience imagine how awesome Canada’s digital media was! All in all in went really well.

Canadian Consulate Luncheon
Me talking at the Hong Kong Convention Centre.

Our evening was spent first at the Asian Film Awards gala. Red Carpet and all. I was on the lookout for Zhang Ziyi and Michelle Yeoh, who were both nominated for awards that evening. I even got to see Korean pop superstar RAIN in person when he presented an award. Rain…. AAAAAAA (all the girls in the audience screaming). Then another AWESOME multi-course meal at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong to cap off the evening with our friends from the UK and other guests. Rain…. AAAAAAAA. (I can still hear the screams)

Asian Film Awards
As close as I could get to Zhang Ziyi

03.20.2007 | No Comments »

 

Finally, Cyberport

Posted by Ken Bautista in Interactive, Industry, Travel

Today was Cyberport day. I had been waiting to visit Hong Kong Cyberport in person for the LONGEST time. I had only videoconferenced from Alberta to companies in Cyberport on a few occasions. But videoconference doesn’t do this place justice. Here’s the deal on Cyberport:

Cyberport is a $2 billion technology cluster project that comprises of several office towers, a five-star hotel (very swank), a retail entertainment complex and some of the nicest residential condos in Hong Kong. All overlooking the harbour. The idea behind Cyberport is to create an area for technology-based companies to live and work while they grow their businesses and develop their products.

Cyberport
What Cyberport looks like in plastic

Cyberport offers a host of facilities and services to support companies including: Hong Kong Wireless Development Centre (where you can pretty much access ANYTHING wireless and mobile), Cyberport Institute (University IT courses), iResource Centre, IncuTrain Centre (digital media business incubation), and Cyberport Conference and Exhibition Centre. The campus is massive and the buildings are huge, with guards and all sorts of tech (screens, kiosks, etc) everywhere. This is place is so big they have a full STARBUCKS on campus. Cyberport rules.

We spent the day with Cyberport CEO Nicholas Yang, who gave us a tour of everything that Cyberport had to offer. I also got to meet all the other Cyberport folks who I had been emailing with, related to the Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum (DELF), which is hosted by and at Cyberport.

This was also my first time meeting the other DELF speakers. I’m looking forward to having more discussions with them over the next few days.

CEO Nicholas Yang
Cyberport CEO Nicholas Yang gives us the grand tour

Cyberport
One of Cyberport’s many grand hallways

03.19.2007 | No Comments »

 

Outblaze and Sanrio Digital

Posted by Ken Bautista in Interactive, Travel

Hello Kitty!
A clip from the upcoming Hello Kitty animated series

One of the companies we visited at Cyberport was Outblaze Entertainment. We spent some time with their CEO and founder, Yat Siu. Outblaze is one of the world’s largest providers of hosted messaging solutions, currently delivering services to over 40 million active users across 400,000 domains, in 22 languages. Outblaze is also a parent company to several companies that form their full portfolio offering. Their portfolio of clients include online gaming communities built for brands like Adidas and Sanrio, the makers of Hello Kitty and Friends. Typhoon Games (an Outblaze subsidiary) was behind sanriotown.com, the official interactive community portal for Sanrio’s brands and characters.

03.19.2007 | Comments Off

 

Menfond, Hong Kong Design Centre, and The Interactive Channel

Posted by Ken Bautista in Travel

This hotel rules. Dim sum for breakfast. And omlettes. What a combination. Just wrapped up my first “official” day in Hong Kong. I hooked up with Team Alberta - Susan Kennard (BNMI), Tom Dodd (Fission) and Kelly Xu (Alberta Economic Development) early this morning. It was nice to see some familiar faces! Our hosts for the day were Zoe and Swank from Hong Kong Cyberport who took us from meeting to meeting all day long.

One of the first stops of the day was visiting Menfond Electronic Art & Computer Design. Menfond’s CEO and founder Victor Chu was on hand to give us the grand tour of his studio. I spent much time checking out his office - you should have seen ALL THE TOYS on display. I thought I had lots of toys in my office. Menfond is one of Hong Kong’s largest visual effects and animation studios, employing over 200 people. Sony, Square Enix (Final Fantasy), Ubisoft and many more international brands and studios look to Menfond for their award-winning skills and talent. One of their most recent feature film projects was Ultraviolet.

Menfond
Menfond CEO Victor Chu gives us the overview of Menfond

Our next stop was the Hong Kong Design Centre, a fantastic space dedicated to incubating local designers and businesses through their InnoCentre program. The Centre focuses on all design disciplines - including graphic design, industrial design, fashion design, and interior design. This seems to be a great model to support young creative entrepreneurs that I would love to see in Alberta some day.

Hong Kong Design Centre
The Hong Kong Design Centre

As part of our morning meetings, we also were joined by a delegation from the UK - a program called “Digital Pioneers”. More on that later… We were treated to the first (of what I’m sure will be many) GREAT meals in Hong Kong. I ate it all. Even this (I was the only one). Everything was great.

Canada & the UK
Alberta meets UK delegation over lunch

Our afternoon was spent visiting The Interactive Channel, Hong Kong’s only 24/7 cross-media interactive television channel. It simultaneously broadcasts on several channels and throughout the world on www.tictv.com. TIC Founder Robert Chua (a pioneer in Asian television) took us behind the scenes on many of their programs, many of which were going on while we were in the studio. TIC shows allow viewers to interact with programs, providing instant feedback, voting online, playing games via SMS, participating on show via webcam, video phones and 3G phones. This was also my first glimpse of 3G mobile networks in action. 3G is awesome. Come on Canada. Let’s get 3G so we can do WAY COOLER STUFF on mobile.

The Interactive Channel

The Interactive Channel

03.18.2007 | No Comments »

 

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