Archive for February, 2011

Popcorn Movie Seat

I went to a 1:30pm movie. First screening of the day in that theatre. Bought the popcorn and was first into the room. I had every seat to choose from. Great! I went for middle-middle. Yeah. Best seat in the house.

As I went to sit down, my purse slipped off my shoulder and landed heavily on my forearm. The impact triggered the reflex that makes the bicep instantly contract to prevent the purse from landing on the floor. But today, the hand was holding a full bag of popcorn.

Wow, what a shower of popcorn that was. At least half the bag was liberated in that split second and distributed strangely evenly in the nine seats around me. White popcorn. Dark room. Dark seats. Only if the popcorn were glowing or on fire might my faux pas be more obvious.

Sure I could move to another seat, but to whoever came into the theatre next it would be eminently obvious that it was me who had done the redecorating. So I smiled at the incident, brushed my head, shoulders and seat clear, and then sat down amid the mess and ate the remainder of the popcorn in the bag while I watched the movie – okay, the remainder of the popcorn didn’t even last through the trailers. And perhaps not so predictably, no one sat in the eight popcorn seats around me… though I don’t recommend using this story as a strategy of saving extras seats in a movie theatre.

Cheers & a good shoot to you,


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 Working on coproductions, you care deeply about what the exchange rate is doing between the two or three currencies you are using (in order to maximize money making it to the screen instead of to exchange rate loss).

UBC’s Sauder School of Business has the the ability to plot exchange rates at the Pacific Exchange Rate Service… in effect a “Currency Plotter“.

There is nothing like looking at a graph of the currency exchange rate to give you a big picture look at the exchange rate related to your production and over time. I’m not saying you can predict the exchange rate, but… well… just make the choices, “make a chart” and see what I mean. It’ll be a tool I know you’ll want to use again and again:


Cheers & happy exchange rate plotting!

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“Soon we must all face the choice between what is is right and what is easy.”
– Dumbledore (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2005)

These words ring so true when I think of eating: choosing between what is healthy and what is fast-n-easy. Whoah… that’s a hard one!

Yet, I’m not sure that our choices are always “easy” vs “right.” Indeed, doing the right thing in many cases takes enormous effort. When faced with a difficult choice such as “easy” vs “right” we need to find the belief in ourselves – the bravery – to choose the right path.

Step one is recognizing the choice and listening to the inner voice to know which path is the right one. That choice may not be clearly visible until you’ve taken time to consider the situation. “Easy” choices tend to be about “doing nothing,” “doing what you’re told,” “doing what’s expected of you.” And yet, I cannot say that’s even true all the time. If you’ve ever watched a chicken hatch from an egg: it appears to be an impossibly hard task, and yet you cannot and should not help. If you do, the baby chick will not be strong enough to survive in the world. You must do the right thing by “doing nothing” and let the baby chick work it out.

Step two is then finding the bravery to then act on the right choice (for even “doing nothing” is taking action!). Call it inner confidence if you must, but I prefer to call it bravery. For in bravery there is fear and uncertainty… yet you act anyway. And typically, that’s how I feel inside when taking the right-but-not-easy path. Don’t you?

Step three is having faith as the events roll out. Tense times, but they pass and eventually you will see the outcome of your choices, helping you to make more educated choices in the future (notice I didn’t say “better”?). And new choices will indeed present themselves soon enough, won’t they?

Cheers… to the bravery in you and me,

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This Chinese new year reminds me of a film shoot I was on where we were filming rabbits. And trying to capture animals acting on set is always entertaining… no matter what happens.

The script called for the heroes (people) to liberate the many rabbits from their cages in the lab and for the rabbits to run, hop and skedaddle down the hallway and out of the building. It would be even better if they looked a little panicked as they made their escape to freedom, but hopping quickly would be sufficient. Sounds straightforward, doesn’t it? Dozens of rabbits running in one direction on cue. Uh-huh.

So we brought in a ferret to chase the rabbits. Everyone knows that rabbits and ferrets are natural enemies. I mean ferrets were raised to chase rabbits out of rabbit holes. What could go wrong?

On the day, what we didn’t foresee was… that both the rabbits and the ferret were raised in captivity. We may have known they were natural enemies of each other, but they didn’t. On set they merely padded up to each other nose-to-nose and sniffed a gentle “hello.” There was mild interest to indifference between them. Now what do we do?

In the end, we had someone just off-screen and around the hallway corridor push the rabbits around the corner into the hallway and into shot. Yes, if you really looked, you could see some of the rabbits sliding along the floor while a few others hopped around them like they were on a pleasant afternoon stroll.

The Year of the Rabbit is supposed to be more calm after the ferocious Year of the Tiger… and I know what they mean by calm rabbits, so I don’t doubt it!

Cheers & Gung Hay Fat Choy!

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