Friday, May 29, 2009

The saddest day of my life

Today my beloved dog, Tiger, got hit by a car and died. I can't imagine it living without him waking up with me every morning. He was there for me all the times, good and bad. I miss you so much Tiger. Please wait for me in heaven. Mommy loves you so much.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My split second of fame on Toronto Star ^_^

One Saturday night, I was sick and stayed home. Decided to upload this personal project on a site a friend sent me. Monday morning, got an email from Diana at Toronto Star. My first newspaper appearance is as follows:

Take a look - it's all in the cards

by Diana Zlomislic - Living Reporter
May 12, 2009 04:30 AM

They asked pink-slipped workers to modify and upload business cards, with inspiring results

You've just been laid off. Included in your office detritus, still sitting in the trunk of the Toyota Corolla, are: paper clips, a can of Static Guard and a box of business cards.

A couple of guys in California have figured how to put one of those things to good use., which launched 11 days ago, is encouraging pink-slipped workers around the world to modify their business cards – put an upbeat spin on the "What now, what next?" question and upload it to the site.

"We asked people to share one positive thing that came from their layoff," Tom Van Daele, the site's creative director, says by phone from Santa Monica. "It's a therapeutic message, actually."

Lily Tse, 31, lost her job as art director at a Toronto ad agency in mid-April. Hoping to comfort her, a friend emailed the link to

Cliché though it sounds, she admits she started to feel less alone.

"I looked at all the people with awesome titles who worked at great companies from every part of the world," she says.

"You realize everybody's impacted. It's not local. You can't take it personally."

One card in particular inspired Tse to come to terms with her own layoff. Uploaded by Hildie Neuman, a former power broker at a top ad agency in New York, the card showed two thin X's drawn in black marker over her job title and contact information. A handwritten message filled a gully of white space in the middle: "I planned my daughter's wedding!"

Tse uploaded her own card on Saturday night.

She modified it by doodling clouds, a flower and a happy-faced sun. She kept her job title visible but added three extra little lines above it to tell the world that she's also a traveller, a chef and a photographer. Super-imposed over all that, in a cheery pink, sans-serif, ultra-modern font, is a cheeky message: "I just art-directed this card."

The abundance of folks on the site who worked in advertising is no coincidence.

The site itself is founded by ad geeks who went out on their own after losing work at major agencies. was conceived during a brainstorming session for one of their new clients at their small advertising upstart, dubbed unknownlab, in Santa Monica.

Tamer Kattan, 38, and Van Daele, 28, worked together on the Nissan account at TBWA/Chiat/Day, a top California ad agency, when the company announced layoffs.

Kattan started at the company in 1991. "Within advertising, you have seniority," he says, "but you have seniority within a silo – depending on what brand you work on. Automotive is a category that suffers quite a bit during a recession."

After being laid off, Kattan spent time volunteering – reading to kids in libraries and schools around Los Angeles. "They're so honest," he says. "I know that I have a receding hairline now because of them. And that I'm short."

Van Daele and Kattan launched unknownlab in February.

"It's less glamorous, that's for sure," Kattan says. "We don't have an indoor park. We don't have this huge warehouse and free food and all that stuff, but the actual process of coming up with ideas and solving business problems is just as exciting.

"I don't think you need to have a big budget to have a great idea."

Jeremie Goldwasser, 28, an art director laid off less than two weeks ago from Young & Rubicam in Brussels, uploaded one of the most creative cards to date on the site.

He turned his business card into a paper plane. In capital letters on the plane's side, his message: "FLYING AWAY!" – his email address hand written on a separate white slip of paper attached at the rear like jet contrail.

"I felt pretty sad at first," Goldwasser says. "I'd been at Rubicam for four years. The Belgian advertising industry is really having a very tough time."

The bad news, though, has him thinking big.

"I'm still young and I believe to be really creative you have to start all over again, all the time. It's something I'm willing to do."

He's looking to pack up and find work abroad.

Canada is at the top of his list.

"I speak perfect French and I speak English and I don't like when it's too hot, anyway."

Tse, meanwhile, is heading to Cannes next month to accept a National Advertising Award for an interactive project she art-directed.

"I'm sure someone else will appreciate my talent when the economy gets better. I can go back to doing what I was meant to, just at a different company."

Read full article here:
Also on today's printed Toronto Star - E1 Section.

See my card here:

Friday, May 08, 2009

Boy. I can't sleep - still totally hyped! WE GOT GOLD BABY!

Other than this is the biggest surprise I had this year. I am happy because of these 5 reasons (in no particular order of importance):

#1 Our entries were not selected to be reimbursed.

#2 It's the 2nd time in a different category Interactive which is what I have much less experience in. TWICE - GOLD. TWICE - CANNES!

#3 I prove a lot of Simon Cowell's wrong, including bunch didn't think I am versatile enough to manage both medium.

#4 Last time, I wandered Southern France and Paris alone. This time round, I am a + 1 to Germany after Cannes with a man I love on his birthday!

#5 I am proud of myself and my partner pulling it all together despite we have been working 80 hr works weeks since New Year. And it's an unusual task for a producer to wear a writer's hat. Yet look - magic happens. How many producers can you name can write on demand to the EXACT word count max. 50 words, no more, no less to the requirement for the awards. I made him sweat/swear. A lot.

I feel a bit like Susan Boyle (Asian style) - altho I really hate her hair.

Given the awkward situation before the winning, I want to thank EVERYONE OF YOU out there - believe in me/us - helped me/us, verbally, spirtually support me/us. I know people never believe I remember when they helped, but I always keep it close my ♥. You know who you are for being kind/supportive when I most needed it.


The official page
The unofficial entry page

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Hot Docs 2009

These are the 6 I watched/will be watching:

The Red Chapel by Mads Brügger
The subject matter of this film is what caught my attention. A crew of Danish folks convinced the North Korean government to let them bring Koreans pleasure by showing them what comedy is about, that's how they got in the closed country and got this film made. The film itself is kinda quirky. The so-called play they were rehearsing is bizarre. I admire the courage of the director. Becoz I saw the VICE travel guide to North Korea, so really this is not a surprise to see how crazy the country is. Everyone seems to try so hard to pretend Kim Song II is the greatest. The crazy thousand people synchronized dance is one thing that really creeps me out. Wasted energy goes in practicing the most useless shit. Just be thankful we live in a imperfect, but at least somewhat normal and free country.

Lily's hotdoc rating: 4/5 Stars

Burma VJ by Anders Høgsbro Østergaard
Another brilliant creation from yet another Danish filmmaker. He document a really brave young man who live in Burma, a closed country with zero democracy. No news coverage could ever leak out the country. To show the world the truth of Burma, he risked his life and recruit over 15 like-minded individuals to go and secretly record the demonstrations of Burma and sent them thru sateillite to all over the world. The 2007 Sept Burma demonstration results in a shooting of a Japanese journalist was filmed and broadcast on BBC. It's amazing how brave and single-minded these young people are. Again, thankful for being in a free country, after seeing how insane North Korea and Burma is.

Lily's hotdoc rating: 5/5 Stars

We Live in Public by Ondi Timoner
Review coming soon.

Orgasm Inc
by Liz Canner
A film about how pharma companies love to make up condition and sell drugs to healthy normal people. It's not a huge revelation but then the investigation of how lack of sexual desire of women being linked to huge profit is fascinating. The film was well researched, and narrated with multiple point of views. The most educated 2 hr I spent for a sat afternoon.

Lily's hotdoc rating:4.5/5 Stars

Carmen meets Borat
by Mercedes Stalenhoef
I was initially drawn by the eye-catching title. I thought it's a jackpot for the filmmaker that when she was filming a girl in Romania, it would turn into the fact that that village was about to sue Borat's film co. Although I find it's a stretch to say that little girl actually meets Borat - it's an interesting study of how lives is like in Romania. Just wonder if that girl got paid for being filmed in this doc again.

Lily's hotdoc rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Art and Copy
by Doug Pray
Some of the ad campaigns are well documented and well known, it's interesting to see how some of the veterans of the ad world despite their age, their minds are still sharp and as charismatic as the were in their young age. Ad people are entertainers and performers, as the film director put it, I found that It's totally true. It's inspiring to see how many of those ad legends' upbringings are extremely similar to Don Draper in Mad Men, meaning Matthew Weiner the Mad Men producer really did his home work for the show.

Lily's hotdoc rating: 4.5/5 Stars