Saturday, December 11, 2010


So it's official. I'll be moving to Beijing at the end of January. Even though I've moved a number of times in my life (#7 for me), it's something I'm still not used to. A difficult feeling to describe.

First things first. I will miss Saigon; the city, the atmosphere, the culture and its people. It's certainly a privilege to have called this place my home and to be honest, I'm not exactly ready to leave. I've always found it difficult to get my ass up in the morning but I love my routine here. Something as mundane as my journey to work is something I'll never forget. Everyday, I'm surrounded by epic clouds and a city full of life. If you're lucky enough to be living in this beautiful city, observe the people. In conditions that may appear dire to us foreigners, well...just look at how content the people of Vietnam are. Happiness is contagious here.

If there's one thing I hate about this city, it's the foreigners that complain. I've heard some unreasonably nasty criticisms and I just have one thing to say to these ungrateful, close-minded individuals - if you don't like it, get the fuck out. Go home! Do not forget that you are a guest. Show some respect. Sorry to be so dramatic but it's important I get this out. Hopefully, I'll wake up one or two individuals. Moving on...

Now Beijing. I can't express how excited and how scared I am to move. It's an awesome feeling. I can't wait to live in a land that's just bursting with potential. I can't wait to squeeze the bejesus out of the creatives over there and be a part of their artistic nature and culture. I can't wait to see what these guys are capable of. I can't wait to make my first ad. I can't wait to finally shoot that kung-fu commercial I've always wanted to make. I can't imagine the kind of cool shit I'll be learning over there.'s overwhelming.

I'm really, really excited to start tapping into their artistic culture. It is unique. It's undeniably Chinese and I really can't wait to apply that into the work. You can feel the precision and the passion in Chinese art and I look forward to meeting these artistic masters. Wow, I just realized that I'll be a very small fish in a gigantic pond. Now I'm scared...

Anyway, I think that's it for now. If things continue to be chaotic at work, perhaps my next entry will be written in a local coffee shop in a snowy Beijing.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I had to write about this. I love it when two of my favorite things come together; in this case, the Beatles and Apple computers. The Beatles and Apple finally settled their differences. The Beatles albums are finally available 7 years after the iTunes store was launched. This is pretty exciting. I'm curious to see what kind of sales this will make. I think this is history in the least in my history book. I had to take a screenshot of this. This won't be up for long.


This is a real treat to write about. This is probably one of my oldest obsessions. Headphones. I take my music quite seriously so...I'll try not to sound too geeky.

I just picked up these bad ass headphones - the TMA-1 by AiAiAi (eye-eye-eye); a creative company from Denmark. In the world of architecture, graphic communications and industrial design, Denmark has a god given gift for brilliant design. The TMA-1 is no exception. It takes minimalism to the next level. I'm still looking for the logo! Where is it???

Headphones need days of burn-in time and out of the box, the AiAiAi's are okay. They're a little too bassy for my taste but quite fun to listen to. I'm hoping after a few days, they'll open up.

When it comes to the sound, I'm pretty serious. I'm comparing the AiAiAi to my AKG K701 and my Grados, which are both legendary. But we're comparing apples and oranges. The AKGs run at about 400 USD, however, the Grado SR60s only cost 80 bucks. The AiAiAi's were about 150 USD.

If you're serious about headphones, I'd go for the open-back headphones like the AKG K701. Huge soundstage, meaning it creates an environment around you. You feel the instruments separate from each other. You hear the imperfections. It's that accurate. Voices are elegant. Instruments are brilliant. It's a real pleasure to listen to music.

If you're on a tighter budget, go with the Grado SR80 or the SR60. With it's awesome performance, history and following, the Grados are nothing but legendary. They won't disappoint. Large soundstage, great bass response, crystal clear mids and highs. I love these headphones but unfortunately, very difficult to travel with.

[there used to be a photo of the MDR-7506 here but the "photographer" decided to claim their copyright. instead of giving this person the satisfaction of getting credit on this blog (which nobody even reads and doesn't make any money), i would rather remove the photo as suggested. this doesn't hurt the blog. the "photographer" is happy. everyone wins.]

I just remembered the last pair of headphones I own - the Sony V6 or MDR-7506. These are the industry standard. Radio Stations, sound studios, and film sets, they all carry the MDR-7506s. They're durable, sharp, accurate headphones. They run at about 100 bucks.

So where do that AiAiAi's stand? Well, so far so good. As for sound, they're okay. They have a monolithic presence. I saw them for the first time 4 months ago and finally gave in today. I'd pay 150 dollars just to display them in my house.


So here's my latest obsession on iTunes; an indie rockband from Montreal. They've got a really cool sound and each song in the album is completely different from each other - tunes from a rusty music box to a completely electronic sound.

Anyway, put some headphones on and check out the song above. It's totally 80's. Perhaps Blondie inspired?

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Kudos to this creative character. The man puts a 102 year old lens onto one of the latest cameras out there, a Canon 5D Mark II. I've found myself walking all over the city looking for pawnshops selling old, moldy lenses to sit on my 5D MII. Not working...

Check these out. They're incredible images. The character and quality of the shot makes it feel like a window to the past.


My lovely girl showed this to me on CNN and I was completely intrigued by it. Perhaps it's because I used to live in this alien city called Dubai and got used to this odd environment. Quite strange how perfectly natural this concept is. It's an ultra-modern city in an ocean of sand.

Anyway, the images are by Cedric Delsaux. Beautifully crafted pieces.

Hmm...STAR WARS IN DUBAI. Makes sense to me.

Friday, November 5, 2010


I was fortunate enough to have been shown this by a good friend. I'm not exactly sure why this is not more popular but this is a wonderful song and a beautiful video. There aren't enough videos out there that use real emotion. It'd be impossible to create the chemistry in this video with actors. It's indescribable.

The concept is so simple. I don't want to ruin it. You'll just have to watch it.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Now, I don't know what these guys are smoking over there but whatever it is, I need a hit. Japan is its own microcosm of creativity. They are so far ahead that, to us, they're aliens.

So what's Japan doing that the rest of the world isn't?

Here's my guess. They celebrate individualism. I know there is the stereotypical image of Japan as a sea of black suits but as far as fashion, technology and game shows (which I'm addicted to on youtube) go, they're light years ahead.

Japan isn't looking at the rest of the world for inspiration. It's all there in front of them. It's not that they're richer when it comes to culture. They just know where to look.

Friday, June 25, 2010


I have no idea how Pixar does it but it's apparent that their winning streak is no fluke. Just when I figure that Pixar can't possibly top their last film, they prove me wrong. And I love that. They're completely unstoppable! Sequels usually fail to live up to their predecessors and actually, 99% of the time, they just suck balls.

So why is Toy Story 3 so amazing?

Here's my theory: Pixar leverages on what made the original film so beautiful. All the characters stayed true to themselves. There's history between the audience and the characters making room for 'inside jokes.' You really feel like you know the characters and that's what makes all the emotions you feel so sincere.

Another thing that makes Pixar so successful is they protect stories. You're not watching a "cool, technologically advanced" animation (even though it is...). You're listening to a story. The story always comes first.

In any case, Pixar's done it again. Beautiful film. I'm watching it again tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I know it's been a while so perhaps I should share something really cool to make up for it.

Tarsem's "The Fall" is probably one of the best films of the decade, and for some reason, nobody seems to know about it. It's also severely underrated.

Every frame is art directed. And I don't mean in a 300 spartan way. The typography is sensitive and exquisite. The intro (above) feels like it belongs in a museum.

It is a work of art.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


I shot my bike with my 5D. Pretty cool...

Welcome to my latest obsession: vintage bikes. Fortunately for me, there's a lot in Saigon. A lot.  I've never been an avid fan of motorcycles. In fact, I used to curse them. Never understood it. I felt it was completely obnoxious. Now in Saigon, it's part of the culture so I decided to hop on. I can certainly say I won't be switching back to cars.

Let's talk about the feeling of riding a bike. It's like driving a convertible without the windshield. It's like flying. And as cliche as it sounds, it feels like freedom. On the road, your head is clear. It's the one place stress and fookin' advertising can't touch me. There is no such thing as traffic on a bike. There is no road rage. It's a joy every time. Remember the way it felt driving a car for the first time? Well, imagine if that feeling never wore off. It's because you're always driving for fun on a bike. It's never just to take you from point A to B. Cars have lost their charm and have transformed into this functional tool comparable to a tooth brush.

There is an art to motorcycles - from the shape of the frame and engine, down to the the actual sound of the bike. You can hear a good bike. There's a precision to it. There's a feeling to it. It's actually like hearing a lion growl. You have a connection with your iron horse, and while riding it you can immediately tell if there's something wrong and what it is exactly. Unlike any other vehicle, you can customize every inch of your bike. It's your design and it's just the way you like it. I, obviously, love black.

Anyway, you'll understand, just I did, once you jump on.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Directed and written by the Coen brothers, The Hudsucker Proxy is like the perfect layer cake. It's a blend of cinematic mastery in acting, screenwriting, cinematography, directing and music.

It's the story of Norville Barnes, a simple business graduate with huge dreams, is promoted to president of a manufacturing company as a stock scamy. It's the story of starting from below the ground and climbing all the way up in a corporate giant. It's about getting back up on your feet after life hits your hard to the ground.

The Hudsucker Proxy is full of memorable quotes and lessons that really stick with you as you move up in any industry. It's an excellent piece of writing. Try and get a hold of the screenplay. I'm sure it'll be a good read.

This is one of the most underrated movies in the past 2 decades and is one of the toughest films to find on the shelves. If you're lucky enough to watch it, pay particular attention to the music. It's that extra detail that makes your heart crumble.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


This is probably the most cinematic animation I've seen apart from Pixar's usual on screen magic. I must say, I don't know much about it except that it's from Poland and it's picked up a bunch of awards. You guys interpret the story. Until next time...


Okay, so it's been ages since I've posted anything. I've been incredibly busy with my new post as a creative director at an advertising agency in Vietnam. I must say I've acquired a number of new obsessions living here. The biggest thing is probably scooters and motorcycles but I'll save that for another sun shining day. Another new obsession is animatronics. I'm off to shoot in Bangkok in a few days to shoot something interesting. I'll share the experience with you folks soon...but on with the blog.