Beyond the Rhetoric


Sunday Snippet: Michael Kahn (Film Editor)

May 29th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Michael Kahn

“The beautiful thing about editing is, and I guess maybe writers feel that way, I see all that film up there, it doesn’t matter. I’m doing one piece at a time. One scene at a time. One cut at a time. When there’s a lot of film, I just do one thing at a time.”

You’ve got this big, ambitious project on your plate. You might be excited to get started, but the very prospect of getting started can feel incredibly daunting. There’s so much you need to do and you don’t even know where to begin. It’s overwhelming. You’re getting anxious. Your mind is flooded with too many ideas and too much information all at once. You need to break it down. You need to think like Michael Kahn.

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Tech Thursday: So, I Just Bought a Two-Year-Old Point-and-Shoot

May 26th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Canon PowerShot ELPH 340 HS

For the longest time, I was shooting most of my video with an old Flip Mino HD. The quality wasn’t great, but it got the job done. These days, most smartphones are capable of shooting far better quality video than what that little pocket camcorder can produce. However, they come with their own set of problems, so I found myself in the market for a new video camera.

After some back and forth, I ended up with a Canon ELPH 340 HS… which is a point-and-shoot digital camera from 2014. What was I thinking?

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What’s Up Wednesdays: Back to Reality

May 25th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Angkor Wat

Every Wednesday, I gather together and share some great blog posts from the around the Internet. This week, we visit with Lisa Bettany and her globetrotting ways. One of the destinations on her lengthy bucket list was Cambodia and Lisa was anxious to get the perfect shot of Angkor Wat at sunrise. She was hoping for relative solitude, only to be overwhelmed by the massive crowd hoping to get the same perfect photo. Then, she got snapped back into reality with an even better shot of an even better moment.

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A Visit to Espace Pour La Vie in Montreal

May 24th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Espace pour la vie Montreal

Montreal is known for many different things. It’s known for its unique blend of Anglophone and Francophone culture. It’s known for its harsh winters. And it’s known for its poutine, bagels and smoked meat (which I’ll cover in a future blog post). But when you’re traveling to Montreal with a little one, the attraction that tops many lists is the Espace pour la vie, which translates to A Space for Life in English.

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Sunday Snippet: Afeni Shakur (1947-2016)

May 22nd, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Sunday Snippet: Afeni Shakur (1947-2016)

“I guarantee that the seed you plant in love, no matter how small, will grow into a mighty tree of refuge. We all want a future for ourselves and we must now care enough to create, nurture and secure a future for our children.”

Earlier this month, Afeni Shakur passed away from an apparent heart attack (the official cause of death has not yet been announced) at the age of 69. She was best known as the mother of legendary rapper Tupac Shakur, a man whose work and music greatly shaped my youth and my perspective on life.

Born Alice Faye Williams in Lumberton, North Carolina, Afeni Shakur was an active member of the Black Panther movement. Indeed, she was actually pregnant with Tupac while she sat in jail, facing conspiracy charges related to New York bombings in 1971. The charges were dismissed just before Tupac was born. Her work as an activist continued after the death of her son in 1996, forming the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation to help fund art programs for young people.

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Le Westin Montreal Hotel Room Video Tour

May 20th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Le Westin Montreal Hotel Room Video Tour

My family just got back from our trip to Montreal, Quebec. It may surprise some of you to hear that this was actually the first time I’ve ever been east of Alberta in Canada! For our six nights in la belle province, we stayed at Le Westin Montreal. It’s located conveniently across the street from a metro station on one side and historic Old Montreal (Vieux Montreal) on the other side.

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What’s Up Wednesdays: Spot Prawn Season

May 18th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

Spot prawn season in BC

What’s your favorite season? Beach season? Ski season? For many residents of Metro Vancouver, it’s spot prawn season! Tara Lee from the 365 Days of Dining blog (disclosure: I write for them too) has put together a list of five ways to enjoy spot prawns. The simplest and most basic would be to steam or boil them, but chopping off the heads and eating them raw like sashimi is certainly increasing in popularity too. Don’t forget to deep fry the heads!

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My Life as an RPG (Are You a Level 50 Wizard?)

May 16th, 2016 by Michael Kwan

My Life as an RPG

Most people would agree that video games provide a rather unrealistic portrayal of the real world. Most of us can’t throw fireballs with our hands or double in size by consuming a mushroom. Even so, the fundamental principles of an RPG can provide some insight into how we go about making decisions in real life, though you may not have access to all the cheat codes.

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