Blog

A few ramblings from my logbook...
Vintage Movie Cameras - Oi! art space (Hong Kong)

One of my many, many interests has been collecting vintage movie cameras and old home movie films of Hong Kong. I am grateful that Oi! art space in North Point (Hong Kong) will be displaying some of my vintage movie cameras and also screening some of the Hong Kong 1940s to 1960s footage that I have been collecting.  If you are interested in 1920s - 60s cine cameras and footage of old Hong Kong, then drop by Oi! art space, it’s free and open to the public and will be on display from August 19, 2016 to January 2, 2017. 

Here is a brief introduction on Craig McCourry’s vintage cine cameras and Hong Kong home movie collections to be exhibited at Oi! art space:

Vintage Cine Camera Collection: This is a collection of twenty two vintage motion picture cameras that will be on display at Oi! art space gallery. These cine cameras are from the 1920’s to 1960’s from American, British, French and German manufacturers. This cine collection presents some of the world's first home movie film cameras in 8mm, 9.5mm and 16mm film formats. These home movie cameras represent the early days of home cinema filmmaking, which allowed regular people to photograph their world in moving pictures for the first time in history.

Old Hong Kong Home Movie Collection: Much of the world’s lost and forgotten visual history is contained on reels of 8mm & 16mm film that were photographed by amateur filmmakers and typically referred to as Home Movies. Unfortunately, these amateur reels of old film are frequently tossed into the trash, their historic images lost forever. In an effort to help preserve some of these films, filmmaker / collector Craig McCourry started acquiring 8mm & 16mm home movies from households across the United States. Craig's film collection is focused primarily on home movie films of Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Japan. The film collection now contains over 1,000 reels of film. The film footage was primarily shot by American travelers on their visits to Asia from the 1940s to 1960s. Craig has digitally scanned and transferred these old color films to HD video, then edited the footage so that it features some of the best scenes of old Hong Kong. For the past 50 years these reels of film have been sitting in storage in America, unseen and mostly forgotten. Now for the first time this old footage of Hong Kong is being screened to the public at Oi! art space.

About Oi! art space cinema exhibition: In addition to viewing Craig's vintage cine camera & home movie collections, Oi! art space will be screening a selection of contemporary films produced by Hong Kong / Asian filmmakers. This Oi! film showcase is titled “Montage Express” and is being curated by six local Hong Kong organizations; Ying E Chi, Rooftop Institute, ifva, Autonomous Cinema, Interlocutor and Interact_Arts. Please check out the “Montage Express” film schedule online for more details (see link below).

Oi! art space is located at 12 OIL street in North Point (by Fortress Hill MTR station - Exit A). Oi! is located in a beautiful Grade II historic building that was built in 1908, and was formerly the clubhouse of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club.


URL link : http://www.scmp.com/magazines/post-magazine/short-reads/article/2021663/rar
What Types of Low-Budget Films Break Out?

 Film hit or flop... great article on what types of films succeed in the marketplace.  See the link below.

URL link : http://americanfilmmarket.com/what-types-of-low-budget-films-break-out/
RTHK radio interview about HongKonglicious Film

RTHK radio interview (Hong Kong)Hong Kong’s RTHK radio interview with director Craig McCourry about the film HongKonglicious: Lost Chopsticks with Cultural Dimsum host Padmini Pandit broadcasted on July 17, 2016 and was produced by Priyanka Jain of Teacup Productions (Hong Kong). You can listen to an archived copy of this interview here: 
 

URL link : http://spaces.hightail.com/receive/pCyBNYRoRl
The Future of Film Revenue

Interested in a little insight about the future of the financial revenue models for the TV and film industry?  The turmoil in the music industry is a good guide for some of these issues.  Here is a New York Times article that reveals some of the road bumps ahead.  One quote from the article rings very true, "The result is that the music industry finds itself fighting over pennies while waving goodbye to dollars."  

URL link : http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/25/business/media/music-sales-remain-steady-
Short Film: Puccini at Night

This film is a celebration of some of the world’s great cities edited to the music of Giacomo Puccini’s “Nessen Dorma.” I filmed the imagery during the past year of my travels. lt was a wonderful year exploring these cosmopolitan mega-cities. There is a certain freedom of roaming a metropolis in search of imagery, striking up causal conversations with strangers, never really knowing how the day will end. During my travels, I would keep a lookout for some of the best coffee shops at each location to rest my tired feet and soak into a newspaper. Along the way, you do capture some magnificent views and a pocketful of memories. May the journey continue…


URL link : http://youtu.be/9trPoj9FxHc
Finding Good Airfare Deals

Since my lifestyle involves a lot of travel, I am always hunting for good airline deals. While there are countless websites to hunt down the best deals, I can only dedicate a limited amount of time in the airline airfare search. So here is the pattern of my basic search.

1.  As a starting point, most airlines offer better airfares for flights starting / ending on Wednesday. So if your schedule allows, use that travel day as a starting point. Also if you need only a one-way ticket, sometime the pricing is actually more expensive for a one-way vs a round trip ticket. So if all you need is a one-way ticket, be sure to price out BOTH the one-way and the round trip prices (you can always discard the return flight ticket).

2.  I price out my airfares by using both Orbitz.com and Skyscanner.com. You will find that each of these sites will provide a good selection of airlines / pricing for most travel routes.

3.  I also check another website called WhichBudget.com to see if there are any smaller airlines that serve the routing between my two points of travel. Many of the smaller airlines do not show up in many of the larger flight search websites, so WhichBudget.com can sometime lead you a low cost airline, which you might have overlooked.

4.  Once you have a small list of airlines that service the routing that you need, then go to each of the airline websites directly to see if there are any special offers available.

5.  You should now have a good selection of airfare pricing details for your trip.

If you have any good airfare search tips, please let me know. 

URL link : http://www.skyscanner.com/
Short Film: Flat World Dreams

This past year I read two books that presented two very different viewpoints of our world today. The first book, “The World is Flat” was written by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. The second book, “Falling Off the Edge” was written by Times magazine journalist Alex Perry. I found both books compelling in their narrative as they presented their version of how the planet was developing. In a nutshell, Friedman’s book discussed the virtues of an increasing connected planet and its positive impact on the world’s population, while Perry’s book showcased the expanding gap of inequality between the rich communities and the people left on the edges. In my own travels I have witness both sides of the story. These two books helped inspire me to edit together some of my own footage from my recent journeys and make a short film called “Flat World Dreams.” I hope you enjoy it. 

URL link : http://youtu.be/NkmkPg8kwnU
Lifestyle of a Digital Nomad

Recently I went into the optical department at Costco to order some more contact lenses. First they asked me for my local phone number… I didn’t have one. Next they asked for my local address… did not have that either. For some reason their computer system was unable to locate my prescription file by just using my name. Without an address or a phone number I had become a digital nobody.

This episode made me reflect on the issue of how we define ourselves. I had spent the past 18 months working / living in a dozen countries that included Turkey, Argentina, Uruguay, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, China, South Korea, India, Seychelles, Qatar and Australia. Basically I had fallen off the map as defined by a regular address and phone number. I had no permanent address but a series of serviced apartments and hotels in each location. I also had a different cell phone number for each country. Even the clerk at the optical department gave me a funny look as I blankly struggled to give out something as simple as an address or a phone number. He finally was able to resolve the issue by locating the actual “paper” prescription from the eye doctor. Damn frustrating! These are the problems of a nomad.

Of course I was still connected electronically through the use of email and the Skype internet phone service. But now a major part of my life had become a somewhat virtual world of connectivity – not tied to a physical location. All my bills were paid electronically, the world’s ATMs had become my bank teller, my laptop computer provided the rest of the communication links as I roamed from country to country. Even my work as a professional cameraman had fully developed into a digital workflow of digital media that I could access from any internet enabled computer. My life was now a bunch of digital bits and pieces scatter across the network.

This digital nomadic lifestyle has presented some new challenges. I now always have to sort out a whole series of travel arrangements regarding flights, serviced apartments, hotels and ground transportation on a monthly basis. There is no regular routine or knowing exactly where I will be in 3 months. Needless to say my schedule is complicated and is always changing.

I fully understand that many people would look upon this unsettled lifestyle with horror and apprehension. But there is also a simplicity to life in being a Digital Nomad. It takes me less than an hour to pack my two suitcases and hop on a flight to anywhere in the world. I don’t have to pre-plan much, since my life, bill payments and work have already been set unto cruise control for this type of lifestyle. I can just go.

It is also relatively easy to meet new people and strike up interesting conversations with total strangers while you are in the travel mode. Sometime our regular life in our hometowns becomes so comfortably efficient that we do not allow ourselves the extra moment necessary to get carried away in a conversation with a stranger. A life of travel does open many doors that normally would remain shut in regular life.

I now frequently run into other digital nomads with various jobs like writers, investment bankers, account managers, corporate executives, journalists at the local watering holes of all displaced persons… the WiFi enabled Starbucks coffeeshops located conveniently around the world. It is easy to spot these nomadic strangers who are tied to their laptops and sipping their caffeinated jolts of espresso to get over their jet-lag.

Every so often I do have one or two friends who join me while I am out on location. It is a wonderful experience to share a dinner, conversation, drinks with an old friend within an exotic setting. I do admit that I send out teaser emails every so often to see if I can entice one of my buddies to hop on a plane and join me for a week or so. You can always remember the essence of each trip by the friends who shared the experience with you. Wonderful memories!

I keep stumbling upon new digital tools that make my life and work easier. For example I needed to find some of the world’s most pristine white sand beaches for a shoot. I had the choice of a few different tropical countries that offered amazing location backdrops. But I wanted to find beaches that were relatively empty of tourists, so by using Google maps in the “Satellite” view mode, I was able to count the number of beach chairs on each beach to help determine the best location for my shoot. The less beach chairs implied that there would be fewer tourists on the beach. This was the type of valuable information that was not possible 10 years ago. The digital revolution has really impacted the way we live, work, explore and learn in some amazing ways.

There is no doubt that the whole business of travel has become much easier since the birth of the internet. We are now able to arm ourselves with detailed information about each new place we visit. Knowledge is power and does provide an extra layer of comfort to an otherwise foreign location.

Everything worth experiencing starts out as both a dream and a desire, the next few steps are the experience itself. 
Cool Los Angeles (Silverlake) Coffeeshop

Found a real cool coffeeshop hangout called “Intelligentsia” in the Silverlake area of Los Angeles. You can seek out more information about this excellent establishment at their website at Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea. 

URL link : http://www.intelligentsiacoffee.com/
The Real Suzie Wong

In 1960 a Hollywood film starring William Holden and Nancy Kwan captured the hearts and minds of cinemagoers from around the world. The feature film was called “The World of Suzie Wong” and showcased the wonderful city of Hong Kong as its backdrop. I had the privilege of working as one of the cameramen (along with Brandon Hull) on director/producerBrian Jamieson’s new documentary called “To Whom It May Concern: Ka Shen’s Journey” which follows the life story of the actress Nancy Kwan. This film is now making the rounds on the film festival scene. You can learn more about where the film is screening or get the DVD at Redwind Productions - see link below. 

URL link : http://www.kashensjourney.com/ContactUs.htm
High Tech Monorails airs on Travel Channel

My good friend, director / filmmaker Rob Kelly had some good news as his recent documentary called “High Tech Monorails” has been sold to the Travel Channel in the USA (repped by Solid Entertainment). I worked as one of the cameramen on this shoot as we skipped around from Germany to China to Canada and then Las Vegas for this film. It was great fun. High Tech Monorails has already been in broadcast rotation in many other countries. You can learn more about Rob’s films at his company website RAK Productions. 

URL link : http://rakproductions.net/Welcome.html
Hong Kong Art Galleries

Hong Kong is a wonderful city in so many ways. One of the golden jewels of this sparkling city is an abundance of eclectic art galleries and museums. Of the couple dozen galleries that I have strolled into the past couple of weeks, I am going to recommended two of them, as they have an excellent roster of artists whom they represent.

The first gallery is located in the Soho area of Hong Kong Island and represents a fantastic collection of fine art photographs. The art gallery is called The Upper Station.

The second gallery is located in Wan Chai area of Hong Kong Island and represents a very high quality selection of talented artists. The art gallery is called Asia Fine Art and currently has a strong collection of paintings from Burma.

Hong Kong has many amazing discoveries to be found. If you enjoy fine art, then make sure to schedule a little time to see these two artistic gems situated along the back alleys of this amazing city!

Service Apartments – How to find them

One of the biggest headaches I have in my crazy travel schedule is always locating my next lodging accommodation. I prefer to stay in fully furnished service apartments, as they offer a more home-like feel than hotels. I sometimes use Craiglist to find vacation rentals, but you have to be careful since many of those listings are sometimes scams. Now there is a new online resource / company called Airbnb that offers a huge selection of short-term rental options. Check them out for your future lodging needs. 

URL link : http://www.airbnb.com/
Trip to Calcutta India – December 2008

After 21 hours in the air, I finally descended into this vortex of 15 million people. Strangely, I now look forward to these long-haul flights as I kind of go into a Zen mode, a time to think and reflect with few distractions. I arrived into the Calcutta airport at the cheery time of 1:30 AM. Most international flights to India seem to come and go in the wee hours of the morning. I finally found my bags and my taxi lurched into the inky blackness of the city’s poorly lit streets. The city would make a great backdrop for some apocalyptic film of what life may spiral down to after the curse of planetary heating has fully progressed. Well, we are not there yet, but Calcutta does provide a glimpse of a planet in peril.

OK, it is easy to discuss all the problems contained within Calcutta. But there are many simple joys for the traveler. People are friendly. Damn the food is GOOD!!! I always loved Indian food, but the Bengali delights to the taste buds here are amazing. My current favorite dish is called Murg Malai Chicken (chicken kebabs cooked with cheese and spices). On the otherhand, I am back to my old “travel” staple of Nescafe coffee (Jimbo can relate to those Nescafe moments on our winter trip in China). The Nescafe packets are soooo cheap here, about 2 cents each!!! I picked up 10 packets yesterday for 20 cents.

December is an ideal time to visit Calcutta since the days are not oppressively hot, averaging about 85 degrees (which puts a chill in their bones for the locals). The place is smoggy and polluted as hell, which provides a nice sun block from the sun. You can look directly at the sun ball with your eyes with no problem at least 2 hours before sunset (looks like the moon through all the haze). My throat is now suffering from all the pollution!

Well, Calcutta is not much of a tourist destination. I probably only see 3 or 4 foreigners each day as I walk around. Thanks to Tognarelli’s advice about getting a BlackBerry with an international data plan, I am totally connected in the most wayward alleys and coffeeshops throughout the city (the BlackBerry also worked great in Istanbul). Amazing technology. I visited one of Calcutta’s more famous coffeeshops called the “Indian Coffee House” located on MG Road. The place was bare bones, no frills, high ceilings with about 30 ceiling fans turning the humid air. The place did have a great atmosphere. The price for my cup of coffee was 15 cents. This coffeeshop has not changed in over 100 years, but then again the city really has not progressed much either.

Well the sunrise is starting to poke through the haze again, so time to grab my camera and hit the streets. Just 4 more days until I jump back on the plane again. I am looking forward to sitting at my local Starbucks and reading the New York Times, the comforts of home along with some clean fresh air!!! 
Trip Across America – Sept / Oct 2007

Days, then weeks and then months slip by…each of us toiling inside our prism of experiences. I long for the great dinnertime conversation as told by friends before the introduction of electronic mail. But atlas, times have been a’changin as a spinning world throws us into a million different directions. I am at fault most of all with my perpetually nomadic lifestyle.

This past year I have had my nose to the grindstone working on my ever-expanding stock footage website call stockfootageworld.com. For the past 7 weeks I was on a long haul road trip across the United States and parts of Canada…from Seattle to Boston. Damn this country is BIG!!!

Watching the countless miles roll by gave me plenty of time to soak up the landscape and think… about many interesting thoughts that seemed to bounce around my head. Unfortunately I never had the energy to write while on the road. But I tucked a few little impressions of the journey in the back of my head waiting a moment when I had time to write.

It is a bit shocking to see the American heartland. The first rolling wave to hit you is how massive the landmass is. This effect builds up day after day. From the Cascade and Rocky Mountain ranges to the vast grasslands…a leisurely 700-mile drive only gets you to the next state. I had flown over (and around) the United States countless times, but this was my first road trip across the continent.

It sometimes feels like you are in the middle of nowhere. In Southeast Montana I took a small 2-lane road called highway 212 for a couple hundred miles. The map listed only a few towns that dotted the landscape until my arrival into Rapid City, South Dakota. Sometimes 15 minutes would go by before I spotted another car or truck. After driving for a couple hours I came across one of the towns deemed big enough to deserve mention in my Rand McNally Road Atlas. The town of Broadus consisted of about 5 or 6 buildings…I envisioned that the mayor of the town probably lived in the biggest house…which also had a school bus parked beside it (he probably was also the school bus driver). The highway was also the main street of the town. Within 30 seconds the town of Broadus was already in my rear view mirror. There are tens of thousands of little blips on the map like Broadus. What would it be like to live in Broadus? Out of curiosity I had my little GPS unit locate the nearest Starbucks in the area – 134 miles to the closest Starbucks. It was going to be another 2 hours before I could reload with another jolt of caffeine. Ah, it felt like the middle of nowhere.

Chasing leafs.

I spent a week chasing the fall foliage season in Vermont. Sometimes a wave of anxiety would roll over me as I thought about the implications of having my career descend into the realm of a professional leaf chaser. Red leafs, orange leafs, yellow leafs, hunting for the ideal shot was difficult…as there always was some damn blasted green leaf tree to wreak the harmony of the red, orange and yellows. Of course taking shots of just trees would be rather stupid; it was the overall landscape that was important. Quaint towns, white steeple churches and windy roads all framed with the red, orange and yellows. I did fall in love with the capital of Vermont – Montpelier. It is America’s smallest state capital city / town. The coffee cafes were delightful. It was a week of chasing leafs.


The fortress city.

Coming out of Penn Station in New York City felt a bit oppressive. A green camouflaged police unit armed with M-16 sub machine guns kept watch over the hapless citizens of the big apple. Hailing a taxi, I got in. Greeting us around the first corner of the street was a clogged up city. Traffic was standing still. Since we were not going anywhere soon, I got to know my taxi driver from Senegal. He was a great chap…a sharp minded, intelligent guy. His escape from the turmoil of Africa had landed him into the vortex of a city with a police state mentality. Lady luck had thrown him another curve ball…and he was smart enough to see the irony of it all. Along one block of New York I counted 40 police cars. The latest edition of homeland security measures is the placement of thousands of police cameras on the city streets. Big brother is watching…it was very Orwellian. I was in New York to meet with my newly employed sales rep for my company. I had scheduled our afternoon meeting to take place inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art, at the second floor café that overlooks the immense grand lobby. It was a beautiful place of refuge, within a surrounding of art and culture. I ordered a Metropolitan martini and my mind slipped away from the thoughts of being inside a fortress city.

My journey was almost complete. Traveling down Highway 20 in Central Oregon was just a short hop to my final destination of Eugene, Oregon. Since it was late, I planned to find a hotel in the washed up town of Burns, which was 30 miles up the road. During the past 7 weeks I had become very aware of the nighttime dangers of deer on the roads throughout the West. Since it was now early evening I decided to slide my car behind a large truck and follow him slowly along the windy road into Burns. There really was little traffic on the road, so a couple cars and a motorcycle passed me…as both the truck and I were going below the speed limit. 25 miles down the road both the truck and I came to a stop amid some flashing lights. The police and ambulance had just arrived. It was a bad scene. A deer had jumped in front of the motorcyclist causing him to lose control of his bike and fall. Then a car that was following closely behind him hit the motorcyclist. He was killed. They closed the highway for about an hour as they picked up the pieces. Sitting along the side of the road, the wise old trucker gave me some of his wisdom about the dangers of deer along the roads. He had seen many accidents and had learned a thing or two about these unpredictable animals. Life is a fragile thing.

I am staying in Eugene for the next couple of weeks just editing through all the footage from this latest trip. Then I will be packing my bags and joining a couple friends in Hawaii…just a vacation, but if I find a nice bungalow I may decide to stay a while. Australia and/or South America may also be a partial destination for the winter. And as soon as the spring flowers bloom in Europe, I hope to partially settle over there. As you can easily tell, my “partially settled” nomadic lifestyle has still not settled. I totally understand most people would find this type of lifestyle “unsettling,” but my soul seems to cherish the experience.

I am looking forward to when our paths cross again. A good dinner conversation, skiing in the mountains, and a hundred other possibilities…it is best to share these experiences with friends. I am looking forward to it! 
Monsoon Days in Hong Kong – May 2007

I am rocking out to some old disco music piped into my bungalow from my high-speed internet connection…wow what a world. I arrived back into Hong Kong this morning from a 10-day stock footage shoot in Beijing. I spent a couple days hiking along the Great Wall, photographed all the major highlights of the city…as it is booming with construction getting ready for the 2008 Summer Olympics.

I am still dreaming of sipping espressos on the streets of Budapest. My Mom and Uncle were both in Budapest this week…I had them check out some real estate companies for me. I hope to find some time this year to make a couple month journey to see if I can find a place to buy in the historical quarter of the city.

Before I move from Hong Kong, I probably will try to do another stock footage shoot in either Singapore or Taipei (or maybe both). I will probably also be in Shanghai in July. I also have an airline ticket to Los Angeles in August, which I need to use…so a months long visit to the United States will probably happen. As you can tell, I am a bit vague with my plans…as they may change in a heartbeat…part of the nomadic lifestyle of drifting with the wind.

The monsoon season has hit Hong Kong with wet and humid weather. Along with frequent trips to Starbucks, I will be mostly editing my newly shot material while the raindrops fall this week. Amazingly, I can back to my apartment from the airport to find a high-end Italian deli had taken over the bottom floor of my building. So a good red wine, salami and fresh bread are just a few steps away. If anyone drops by…well I have two wine glasses and a fantastic bottle Chianti! 
China’s Toy Emperor - 2007

Dispatch from Southern China

Seek your fortune out East young man.

How do you turn a spaghetti & meatball eating Italian into a Peking duck eating tycoon? Suck him into the vortex of the super-heated Southern China economic power box where they spit out ten new factories before lunch.

My whirlwind ride into China’s Special Economic Administration Zones of Shenzhen and Dung guan with Dave showcased the manufacturing might of the Chinese. From Hong Kong it is just a 50-minute train ride to the Chinese border. The border controls are extremely efficient as thousands of travelers are processed each hour in a tidal wave of humanity. Stepping across the border with Dave I am quickly introduced to his entourage that includes his personal driver, a pipsqueak designer from San Francisco, a titan industrialist from Hong Kong and Dave’s lovely Chinese assistant named “Angel.”

Arriving into China fills the nostrils with a musty, monoxide-laden whiff of air. Cell phones beep all around me. The calls are all for Dave. The emperor has arrived with a burst of business deals that need constant attention from the various factories seeking his advice on all sorts of matters. In a fully decked out, plush van our driver zips us into the matrix of an unending city that features hundreds of building cranes that cover the landscape.

Skyscrapers, freeways and factories, skyscrapers, freeways and factories…for the next 50 miles it is an unprecedented example of what happens when the world’s manufacturing capacity locates into one area. There are thousands of factories, massive factories that produce almost every conceivable product. The buildings are gigantic. Most are the size of 10 football fields and are 3 – 8 stories tall. Each factory employs between 3 – 8 thousand workers. There are over 10,000 factories within the Special Economic Zone.

About 20 minutes into our drive, the clouds start to darken. A thunderstorm greets us, as our day almost becomes night. I feel that I am looking at the edge of the world as I stare into the abyss of factories that stretch out into the distance. Dave peers through the rain splattered windshield and makes the comment that this might be the end of the world. It kind of looks that way.
With lightning flashing all around us, we pull into our hotel call the “Good View Hotel.” The hotel is like a resort. It has its own private lake, tennis courts, dazzling dining rooms, my room is huge, and my bed is gigantic. My super, super, super king-sized bed is the biggest bed I have ever seen! I calculated that I could share my bed with 4 women with no overlap. A lot of happy endings must happen at the Good View Hotel.

So what does it take to harness the power of 10,000 Chinese workers, 6 huge manufacturing plants, printing presses running 24 hours a day, cell phones ringing day and night, and a beautiful assistant named Angel? It takes the power of a Santa Barbara Samurai (aka “Dave”). That’s right our man in Havana…I mean…our man in Dougguan is running an empire that ripples across the world. Dave is a modern day mini-emperor. Upon the utterance of a few words from Dave, the production lines roll within a half dozen factories. Outside the realm of a general leading his troops, Dave has leveraged his ability to perform super-sized feats by just uttering a few words. Dave’s instructions are quickly translated into Chinese by his assistant Angel…and then parceled out to the many factory chiefs…who ricochet the orders across the massive factory floors. I am awe struck.
Dave is constantly juggling hundreds of decisions every moment – quality control issues, design issues, delivery issues, cost issues, management issues. A line seems to form outside the conference room, an endless stream of people who need to consult with Dave with issues that always need his “immediate” attention. Angel and a couple other employees are constantly on their cell phones, updating Dave with the latest information coming off the factory floor.

Dave’s day is a continual whirlwind of endless meetings that stretch from 8 AM in the morning in China and don’t stop until well past midnight as he consults and updates his business partners in California. At any given moment, about 10,000 workers are engaged with various stages of production producing the toys. Each doll might pass through 200 stages or more of the manufacturing process. There are multiple production lines in each factory that try to keep pace with the volume of toys needed for Dave’s global supply chain. The immense scale is damn impressive. The bottom line is that Dave’s company is producing some of the highest quality dolls in the marketplace. The 2007 product lineup looks fantastic.

Go East young man…there is a fortune to be made in the China matrix. The new West is the wild East. Our Santa Barbara samurai now feasts on Peking duck, suckling pig and spicy noodles. It is good to be the Emperor. 
 
 
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