There Once was a Kid from Canton…

CantonKid_site_bookToday marks what would have been the 5th anniversary of the old East Screen West Screen podcast and just over five years since the formation of Kong-Cast.com. It is also very close to another anniversary of a website now gone and nearly forgotten.

Some of you may not know that this site was not my first foray into throwing content about Hong Kong up on the web. Back in the mid 90s, I had experimented with a doing an audio program using real media files of myself talking about and playing Cantonese music from Andy Lau, Anita Mui and other personal favorites. The Internet was young and Napster wasn’t really a thing yet. I think I recorded and uploaded 3 episodes before the site in question (a Geocities site for all you old-time web 1.0-ers out there) was promptly shut down. Neither bandwidth nor copyright, as it applied to the Internet, was really a part of my vocabulary at the time. Ah the inanity of youth!

By 1999 I was back at school studying my B.A. Asian Studies at F.S.U. At that point my love for Hong Kong films had been going on for over a decade. Knowing this, my Mandarin language professor at the time implanted the idea of creating a review website for Chinese movies and thus was my 2nd venture into content creation on the web born. Perhaps it was a kind of Chinese soft power inception, but needless to say it served as the catalyst for where I am today.

So with the promptings of my Chinese professor in mind I went about setting up my own review site and slowly built it up over time. And thus was (the now long defunct site) CantonKid.com born.

All that remains of the CantonKid site today is a backup folder with the original HTML architecture. In the mid 2000s I lost the site domain name in a rather unscrupulous squatter jump by the webhost I was using at the time. But that’s a rather lengthy story, perhaps best saved for another time.

The site was done using frames (anyone still remember those?), so it doesn’t even display properly on modern browsers. The core content is still there though, and some have even asked if I might ever repost it, but going back and looking at that now is a bit like reading an old essay or early novel draft, where you just shake your head at the horrendousness of it all.

So, after feeling a bit nostalgic, last week I decided to do a Google search to see if there was still any mention of the old site lying around in some long forgotten recesses of virtual data-space.  What I uncovered shocked me for a moment.  I actually found mention of the site in the book, Once Upon A Time in China: A Guide to Hong Kong, Taiwanese and Mainland Cinema by Jeff Yang.  It’s a book I even have on my shelves, but had not ever read through to the back pages of.  The surreal nature of seeing the site that I had created mentioned in published print was only surpassed by the honor I felt at being included in with so many of the early webmasters that I have grown to admire, some of whom I am now blessed to be able to call friends.  It seems odd that something which has long vanished, save for a few faint echoes, still resonates somehow in the work that I do or the relationships that sprang from it.  I guess the Internet is kinda funny like that.

PoF: The Dynasty Report Debuts

POF_TDR_001

So this is it, Project A, as mentioned in the previous post.  Podcast on Fire: The Dynasty Report is the current ‘official’ title, but that is subject to change.  Technically it is a sub-category within the Podcast on Fire series and as such will occur on a semi-regular basis, dependant on both new-releases in Hong Kong (which are few and far between) and the scheduling for the other programs in the PoF line-up.

Kenneth Brorsson (of Podcast on Fire) and I began talking about this idea some weeks back.  I knew I wasn’t really down for doing a solo podcast, so Ken pitched the idea of him acting as a springboard for discussion.  I liked the idea and jumped at the chance to work within the PoF network.

Though do I miss being in the producers chair, the plus side for this co-op allows me to talk current films (which I love doing) and Ken magnanimously handles the technical producing (which is a boon with my current 2 year old daughter so often on hand).  As with any new podcast, the format is very experimental at this stage, so the plan is to see if it works and tweak it where we can.  If you’d like to send feedback for the show, you can do so through either Ken or myself and we will be sure to pass it along.

I will post show updates and trailers here, but the stream, feed and general notes will all be found over at the PoF site here: http://podcastonfire.com/2014/08/podcast-on-fire-184-the-dynasty-report-overheard-3-z-storm-the-great-hypnotist/

On this freshman episode we cover some of the June-July 2014 releases.  These include;

OVERHEARD 3 [竊聽風雲3]

Z-STORM [Z風暴]

THE GREAT HYPNOTIST [催眠大师]

The Semblance of Things to Come

So it’s been just over a month since the last blog entry.  I had hoped to have a few more written updates on the site since then, but July has been a busy month, that included the ACSS conference in Macau, birthdays for both my wife and daughter, my daughter getting ready to start her very first day of school here in Hong Kong (a pre-K), and the general work related issues that pop up (as they are wont to do).

One might say that some things have been happening behind the scenes as it were.  There have been some minor cosmetic changes to the site and there are currently two projects in development.  

Project A (as an enigmatic working title for the moment) has already gone into production (or perhaps it is more appropriate to say co-production).  That project should be available fairly soon and it will be announced on this site (and a multitude of other sites) once it goes live.

Project B (still going for the enigmatic) is a second project which is still in the pre-production phase, but I hope to roll out within the month of August.  This second project I’ve been somewhat hesitant to do, as I believe my own capacity for creating it with a level of quality remains suspect, but I’ve been advised by some people that I have a deep respect for to just give it a go.

Perhaps there is a third project worth mention and that is Project D, with the notable ‘Ph’ placed in the front.  Yes, after some inspiration by what I saw at the ACSS conference last month, and some extended discussions with my wife, work colleagues and some friends who are  already engaged in various levels of top level academic study, I’ve decided to make an attempt at furthering my academic study.  Though I’ve been working in tertiary education continuously since 2004, I’ve not been a student since finishing my MA degree in 2010.  Getting accepted is certainly not guaranteed, but my hope is that I will be able to combine my passions into a passable thesis that will get me into the door and allow me to shake off some of the mental rust that has built up over the past few years.