Hello! An update... and a request for support. I know the world is a goofy place and that a film is a luxury, in many ways. But I am now, with a great team, making a short 360VR film. The setting is the city of Shenzhen, the Silicon Valley of China. The film is about a couple, one of whom is a robot, but the film is ultimately about relationships.
Additionally, we are also in postproduction for a documentary on the city of Shenzhen itself.
Your help would make these two projects the best that they can be. We documented Shenzhen for 24 hours on August 18th. The documentation actually started on the 17th, which was Chinese Valentine's Day. That inspired the second short film, called Lotus Mountain.
I will write and do some Facebook Live broadcasts soon. If there were more time, I would do a crowdfunding campaign.
Stephen Black holding a Qoocam 360VR camera at the 2018 Maker Faire in Hong Kong.
Leo Wei, on the left, demonstrating a Kandao camera at Hong Kong Polytechnic
But we discovered the deadline for the Sundance Film Festival is this month, as is the deadline for a major European VR festival.
We are looking for sponsors and perhaps there is a way to sell it later. VR is a frontier, and there is no way to predict what will happen. For what it is worth, my first VR film was shown at festivals in Brisbane, Las Vegas and Singapore.
If you would like to support, the easiest action with the most value is to buy one of my books, probably i ate tiong bahru. It is a bestseller in Singapore.The paperback version is 17.88, and the ebook and audiobook versions are less than that. If you want to support more, please send me a private message. If you have a company that has a product that could appear in the movie, I am very happy to talk about that as well. Thank you very much for reading this!
At the 2018 Maker Faire at Hong Kong Polytechnic
Stephen Black holding a Qoocam 360VR camera at the 2018 Maker Faire at HK PolyU.
In the next post I will write about the great production, music, art and acting talents who are involved.
Oh yes... Beach Road, my first VR film, was a co-production with Hiverlab that has been featured in VR film festivals in Las Vegas, Singapore and Brisbane.
Notes on today for Alphabet Spikes, my book-in-progress-as-experiment-on Amazon.
These images are from Dustin Stupp's quietly stimulating On Brink artwork, now on display at the Innovation Tower at HK PolyU. Very thought-provoking, Dustin's piece is a trustworthy way to begin an understanding of Blockchain. First at lunch, and then at the artwork itself, we discussed blockchain. To be most accurate, I asked a few questions and listened a lot. I recorded our conversation and took notes. Block chain is not something that can be written about quickly.Later, I will have at least one dedicated post about my time spent with Dustin and his piece.if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section.(BTW, Dustin is open to exhibiting On Brink elsewhere; please get in touch if you have any ideas. The piece is meant to be experienced in real time; those piles of dirt are visualizations of block frequency and size.)
Experience interactive art, attend short lectures, listen to the blues and spend as much time as you like on computers loaded with a variety of AR & VR software. Coders,"noncoders" and those interested in digital entertainment are welcome. On the fourth floor of Innovation Tower.
Tony Tam: Talking About Speakers, Playing the Blues
Tony Tam makes distinctive, award-winning audio speakers. His company is called Delta Blues Audio.) His speakers are featured in The Dome. This is a rare opportunity to share Tony's knowledge and love for sound, music and the blues.
Biofeedback: Before and After Music
Before listening to music, the participant has a bio-rhythmic record created. Then, after listening to calming music, another record is created. The before and after results are then analyzed.
AR/VR: Artworks and Noteworthy Projects: Curated by Stephen Black
On Vive headsets and mobile phone viewing devices. Films and projects by the United Nations, National Public Radio, Stephen Black, Poly U students, Eugene Soh and more. Featuring Storyhive, a new method of VR presentation by Hiverlab.
Alphabet Spikes is a collection of stories, essays and experiments created from February 2017 until now--and in the future! The core of the book is here, on Amazon, but this ebook actually something like crowdfunding.
Once you buy the book, send me your email and you will get an updated ebook with new stories, as I add them. Right now, the version on Amazon includes stories about a game developer, Antigone Cloud and my brief encounter with Anthony Bourdain. Next will be journal entries from the Bubiko Orwell Tour, which voyaged through Singapore, Malaysia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia and Hong Kong. The purpose of the tour was to research food, to create a network of people interested in AR, and two work on two books.
Besides the tour journal, there are, and will be, short stories, interviews and essays about Southeast Asia and people, events and places connected to it.
Alphabet Spikes: Art and entrepreneurship go on a road trip in Southeast Asia. Lots of eating, a few meetings, and nonstop ups and downs.
In reverse alphabetical order, the following are some of my experiences in Hong Kong; these will become stories and essays. Questions? Leave in the comments section, as well as any info you'd like to share. Thanks!
Yam cha! The literal translation is "drink tea". However, yum cha usually means eating a meal of dim sum. Dim sum are the foods served in the round bamboo containers. Dim sum restaurants are everywhere in Hong Kong.
Xu Xi at the launch of Insignificance
“An audacious, inventive and original collection: these ‘Hong Kong’ stories are full of clever energy and lively strangeness.” - Gail Jones On Amazon.
Walsh, Joe. Performing with Shear, Jules and John, Doctor.
VR HMD ad on a tram.
Uniworks, the display of students' work, near the entrance of the Jockey Club Innovation Tower on the Hong Kong Polytechnic campus.
Because my presentations were meant to reflect the State of the Art in AR, I had to organize lot of information in a short period of time. Plus, the materials I had gathered previously had become out of date.
The good news is that nearly all of the materials presented were less than a year old, some just a few days old! The bad news is that in the rush, I had to de-prioritize student's work and ended up not showing any. With this post I remedy that, and am thankful to the teachers and students involved with the work below.(Any students, anywhere: I will be happy to post your AR-related work!)
First is the "home team", the Hong Kong Polytechnic University of Design. Dr. Ludovic Krundell helped secure these images, and he was a most helpful resource and source of welcome advice during my time at PolyU. His support, as well as the guidance of Gino Yu,
made my time here an unforgettable experience. OK; the work...
Yesterday I went to a fintech event with my feet dragging; expecting to drop off some flyers and then leave. However, I stayed for five hours, to the point where I almost missed a historic art event!
I stayed for two reasons.
As I began to take in the exhibits and meet people, I began to feel that I was witnessing a watershed moment in financial history. Learning about the achievements that were showcased, I sensed that the digital revolution has now advanced into an area that was considered to be an impenetrable fortress: the interaction between government regulators, financial institutions and SMEs. The fewer difficult and time-consuming transactions SMEs have, the better their chances are for survival. SMEs are what makes the world go round! This event was for everyone, actually, not zillion dollar companies.
The second reason I stayed was that, simply, everyone I met seemed to be genuinely trying to help others. There was a good feeling at the event.
I learned many things about how the delays and complications associated with starting and/or operating an SME are being reduced. My small way of thanking these unsung heroes is to list them below. These people and companies should be celebrated for their perseverance, attention to detail and their accomplishments.