A time to listen

Where do u pick up a lost conversation ? Have not blogged for so long. So much to talk about. So much adventure. So much to share. Don’t know where to start. Maybe someone else should start ? Maybe it is time for me to listen. shekhar

Ballroom Dancing in Beijing

So you thought China was alll about economic growth ? Early every morning at the beautiful gardens at the Temple of Heaven, these people come to learn and practice ballroom dancing. The wonderful thing is there are actually no class distinctions. One a retired fashion designer, one an ex- factory worker, one an internet entreprenuer, a bus driver too. One thing brings them together. The love of ballroom dancing.

virtual reality and the human touch. Open Forum

No doubt, virtual reality will change the way behave, as will social networking across the various internet platforms. We will be more connected, more communicated, more informed, more educated and in many ways more aware. This minds of this interactive networked generation will develop far faster than ours did. Thats all good news ? Or are we missing a beat here ? All this connectivity/interactivity /social interaction is done through the computer screen, not in person. Where you can hide behind an avatar, an alias.. Discover game playing, learn social behavior, but where u can remain anonymous, or just switch yourself or the other entity off when it gets uncomfortable. Or plain bored. Are we developing into a society that no longer possesses skills for real life relationships ?

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China immigration

I landed in China expecting a long wait at immigration. Surely this must be one of the most security conscious and bureaucratic regimes in the world ? Think again. As the immigration officer stamped my passport, 4 lights came on, asking me to press one. Whether I was completely satisfied , somewhat satisfied, not satisfied or completely dissatisfied with the service ! Since I walked through in exactly a minute, guess which one I pressed ? Now imagine the same lights flashing at immigration in NY after your retina has been flashed and your fingerprint been taken. Shekhar

Flying Kites in Tiananmen Square

Beijing is full of surprises. Walking back to Raffles Hotel I pass the walls of the Forbidden City and into Tiananmen Square and look up into the night sky. Maybe a hundred kites. Some so far into the night sky that you could see them only by their twinkling lights. Twinkling lights on a Kite ? Oh yes, trust the Chinese to come up with that one. So here I am in Beijing determined to soak in as much of the cultural past as possible. I know about China’s explosive economic growth. It’s everywhere … but oh yes, Beijing is full of cultural surprises …..

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Just wanted to share with a quote from my interview with the ‘Australian’ that is making the rounds n Australia :
AS a director, Shekhar Kapur has become used to working with one of the world’s most expansive mediums: cinema. But the filmmaker and activist is pondering how to tell his stories in under five minutes as the internet and broadband redefine how people are entertained.
“If you forget the boundaries and imagine yourself as part of Asia, then you are part of the Asian story, you are part of the Asian culture, and Asian culture is so diverse. What you do is you suddenly become part of that population and they become part of you. You have to get rid of the idea of territorial boundaries because in the new media these territorial boundaries obviously do not exist.”
“Very soon, you will see there will be 100 million people committed to one blog that will become an ism, that will take over from nationalism and will become a blogism, and people will be committed to that for a while.”

Virtual reality, social networking, new media. The future

None of us really know do we ? And the great thing is that not knowing is s exciting. In discovering and exploring lies the adventure of life. The following is the text of my address at the future of New Media, Social Networking and virtual reality in Melbourne conference. The 3 day conference and mentoring session was organized by the Xmedia Lab. Where I am part of a team of international mentors, who mentor new enterprises in this space all over the world. For me its a great learning process. For in the mentoring I am also catching up with with new technology and developments. And learning from people with different and more advanced skill sets than mine. Read on for the text of my presentation. I am in conversation with Brendon Harkin, one of the forces behind XMedia lab :

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The New Media

Still at the New Media/Virtual worlds conference in Melbourne. I heard some amazing brains of ‘life on the other side’ – second life. I spoke about second life, new media etc too, but my talk was more of an exploration of the psychology of living in another – second life. Will write about that, but here is a sound byte interview that I did here, that I want to share with everyone. Not too deep, As I said – sound bytes.

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Is Web Video a threat to TV

Fear seems to be the key that drives large corporate structures that just cannot handle the democratization of media and entertainment. The great argument the goes on “is there a business model for the new media sites like video blogs and social networking” ? There is a prime fallacy in this argument that is just so”old media’ that it stinks. Which is, that the only reason people would want to communicate, or spend time and resources in trying to communicate and get attention, is because they want to make money. Here is a conversation on the Wall Street Journal that is a really good read on this topic, and I would recomend it :

Australians and I

Landed in Sydney today. Here to promote Golden Age and to make a keynote presentation at the upcoming Digital World event in Melbourne for the XMedia Labs. I seem to be getting a lot of attention in Australia. Probably because I have worked with so many Australians in the few films I have made in the West. Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, Heath Ledger, Abbie Cornish. My editor in both Elizabeth and in Golden Age is Jill Bilcock, another Aussie, as was David Hircshfelder, the composer for Elizabeth. What is it about me and Australians ? Is it just because we were all once colonized ? Though I have to say that Australia still seems to celebrate it’s Colonial past ! While we in India see it much more as a sad part of our history.

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