Quick Friday Fun: Canadian creator Vincent Morisset’s Blah Blah made me smile.

I am in good company as a fan of this interactive film, Communications Arts and SXSW also gave it accolades. Simplicity with surprises is what kept me wanting more. Good on the National Film Board of Canada for supporting this project from a filmmaker with proven talent.

Check it out if you like smiling. Blah Blah: The Interactive Film for People on Computers

canadian film media and interactive web art

Vincent Morisset’s Award winning interactive film Blah Blah. Vincent has also created interactive videos for Arcade Fire.


Sports and Event Photo Gallery

Since I have been using both my iPhone/Instagram and my DSLR while working for different organizations over the last few months I wanted to bring a bunch of my favourite pictures together in one place. Events featured include:  the 2011 Vancouver Grey Cup Festival and Game, 2011 The Calgary Stampede, 2011 Women’s World Cup qualifying in Vancouver, various events at Canada Place as well as my personal life. I hope you enjoy them. Spot yourself in the action? Have feedback or advice? Leave a comment.

Guest Blog for Hummingbird604.com: ArtsClub Theatre Presents Intimate Apparel

Last week I was happy to check out some live theatre while helping out a fellow (but much better known) Vancouver blogger Hummingbird604. It was great to be back in a darkened theatre, it had been too long. Working and volunteering for the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad and the Vancouver Fringe Festival I had a lot of opportunities to see and comment on a wide range of live shows and I like to keep it up when the opportunity presents. Here is my review of The ArtsClub Theater’s presentation of Intimate Apparel by

Intimate Apparel at The Arts Club (guest review by @TrevorJurgens)

One word sums up the Arts Club’s production of Lynn Notable’s Intimate Apparel from top to tail: craftsmanship. Starting with award-winning script it weaves through the resourceful set design, perfect-fit casting, meticulous costumes and precise acting.

“It’s 1905. New York City. 35-year-old Esther is an independent African-American woman who makes a good living sewing exquisite undergarments and corsets for brides-to-be. But she yearns to wear one of her own creations. When a mysterious stranger from the Caribbean strikes up a pen-pal relationship, the romance that blooms promises to fulfill all her dreams.”

When Esther receives a letter from the exotic suitor, we are introduced to George Armstrong (Daren Hebert) a Caribbean laborer working on the Panama Canal. George (Hebert) hooks the audience at first glance with his good looks and idyllic charm. As the correspondence continues the audience anticipates his next appearance like Esther craves George’s next letter.

Things play out in multiple sets that provide a voyeuristic view into the various boudoirs including Esther’s own boardinghouse room. Set designer Pam Johnson accomplishes a lot with the limited space at her disposal. I felt transported to Brooklyn at the turn of the century and learned some interesting things about the era, not the least of which is how little the challenges of love and relationships have changed over the last hundred years.
The plot is tied together with series of orders for hand-made corsets. Fortunately for Esther (and the audience) her business requires regular trips to Mr. Marks’ (Jonathon Young) shop for fine fabric and delicate flirtation. Mr Marks’ always has the choicest fabrics and is an artist in his own right. He spins romantic yarns about each fabric’s provenance while seducing Esther (willingly) into buying more than she came for. In a performance that reminded me of John Malcovich, Jonathon Young adds spots of color and comedy with his quirky Romanian accent and curious diction. For me the moments in Mr. Marks’ shop managed to outshine the other already glowing scenes.

The performance moves along with the rat-tat-tat of a well-oiled Singer accompanied by a rag time tune. With perfect pacing the two-hour show went by quickly and I didn’t want it to end. When the fast paced banter slowed, it focused attention onto the highly intimate exchanges between characters. This and the strong performances by the entire cast got the audience deeply invested. For me it was literally a gut-wrenching scene when it becomes clear to Esther and the audience that life is not always the stuff of dreams and love letters.

Clearly the opening night audience appreciated fine work. The actors were with a standing ovation and curtain call. This will not be the only positive review of Intimate Apparel. It is a great live theatre experience that I found very accessible and highly recommend.

Intimate Apparel is playing at the Granville Island Stage until March 10th. Showtimes and tickets are available online on The Arts Club website.

Thanks to Hummingbird604 for the chance to see this performance. The original review and others at http://hummingbird604.com/2012/02/17/intimate-apparel-at-the-arts-club-guest-review-by-trevorjurgens/.

Snowboard Mag October 2011 – QR Code Battle: YES vs. Under Armour vs. Oakley vs. Volcom

The Deal: While developing a strong social media strategy and related QR code strategy for a client in Vancouver, BC I wanted to see how well other marketers were using those little bi-chromatic nuggets off audience inertia, QR Codes. Standing in front the latest issue of Snowboard Magazine, iPhone in hand, the opportunity presented itself to do some fieldwork. Within the first 8 pages I had all I needed: four ads, four codes from some old school rippers and some new players in the park: Volcom, Under Armor, Oakley and YES Snowboards. Let’s see how they shape up, in order of appearance: Volcom, Under Armour, Oakley and YES. If you have this magazine (or are near a 7 – 11) and a smart phone why not play along?

Volcom – Score 4/5

On Sight: In line with Volcom’s signature style to always do something a little bit different, everything but the rider in the ad was negative except the rider turning the snow blacker than a Sambuca slush-cat and the tree trunk whiter than well… snow. This and the rider’s bizzaro angle on the rail approach let me know things were out of the ordinary and made me want to know more. Fortunately hidden in the white trees was no… not said slush-cat but a QR code. Bonus point to Volcom for putting the code in this unusual spot, it was still noticeable, added rather than took away from the look and made me feel like I had discovered a little treasure box that needed to be opened with a bang of bandwidth.

On Scan: I was taken to a promotion specific landing page that showed the trick in full Technicolor. My questions were answered and I got to see some Volcom product in action. More importantly I was not pissed off at the advertiser, see below.

Under Armour – Score 2/5

On Sight: Quiksilver called, they want their look from 3 years ago back. The QR code was big and bold like the mark of the beast, no chance of missing it though, unfortunately…

On Scan: Holy bandwidth-burner batman. While a video is obviously going to take more bandwidth in the end at least I know what to expect when the preview screen loads (see the Volcom beauty above). With Under Armour I waited a while to see a bunch of little boxes slowly fill up until I could even tell what site I was on. All I could see was a whole lotta white, like driving behind a Mack Truck in Crowsnest Pass in a snowstorm. Guess the main site image was taking a while to load. Finally I could decipher it was the generic Under Armour snowboarding home page, at least I didn’t get dropped at the top level of the corporate site. I am in a giving mood so I’ll give them that.

Conclusion: Like in slopestyle, bad landing/bad score. I did not access any content complimentary to the ad itself on the landing page and I had to wait forever for it.

Oakley – Score 3/5

On Sight: Great photography, featured the product clearly, very editorial looking for this sort of mag, it almost tricking me into thinking the magazine had started. The QR code was bottom left and pretty straightforward. Not adding to the design but not taking away too much.On Scan: Possibly due to an IP redirect I was not taken to a campaign specific page (/jake1?). I was reading from Canada. Instead I hit the default Oakley page and while it featured a rather attractive female runner in shades it really took me out of the snow zone.

YES – Score 4.5/5

On Sight: Nice modern layout using the rule of thirds. Full-face portrait looking straight at the viewer, nothing like a face to catch attention especially when it is peering out at you as soon as you start to turn the page. The QR code is made to look less obnoxious with a minimal border and actually compliments the black box surrounding the logo be it deliberate or not.

On Scan: Saving the best for last like Kelly Slater in a ASP tour final YES delivered the goods. Scanning took me to a video of the same rider featured in the ad, talking about the features of the board from the ad. The whole think felt pretty Alice down the rabbit hole as I was digitally transported into the ad itself. Well done YES. This is the strongest example I say of how to use QR codes effectively.

Have any examples of great or horrible use of QR codes? Send ’em in! Or tweet me @trevorjurgens.