Deakin University Screening Recap

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Deakin University screening

On Tuesdsay, we took the Metlink Tram to Burwood where one of the campuses of Deakin University is located. Deakin is a relatively new university, having only been established 25 years ago. It has campuses in several locations, including Geelong, the site of the 2010 Worlds Cycling Championship happening this week. Had we more time, it would have been fun to see some of the top racers in the world duke it out — drug-free hopefully — for the rainbow colored jerseys.

In contrast to the RMIT University screening the previous day, we had a lot more staff and outside guests come to this screening. There were several friends of my parents’ friend Bella in attendance. In addition, two of Li Jing’s compatriots from the Beijing Wushu Team were present. We have enjoyed meeting and making connections with the extended family of all those who contributed to the development of Autumn Gem!

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RMIT University Screening Recap

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RMIT University screening of Autumn Gem

On Monday, we had a screening at RMIT University in downtown Melbourne. The city features a wide range of architectural styles, and the RMIT student center was definitely a unique example. One of the buildings looked like it was covered with green slime! Our screening was organized by Professor Lisa French in conjunction with her “Asian Cinemas” class. Lisa’s research interest is in gender and feminist issues in film, so we thought our film would be a good fit. The audience consisted mostly of students, as well as our friend Jen and Melinda O’Connor from 3CR Radio, who had interviewed us a few days ago.

We had our first technical glitch during this screening. The VGA connector down by the stage wouldn’t sync resolutions properly with either my MacBook Pro or iPad. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time to try setting up the computer in the projection booth, so we verbally gave the Keynote presentation and played the movie via the DVD. The mantra that I’ve been saying in previous posts holds, “Always have a backup!”

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Chinese Association of Victoria Screening

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Chinese Association of Victoria Screening

On Sunday night, we had a screening at the Chinese Association of Victoria. In the late afternoon, Rae and I took the train from Flinders Station to Wantirna, a suburb of Melbourne. Lillian and Rex Lai picked us up from Blackburn Station and drove us to the CAV. The association was founded back in 1982 by a group of 30-40 Chinese from Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Indonesia immigrants who shared common objectives for the future of Chinese in their newly adopted country of Australia. After meeting in members’ homes and rented facilities for several years, they opened up the CAV Centre in Wantirna in 1995.

It was at the CAV Centre where we held our screening. We always enjoy showing the film to Chinese organizations such as these, because their primary membership base are often people from our parents’ generation. One of the things that I enjoy asking is how they came to the decision to leave their country of birth to immigrate to Australia or the United States. As we take Autumn Gem to additional international locations, we’ll be asking this question more and more. I find it fascinating to think how one decision changed the course of history for them and their families. As first-generation American born Chinese, we have been fortunate to have grown up in relative prosperity. The decisions we made in our early twenties pale in comparison to those our parents faced. We owe a great deal to them for their sacrifice in providing us a better tomorrow!

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Australia-China Friendship Society Screening

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Screening in Melbourne

On Friday morning, we got on an airplane from Sydney to Melbourne. The flight was a little over an hour long, and it reminded me of the trip from San Diego to the Bay Area. Upon arriving, we noticed a number of people wearing black and white striped outfits. At the time of this post’s writing, the Grand Final game for Australia Rules Football is happening right now just a mile away in the Melbourne Cricket Ground Stadium. Earlier today, we walked to the stadium and waded through the throngs of Magpie and Saints fans who are now eagerly cheering for their respective teams. If the Chargers ever made it back to the Super Bowl, would I be so enthusiastically dressed in blue and gold? You bet!

The previous evening, we had a screening that was sponsored by the Australia-China Friendship Society and the Confucius Institute. The film was shown at the Carrillo Gantner Theatre in the Sidney Myer Asia Centre at the University of Melbourne. The venue had a great projector system which showed the film in glorious HD. There was also an Elmo overhead projector, which I used to demonstrate our Autumn Gem Preview application for the iPad.

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Bondi Beach

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Bondi Beach

Following our short visit to the Sydney Opera House, my uncle took us to lunch over at Bondi Beach. Located 7km from the city center, Bondi Beach is a very popular beach that reminded me of beaches in La Jolla where I grew up. I don’t think I ever appreciated how amazing La Jolla was until I came back to San Diego during my college summers. Seeing the Pacific Ocean open up as one exits Highway 52 is a lovely and amazing sight. I do wonder what it would be like to live in one of those houses just on the waterfront. Would I become desensitized to the view over time or would I remain captivated everyday with the brilliant blue sea?

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Sydney Opera House

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Sydney Opera House

Before our screening at the University of Sydney, we spent a few hours in the morning and afternoon doing some sightseeing. At the Sydney Opera House, we had a good view of people climbing up the Harbor Bridge. That might be a fun thing to do when we are back in Sydney next weekend. The Opera House was as striking up close and personal as it was in the photographs and videos I had seen of it prior.

The city of Sydney was very beautiful and very racially diverse. In many ways, Sydney and Melbourne remind us of the San Francisco Bay Area where we are from. The ocean’s right there, and nature is just a short drive away from the city centers. Great food from nations across the globe are present too. We could certainly see ourselves living in Sydney — or at least visiting it again!

Check out some photos we took of the Sydney Opera House.

University of New South Wales Screening

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Rae at the University of New South Wales

We had a screening at the University of New South Wales yesterday afternoon. Thanks to Professor Haiqing Yu who set up our first screening of Autumn Gem on international soil! We had mostly academics and professors at the screening, and this led to a very good discussion about how best to promote and distribute our film to educational markets. We’re beginning a big push to get Autumn Gem in 2011, namely because it’s the 100-year anniversary of the fall of the Qing Dynasty. We’re betting that many people will be wondering, “What was the role of women in the early 20th century?” We want the answer to be to watch Autumn Gem!

Before the trip, I was thinking about leaving the laptop at home and bringing just the iPad to run our Keynote presentation and present the movie. I’m glad that I didn’t, because I needed the MacBook Pro to interface with the projector in the Robert Webster Building. The resolution was locked to 1280 pixels wide, and I couldn’t find a way to change that from the projector control panel. The iPad’s VGA adapter outputs at 1024×768, so everything looked stretched on the screen. Switching to the laptop and setting the resolution to 1280×768 fixed things. The takeaway from all of this? Always bring a backup!

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