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71st British Academy Film Awards: List of winners and my overall opinion on the final race to the Oscars.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2018 by vincentloy

The 71st British Academy Film Awards, or simply known as BAFTA took place on 16th February 2018 at London’s Royal Albert Hall. This is the fourth of the five major televised awards in recognizing the best of Hollywood films every year.
‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ is the biggest winner with 5 wins including the coveted ‘Best Film’ prize. The film also won ‘Outstanding British Film’, completing the difficult feat of nailing both the best film prizes BAFTA offered. Its big win here reinforces its position as the Oscar frontrunner particularly in the best picture race where ‘The Shape of Water’ is another serious contender. After winning Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Screen Actors Guild for Best Cast for Motion Picture, and then this BAFTA for Best Film, ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ now is predicted to win Best Picture in the coming Oscars as well. The only major televised award it missed out is Critics’ Choice for Best Picture that went to ‘The Shape of Water’. I’m still hoping that ‘The Shape of Water’ will upset ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ in the Oscars.
As for the four acting categories, it is a lock. Gary Oldman, Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell and Allison Janney can now safely practice their Oscar speech. There is no more competition. It is very unlikely that other nominees will win after they won all the major precursor awards leading up to the Oscars. James Ivory is sure to win ‘Adapted Screenplay’ in the Oscars too for ‘Call Me By Your Name’ while competition for ‘Original Screenplay’ remain heated with ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ and ‘Get Out’ battling each other. On the other hand, I’m 100% confident that ‘Coco’ will win Best Animated Feature in the Oscars without any further explanation required.
Leading with 13 nominations, ‘The Shape of Water’ is now expected to take only ‘Best Director’, ‘Best Production Design’ and ‘Best Original Score’. This movie deserves more in my opinion (including ‘Best Picture’, ‘Best Actress’, etc) but it looks like no one can block the immense love to ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ from the industry people. On the other hand, it’s a pity that Timothee Chalamet lost the Rising Star Award to Daniel Kaluuya because the latter is a homegrown (definitely an advantage since this category is voted by the public). Timothee Chalamet definitely had a more stellar year (2017) in films (‘Lady Bird’ and ‘Call Me By Your Name’). ‘Blade Runner 2049’, ‘Baby Driver’, ‘Dunkirk’, ‘Phantom Thread’, ‘The Shape of Water’ and ‘Darkest Hour’ win in the remaining technical categories. Notable highlight here is ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ losing ‘Best Visual Effects’ to ‘Blade Runner 2049’ and this hurts its chance in the coming Oscars.
Here below is the full list of winners for the 71st British Academy Film Awards (2018):
Best Film
“Call Me By Your Name”
“Darkest Hour”
“Dunkirk”
“The Shape Of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” *Winner
Outstanding British Film
“Darkest Hour”
“The Death Of Stalin”
“God’s Own Country”
“Lady Macbeth”
“Paddington 2”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” *Winner
Outstanding Debut By A British Writer, Director Or Producer
“The Ghoul Gareth Tunley”
“I Am Not A Witch” *Winner
“Jawbone Johnny Harris (Writer/Producer), Thomas Napper (Director)
“Kingdom Of Us”
“Lady Macbeth”
Film Not In The English Language
“Elle”
“First They Killed My Father”
“The Handmaiden” *Winner
“Loveless”
“The Salesman”
Documentary
“City Of Ghosts”
“I Am Not Your Negro” *Winner
“Icarus”
“An Inconvenient Sequel”
“Jane”
Animated Film
“Coco” *Winner
“Loving Vincent”
“My Life As A Courgette”
Director
“Blade Runner 2049,” Denis Villeneuve
“Call Me By Your Name,” Luca Guadagnino
“Dunkirk,” Christopher Nolan
“The Shape Of Water,” Guillermo Del Toro *Winner
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Martin Mcdonagh
Original Screenplay
“Get Out,” Jordan Peele
“I, Tonya,” Steven Rogers
“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig
“The Shape Of Water,” Guillermo Del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Martin Mcdonagh *Winner
Adapted Screenplay
“Call Me By Your Name,” James Ivory *Winner
“The Death Of Stalin,” Armando Iannucci, Ian Martin, David Schneider
“Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool,” Matt Greenhalgh
“Molly’s Game,” Aaron Sorkin
“Paddington 2,” Simon Farnaby, Paul King
Leading Actress
Annette Bening, “Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool”
“Frances Mcdormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” *Winner
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Sally Hawkins, “The Shape Of Water”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Leading Actor
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour” *Winner
Jamie Bell, “Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool”
Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me By Your Name”
Supporting Actress
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya” *Winner
Kristin Scott Thomas, “Darkest Hour”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread”
Octavia Spencer, “The Shape Of Water”
Supporting Actor
Christopher Plummer, “All The Money In The World”
Hugh Grant, “Paddington 2”
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” *Winner
Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Woody Harrelson, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Original Music
“Blade Runner 2049”
“Darkest Hour”
“Dunkirk”
“Phantom Thread”
“The Shape Of Water” *Winner
Cinematography
“Blade Runner 2049” *Winner
“Darkest Hour”
“Dunkirk Hoyte”
“The Shape Of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Editing
“Baby Driver” *Winner
“Blade Runner 2049”
“Dunkirk Lee Smith”
“The Shape Of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
EE Rising Star Award (voted for by the public)
Daniel Kaluuya *Winner
Florence Pugh
Josh O’Connor
Tessa Thompson
Timothée Chalamet
Make Up & Hair
“Blade Runner 2049”
“Darkest Hour” *Winner
“I, Tonya”
“Victoria & Abdul”
“Wonder”
Costume Design
“Beauty and the Beast”
“Darkest Hour”
“I, Tonya”
“Phantom Thread” *Winner
“The Shape of Water”
Sound
“Baby Driver”
“Blade Runner 2049”
“Dunkirk” * Winner
“The Shape of Water”
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
Visual Effects
“Blade Runner 2049” *Winner
“Dunkirk”
“The Shape of Water”
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
“War for the Planet of the Apes”
(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)
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Top 10 tallest buildings to be built in 2018

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 17, 2018 by vincentloy

2018 will be another great year in worldwide achievement on building skyscrapers. China is again leading the way in building supertall buildings. My capital city, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia will also be included into this list for the first time after so many years due to the projected completion of 492 metres tall The Exchange 106 Tower mid of this year. So, what are the top 10 tallest buildings to be built in 2018? Here’s the answer:

  1. Goldin Finance 117 Tower, Tianjin, China (597 metres, 128 floors). The tower is now nearing the stage of topping out with the construction of the diamond-shaped crown to commence shortly. However, there are news that this project is put on hold due to budget constraint and may not be completed this year. If it is managed to be completed this year, it will be the world’s 5th tallest building. It is only 3 metres shy from 600 metres mark.

2. Tianjin CTF Finance Centre, Tianjin, China (530 metres, 97 floors). The tower has topped out and is set to be completed this year while fate is still unknown for the Goldin Finance 117 Tower mentioned above that is located in the same city; Tianjin. When completed, it will be among the world’s top 10 tallest buildings.

3. China Zun Tower, Beijing, China (528 metres, 108 floors). The tower has topped out. When completed, it will be among the world’s top 10 tallest buildings.

4. The Exchange 106 Tower, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (492 metres, 106 floors). The tower is now nearing the stage of topping out with the construction of the glass crown to commence shortly. This will be the first building in the country to have over 100 floors and will be the country’s tallest when completed.

5. Lakhta Center, St Petersburg, Russia (462 metres, 86 floors). The tower has topped out and will be the tallest building in Russia when completed. First time seeing Russia join in the race to construct building of this height.

6. Changsha IFS Tower 1, Changsha, China (452 metres, 94 floors). The tower is nearly completed with all exterior cladding already installed.

7. Suzhou IFS, Suzhou, China (450 metres, 98 floors). The tower has topped out and its exterior cladding is almost completed.

8. Wuhan Center Tower, Wuhan, China (438 floors, 88 floors). This one also has topped out. Another higher skyscraper, Wuhan Greenland Center is also rising quickly in the same city and when completed in 2019, the 125-storey tower will have a height of 636 metres.

9. China Resources Headquarters, Shenzhen, China (393 metres, 67 floors). Topped out. Shenzhen has been seeing record-breaking number of skyscrapers completed in recent years.

10. Shum Yip Upperhills Tower 1, Shenzhen, China (388 metres, 80 floors). Topped out. Another one in Shenzhen.

Out of the 10 building above, 8 are in China, 1 is in Malaysia and 1 is in Russia. We seldom see any supertall skyscraper completion in Russia and 2018 will be the year for that to happen. China dominated the race to build skyscrapers again from its cities like Tianjin and Shenzhen. United States, which is once known as the country of the origin of skyscrapers did not make it to the list. The first 8 in this list will have final height of over 400 metres respectively while the first 3 even exceeded 500 metres mark.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ is the latest film to join 1-billion dollar club and movie review for ‘Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle’ (2017)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2018 by vincentloy

As expected, the latest film in the Star Wars film franchise, ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ has grossed over US$ 1 billion on its worldwide box office recently. The movie reached the milestone only about three weeks from its release date. As of 2nd January 2018, the film has grossed US$ 1.056 billion (US$ 533 million from US and Canada and US$ 523 million from all other markets). It is very seldom that the international intake is more than the domestic intake for a film and this ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ is an example. It proves that this film franchise is intensely popular in US. On its release week, it has the second largest opening ever if I’m not mistaken.

The movie is now one of the four films in 2017 that grossed over US$ 1 billion respectively. It is currently the 22nd highest grossing film of all time but that ranking is expected to rise further as the movie still observes high attendance from all parts of the world and that it has not even released in China yet. I’m expecting that it will have a final box office intake of somewhere around US$ 1.5 billion. It will not come close to 2015’s ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ that has gained US$ 2.068 billion to become world’s 3rd highest grossing movie of all time (unadjusted for inflation). ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ will ultimately topped the chart as the highest grossing 2017 film, defeating ‘Beauty and the Beast’ that stands at US$ 1.263 billion. The conclusion is; whenever you are producing a Star Wars film, you are sure to get over 1-billion dollar box office return. I’m not a fans of this franchise and I have not watched it yet (no huge interest on it).

Now, let’s talk about another movie and I’m giving my quick review to it now. It’s ‘Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle’. I watched it two weeks ago. It’s a sequel to the first ‘Jumanji’ film in 1995(and 2005’s ‘Zathura: A Space Adventure) and has its story set 21 years after the first film. I remembered those two films and I loved both of them. The plot now follows four teenagers who are transported into the video game world of Jumanji, playing as the characters they chose, and must beat the game in order to return home. It is no longer based on a board but rather on a video game. The movie starred Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas, etc.

I had a great time watching it. There was so much fun in this movie. Hilarious moments in almost every scenes, gorgeous visuals, likable cast, and great actions. This is one of the most entertaining movies that I have watched in recent years. I’m happy that Hollywood decides to remake ‘Jumanji’. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle’ a total of 7.8. I am seeing Dwayne Johnson everywhere. He is taking up so many movies (Fast and Furious franchise, San Andreas, Journey to the Mysterious Island, G.I.Joe: Retaliation, Central Intelligence, and upcoming Rampage, etc) right now, and is a much needed actor for movies that require an extreme body physique.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

 

TVB Drama review: Recipes to Live By (2017)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 3, 2017 by vincentloy

‘Recipes to Live By’ (味想天開) is a 2017 historical comedy drama from Hong Kong by TVB with food as the theme. Having 25 episodes, the story centers on Ding Yat-san, a poor village boy who is a foodie and has a ‘golden tongue’ (can identify all ingredients in a tasted food) and later discovered that he is the son of the God of Cookery. He then investigates the past accusation against his father that got him killed. The drama starred Tony Hung, Sisley Choi, Rebecca Zhu, Hugo Wong, Ram Chiang, Mary Hon, Stephanie Ho, Toby Leung, Maria Cordero, etc.

recipes_to_live_by

It has been such a long time since TVB last produced a series with food as the theme. Hence, this one got me interested eventhough I’m not that satisfied with the cast. With food as the theme, I’m expecting to see a lot of nice dishes, tricks and cooking competitions throughout the series. Yes, I do see them in this drama but they are not exciting as hoped. The story then swifts to many other directions to cover other smaller plots. That is necessary to keep the series going with more things to catch up. However, the excessive use of plot twists especially near the end of the series which are supposed to make the drama more exciting to watch turned out to be quite anti-climatic. They also forcefully put in too many unnecessarily tragic, ‘misunderstanding’ and ‘curse effect’ storyline to the characters in this drama. I’m annoyed when they are too many. Anyway, overall, the drama still has a decent storyline that goes back to the food theme.

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As for the cast and their performances, my expectation is right. Tony Hung is not a good actor and giving him the first male lead role here is a bad decision. There is still much for him to learn in acting. I think he did his best but there is something not right to his expression. Similar issue goes to the first female lead that goes to Sisley Choi. However, I find that she has at least improved. Anyway, I just don’t like her for being too thin and tiny, and having a sharp voice. Just not the right person for a leading lady role. Rebecca Zhu and Hugo Wong are both great in their supporting roles (or I shall say second leading roles). I hardly notice Hugo in the past but after seeing this and also in ‘Burning Hands’ where he is also involved, I think he is one underrated actor. Other veteran cast are great and I wish to highlight on Lee Kwok-lun who portrayed the main villain here. He is one excellent actor and is especially good in taking on bad roles. TVB should honours him with at least a professionalism or a supporting actor award soon.

This drama is worth to watch when you have nothing else to do. It is not a great series but still good enough with some comedic, touching and suspenseful moments. The only problem is the leading cast (Tony and Sisley). Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Recipes to Live By’ a total of 7.0.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

 

 

Less than a month left to Rio 2016.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 7, 2016 by vincentloy

The Olympics is returning soon. The world’s biggest sporting event, the Summer Olympic Games which is held once in every four years, will be back this year. The 31st Olympiad which will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 5th to 21st of August 2016 is now less than a month away. The time to catch up to some great competitions in sports from world-class athletes will be returning soon. If you didn’t know, after this Rio 2016, the next Summer Olympics will be Tokyo 2020.

Rio-Olympics

I can’t believe that London 2012 had already occurred four years ago. Time flies. I still remember I purposely woke up on midnight to watch the live broadcast of its opening ceremony alone in the living room. The ceremony was not as great as the one we saw in Beijing 2008 but was still memorable with some catchy scores and humors. Not many people like to watch this kind of ceremonies because many may find them boring and too long, but I do because I like to feel the excitement of an event that signal the beginning of an international games through breathtaking performances, impressive stadium and fireworks.

However, I didn’t have any high expectation towards the ceremonies for Rio 2016. It’s because the organizers had only allocated a shockingly little amount of money towards these ceremonies that will have over 1 billion audiences. They even stressed out that there wouldn’t be any costly presentation of technologies like light shows and they will only focus on the basics to present the Brazilian culture to the world. In the current time when technology is a must for shows, it will be a letdown seeing only ‘basics’ in opening ceremony especially for this world’s largest sporting event. But I will still want to try to watch the opening ceremony ‘live’ and I’m expecting the performances will be focusing more on highlighting Brazilian famous ‘carnivals’ with all the colourful dances. But I’m not that interested on this. Similarly to London 2012’s ceremonies which were below my expectation due to them being more of a musical shows than a real majestic ceremonies like what Beijing 2008 did, I think Rio 2016 will be more or less like London 2012. I think will be even worse than that. Beijing 2008’s ceremonies were still the best ever I had seen.

2016-rio-olympics-rio

Brazil also didn’t have a smooth time in these 7 years of preparation for the Olympics with negative issues like delay in construction of new sport venues for the games, corruption, weakening economy, harsh treatment to move people away from the new Olympic zones, Zika virus, security instability, etc. I just hope that the games will just run smooth without any major letdown. I didn’t really wish for Rio de Janeiro to host the games from the very beginning. It’s a beautiful city but I think there is many other cities out there that are more outstanding than Rio to host Olympics.

2048-4

Nevertheless, I wish all the best for Rio 2016 which will be now only less than a month away. I’m excited to watch some great competitions. I’m looking forward to support my Malaysian athletes especially in badminton. Let’s hope that our Dato Lee Chong Wei can finally win the country’s first ever gold medal this time after having won only two Olympic silver medals in the past. Also let’s put our hope on some other athletes to deliver. Hmm…it would be nice if the games is held earlier, for example like right now, as I have all the free time now to watch the games. By next month when the games started, my semester has also started.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

10 Things Architects Want You To Know About What They Do

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2015 by vincentloy

In reality, not many people actually know what architects do for their job. People generally think of us as professional responsible in designing and drawing out the plans and detail drawings of their projects only. But actually, our scope of work is far bigger than that as we are also in charge of overseeing the construction till it’s finished and ready for occupancy. Besides that, architects also need to deal with the authority, assist on finding and recommending good suppliers or contractors, chair meetings with consultants, inspecting progress of work at site, etc. Hence, there is nothing wrong that architect charges the most fees out of all consultants in a project. We deserved it.

Recently, I came across another interesting article about architects and it has the same title as my post’s title here. I wish to share the article here;

1. We want you to be an active participant in the design process.

SantaMonica-Hotel-concept-sketch

While it’s true that the actual work of design is the architect’s responsibility, it is your responsibility to be upfront about your budget and expectations and to give candid feedback. Finne, who has worked for many years with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in Seattle on a program called “How to Select and Work with an Architect,” dedicates a section of his seminar to what architects and clients should expect from one another. In the workshop materials, he says the ideal client is “honest, open, flexible, realistic and decisive.” Being open to your architect’s ideas and making decisions in a timely fashion will help your project run much more smoothly.

2. We can oversee your project from beginning to end.

If you have a major home project to tackle, whether it’s a large-scale renovation or building your dream home from scratch, you may be wondering where to begin. Well, wonder no more — the first call to make should be to an architect. These pros have the skills and training needed to keep your project running smoothly, and they can coordinate the work of your entire design and construction team.

“Architects can have a role in all aspects of the project, from site selection and feasibility studies through construction observation and project closeout procedures,” says Coates. “Homeowners can negotiate the level and scope of services they are looking for with their specific project. At a minimum the architect is usually responsible for design, documentation and permitting.”

3. Our work takes us everywhere.

“We have about 50 percent of our work out of town,” says Finne, whose office is in Seattle, “so every month I take several trips to visit jobsites and meet with clients and contractors.” So if you’ve been limiting your search to pros in your immediate area, you may be able to widen that circle. See pros whose work you admire on Houzz? Don’t be afraid to contact them and ask if they take jobs in your area.

4. We do a little of everything.

arqoffhres

“Rarely are two days alike,” says Coates. “Some days I am traveling to a jobsite to look at design opportunities or to inspect ongoing work. Other days I spend in meetings with clients, contractors or engineering consultants. Most architects do spend a lot of time at their desks, and I am no exception. We do a lot of emailing and computer drafting.”

Finne adds, “I work on design at home every day for about one and a half hours. Then I am in the office talking with clients, contractors and my office staff. I review drawings, mark changes and corrections etc. I write the specifications for all projects. I often visit the shops of special fabricators such as steel or cabinets, and I also visit jobsites in the Seattle area. Finally, I try to spend some time on marketing every day, sending photos to various design sites, talking with magazine writers, posting on the Finne Facebook page.”

5. Looking for insight into our design sensibility? Ask who our architectural role models are.

Ask any architects you are considering hiring for your project who their design role models are, or who inspires their work. Their responses will tell you a great deal about the look and feel they aim for in their own work.

Finne, who grew up in both Norway and the U.S., is inspired heavily by the architectural traditions of Scandinavia. “Sverre Fehn, the renowned Norwegian architect, was my friend. I believe he has had a profound influence on my work,” says Finne. “I will never forget the afternoons I spent sitting with Sverre in the living room of his house on Havna Alle in Oslo. Sverre lived in a classic functionalist house designed by his teacher, Arne Korsmo. He had an uncanny ability to understand construction and materials and then imbue a certain poetical dimension to those elements.”

Finne adds, “He was also a very unassuming person and was amused when the Americans awarded him the Pritzker Prize (the Nobel Prize equivalent for architecture). ’Oh, yes,’ he said. They sent ‘top secret’ faxes and then flew into Oslo on their private jet. ‘But then, there was so much snow in many places that they could only manage to visit a few of my buildings!’”

“If Sverre Fehn has been my compass, then Alvar Aalto, the Finnish architect who is one of the giants of 20th-century architecture, has been my North Star,” Finne says. “In 1985 I lived for a year in Helsinki on a Fulbright grant and managed to see all of Aalto’s buildings several times. The Finnish architect and critic Juhani Pallasmaa was my mentor and shared many of his insights on Aalto and Finnish design.”

He continues, “Seeing Aalto’s work taught me enormous amounts about the mysteries of handling natural light and the creation of what Aalto called the interior landscape within a building. I even spent the night in a tent right next to Aalto’s church in Vuoksenniska at Imatra. The morning light was incredible!”

6. We are inspired by nature.

nature-architecture-imspirational-ideas-1-on-architect-design-ideas

Architects design buildings that bridge the private, safe, interior world of home and the outside world.So it makes sense that no matter which style your architect works in, nature is almost invariably an inspiration. “Here in the Pacific Northwest, we are surrounded by some of the most magnificent topography and natural surroundings in the world,” says Finne. “I am inspired by the natural world every day.”

7. We may be able to offer design expertise even on smaller jobs … but not always.

Homeowners are more apt to hire a contractor than an architect for smaller jobs, but are there times they should reconsider? “It depends on the job, and it depends on the architect, as you might expect,” says Coates. Most architecture firms with less than 10 people do tend to take on smaller projects, but larger firms may not.

“In general, an architect or structural engineer is required for any work, regardless of size, that affects a building’s structure or other permit-related issues, such as stairs, railings, windows etc.,” Coates says.“Regardless of the size of the job, it is important for homeowners to realize that most contractors have absolutely zero training in design. Further, it is always a good idea, no matter how large or small the job, to have someone with experience looking over the work and ensuring that it is being built correctly and in accordance with the design intent. I would encourage homeowners to hire an interior designer or an architect for any job, regardless of size.”

And from Finnes: “Architects can do very small projects, but there is a point at which the architectural fee becomes disproportionate to the construction cost. Of course, I design furniture, but that is one of my passions.”

8. We do our best to provide a pricing structure that is transparent.

Architects charge in a variety of ways:hourly (around $100 to $160 per hour, or $60 to $90 per hour for support tasks like drafting); a lump sum; a percentage of construction costs (typically 10 to 25 percent); or some combination of these methods. Most also include an initial estimate of total costs for the project. Early costs are estimated on a per-square-foot basis, with projects averaging around $200 to $500 per square foot for construction costs only. Of course, the costs also depend a great deal on average prices in the region.

Both Coates and Finne work on an hourly basis. Coates says, “I prefer this method because it allows our client the flexibility to request other services, such as more design refinements, interior design etc. without an amendment to the contract. Additionally, I prefer an hourly fee basis because I feel it is most fair to both parties. I feel it is very important to be an advocate for our clients and for them to trust that we have their best interests in mind throughout the project, and this is difficult to achieve when our fee is based on how much the project costs.”

9. We are here to translate your needs into a functional, beautiful structure that also suits the site.

In the workshop Finne teaches in conjunction with the AIA, he explains that you should turn to an architect when you want ensure that your project has beauty, utility, and economy. Architects can work with challenging sites, listen to your needs and wants, and express them in a unique design perfectly tailored to you. Choosing to go with an experienced architect from the beginning, rather than entrusting a large project to someone without design expertise or trying to DIY it can help you avoid a lot of heartache … and potentially save you money, because otherwise you may need to have faulty work redone.

10. We are with you on your journey.

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“I would say choosing an architect is a bit like choosing someone to go for a long hike with you,” says Finne. “There needs to be trust, empathy, common vision, good communication and mutual respect. When you are halfway done with the hike and many miles from home, you don’t want to be thinking, ‘How do I get rid of this person?’”

(The original source of the article written by Laura Gaskill as Houzz contributor: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/20376965/list/10-things-architects-want-you-to-know-about-what-they-do)

Trust-me-I-m-an-Architect-T-Shirts

Last but not least, architects are licensed and trained professional responsible on designing our built environment. Put the trust on them, and they will deliver. That’s what they do as explained in this blog post. But we still hate deadlines.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Movie review: From Vegas to Macau II (2015)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2015 by vincentloy

Oh my God! My over-a-week holiday is over! Have to get back to work tomorrow eventhough I’m still very much in holiday mood. Before beginning to stress myself with workloads waiting tomorrow onward, I enjoyed the most on this last day of my break by watching a Chinese New Year film; From Vegas to Macau II. It is a sequel to a film of the same name released on CNY last year. Chow Yun Fat returned as the main lead, while new casts were added (Nick Cheung, Carina Lau, Shawn Yue, etc). Also not to forget some very good cameo appearances from Wong Jing (director of the movie), Eric Tsang, Nat Chan, and Andy Lau.

m_FVTM2

After foiling the criminal plans of the international money-laundering syndicate DOA, Ken (Chow Yun Fat) from Macau is ready to sit back and enjoy life. Ken’s plan for a calm existence comes to a halt when his protégé, Vincent (Shawn Yue) join Interpol and asks for his master’s help in arresting the real mastermind of DOA, Ms. Aoi. In the adventure, he is involved with former DOA accountant, Mark (Nick Cheung) and his daughter. The story looks to be interesting and explosive. And it is. The movie is full of many action-packed sequences, but that’s not an overall good thing too. Why? I’m expecting more of gamble-related happenings in the film (as the movie’s title suggested). For CNY movie, I’m not eager for actions. Fortunately, the movie delivered quite a number of hilarious spots (particularly Ken’s robot) to get us engaged into the story as it progresses eventhough with very less gamble scenes (the movie deviates away from the theme already just like the first movie too).

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However, some of the comedic substances and timing in the movie are a bit awkward and appeared ‘forced’ rather than came in naturally for a real good laugh. They tried too hard to make some jokes work, but it didn’t. Exaggerated acting by the cast also could not make it happen. Luckily, at his present age, Chow Yun Fat is still great in comedic role. Nick Cheung is also good. There are a lot of explosions and gun-fightings which for me are distracting. Like I mentioned many times already, I am anticipating more of Chow Yun Fat and the other cast displaying their skill and comedy on the casino tables rather than on gun-fights.

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The best scene in the film is during the mahjong game with Wong Jing, Chow Yun Fat, Eric Tsang and Nat Chan in the early part of the movie. But that was very short (how much I wished that the scene would last longer).

Nevertheless, the movie is still a very entertaining one and is good to watch during this festive Chinese New Year. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘From Vegas to Macau II’ a total of 7.2. I heard that this year’s CNY films are mostly bad and boring while this one is already considered the better one. So, I made the right decision by watching this then.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)