26 Nov 2006

part 4 - magura

I first got to this village by complete accident about ten years ago. The sun was shining beautifully, and discovering a whole community out of the blue, after climbing for what seemed like ages, was something that settled down in my ten year old mind. This time, the road seemed short and accessible enough, but i was still overwhelmed by the beauty and silence of the place. And this might sound silly, but Magura is very special to me because it reminds me of Heidi (i used to be a huge Heidi fan, who wasn't, by the way?).

part 3 - trees

i am absolutely fascinated by trees - call me crazy, but i really enjoy looking carefully at a tree and trying to figure out its story - it's a small imagination exercise i particularly like to practice during walks in the woods.

part 2 - bran

Everybody's been to Bran - it's the castle each class of pupils is taken to during at least one trip. It's the sight where children are taken to by their parents during educational escapades. It's a place where you end up somehow - and everybody i talked to says you don't end up there just once. I have been there each year for some time now, and yet i hadn't noticed these colourful castle shutters.While this notice sign inside the castle reminded me of highschool times, when i was part of a theatre team, and we played S. Beckett's "All that fall". I was Maddy Rooney, and this was a line somewhere inside the play. Then, there was this adorable story-like small house:
And i had a traditional meal in Vila Bran :
Which sounded far better than this meal offer:

25 Nov 2006

yet another trip - part 1: rasnov

This is going to be yet another series of long, boring posts containing loads of bad photos and silly musings. But i had a great and relaxing time, and i must admit it felt really, really bad to leave those places.

I've been wandering around Brasov, Poiana Brasov, Rasnov, Bran, Zarnesti, Moeciu, Cheile Gradistei - which i must admit is far from being spectacular as chosen location; but still, i tried to make the best of it.
I haven't been to Rasnov for a very long time -- last time i went there, the fortress was closed for restauration and i could only visit it because i made friends with some locals. This time, the fortress welcomed visitors, offered gorgeous sights and archery options. They're still restoring, renovating and rehabilitating the place, which is very promising, given the preliminary results. What i liked a lot about the way the museum is introduced to its visitors was the appropriate musical background - something which is very rare in museums around this country.

21 Nov 2006

off bucharest

i want to make the most out of this free week between jobs - so, on saturday i went to relax and explore some of Brasov's surroundings. i came back this evening in order to attend BrandCamp and hopefully tomorrow i'm going back to finish my program - which includes some mountain peaks, a visit to a special small village and some paragliding.
details on the trip, on BrandCamp and on my new job as soon as i get back :).

13 Nov 2006

many happy returns

this is going to sound silly, but today this entire resignation business somewhat felt exactly like in the "The Prisoner".

nothing is boring by default

i was having this weird conversation last week with a creative who kept on claiming that some things/ products etc are simply "boring by default" and that's why he cannot come up with something too original or too creative for them. He gave me the example of movie credits, saying that nobody has the patience to watch movie credits, and that not even cute animations dancing on the screen on a cool, funny sountrack (Madagascar was mentioned) managed to turn credits into something interesting enough to keep people's attention alive. Which made me think about the opening credits for "Monty Python and the Holy Grail". Yes, they are opening credits, which means that you are more or less obliged to watch them, cause they are at the beginning, not the end of the movie. But still - I think they're funny, and they get you and keep you interested, and stir curiosity cause they develop a story of their own which gets you curious and makes you at least smile. Or, of course, it might be just me. But I really don't think anything is boring by default - it's all about finding a story.

why blog ?

CK asked people : "What is the single greatest point of value you receive from blogging ?". The resulted collage is "a compilation of why -- above all else -- we invest the thought, time and trouble to blog."

11 Nov 2006

this week's planner gatherings

There were basically two attempts to organize a planner’s meeting this week. On Monday, John Griffiths continued his tradition and was kind enough to be in Amsterdam and meet with whoever was willing to come. Adrian, who is currently part of BBDO, came and so did Stefan of the same BBDO. Since earlier during the day we took part in John's "Extreme research" training, we went on a bit discussing “extreme” research methods, but also creative ways to deliver the results of the research in an inspirational way. Russell and Jeffre and their understanding of "creative research" were naturally brought up, and so was the wonderful episode of Arthur commenting Stefan's monster book.
Since the morning training mainly focused on client and consumer knowledge, and getting research done, while i was also really curious about further introducing relevant research results to creatives, a considerate amount of the conversation was dedicated to creatives. John thinks there is no such thing as bad creatives, there’s only bad creative management. At which point he showed me the "Brand Tarot" pack of cards, as well as a wonderful little blue book called "Simple Truth about Advertising".

Richard Huntington's controversial "I don't get digital" post was also debated. And so was “blog anxiety”, which made me think quite a lot about this blog and what i should do with it from now on. Anyway, the meeting was extremely enjoyable, and John somehow always gives you the feeling that he's listening and taking into consideration what you're saying, no matter how stupid that is - which is great, cause it gives one some self-confidence.
Then, on Thursday, there was the second "local" planner meeting (featuring - in order of their appearance). Alex (Prezent PR), Coco, Miruna and Andrei (both from V+O) and Alina (Vodafone) were supportive enough not to leave me all alone in the coffee house (thanks a lot, guys !). Being so few, and not having priorly established any sort of agenda, we didn't actually get into any sort of deep and meaningful planning considerations. But as far as i'm concerned, the meeting was great anyway, because we got to know ourselves a bit, and because it gave me a far clearer idea of how i see these meeting further on. Andrei and Miruna helped me remember about a sort of project i wanted to start some time ago, one which involves a collection of social experiments. And perhaps, they'll even help me get it started somehow.
We talked about the local planning arena, about local telecom communication, about how it feels like to switch from agency to client side (like Alina did), about the recent trainings brought by the Napoleons and John Griffiths, and about ways to turn these meetings into something more organized, and, most important, more knowledge-beneficial. Once again, as i had also settled with Bogdana earlier, we decided that the two of us will hopefully meet clockwise on Thurdays, every two weeks - the only thing yet to be established being the location (The Living Room which we tested on Thursday doesn't seem like quite a solution either). And anybody willing and supportive (like Alina, Andrei and Miruna proved to be) is more than welcome to come. We'll also hopefully have a blog and an agenda for each meeting, staying as open to suggestions as possible :). After all, it's not much yet, but it can hopefully grow.

2 Nov 2006

fakt 48: fakts still exist even if they are ignored

I guess there are times when everything seems to be going really, really bad, or at least really, really confusing - or simply really really bad and confusing. Like these days, for example. And yet there is a small thing which makes me feel instantly better, no matter how wrong things seem to be going.

Namely, watching Harvie Krumpet (yep, that's the link to the whole movie) - Adam Elliot's brilliant animated biography of an ordinary guy who is sort of pathologically cursed with bad luck. Plus, i adore Harvie's book of fakts - both for the concept, and for the clarity and simplicity of the slides :).

1 Nov 2006

TED Prize 2007: The Winners

"War photographer, James Nachtwey, one of the world's most prominent scientists, E.O. Wilson, and President William J. Clinton, are the winners of the 2007 TED Prize. Each recipient has been granted ONE WORLD-CHANGING WISH to be revealed at the 2007 TED conference, in Monterey, CA. Many members of the TED Community, and a group of world-class companies, have pledged support to help fulfill these wishes. Each winner will also receive $100,000 to be spent however they choose in support of their wishes. "