My workshop at Interaction 14 is less than a week away. I'm hoping to come out of the half day workshop with an outline for a F*CK UP Manifesto that shows how failure can be a powerful part of the design process. Take a look. Join me. Let's F*CK UP together.
Not sure if y'all are aware, but I'm in a band, we've been playing together for about a year, have written a baker's dozen of songs, have gigged all around Brooklyn, and starting to do so in Manhattan, and now we're ready to record our first EP. And, if we can raise enough, make a video, and even record a full album.
Like most creatives here in the age of the deconstructed entertainment industry. we're doing some crowd sourcing. Yay! Check out our campaign:
Check out The Ghost Club's Join The Hunt initiative, a transmedia story scape, and alternate reality game that teaches you how to ghost hunt, and encourages you to post your photos, video, and audio, and vote on who's captured the most compelling evidence of the existence of ghosts.
Welcome to The Ghost Club Join the Hunt initiative.The Ghost Club was founded in 1860 at Trinity College, bringing together teams of skeptics and believers like Arthur Conan Doyle, and Harry Houdini. Our mission is to investigate ghosts and psychical phenomena to gather hard scientific evidence to prove the existence of the paranormal. Today the main brach of the North American Ghost Club work as investigators for a ghost hunting reality TV show. Here on the Theatrics platform we've collected stories, and video outtakes from the show, so you can meet us, and learn about what we do.Welcome to our next initiative. We are crowd sourcing ghost hunting, and we need your help. Over the next month we will teach you how to ghost hunt with out Ghost Club University how-to, and tips and tricks videos, and posts. We then encourage you to post your evidence here, and to our Ghost Club Wikia where we're gathering all evidence we've found to date on ghosts, and hauntings. Over the course of the next few weeks we'll all review the evidence together, and vote on what we think is the most compelling.How do you get started? Simple. Create a Theatrics account, and post a photo of yourself. Over the next 4 weeks we'll post additional information, and give you specific calls to action to help us hunt. We'll help you along the way by posting an Alternate Reality ghost hunting game, and showing you how we perform our investigations with some premium webisodes.When you're ready, you'll be encouraged to go on your own hunt, and post the evidence here. Then we'll all vote to determine the best evidence.We're excited that you're on board to help us out. We can't wait to see what you find!Good hunting.
You may recall 2 weeks ago my Small Media Extra Large partner Meghan Scibona and I helped our friend Dawn Siff create what we’re calling the very first Vine video resume. It got her a ton of publicity. Today she got EVEN more. Here's Dawn on the Today Show:
For those that don't know what Vine is, it's basically Twitter for video. You can post a 6 second video of yourself doing anything through (and only through) the Vine iOS app. It's kludgy, buggy, has upload problems, and is more than a pain in the ass to work with, but it is getting a lot of buzz right now, mostly because of the handful of comedians (Will Sasso, Reggie Watts, Weird Al Yankovich, to name a few) who are using it. For Dawn it was a no-brainer. By creating the very first 6 second resume on Vine, Dawn got her hands on some of that publicity.
First Mashable did a blog post on it:
And now other media companies are following suit:
We'll see how far this goes, and if it results in Dawn getting her dream job--I wouldn't be surprised if it did--but from where I'm sitting right now the day after the shoot, the 4 hours of work it took to pull this off was well worth it. Congrats, Dawn, great idea, and we are very happy we could help you make it happen.
Over my long and storied career as a designer, writer, and filmmaker, I've taken part in many firsts... the first interactive online webseries, the first zombie movie with a sexy pierced punk rock zombie protagonist, and, of course, all us web 1.0ers have stories of creating the first YouTube, or (in my case) the first Spotify. But it's very rare you get to brag about it. Today, thanks to a blog post over at Mashable, I get to brag about it!
Just yesterday my SMXL partner, Meghan Scibona and I helped our friend, Dawn Siff (the idea was all her's), create what could very well be the first resume on Vine. We shot on her iPhone (with my iPhone lenses) against my living room wall. It took plenty of takes to get it right. We fought the sun, recess at the school across the street, the 6 second time limit, and broken light bulbs, but in the end, we got it! I think we're all super proud of the end product.
Like I said, it's fun to be first.
Here are some photos from the shoot:
...aka me. Well, not me exactly, but the character I play in the upcoming movie--The Ghost Club, directed and produced by Hank Blumenthal.
In the ninety minute long Ghost Club feature, the crew of a reality TV ghost hunting show encounters actual ghosts. Ninety minutes is plenty of time to tell the story of this fateful encounter, but there is so much more to The Ghost Club than just one investigation. The Ghost Club is based on a real organization that included members like skeptic, Harry Houdini, and true believer, Arthur Conan Doyle. The characters--Jimmy, and his team--each have rich back stories, and relationships. The Club's investigative approach includes the scientific method, and devices cobbled together from the various technologies the hunters have used over the past 200 years.
To tell the complete story of the movie, additional transmedia content was created for viewers to discover, so they can learn more about the world of The Ghost Club TV show, ghost hunting technology, and the characters. As the co-writer of the movie, much of the responsibility for creating the stories told through this extra content fell to me. Hank's team created augmented reality games, webseries, and websites for the Club, me, and my fellow team members.
I also acted in the film, which provided me with additional opportunities to play with transmedia. I had a lot of fun fleshing out Jimmy's backstory, and personalty. I created a package of transmedia content from comics, to videos that helped to communicate who Jimmy is. He's sarcastic, obsessive compulsive, and a bit of a drinker, but still a fairly lovable guy, just trying to keep his reality TV show on the air, and his team focused, and paid.
Some of the content I created to introduce Jimmy, and his world includes:
The Skeptic's Diary, a web comic, which tells the story of how Jimmy became a professional Ghost Hunter:
Jimmy's twitter account:
And video of Jimmy's individual ghost investigations... don't try this at home folks:
This content helps viewers learn about the world of The Ghost Club, and connect with its characters before they watch the film, creating, what we hope, is a richer, more interesting, and more entertaining story experience.
AKA the series formerly known as Wing Women, has made it into the finals of the TV Reset Project over at ZoomTilt.
When one of Stacie Capone’s friends told her about an odd job she once worked trying to set up hapless single guys for success on the bar scene, it was a set of facts that, to Capone, seemed well worth exploring further in fiction. The result is “The Pick Up Chicks,” a romantic comedy web series that follows three female friends as they juggle some less-than-typical small business obstacles: falling in love with clients, being hired by ex-boyfriends and getting accused of running a brothel out of their Brooklyn apartment.
The next step is to shoot the pilot. Watch this space. It'll be coming soon.
Just got my first copy of "Interactive Design: An Introduction to the Theory and Application of User-Centered Design" from Rockport Publishers, the textbook that I co-authored with Andy Pratt. It's beautiful. Can't wait to read it... even though I wrote it. Hmmmm...
Available from Amazon
Following this weekend of some great performances of 3 of my one act plays, I decided it was time to get my writerly act together. Towards that end, I just posted a list of all the one act plays, monologues, feature screenplays, and short stories that I've written in the past decade (give or take a few years, and a few things I've written).
Wanna read any of 'em?
Three of my favorite one-act plays are being performed this weekend!
My friend, Tony White, actor, director, producer extraordinaire is putting up what are arguably the three best one acts that I've written. Come take a ride through the autumn leaves, shove your way onto a crowded subway, and take a late night stroll through one of NYC's most storied parks. It's sure to be an interesting trip.
Producers Club 358 West 44th Street, NY, NY (Bet 8th & 9th Avenue)
Friday August 3rd @ 8pm Saturday August 4th @ 8pm Sunday August 5th @ 7pm
Reservations: 646. 430. 8978 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
on the launch of Military Families Near and Far.
Military Families Near and Far is a social network for military families with kids that provides them with numerous tools for parents and kids to create art, make music, and write, to help guide through challenges, such as deployments, homecomings, and changes that occur when a parent comes home.
I'm proud to have been able to be a part of the project, working with the über creative folks at Funny Garbage.
It was such a treat to work for Sesame Workshop. And not just because I am part of the Sesame Street generation. Their work has inspired me since as long as I can remember. It's not every day you get to work with your heroes.
To help us finish The Ghost Club by donating to our Kickstarter campaign. We're doing good. We've got 50 backers, and we are about 25% funded. But with two weeks left we really need your support.
Here's a bit about The Ghost Club:
When a team of reality TV ghost-hunters makes contact with actual ghosts, the pseudo-scientists get a terrifyinglesson in - be careful what you wish for.
Here's a bit about Kickstarter:
Kickstarter is the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world. Artists (like us) in a variety of disciplines use Kickstarter to raise money from energized patrons all over the world. Rather than rely on a few investors to fund their projects with large investments, artists receive funds of varying levels from hundreds, even thousands of fans from all walks of life in any corner of the world, increasing the level of awareness for their projects. Kickstarter is ALL OR NOTHING. Artists set a fundraising goal and a fundraising deadline and if they don't raise the entire amount by that deadline, they do not receive any of the funds!
And here are some photos of me as Jimmy, the lead Ghost Clubber:
CBS reporter Alex Silverman interviewed one of Parking Auction's co-founder's-- Brian Rosetti.
Here's a quote from Brian:
“Well, we look at the pain that’s out there and we’ve seen stats in certain neighborhoods in New York where, you know, 40 percent of the traffic is due to people cruising looking for parking,” says Rosetti. “People will wait upwards of 45 minutes to an hour. I know on my block here on the Upper West Side, I have neighbors who, after they’ve given up looking for a spot, double park on my block and they’ll idle.”
I desperately want to make a movie here:
The abandoned Six Flags of New Orleans destroyed by hurricane Katrina. (more photos here)
How would you use this amazing location? The scene of a zombie apocalypse? Blighted urban love story? A super villains secret hideout? Remake Mad Max with go carts?
My good friends and fellow filmmakers, Luci Westphal and Scott Solary, will be releasing their feature length documentary "All God's Children" on YouTube soon. The doc is a powerful story about the children of missionaries in Africa.
Through the eyes of three families, All God's Children tells the personal story of the first boarding school for children of missionaries to be investigated for abuse at the hands of the parents' missionary colleagues. The survivors and parents share their journey of seeking justice, redemption and healing.
Subscribe to their YouTube Channel to be notified when the film will be available.