Director of narrative, commercial, and virtual reality

Film Portfolio

Project Greenlight finalist | Short about sex, death, existence, time

Lily in the Grinder

Shabbat Dinner

Comedy short about coming out | Featured in 55+ festivals

Search is Back

Featured on TechCrunch | 7k users per day

Global event handing out nametags on first Sat in June

Nametag Day

Uber Forecast

Tracking Uber's surge pricing to guess what the weather might be

Archive for April, 2009

Swine Flu! Head for the Hills!

Babe, you don't look so hot.

Babe, you don't look so hot.

Thank you to all those who voiced concern. I’m fine, and I don’t have swine flu….YET!!

It is allergy season, though, and every time I sneeze crowds move further away. I’ll keep it in mind for a good tactic to get through crowded rooms…

Real Estate Sucks

Apartment??!

Apartment??!

This week I got my first taste of what it feels like to be a New York renter, and let me tell you – it’s terrible.

The NY real estate market has softened considerably in the past year. It used to be that a buyer would have to enter apartments at whenever it was convenient for the realtor, checkbook in hand, and fight other seekers to get their deposit into the realtor’s hands first. There’s not as much demand right now so it’s a bit more manageable, but if this is a renter’s market I’d hate to see it in a landlord’s market! Prices are way lower but still astronomical, and

Over three weeks we looked at about a dozen apartments and spoke with realtors about several dozen more. The hardest part of any housing search is always finding who to room with and agreeing with them on where to rent, and we were thankfully isolated to a small area of Manhattan – Hell’s Kitchen and the Upper West Side. I preferred as far South as we could go, and others preferred as good value as we could find.

But then there’s the search itself, and Craigslist is an enigma in a city owned by the realtor. The site is filled with listings posted by the realtors that look the same but are actually different apartments, as well as listings that look different but are actually the same place. A landlord will sic 5 realtors on the same apartment, and they all list it daily on Craigslist, and they never gave the address to keep their commission, so we had to call to find out where the place was. Appointments happened, inevitably, at the most inconvenient time for everybody.

No, Apartment.

No, Apartment.

The two opposing forces of value and location found a meeting point in a lovely, spacious 4th-floor walkup in Hell’s Kitchen. Great value (highly reduced), and within three avenues of at least 15 subway lines! We agreed on the place and made an appointment for the next day – little did we know that the real torment was to begin the next day.

Yesterday I met the rental office at 11am. In addition to requesting our social security numbers, pay stubs, tax forms, yearly income, bank account numbers, and letters from our pediatricians claiming we were HIV- (only that last one is a joke), they wanted three months’ rent for security deposit and the first month! They asked for the application fee in cash and I brought a money order; the lovely woman at the front desk demanded I walk to the bank and cash it for her. I asked if we could require 48 hours notice and she laughed. I asked if they could paint the apartment and she said it would cost $1200. The meeting took four hours.

But one day later, it’s almost behind us and we are almost the proud renters of a beautiful Manhattan apartment! And you are all welcome to visit.

Sure, the experience wasn’t pleasant, but it has reminded me that some people are not reasonable and care about very little but your money. And that’s not something we can change or avoid. All we can do is avoid doing business with them, or if we must, be in and out as quickly as possible. And we can hope never to treat another human like that.

Crazy news day!

Wow, a lot is happening, most of it tragic. I can’t think of another day when I’ve heard so many unrelated big news headlines:

Yahoo! Answers: A Place for Idiots

Ah, Yahoo! Answers…what a great concept. Ask a question and other friendly people will answer it for you. You build a community through shared information and spread what you know!

Unfortunately, those on this site who ask the questions who haven’t mastered the art of typing your question into google first, and those who answer them haven’t mastered the art of a second-grade education.

Um, ok so gUyz, I have this link to a web cite but u gots to not laugh at me LOLz. its Got stuff to look at, like links 2 the dumb Yahoo! ansers pages. It’s hiLARIus lol <3 xoxo Mike

Check it out for gems such as “I live in georegia but i dont see rusia no where not even sound but they says theres tanks should i be worrie”: http://yepyep.gibbs12.com/2008/12/a-journey-through-yahoo-answers-finest/

Go on Yahoo! Answers yourself and post some funny onese u find!

A little subway love

I was standing on the subway when I noticed this adorable couple leaning towards one another, connected by white earbud headphones. Their body language was adorable.

Crazy kids these days…

Take a look at the most-subscribed-to channel on YouTube… It’s the #1 Google result for “Fred.” I don’t really get it and I now understand how our parents felt when we watched the strangest shows. It’s happening more and more.. (The Jonas Brothers? Come on!)

Still, how cool to see what you can do at 14 years old with a camera, YouTube, and some promotion smarts!

Watch Lifelines this month in NY and LA

I really want to let you know about a movie that Sam Levine and I saw this weekend, Lifelines. The film is playing in New York and Los Angeles. It was directed by an acquaintance, Rob Margolies, who is still in his 20s and has accomplished this amazing feat. It’s brilliantly directed (really), well-cast and acted, and a pretty good story. There was never a dull moment and we both enjoyed it very much.

The way independent film distribution tends to work is, if nobody goes to see it then the film goes out of the theater. It’s engaged until this Thursday, and will only be renewed if people go see it. So check it out before Thursday if you can!

It’s at Quad Cinema on 13th Street about 5x/day in New York, and starts later this month in LA. Check the website at www.lifelinesmovie.com

A quick update

from flickr user <a href=

From flickr user threecee.

The mid-Atlantic is beautiful in April. My friends who went through the bitter winter get angry at me for saying that – the sun doesn’t bake down and it’s certainly not swimsuit weather. Coming from a 60°F purgatory, 40°F is so refreshing when standing in a jacket.. Leaves are starting to grow and the changing of the seasons is electric in the air.

It’s been a big change for me, too. I just got an apartment on 48th and 9th, in Hell’s Kitchen. Midtown is a perfect area – it’s bustling and central to the rest of New York. It’s got cheap delicious ethnic food, proximity to Broadway and Central Park, and more homosexuals than a Cher concert. I’m subletting with two great roommates, found on Craigslist. Jordan, Sam, Maddie and I are looking into a place starting in June.

I’m no longer working with Edge With Jake (for now). I’m working two days per week for Moxie Firecracker films transcribing documentary footage and as an assistant editor for Isaac Solotaroff, a documentary filmmaker in NY. Pretty exciting stuff, really.

I’m going to begin a plan to get back into shape that will probably include joining a gym, taking dance/Pilates lessons, and running in Central Park.

I’m also starting to break out my video camera. I’d like to do some shooting this weekend so if anyone wants to run around New York and record things let me know. I’m also turning back to a few scripts and polishing those – a short film and a few features, more of the writing thing.

How is everyone else doing? I want to hear stories!

Get Your Calendaring Together!

I know a lot of very organized people who have their lives in order and are always responsible with their daily schedules. What blows my mind, though, is how few of them have really figured out their calendaring solution such that their calendars work for them.

There’s no excuse – you don’t need an iPhone, you don’t need Mobile Me – all you need is a computer and Google Calendar and you can have your calendar synced across all devices. That means across the web, your computer, your iCal, your MS Outlook, your website, your regular old cell phone, and yes, the Jesus Phone. It’s EASY. Just try it, I promise you will never go back.

Google Calendar

First get a Google account. If you haven’t used Google Calendar yet, give it a try. It works from anywhere and is really easy to use and flexible. Best of all, it has tons of interfaces to other devices to let you keep everything in sync.

Every device that you use will keep itself updated to your Google Calendar – “in the cloud,” to use Apple’s phrase. If you make a change on your computer, it makes the same change in your Google Cal, which updates everything else.

Your computer (iCal, MS Outlook, Sunbird)

If you have iCal or MS Outlook you can set up your calendar to sync to them; otherwise, Sunbird is free and available for Mac, PC, and Linux. Here are the instructions (easy, I swear) to sync:

· Instructions for iCal and Sunbird

· For MS Outlook, use Google Calendar Sync

Your regular old cell phone

This is the coolest part. If your cell phone has mobile web you can access Google Cal at calendar.google.com – if not, you can get it by SMS really easily!

In your Google Calendar window, click Settings at the top. Choose “Mobile Setup” and enter the information requested. Now, send a text message to GVENT (48368). You can send these commands:

  • “Lunch at Joe’s at 2PM on Friday” or anything to that effect creates an event. You can specify time, place, a specific date…
  • “next” gets your next event
  • “day” gets a list of events for the day
  • “nday” gets a list of events for the next day

Jesus Phone (iPhone), Blackberry, other smartphones

It’s possible to sync the calendar with the calendars almost effortlessly. Go to the Google Calendar mobile sync page and look at the instructions for your device.

I recommend only syncing the calendar and not contacts – it’s much easier for me to keep those things separate on my phone. When you sync with iPhone, everything on your iPhone calendar will be erased and your Google Calendar will replace it. If you want to back up your data then Google has instructions for that – if not, don’t worry about it. Your Google Calendar can’t be affected or erased from this process.

Go forth and be organized

There’s no more excuses for having three different calendars, your failing memory, and a collection for post-its. Get in the 21st century and don’t miss an appointment again!

One more tip: Most of these devices let you invite others to your calendar events. It’s really, really useful if you have google because you can change an event and it will update in everyone’s calendars through an email message. Mess around with the invitations feature, especailly with friends who have a calendar.