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 February, 2010

Block

A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his. In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts: they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

To me it is more than a blank computer screen staring at my eyes. It’s the blank canvas of choices and decisions, with one brain to guide them. A block is the failure to self actualize: thoughts running through my head that wither when I open my mouth or put fingers to keyboard. Vivid dreams, fierce insights, a deep and rich inner world that cannot coexist with the mundanity of its own expression.

The issue is not just writing–it pervades my life. The shred of divine within that sees deep mystery and understands human relationship has an energy blockage. The boundary between will and expression, thought and action, is stilted and rough, and sometimes it’s easier to keep thought inside than to hurl it into the world.

Questions of talent aside, there is a skill to be learned here as well. The discipline to sit in the fire and practice writing in patience, carefully collecting the gems and discarding the rest. The mastery of dialogue and metaphor, of anticipation and presentation. Writing a movie is nothing like editing a documentary film.

I never wanted to be a writer, I wanted to make movies and found writing as a possible entrée into that world. Upon sitting down to do so I realized how much I have to say, and how woefully unprepared I have been to say it. How incompatible a narrative screenplay is with a single flashing passionate thoughts-that those thoughts may take days or years or more lifetime than we have left to be crafted into a storyline.

There’s always the blog, where half-thoughts are welcome. And thankfully living gives opportunity to practice.

Discipline to sit, discipline to meditate, discipline to allow flow to happen. That’s what she said.

Love, on a loop

Martini love magnet

so it seemed...

This would make for a very funny video art installation:

A couple friends and I went to a swanky hotel bar tonight. We usually go to more mellow places (and did afterward,) but the peoplewatching is sometimes more fun in swankville.

Across the table from us was a man, who was quickly joined by a woman with two full drinks in martini glasses. They chatted occasionally but spent more time downing their drinks, looking around the bar, and staring into one another’s eyes. Two rounds of very alcoholic drinks, and they raised their eyebrows at each other and left for the elevator.

Within two minutes another couple sat down–the woman also to our left and the man to our right. He ordered two martinis and they downed them quickly. She stared at him, flitting her fingers back and forth across his shoulder. He ordered another two. They didn’t talk much. She sucked all three olives in her martini down at once, then the drink soon after. They quickly left.

We thought this was hilarious – a revolving door of precoitus boozing, we thought. And how strange that it happened in succession and with the woman sitting on the same side both times. It was like watching a video art installation.

And then–dear reader, this is not a joke–within two minutes a third couple sat down with mixed drinks. They looked into each others’ eyes but mostly gazed around the room, downing their drinks.

This labrador went to cotillion

Amazing, impressive, funny, and creepy. Remember to chill out y’all and have a happy Thursday!

(thanks Aartik!)

Amazing buckle up PSA

Stefan just sent me this PSA, which was called by some commenters the most beautiful PSA they had seen. Watch it.

Spreading joy in foreclosure

Closed storefront

From the New York Times

Everywhere I go in New York I see closed-down stores. Whether they are foreclosed, in search of a tenant, or undergoing renovation I assume varies by the storefront. But I do know that the broken window theory holds here: papered-up windows or cleared-out stores spread bummer around the city, and I’d bet petty crime is not far behind.

So instead of paper why don’t we blow up artists’ paintings or allow artists to paint on rolls of paper that then gets hung in the windows? The artists then have a forum to display their work in prime locations appreciative passerby – it’s cheap, quick, and easy to set up. A nonprofit could supply paper with this art and compensate artists to the city and landlords for a nominal fee.

Okay–who knows someone who knows someone who could make this happen?

Flying across our country

Southwest 1803

LAX -> JFK

I tried to capture my state of mind in that moment. It’s not supposed to be pleasant.

Influences

Video contains:

Music (not where I got the audio from, I had most of the MP3s:)

Whee!

The Evolution of Remix Culture

I love this video. Let’s do a remake of it!

Fearmongering

Never afraid to scare the shit out of its residents, the city of New York has again managed to present clear and levelheaded information. Next ad: brass knuckles, for that mugging you just know is coming.

Jack Kerouac

the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”

How's New York?

They all ask when I see them. And my answer changes based on what they want to hear, or what I think they do.

I had a kind of nightmare today as I showered, rushing in as I considered it and then damming against my brain when I turned towards other thoughts. I was handed a giant megaphone that broadcasted into every home and mind for five minutes. I could say anything, and the entire world would have listen. And I was speechless. I had a million thoughts and none of them complete, all ringing somehow false, all with preimaginings of a million counterarguments and scoffs. (In retrospect I would have said ‘all you need is love’, and it would ring hollow and without much hope of impact.)

My grandfather buys and sells real estate. He once asked me about the indie film industry and I told him that most people don’t have money to pay anybody, and nobody knows what’s going to happen to it all in a few years. He said “It’s the blind leading the blind” and I said “but Grandpa, aren’t we all blind?” And he said “your father and I aren’t. We have goals and we move towards them.”

What are goals? Does hope count?

Tomorrow I will shadow a friend in Law School. I read the case studies and saw the reasoning of judges, dissecting the meaning of a dozen precedents in the context of a host of laws and coming up with concrete answers using abstract reasoning about imprecise thoughts. And it’s necessary that this happen for society to move forward. I’m reminded of Descartes, who “proved” that god exists by heaving words around a page. I’m reminded of Henrietta Lacks, whose cell line was taken and replicated a million times over without her consent, and whose descendants feel robbed. How can you lay claim to the descendants of your cells? “Possession” is only what you hold on to.

Standing in the shower thinking about the megaphone, I borrowed someone’s shampoo (it’s a friend’s shower–I’m in Boston.) Then I looked for conditioner. There was a bottle next to the shampoo of the same brand but a different shape — shampoo. Another bottle next to it — shampoo. Eight bottles of shampoo, and no conditioner. I thought it was hilarious.

New York is good, work is going well, I’m happy, things are great. I’ve got five meetings this week – three films I might work on and two related to jobs. No I don’t know what I’m doing next year. I’m finding it hard to reconcile these most productive, interesting, and adventuresome years with this pervasive experience of hamsterwheeling. And I’m finding it exceedingly difficult to reconcile purity of intent and my quest to do good, with drive and ambition to succeed and achieve.

No matter what, though, I’ve never been able to escape the feeling that something fantastic and sublime is right around the corner. I haven’t been wrong about that one yet. So I guess that’s how New York is.

Wish me luck for my day at law school!