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 December, 2011

Saw RENT a few days ago.

Don’t see it at New World Stages.

And..another Shabbat Dinner test screening!

Audience reaction was quite mixed the last time

Well, the edit is almost done. The color is quite close. The sound is off and the music is temp, but let’s never mind about that. What matters is that we are 90% done and we need your fresh eyes and ears to finish the job.

January 3, 2012(!) / 9:00pm at my place in the East Village / LES. Email [email protected] for the location. We have about 10 spots for this one. And of course, there will be wine!

Looking for a few bright interns!

Hello all,

I’m looking for 1-2 bright, talented interns for the Fall semester to help on a number of projects,including the following: Shabbat Dinner, a short film that is almost completed and is being submitted to film festivals; a short film about dealing with death that is in development; a nonprofit startup web site devoted to improving the lives of those living in refugee camps; and a t-shirt company startup.

The right intern will gain invaluable skills in starting projects and getting results in the media, web, and startup worlds. The internship demands flexibility and creativity, as the scope of the projects is likely to shift. The position is a minimum of 3 days/week and will begin on January 17. End date flexible, but I’d request at least 3 months.

I’m looking forward to seeing what we can create together! Please forward to anybody who you think may be interested, and have them email resumes to [email protected]

Thanks!

 

Nobody knows what the heck is going on.

There are visionaries we look up to who seem to have a preternatural sense of the world: Ghandi, Obama, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Aung San Suu Kyi, Hawking. These and so many others we trust to make decisions based on a deep understanding and insight.

But whatever they know about worldly things, like the rest of us these people have literally no clue about the deeper questions of life. They may be directed and driven, but they don’t know why we are on this planet, what the purpose of existence is. Merely because they invoke in us a sense of wonder does not mean that they are intimate with the wondrous. They, too, experience that fleeting existential vertigo. They, too, lurch from the precipice of the unanswerable. (And they are lying if they say they don’t.)

For the most part I find that comforting. We’re united in our cluelessness.

Idea to clean up New York

Wow, what a beautiful anvil. Do you have one in red?

Wow, what a beautiful anvil. Do you have one in blue?

Purism has no place in film

Perhaps because it’s an industry where you have nothing to show for your skills until you have a movie out, young filmmakers develop ways to show that they are good at what they do. I’ve found myself in many a pissing contest over who has seen more Kurosawa films or tips on lighting a scene, and it’s all fairly annoying.

The worst and most insidious, though, is the idea of some technique or set of techniques as pure and fundamental to making films. “If you don’t use actual film, you’re not really making a movie.” Another one I heard last night, referring to punching in on a 4k image to reframe shots: “It’s cheating.”

Cheating is a funny word in a profession whose goal is to create the illusion of an artificial world that doesn’t actually exist. Cheating implies that using technology to the fullest is lazy and implies poor preparation – that there is something sacred and important about doing things the way they were done by previous generations. But that is not in line with the history of this great medium.

The history of film is the history of the down and dirty hack. Lights can be strung up with duct tape or on professional stands – what matters is only the final work you produce, and in producing that work film is about utilizing all your assets to the fullest. If a new tool makes one thing easy, then use the extra time or money you’ve been given to do something else better.

I love the look of 35mm film, though I rarely want it for my own work. Compared to digital, film to me feels like it sits between the viewer and the characters. It’s a (now expensive) stylistic choice, and if that works for you then do it..but don’t pretend your work is more important or correct from having made that one choice.

I punch into shots when I am editing. I relight scenes in color correction. (You can see a before and after of that here.) I shoot a bunch of takes and roll during rehearsal. Because of this, when a singular acting moment shines through on an actor’s face, I can use it…purity be damned.

You're invited to a test screening of Shabbat Dinner!

(cross posted on Kickstarter)

Whew! We filmed on November 12-13 and I’ve been editing ever since. We have a good rough cut, and because we are trying to hit some festival deadlines in TWO WEEKS, we’re fast tracking the editing of Shabbat Dinner. This means that we need to lock the picture by the end of this week.

At this stage of the edit (for the next week), your feedback could be incredibly helpful in shaping the film and making it the best it can be. Having fresh eyes and creative responses is what we need to take it to the next level.

We’ll be holding two test screenings of the film – one on Monday (Dec 5th) at 8pm, and one on Wednesday (Dec 7) at 9:30pm – at my apartment in the East Village. We have to limit it to about 12 people per screening. It’s a great opportunity to see how a film evolves through editing. We’ll talk about what works for you and what doesn’t. Oh, and did I mention there will be wine?

To RSVP, send an email [email protected] and you’ll get a reply with the details. If you’re not available let me know and I may be able to make a version available online for screening.

Eye'd love to see you there.

10 steps to (really) speed up your mac

This really just reflects how I feel about myself.

Don’t buy a new computer for the holidays. First try bringing your old one back to the speeds you remember it having!

Even with the beautiful OS that is Mac, the system accumulates a whole bunch of crud and slows down over time. It turns out that there are tons of hidden places that crud builds up, and with a little knowhow you can find it! This is for advanced users only, and thanks to Adam Lewin for making the request that began this list.

  1. Uninstall junk that runs in the background – any and all junk. Shouldn’t matter at all how many apps are on your computer, only how many are loading things into the background, so look at that top bar for things that are running.
  2. Remove startup items – read these two guides for a rundown.  (there are more than you think you have – google the items and launchdaemons that look suspect and be very careful removing. it’s always better to use a program’s uninstaller to remove these, but this process is especially useful for apps you have uninstalled but are still stuck in there, or updaters…)
  3. restart your computer with your install disc, go to utilities -> disk utilities, repair disk and repair permissions (if you dont have install disc follow these instructions.)
  4. download Cocktail and run everything you can. Clean the caches too…
  5. download Snow Leopard Cache Cleaner and run it all too. Restart whenever asked.
  6. Open Font Book, select all the fonts with command-a, right click and choose validate fonts. Delete all fonts with errors, consider removing ones with warnings. (But check the fonts before you do!) Also right click fonts and choose “resolve duplicates”
  7. Download Font Finagler 1.5 (link in middle of page, not top) and clear the font cache.
  8. If you can bear to do it, get a new profile in firefox.
  9. clear icons from the desktop – they can slow down the computer a bit.
  10. Or to really clean your computer, create a new user account and start over. To *really* clean your computer, format your hard drive and reinstall.

Good luck, and enjoy your like-new computer in 2012!