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 November, 2012

Just see Life of Pi

Wow.

I just finished watching this movie, and it is impeccable. It is brilliant and beautiful and wow. Ang Lee said (or at least, the promotional materials said that he said) “I don’t direct a movie, I let it direct me.” Watching this masterpiece I could see how one man cannot create such a thing, he can only say yes to it as it unfolds.

I worked on the film as an office PA, and now, looking back at that time and realizing that this was what Ang had in his head, I now relate very differently to the struggles and trials in making the film.

The film neatly caps a two-day discourse I’ve been having with several friends about the ineffable nature of reality and self. Words are by nature categorical and simplifying, but because film circumscribes an experience rather than a concept, it can come in some ways come closer. And a film like this one, I felt, hovered around a deep and inexpressible truth. And perhaps that is what makes the beauty of Ang’s films so sublime — there is a sense that the filmmaker knows this truth, expresses it in every inch of bifurcated celluloid, and would give it voice if only it had a name.

Names…

Watch the movie.

I’m only lost until I see

“I’m only lost until I see  / I’m lost because I want to be.”

Thanks to the monk whose name I forgot who led the dharma talk today.

The Labyrinth
by W.H. Auden

Anthropos apteros for days
Walked whistling round and round the Maze,
Relying happily upon
His temperament for getting on.
The hundredth time he sighted, though,
A bush he left an hour ago,
He halted where four alleys crossed,
And recognized that he was lost.
“Where am I? Metaphysics says
No question can be asked unless
It has an answer, so I can
Assume this maze has got a plan.
If theologians are correct,
A Plan implies an Architect:
A God-built maze would be, I’m sure,
The Universe in miniature.
Are data from the world of Sense,
In that case, valid evidence?
What in the universe I know
Can give directions how to go?
All Mathematics would suggest
A steady straight line as the best,
But left and right alternately
Is consonant with History.
Aesthetics, though, believes all Art
Intends to gratify the Heart:
Rejecting disciplines like these,
Must I, then, go which way I please?
Such reasoning is only true
If we accept the classic view,
Which we have no right to assert,
According to the Introvert.
His absolute pre-supposition
Is–Man creates his own condition:
This maze was not divinely built,
But is secreted by my guilt.
The centre that I cannot find
Is known to my Unconscious Mind;
I have no reason to despair
Because I am already there.
My problem is how not to will;
They move most quickly who stand still;
I’m only lost until I see
I’m lost because I want to be.
If this should fail, perhaps I should,
As certain educators would,
Content myself with the conclusion;
In theory there is no solution.
All statements about what I feel,
Like I-am-lost, are quite unreal:
My knowledge ends where it began;
A hedge is taller than a man.”
Anthropos apteros, perplexed
To know which turning to take next,
Looked up and wished he were the bird
To whom such doubts must seem absurd.

We Were Out Again Too Late music video

I’m so happy to have this out there. Thanks to Lydia, Nicole, Matt, The Muse, Tony from the church, and everyone who has been with us every step of the way. And here’s to more on its way!

If you like this, you can see it premiere-in-the-real-world tonight at The Muse. And if you like Blue Kid (and everyone does) you should come to Lydia’s show on Monday! Starting then you’ll be able to get their new album.

And the next video comes out on Mondayat some point soon..god guys, be patient!

Mitt Romney..oh my god.

I find that now that the election is over, it’s the first time I want to talk about it. I realize now that while I thought I was avoiding politics because it was a theater, there was also another reason. I was shocked that somebody like Mitt Romney could lie as much as he does and get away with it. I was shocked that most news networks and voters had the memory spans of three-year-olds..that we now live in such a confused and histrionic world that we can be lied to outright and, through doublethink or distraction, not be able to address it as such. It was terrible to watch Romney’s constant and gross factual distortions be compared to Obama’s, which were nothing like them.

How does this bode for any attempt to allow scientific fact to lead a discussion on climate change, diet, nuclear safety? For facts to lead us into and out of war? George W. Bush allowed for an expanded executive branch ripe for (and in the process of) exploitation. And Mitt Romney has proven definitively, in a way nobody really had before, the primacy of appearance and class/party warfare over truth, even when the truth is easy to find.

Not that I’m saying anything golden about the Democratic Party. Not that this is the GOP’s fault. It’s systemic. It’s advertising, which has so thorougly confused our ability to discern truth. It’s the 24/7 news media. It’s the enmeshment between private corporations and our government and the news.

And I wasn’t able to truly contemplate that this man, this campaign, this party that has descended into a spin factory, was about to be chosen as our leader.

Twelve days, four projects, six showings

Aahh!! It’s one of those weeks where I wonder “how in the hell will I get through this” at the same time as being so excited that I get to live through such a week. After all this is over I’m taking a day or two off next week!

Check out what’s going on, and where you’ll be able to find me – it’s a lot, but come say hi to one of these things!

  • On Wednesday at 6:30 my film is playing at the TBGALA dinner, an Ivy League Gay and Lesbian dinner (info). I love showing and discussing the film in a smaller setting, so it will be nice.
  • After that, I’ll be videoing the Rouge Royale at Santos Party House at 9pm – come by and I’ll put you in the video!
  • Thursday night at 8pm (doors at 7:30) at The Muse we’ll be premiering the music video to We Were Out Again Too Late. This is going to be really cool. Afterwards Lydia Benecke will perform the song live while Nicole Greenbaum dances her silks routine to it.
  • Saturday at 8pm Eastern we will be livestreaming Shabbat Dinner and a sneak preview of Next To You, the next music video to come from our collaboration. Go here to get tickets, show up on the webpage at 8, and you’ll see a Q&A with some of the actors and myself.
  • Monday at 6:30 at Rockwood Music Hall, Lydia and her band Blue Kid will release her new album, Upright Love! We’ll also be releasing the music video. This one is going to be really great.
And the events that already came:
  • Last Thursday we screened Shabbat Dinner to a great group at the Crown Heights Film Festival. It was followed by Klappe Cowboy, a narcissistic orgy of self-referential video which was quite funny and enjoyable. (It was about a crazy and hopeless film director trying to make art. One of my favorite scenes involved an untrained cameraman holding a camera in front of the director and an artist friend as they painted each other “FOR ART!” and then began to fuck. The other was the director’s attempt at filming a commercial, where he told the same cameraman “I want you to move in a figure eight to represent the infinity of taste!”
  • Saturday night we screened at at won the audience choice award at the Zero Film Festival in Williamsburg. It was great having all our guests over to my apartment for a pre-afterparty and then attending the afterparty, as true Brooklynites would do. Thanks to Richard Hooban and everyone else at the festival!

Not sure how I am going to survive, but it’s going to be fun.

Growing

As I grow old I travel through the crowd
That girl with guitar open, she could be me.
That boy with a nintendo and gum in his hair
That’s who I could used to be
And the bankers with ties and suits and hollow stares aren’t so old
any more

Holding a child, losing a father
That homeless boy with the grizzled hair
That homeless boy with the grizzled hair
He’s so young, or am I–

Not so long till I smile at your wrinkles
Saying age is a bitch, it’s hell getting old.
Losing the privilege of offering a seat
Gaining a seat

My world will be full of toddlers one day
Who won’t understand when it ends.

November: Special ONLINE screening plus screenings all over the world

I sent this email out last week:

Hi everyone! Hope those of you in the Northeast are hunkered down and staying safe.Shabbat Dinner just won the Audience Choice Award at the Barcelona G&L Film Festival. What an incredible festival run! This month we screened in 13 cities and three countries, and if you still haven’t gotten to see it you have seven chances in November.Join us for a special ONLINE screening of the film and sneak preview of Next To You, a music video collaboration with Brooklyn-based artist Blue Kid!

If you’re one of the first 50 people to sign up, you’ll get tickets at a reduced price!

The screening will be followed by a Q&A featuring:

Chris London Dawn Yanek Peter Tedeschi Michael Morgenstern
Also in New York and Santa Barbara:
  • November 8 @7pm – Crown Heights Film Festival, FiveMyles (info)
  • November 10 @6:30pm – ZERO Film Festival, Ran Tea House (info and tickets)
  • November 10 @1:30pm – OutRageous Santa Barbara (info and tickets)
  • November 14 @6:30pm – TBALA, Gay & Lesbian Ivy League alumni, hosting a dinner that will also feature a reading from anthology “The Letter Q”, People Lounge (tickets)
And abroad:
  • Nov 10 @2pmPrague, CZ – Mezipatra (info, tickets at venue)
  • Nov 11 @5:45pm – Prague, CZ – Mezipatra (info, tickets at venue)
  • Nov 14 @3:30pm – Prague, CZ – Mezipatra (info, tickets at venue)
  • Nov 21 @6:30pm – Brno, CZ – Mezipatra (info, tickets at venue)
  • Dec 2 @3pm – Montreal, Image Nation (opening for North Sea Texas, info and tickets)

It’s another thing entirely to see the film as part of an audience, and I hope that you join us this month!

Next To You music video sneak preview

A Dispatch from Staten Island

Five of us went to Staten Island on Saturday. Here’s an excerpt of our day, cross-posted from the Huffington Post:

image

I can only relate the small picture we got from the ground, hopefully it will inform people who want to help out.

Four things to know:

  • They don’t need canned goods right now, at least where we were. Food distribution outlets were overflowing cans and perishable cooked food. They need trash bags, shovels, wheelbarrows, masks, work gloves, and other implements for clearing out houses.
  • There is work. You will not be a bother to anyone or interfere with efforts if you arrive in a car and start asking to help. Be creative and persistent. The main (and most important) work to be done is gutting houses and removing drywall before it grows mold.
  • This map is a good starting point, but use your own ingenuity.
  • Come early! It’s a dawn to dusk workday.

image

We drove in over a Verrazano Bridge that was virtually empty due to New York’s gas shortage. To our shock, the $13 toll was still being levied. We dropped some supplies at the Crossroads Church and walked to the water.

The area around New Dorp Cedar Grove is a middle-class neighborhood at sea level.

image

Read more at Huffington Post.

Manhattan in the dark

We biked across the Manhattan bridge to see New York without power. Halfway across, there were no lights and we were plunged into darkness. It was eerie, but not nearly as strange or lawless as I had expected. Order is being kept, in part by the police cars that sweep the streets silently, lights flashing.

Browse the album here or on facebook.

[SlideDeck2 id=2125]