#24MAG Issue 5 – Data

Wow am I behind on sharing this! Way the hell back in May we made Issue 5 of #24MAG, the magazine made in 24 hours by and for creatives. The theme for Issue 5 was Data, and you can read Issue 5 free online right here.

As ever, I made the launch video, as you can see above. I’m all over this issue – I took part in the large piece about gender and our traditional contributor profiles, I did a piece with Ben Cordes about the scientific method, I interviewed one of the moderators for MetaFilter about moderating the Boston bombing thread (the full text of this interview is online here), and then, at 1am, because I had some time to kill, I wrote a piece about getting PTSD from having my jaw broken in a mugging.

You can also buy our gorgeous print edition here.

#24MAG Issue 5 Ready To Launch

We knew this day would come, Algernon.

My duties at #24MAG have increased, so now I’m not just contributing and making launch videos, I’m more or less the community manager and assistant editor. Coolio! Issue 5 is going to be wild, people. Go buy a subscription.

Stay Real (Sock It To Me, Satan)

About a year ago, I made this video for Math The Band. When I lived in Providence, Kevin and Justine lived in the same artist community that I did. We met during one of the meet & greets, and kept running into each other doing our volunteer hours. (They are, by the way, rad people.) I mentioned that I do video (among other things), and they said they were looking to make one video for every song on their new album. I was given a March deadline, and apparently I was one of the only people to stick to deadline, ‘cuz they were still waiting on videos in September.

Anyway, here’s the idea: I created a karaoke video for the song where all the lyrics were replaced with mondegreens – nonsense phrases that sound similar enough to the real one that you could mis-hear them. I had six different people listen to the song and then perform while reading these fake lyrics for the first time, then animated illustrations of the fake lyrics. It was a shit-ton of work, but also a shit-FUN of work, if you sink my lure.

I’m not entirely sure the concept comes across without explanation. Also not entirely sure I care. Kevin and Justine just officially launched this video today, so it’s up to the world to decide now. Not that I’ll ever know; Rule #1 is Never Read The Comments.


Silence (Excerpts)

Excerpts from a short film I made a few years ago during a 3-day vow of silence.

Let’s talk about this for a second: I was having a weird time. I had left California on a train a little over a year before and come to Rhode Island, a place I’d never been before. I decided to do this project when my best friend, who had been staying in Rhode Island after coming back from Europe, decided to move back to Oakland. The week leading up to the project’s start, my ex, who I hadn’t heard (almost) a single word from since I left, sent me an email. I was also approaching a few personal anniversaries.

The vow of silence became a sort of meditation on who I was and who I’ve known in my life.

These are some of my favorite bits. The complete film… I kind of can’t stand to watch it anymore. One of the tricky things about making work that is sincere is that sometimes you grow out the phase you’re in when you make it, and then watching yourself cry about ex-girlfriends on camera makes you want to punch your younger self in the head.

I am very proud of this project. I did something honest about what I was feeling at the time. I don’t feel that way anymore. And the next extremely honest project I make won’t talk so insipidly about, like, LOVE, man.

From The Archives: 1t1d

From The Archives:

This is from a project I did during my year off from school (that is, before I dropped out). A friend gave me 14 random words and I was to make a single video every night for two weeks using one of the words as a prompt. (“1t1d” stands for “a thing a day.”)

This one was “frozen.”

From The Archives: Tales From Doom Isle pt. 1

From The Archives:

First semester at California College of the Arts, I was given this assignment in my Time & Media class: make a one-minute film using a word from a Shakespearean sonnet as a springboard. Do the entire video in-camera with no edits.

This is what resulted.

Most folks did something pretty simple – one guy just pointed the camera up at the ceiling while he drove through a tunnel – but I spent a solid hour doing take after take to get this just right (and down to 1 minute).

Please forgive the image quality; getting this onto the internet involved dubbing a Digital8 tape to DVD, ripping the DVD footage at a poor compression, then capturing the DVD rip with a screen capture program when it wouldn’t import into Final Cut, and finally compressing the hell out of it to fit it on a disk for my college portfolio application. I could get a higher-resolution version, but it hardly seems worth the effort.

Also, my favorite outtake:

From The Archives: A Couple Of Minutes

From The Archives:

This was an Intro To Video project (I think). No particular assignment other than “make a project for the End Of Semester Show.” The core idea was to make an elaborate tracking shot with stop-motion, which is a neat idea but I did, like, zero planning. This came out pretty sloppy.

Having myself dance around the frame like I do came from a weird fixation I had with the animator being part of the animation, and the means of the animation being transparent. (The film Pan With Us by David Russo does this a lot better.) I still like some of the ideas in A Couple Of Minutes, but I’d want to execute it considerably better if I did it again.

The only surviving copy of this project was on a VHS tape, which I piped into my camcorder with RCA cables and then imported into Final Cut. There was a gap in the timecode just before the project played, which turned on the display (which would not turn off). Blame the overall image quality on storing a VHS tape in boxes for 7 years.

Audio by Stevie Hryciw (sampling heavily from the Contra Hard Corps BGM.)

twenty-four Issue 3

We’re at it again!

Issue 3 of twenty-four magazine kicks off in a couple weeks. Head on over to that website, if’n you want, Issue 2 is free now and my grubby fingers are all over it.

I made this video with Sara while she was in town a few weeks ago. If I’m to be brutally honest (rarely a good idea), I look and this and say “I know I could do better.” I was about to leave for vacation to California and had a load of work that needed to get done before I left, so the editing on this all got done in one day. It’s a good quarter-mile better than the previous, before-my-involvement videos, so I’m not complaining. But I know my abilities, and I could have had more fun.

Still, 75% today looks like 110% of a few years ago. And prepare thyselves for the wonder that will be Issue 3.

Button Brigade Trailer

DEBUT! I made this trailer for Axis Sivitz’s game, Button Brigade. This is the most up-to-date Innuendo Studios has ever been: the trailer was finished two days ago.

I met Axis a little over a month ago at a Boston Indies meetup. This is his second game, and as it’s almost done, we’re talking about possibly working on something together, possibly [redacted]. In either case, Axis is a cool guy, so I made this trailer! Then immediately some time-consuming paid work came along and I ended up having to cram this in during my scant free time. But as I am wont to do, I still gave him the works – voice-over, lots of edits, and really down-to-the-wire I threw in some animation. Got to break in my new Snowflake mic, too.

Go check out the game! I look forward to playing it on my housemate’s iPhone.