If you know me at all you probably know that I'm kind of obsessed with my neighborhood, Capitol Hill. Pretty much my entire life happens along either Pike, Pine or Broadway on the hill. So I was excited to be the official videographer for the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce's "State of the Hill" event a couple weeks ago. The video I produced is below, and the full State of the Hill address is up on the chambers' website.
I'm testing out a Dropcam today for possible use in a client project. So if you've ever dreamed of spying on me while I work, today is your lucky day!
UPDATE 12:45 -- this is creeping me out a little. Not sure how long I'll be leaving this on!
I haven't touched a PC in years, so I haven't ever really had to worry about viruses and things like that. But a couple months ago, my browser was highjacked by something that kept redirecting me to a site called LinkBucks, which is just a page with a bunch of spammy links that pays referrers every time they send someone there. The worst part of it was, I'd google the issue, and then this virus (or whatever it was, I'm not sure it was a virus I guess) would block all virus scanning sites, and even support forums that described how to solve the problem!
It sounds like this is something a lot of other people are experiencing, so I figured I'd share how I've dealt with the problem. Without getting in to too much detail -- all you have to do to get rid of the re-direct is clear your browser cache, re-set your browser to default settings, and reset your ROUTER to factory settings. None of the virus scans ever found anything, because the virus lives in the router (apparently they can do that?!) so that's why you have to reset the router to factory settings.
One more note: if this problem is happening on one computer, don't connect any others to the wifi network until you've reset it! Otherwise they'll get it too. I made that mistake before I realized the router was the issue.
It was a really exciting and optimistic time when Mike McGinn was elected as the Mayor of Seattle in 2009, with his election following shortly after Obama's swearing in (remember how excited we were about that one?!).
His urbanist positions on density, bike improvements and transit are exactly what we need in Seattle and are what a majority of Seattleites say they support. So I have never understood why, even in liberal Seattle, so many people become anti-density, anti-bike and anti-transit when it comes time for real-world implementation. I thought that McGinn's take on this would be interesting to hear, as someone who more than anyone else right now, personifies urbanism in Seattle.
So, yesterday I asked Dominic Holden, the smart and telegenic (a rare combo for journalists in Seattle) News Editor at The Stranger, to interview him on this topic at my studio. It's still up for debate what form this project will take, because it all came together really quickly (I didn't think he'd say yes when I asked for an interview!). So stay tuned for updates and let me know if you have any suggestions for relevant articles, interviews, people, ideas, etc that I should be aware of.
Below is a behind the scenes look at the shoot, in the form of a pop-up video.
Happy 2014 everyone! I finally decided that it was time to put some energy into my branding. Rather than designing everything myself as I've done in the past, I hired my friend Tony Tran to design this logo for me.
The triangle is a play on the "play" button (a little expected, I know), but I really like how it feels both structured and organic, with the geometric lines countered with the shades of blue. I think it's a great representation of my style.
Matching website, and reel (my first one!) coming soon...
A few years ago I produced a video for the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog on Gabriel Campanario AKA Seattle Sketcher, whose sketches appear in his column for the Seattle Times. Then, a few months ago I got a call from the Museum of History and Industry, asking to use my video in an exhibit of Campanario's work. Of course I said yes. The exhibit, "Drawn to Seattle," opened on Dec 21 and runs through May 26.
The video is below, and to the left are some photos I took at the Member Reception for the exhibit. That's me shooting in the sketch on the left!
The new MOHAI is great by the way, I definitely recommend visiting if you haven't been yet (preferably before May 26!)
And here's Alex Berry (another talented Capitol Hill based videographer) guarding it for me in the other spot we had it set up, this shot is in there briefly, at 1:46.
Blue Chalk's website stood out to me. For one, because the way they describe themselves sounds more like how I would describe myself & my business (if I were better at describing myself) than any video company I've come across.
I love this nugget:
Blue Chalk arrives at a complicated time in the evolution of the visual media industries. We embrace this moment of disruption and encourage blue sky thinking about the technologies and approaches needed to create and convey picture-led stories in a digital world.
...and I totally agree with it. This part confused me a little though:
The world of visual communications, once a largely individual endeavor, is rapidly becoming a team sport. Blue Chalk specializes in building teams to accomplish the ambitious multimedia and video projects that clients now demand.
I think that in video production at least, things are moving in the opposite direction. I frequently get the comment that I "came in WAY below the other bidders" on projects. I have to assume that it's either because other freelancers are inflating their bids because they think they can, or (more likely) because I'm bidding against companies that default to hiring a full production team for everything. They'll hire a director, camera operator, sound guy, grip, script writer, editor, etc... because "that's the way it's done," whereas I typically do all of those roles myself or with one or two assistants.
It looks like Blue Chalk offers a wider range of services than I do, so maybe that's where the difference lies. I definitely make a point of sticking to what I know, video production, so I don't branch out into all the areas that Blue Chalk does.
But anyways, keep up the good work over there in Brookyln, Blue Chalk! And everyone else, stay tuned for a website redesign in the not too distant future.
I'm really excited to show off my first video for a new client, The W Seattle hotel. A big thank you to Lissa Gruman of Gruman & Nicoll who pulled the whole project together. Here's a bit of background from their blog post on the video;
W Seattle has one of the most impressive urban chic interiors in the city. That’s not just our opinion, it’s that of the International Restaurant and Bar Design Awards, which recently named W Seattle’s Living Room and bar as the best designed bar in the Americas.
It makes my job a lot easier shooting in a place like W, where everything is so well designed and photogenic to begin with. I love how the chess board looks with the light coming through it in Jeff's interview; not every hotel would have a chess board like that just sitting in their rooms waiting to be used as a prop!
Jennifer & Angela: These two were pros at the "sip coffee and laugh a lot" scene.
Allrecipes, Kahlúa, and yours truly teamed up to make this five video series to showcase Kahlúa's seasonal pumpkin-spice flavor. When the idea was brought to me, the plan was to use a similar format to the videos we produced for Herdez, with an Allrecipes member as host reading a prepared script.
While I was really happy with how those Herdez videos turned out, I didn't think it was the most engaging format and I also didn't think it really fit very well with Allrecipes' brand (not to mention the added difficulty of asking non-professional talent to 'host' a one-person cooking show, which trust me, is harder than it looks).
What makes Allrecipes, Allrecipes, is their community of home-cooks that use the site to share recipes & tips with eachother. A stand-up host felt more Food Network than Allrecipes, so I sold them on the idea of doing these in a more natural, documentary format and letting the Allrecipes members (that they flew in from all around the country) speak for themselves and say what they like about the dish, and what their experience was in making it. I'm tempted to call these hybrid documentaries but I think that would come off as blasphemous to people out there making actual documentaires (or hybrids), so I'll refrain.
Here are some fun behind the scenes shots on Angela's blog Dancing with my Father. And hats off to all the ladies who were super fun to work with and all did a great job!
Here are two of my favs;
Nelly making the Kahlúa Pumpkin Whiskey Cocktail
Sarah making Kahlúa & Cofffee