ACL Fest 2014 - Stills, Part 1

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ACL Fest 2014 - Stills, Part 1

Got a chance to shoot some video interviews and performance stills at this year's ACL Fest. Here's a sample of some of the stills - check out the photos page for a few more. More to come.

Iggy Azalea, Broken Bells, The Avett Brothers, Beats Antique, and Lucius.

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for the gear heads: hbo's vice

I've enjoyed Vice ever since high school, when I picked up a magazine issue in a skate shop. Since then, they've grown into an inspiring, massive content company with web shows, music labels, and an Emmy-award winning show on HBO. The shooters behind the fantastic documentary story series does  a quick 'show and tell' of the gear they use. Even if you don't use a c300, a lot of their rigs can be replicated to applied to your own equipment.

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alex blumberg's startup podcast

Alex Blumberg, who produces This American Life and NPR's Planet Money, has just started his own podcast...about his own startup idea of creating a podcast company...and it's called StartUp Podcast. The meta approach could easily be cheesy, but its story structure (very similar production to This American Life) and brutal honesty of his startup journey makes it a well-produced, distinct perspective in a crowded segment. From the first two episodes, it shows the promise of a series arc, rather than your typical conversational podcast. Check it out.

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happy national go skateboarding day - atiba jefferson leica video

I was a skate rat growing up. This doesn't mean I could do much more than a kick flip but my teen years were definitely well informed with the expressionist sport. Today is National Go Skateboarding Day and while I may not step on a board, I still have a strong affinity for it. I also respect it as an art form and the culture that's grown so huge around it. Atiba Jefferson one of the most well known skateboarding photographer and also one of the best in the entire industry. Period. This branded video from Leica is a great way to show his backstory. Much respect.

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google's self-driving car has arrived

A few weeks ago Google had its first media event for their self-driving car project. It wasn't a total unveiling, but more of a sneak peek. Generally, all the reviews were mundane...in the most positive sense. Journalists were expecting to be awed by the experience, but found the self-driving car to mimic regular driving habits so well, that the technology of it was almost forgotten during the ride.

Fast forward to now and Google has officially released a brand-type video about not only the project, but a Google-designed car from the ground up. Previously tested models were modified Lexus and Prius vehicles, but this prototype has the looks of a smart car with a very minimal interior (2 seats, no steering wheel, GPS monitor, and a small space for belongings). Although the intensive mapping needed around the country/world is just now being collected, it's exciting to think of the possibilities these cutesy cars could have on the future of transit. Self-driving cars face the hurdles of legislation (only CA allows testing currently, passenger behavior) and traditional design (the interior still looks like today's cars due to safety regulations, new road architectures aren't optimized, etc.) among other challenges, but will be at the forefront of discussion in just a few years. With the release of this video, though, 100 of these small prototypes have been ordered to be produced in Detroit alongside Google's statement that the company has no plans to run ads on GPS monitor...yet.

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x-men, from scratch, mad men and the lift app - this week's content consumption

Another busy week eating up content here, especially with the long Memorial Day weekend. I spent the extra time being productive (part of those efforts soon to showcase here!) while also catching up on my many content addictions. For some of the movies and TV wrap-ups, I have to be vague to avoid spoilers, but my general thumbs up/down is given. Here we go.

Movies:

X-men: Days of Future Past - Starts off with a gimmicky premise but after getting past that, it's one of the better movies of the franchise. Doesn't live up to X-men: 1st Class but is certainly entertaining and includes cameos from many of the characters along with some new ones (in the movie franchise).

Television:

*Mad Men - In this final season, the show has yet to take a dip or make choices (so far) that compromise the integrity of the story just to hit crowd-pleasing marks. If anything, it actually brings new challenges to Don and Peggy, and really realigns the story back on them in the midst of a dynamic cast and setting. The show's historical context is as prevalent as ever. Too bad this first half of the season will also soon become history to us since AMC won't be airing the second half of final season until 2015.

Podcasts:

*From Scratch - Just discovered this one a few weeks ago, but I've already added it to my 'must listen' queue. It features intimate 30 minute interviews with entrepreneurs in all industries, giving insight to their backgrounds and how they make their visions happen. As a part of NPR, Jessica Harris gives a more structured, edited interview typical of the network as opposed to the freeform podcasts, which feature the tangents of natural discussion.

The Nutrition Diva - I wouldn't consider myself a health nut, but I do think I'm conscious of healthier lifestyles. In that vain, I'm always searching for info about nutrition and came upon this podcast when I was looking to find out the differences between farm-raised fish and wild-caught fish. This was one first hits and after listening to the episode I needed to, I realized that the podcast's full title may target women, but 90% of the episodes are for general nutrition, with some even for men. Most of my podcast consumption consists of lengthy episodes that go in depth, but I enjoy how these are under 10 minutes and are concise and to the point.

Apps:

*Lift - This one may change your life! It's been popular for awhile and I've been meaning to jump on it forever. Had I had Lift to motivate me to get & use Lift, I would've blogged about it much sooner. This app helps you build habits to complete long term goals or just to motivate you to do weekly tasks. So it's a weekly to-do list that not only reminds you, but tracks your progress, turns it into a game with achievements, and adds a social factor to find what other people are doing or to give/receive "props" with friends. For example, I some health habits, such as juicing everyday and playing basketball, alongside production things like blogging and learning code.

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"living moments", an nyc video for nokia

There's quite a few great creative ad campaigns out there for mobile devices. Nokia is one of the best at it. Yet again, they take a feature such as the Lumia's high pixel resolution and apply it to a photo project. A 'tech meets art' deal. Here, they use 50 smartphones on an arc to shoot simultaneously to create a revolving "bullet time" (think Matrix the movie) effect in post. Nice.

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podcasts, books, and apps galore - it's a weekly wrap up

I'll try to do these as consistently as possible, but I'm as much (if not more) of a content consumer as I am a creator and strategist. So here's some my mainstays and then a few specific discoveries from the week. Those marked with an *asterisk are favorites that I always revisit.

Podcasts:
*You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes - Mostly features comedians, but delves into comedy, sex/relationships, and faith/religion. It's not your typical comedy podcast, but more of a therapy session with laughter. It has the potential to change your life and promotes empathy and awareness.

*Foundation - Hosted by Kevin Rose, formerly of Digg and now an angel investor/Google Ventures Partner, this is a video series by TechCrunch TV that deeply interviews founders of innovative companies. Guests have included Jack Dorsey, Ev Williams, Elon Musk as well as new players. The new one with DogeCoin founder, Jackson Palmer, is an insightful one because I'm especially interested in the possibilities behind BitCoin's block chain.

Comedy Bang Bang! - Love this comedy podcast but I can't say I've listened to every episode, but the recent Ben Schwartz episode is great because it's solely him as the guest and there's lots of room for improv genius. SOLO BOLO!

Books:

Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator by Ryan Holiday - Old one, but I never got around to it. As Director of Marketing for American Apparel and PR man for Tucker Max, he outlines how news and media disseminates in the digital age and how it's possible to play the system to your advantage in controlling public opinion. I'm only halfway through but it's an entertaining read (perhaps moreso than a technically insightful one as some of the tactics are not as disruptive as they used to be, even a couple years ago). Sidenote: Ryan Holiday has been active on the podcast circuit to promote his new book "The Obstacle is the Way" about stoicism and turning trials into triumphs.

Trust Me, I'm Lying - Book Trailer

Movies:

Godzilla - I went with friends. It was okay. Fine, I'll elaborate a little. For a blockbuster movie, it retains all the usual characteristics of a bubblegum popcorn flick, but I always have some more hope now for the resurgence of Kaiju films (Godzilla/Japanese monster movies) in the US. I loved Pacific Rim because it was kitschy in all the right places like a great pop song. This Godzilla movie, however, falls flat without the same intention or deliberateness.

*Her (rewatched) - This came out on DVD last week and I finally got to rewatch it since it's theatrical release. Already know this will be a film that will always stay with me. It's not only a great subject matter on surface level, but it's script is incredibly aware of the human condition in every phases of relationships. It then conveys those emotions with subtly poetic scenes.

Apps:

Litely - I havent used this much but it's getting great reviews and traction (helps when you're an Editor's Pick in the app store) despite a very crowded category with other great photo apps. However, it looks as though it's improving the typical UX and providing excellent filmic filters. Looks like they have a similar business model and approach as VSCO.

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digitally obsessed & techcrunch disrupt ny

Another yet long overdue post, but these mini-hiatuses are hopefully side effects of some new personal projects to come. More on that later. Although I do not concentrate on it entirely here, my interests lie in all forms of communication and a lot of my background comes from marketing, with a strong interest in new media and tech. I've been spending the past few months reviving this passion of mine by reading and listening to a lot of content surrounding exciting startups, entrepreneurial strategies, and productivity tactics. I hope to translate that into some blog posts and have this platform satisfy both my creative and business/tech side. 

This article comes with great timing, too, as TechCrunch Disrupt NY recently occurred last week. Check out their wrap-up here. I'm still catching up on all the talks and pitches, but here are some of my favorites so far:

And this one is just plain fun. But the show is seriously great.

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old photos from cali

It's been awhile since the last post. Work has been busy so this has taken a backseat but I'd like to get back to a regular routine. This weekend I'm in California to visit family very briefly for a couple of days. I won't have much time to take photos unfortunately or explore, but it reminded me of the last time I was here a few years ago. So I dug into some old stuff and found a few of the snaps I took back then. I hadn't thought of photography as more than a fun hobby and primarily used the Olympus Stylus Epic 35mm film point & shoot - still one of my favorites to this day (sadly it was lost on an expedition in NOLA). It was so nice back then just to worry about focus and framing, to shoot in a very minimalist way.


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