Star Simpson Interview on BBtv

After a year of legal wrangling, 19-year old Star Simpson finally tells her story to BoingBoingTV. Star was the MIT student who was arrested at Boston’s Logan airport last year for wearing LED art on a hoodie when she went to go pick her friend Tim up. She was immediately surrounded by 40 cops, shackled and charged with “possessing a hoax device.” When it became apparent to Boston’s overreactive authorities that Star was not a threat and the media frenzy was in overdrive, they persisted in charging her with a crime. A year later, the case is settled and Star gives her first interview recounting the events.

I shot the video from Star’s perspective, so I got a chance to meet her and understand her a bit. She’s a super sweet, curious and creative college student, the complete opposite of what Boston’s authorities made her out to be. Boston has a history of overreacting to things they don’t understand, which is quite unfortunate. The climate of fear that many of us live under, leads to this kind of egregious reaction. At the end of the day, Star simply wants to build cool stuff that we can all appreciate.


Off to Helsinki to save the world

Nokia Open Lab

What do you get when you throw 30+ bloggers, video creators, gadget freaks and forum moderators from all around the world in a room together in Helsinki, Finland? I’d like to think we’re here to stop the world from assploding, but even we may not be able to do that. I don’t know the answer, but I’ll find out soon. I’m heading to the airport bound for Helsinki, the motherland for Nokia whom is behind all this. You can follow along on the Nokia Open Lab site.


The Long Now on the Mechanicrawl

I had the spectacular pleasure of bouncing around with Mr. Telstar Logistics himself, Todd Lappin, to capture for Boing Boing TV interesting stops along the way of The Long Now Foundation‘s Mechanicrawl event. First stop was the Long Now’s own museum of prototypes for its 10,000 year clock. Long Now’s Executive Director Alexander Rose breaks down all the awesomeness in this video. Lots of shiny rotating machinery and geneva mechanisms to ooh and ahh at.

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I went to Comic-Con and all I got were these videos

Matthew Fox

Pals and Webzine alums Annalee Newitz and Charlie Jane Anders asked me to come to Comic-Con this year and shoot video for io9, the Gawker sci-fi blog they edit. I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. Turns out it was a lot of bouncing around from panels to halls to press roundtables to celeb filled red carpets. Lots of A, B and Z list celebrities in need of pimping their latest action packed movies and TV shows. Yeah, not a bad alternative to sleep for a few days.

Here’s links to the video coverage I did for io9. I’ll add more as they publish.

Matthew Fox: Jack from Lost

J.J. Abrams: Creator of Lost & Alias, Producer of Cloverfield

Matt Dallas: Kyle XY

Jamie Chung: Samurai Girl & Chi Chi in Dragonball

Dave Filoni: Director of Clone Wars

Billy Crudup: Dr. Manhattan in Watchmen [panel]

Patrick Wilson: Dan Dreiberg/Nite Owl in Watchmen [panel]

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Gearing up for fundraiser for Todd Blair


Todd Blair, whom I’ve known since 1999 through Survival Research Labs, suffered a traumatic head injury last year at the Robodock SRL show in Amsterdam. I posted previously about it here. He’s back home in the US slowly and arduously recovering. Traumatic brain injuries are probably the worst kind of injury a human being could suffer, and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. To help offset Todd’s massive medical and physical therapy bills, a fundraiser event is being held this Sunday, July 20th. It’s not just an event, but a culmination of lots of work and dedication from Todd’s friends and family with some unique creative twists.

The event on Sunday will be the unveiling of the “gear wall”. The 7′ x 8′ wall consists of 25 interlocking aluminum gears built by 25 friends and artists who have committed to raising a minimum of $500 each. I have taken on one of the gears and am currently fund raising to reach my $500 goal. If you’d like to support me and in supporting Todd, that would be super awesome. You can make a donation for as little or as much as you like through the PayPal link below. Or if you prefer to write a check, this page has details on where to send it. Be sure to mention my name when making the donation so I get credit for it. $5, $10 or $20 would be really spectacular, every little bit helps. Whether you donate or not, be sure to come out on Sunday to Rhythmix Cultural Works in Alameda for the grand unveiling of the gear wall. Thanks!! Hope to see you there.

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Help me make a film with Spike Lee and Nokia

Nokia Productions film project with Spike Lee

I’ve been asked by Nokia to help with a pretty cool collaborative promotional project they’re doing with filmmaker Spike Lee. They’re encouraging people like you to use your cell phones and send in snapshots of moments from your life that fits the overall theme of HUMANITY. Spike also wants you to think of how music helps to tell the story of HUMANITY. These snapshots will be edited together into a coherent film, directed by Spike Lee himself. Well, not just himself. I’m one of five “assistant directors” who are here to help guide people in sending stuff in. As part of that, Nokia has setup a group blog for us assistants where we’ll post examples of what to submit, answer questions and help identify the pearls in the sea of submissions that are sure to flood in.

The project is broken into three Acts. The first Act BIRTH, has already come and gone. Act II is LIFE and it just opened today for submissions. Act III has yet to be announced, though it may not be too hard guess what it is. Now through July 2nd, you can submit text, pictures, music or video via the Jumpcut platform that Nokia Productions is using to build this thing. It has its limitations and the main Nokia Productions site isn’t very well integrated into the Jumpcut platform but don’t let that discourage you. As the kids say, there’s plenty of win here!

What’s really encouraged is using your crappy old cell phone to send stuff in. Take a photo or a low-res pixelated video. Do a lot with a little. This won’t be Cloverfield, but if you were being attacked by a big space monster, how would you capture it? This doesn’t mean you can’t use more pro gear. Content from any device is totally acceptable, it just needs to fit the theme of humanity in the context of music telling a story. They’ve even sent us assistants older Nokia 3555 phones to challenge us to submit stuff with low end cheap technology. No streaming N95s here! Once I figure out how to get stuff off the 3555 on to Jumpcut, I’ll post some examples to the group blog.

This NY Times article from April digs into the project a bit deeper, addressing how it fits into the greater world of social networking and “user generated content” (I really hate that term). Check the Nokia Productions site for more details and point me to anything you’ve submitted. I’d love to check out your stuff. Oh yeah, you can also win stuff.


Boing Boing TV

The past few weeks have been a treasure chest of amazing freelance video production work. Xeni at Boing Boing brought me into to shoot a few episodes of Boing Boing TV at the recent Maker Faire. Here’s some of the results.

I was also tasked with riding along in the back of kidnapper van, destination Google, to capture this collaboration between the BLF and monochrom of Vienna, Austria. This just happened to be the day of Google’s shareholder meeting and there was a bit of controversy around Google’s censorship with China. Behold the “Great Firewall!”

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Groove is in the Heart of the Internet

I was asked by my fine friends at digg to shoot this wee little project for them. It’s in response to a lip dub that Revision3 had brought. Yeah, the lip dub meme is a bit old in Internet time, but it’s a great team building exercise and shows what you can do when you get a bunch of silly people in room together. Mark Trammell masterminded and organized the thing, and most all of the digg staff participated. This was easily one of the more fun video projects I’ve done in awhile.

Digg Dubb: Groove Is In The Heart from Trammell on Vimeo.

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Checking out Bocas del Toro, Panama

I’m in Panama, you know the country, checking out a friend’s property that he may turn into a coworking getaway. It’s pretty dope, situated amongst the tropical lazy islands of Bocas del Toro in the northwestern part of the country close to the Costa Rican border. It’s as beautiful a spot as you’d expect in the tropics and very peaceful, not overrun with tourists. Here’s a quick video I threw together of getting there:

And I’ve been taking tons of photos. Feel free to peruse the set on Flickr.

The way a real organic lemon should look