After the Storm

A friend and film maker just turned me onto After The Storm, a web doc about a category F4 Tornado that ripped through central Alabama in 2011.

Overall I think this experience does a lot of things right, especially because I found myself engaged and actually finished it.  It claims upfront to be about 12 minutes long end to end, and I think this is a great strategy to get people to commit, given how stretched thin the average attention span is these days.  Especially within the multitasking context of desktop web browsing.
This is primarily a single scroll interface (which I see becoming the norm for web doc, now that dual scrolling with trackpads are becoming standard) making navigation as natural and comfortable as mobile interfaces.
Other hi lights include the feeling of using the actual equipment in the doc, like browsing photos on a Canon DSLR, or using a flashlight to explore the inside of a house during the storm.
I hope to see more experiences like this in the future, highly recommend.

Sketching User Experiences

Recently a good friend turned me on to this classic Book, Sketching User Experiences  by Bill Buxton.
The general concept is simple:
The fidelity of a sketch is as important as the content of a sketch.  
For example, if a sketch is rough and quick, the audience infers that this idea is open to interpretation, their input, and allowed to be shaped by the person viewing it (not just the person who drew it and presented it.)
This simple concept has come up recently with my work at Britelite Immersive.  We are a full service immersive design shop and the nature of our work requires us to do much exploration with our clients to learn their needs in order to figure out the best solution to meet those needs (which are often complex and require some research to fully understand.)  
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Learning DSLR Video

I recently purchased a Canon T3i (600D) with the intention of learning basic video so I can document my new work with with Britelite Immersive. The first thing I’ve been mastering, aside from the camera settings, is a Kanova Slider (K1, the shorty)
Here is some test footage I threw together to get the hang of color correcting and editing in Premiere.  Really stoked with the quality of the footage, and excited to participate in a professional shoot this Sunday.

End of 2014 Update

Its been way too long since I’ve updated my blog. Its the end of 2014, so why better a time than to catalogue all the things that went down this year:
  • Made my last international speaking trip to Berlin and Switzerland while I was finalizing this website
  • Started mountain biking and bought a beautiful full suspension Trek Fuel
  • Discovered TcDS and transformed my life
  • Dated an amazing and wise woman who irreversibly changed my view of what a relationship can be
  • Bought a scooter
  • Became an uncle
  • Got my first full time job in 8 years
  • Turned down the highest paid job I’ve ever been offered to take something more interesting
  • Got bestowed the title of “Creative Director”
  • Discovered film making and bought my first DSLR and Slider
  • Learned basic editing and color correction
  • Landed a print deal for Ajax and shipped a draft to the publisher
  • Threw and epic 35th birthday party for myself and feel completely in integrity with my life
Feeling blessed and grateful. More coming soon.

Crafting VR at the USC MXR Lab

Last year while traveling through Belgium to give a talk at WebDox, I had the pleasure of meeting fellow media pioneer Nonny De La Peña, who is defining the field of immersive journalism as a PhD student at the IMAP program at USC.
She later invited me down to campus to try out her semi famous project Hunger in LA, which has been shown at many venues around the world including Sundance Film Festival.  I had tried things like the Oculus Rift before, but the difference with Hunger is that it was built within the MXR lab at USC (which coincidentally gave rise to the Oculus Rift) and the headset has a mast on it that can be tracked by cameras, allowing you to walk around a virtual space.
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