WHAT DO YOU DO?
Now, this sounds straightforward enough, but there are so much more exciting things behind visual storytelling for a smartphone, then just your average Instagram video.
(although there’s so much ununitized potential in an Instagram web series. Just check out this series shot by Daniels -
Wait, though, finish reading this first.)
What I'm talking right now is interactive experiences, that would use facial recognition to read you micro-expressions and use AI to change the story in real time, so you would always get a personalized short film.
(I think I might’ve overdone it with the buzz words, but they really deserve to be there)
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
For 8 years I’ve been working as a content creator and filmmaker in an advertising agency specializing in interactive videos. My projects were recognized by FWA, Webby and Cannes lions.
With an upcoming introduction of 5G the greatest and most innovative things in video are gonna move into your pocket.
(Assuming you keep your phone in your pocket. I keep mine in a fanny pack, but putting “innovation” and "fanny pack" in one sentence doesn’t seem like a good idea)
How do you stand out in your field?
I am a filmmaker that comes from marketing and advertising, which means that I’m very aware of what a target audience means, how short the attention span actually is and how I can use the medium to my full advantage.
I also have a whole bunch of awards, I am honored to be a judge at Webby, and I can do a few card tricks.
(The card tricks are just ok though)
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
I am working on a mobile-first scripted series for a beauty brand, that follows the life of a makeup artist in New York.
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
The funny thing is that nobody actually has time to look at a long video, so here’s a 6 sec ad for Valentino I’ve just finished
If there’s still a bit more time to spare, for a “style/perspective” look, I do have a nice showreel with quite a range -
(Yes, that is Megan Fox screaming her guts out in the first shot. But this is a story for another day)
WE ALL HAVE MULTIPLE SKILLS OR WORK IN VARIOUS INDUSTRIES, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD FOCUS ON MORE?
I am greatly fascinated by movie trailers. The storytelling techniques used there are so impactful, always evolving and precise! It’s like creative science!
But it’s a dreadful business, the process of making a trailer for a studio will take your soul away.
I did see a few creators do trailers for non-existent movies to try and sell their ideas.
I’d love to find some time to do that.
(I am also a big fan of standup, but as you can tell from the previous jokes, there’s no focus in the world that can help me there.)
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
My biggest frustration is gatekeeping. The clients with big enough budgets for interesting projects work with creative agencies, who are not ready to pitch anything beyond what they are expected.
And MTA. But that's a given.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
I would get someone to help me organically grow VeryVertical Instagram account.
(And maybe help figure out why we’re all here, but I’m not sure the 20 would cover it.)
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
I would come back as early as possible to tell myself about the Sam Harris “Waking Up” app for meditation. It’s the training of the mind, that I’ve been looking for and didn’t know it.
I would also tell myself to take it easy and enjoy the process, but it’s impossible advice to take seriously until you actually have to learn to do it yourself- and even then it's hard!
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
The topic of discussion would most probably be about the future of AR, MR and XR. There’s quite a few great things happening in this field, and I’d love to find a way and integrate some ideas into my tool belt.
I would also love to know how to successfully pitch to Netflix. Or get adopted by Netflix, so I can work in creative development of storytelling for their smartphone app. Cause that's what it takes, right?
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
I believe in advertainment. Making commercials entertaining enough so that they compete with actual content.
Scripted series for a smartphone can be a great start of a beautiful friendship.
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.
Advertising is dead. But engaging storytelling is not. My ideal client/job/collaboration is willing to explore new things that mobile-first has to offer.
I would also love to work with Cristopher Nolan, just to see him comprehending an idea of shooting something for a phone. And get Aaron Sorkin to write the script for this. People would lose their minds.
WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE?
Although I keep talking about mobile first video, the production process for a quality spot is no different than for a regular commercial or web series. It still needs a normal camera, lights, sound and all the things you expect to pay for when making a high quality video.
It’s just that the camera will be tilted at 90 degrees, and the people watching it will probably under 30 years old.
WHO IS A CREATIVE THAT HAS HELPED YOU ELEVATE YOUR WORK?
Mac Premo is a multifunctional artis and creator with a very specific visual language. I love how fast and engaging his stories are.
Annie Rinsky is a great example of an instagram creator, that is always trying to find new and exciting ways to tell her wicked stories.
Tom Goodwin is a treasure trove of creative perspectives and his get-togethers are something I keep bragging about to other people. He has a way to provoke conversation in the ad world and still be very fun and inspiring about the whole thing.
Kerri Twigg is just the sunniest and most sincere person in the world - her professional communication is the best thing in my LinkedIn feed. Watch how she sells her services as a creative in the most entertaining way and steal her techniques.
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
A hilarious gif is all I need to start our conversation.
And a budget. That would help too.
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
New York has all you need.
This member profile was originally published in May 2019.