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Category: My Work (page 2 of 6)

Hamburger Hummus: Episode 3 “Room 420”

“Room 420” is the third of seven Hamburger Hummus films. This one is about panic attacks, Israeli doctors, caves, snacks, and marijuana.

Hamburger Hummus: Episode 2 “Baba Gaynoush”

Here’s the second part of the seven Hamburger Hummus films! Watch it! Send it to your friends!

It’s funny!

Hamburger Hummus: Episode 1 “Shalom Shamericans”

I recently finished work on a series of webfilms for SS+K called Hamburger Hummus which seek to broaden Millennials’ perception of Israel. The films star some recognizable faces like Jillian Bell and Angela Kinsey and I think they’re damn funny.

“Shalom Shamericans” is the first of the seven films, the remainder of which I will be rolling out over the next couple weeks one by one. Of course, they’re all online already so if you are enterprising you can just go find the rest of them. I mean, like, duh.

I’m pretty proud of this project. I hope you enjoy it. To get you psyched about the rest of them, here’s the 30 second trailer I cut as a bonus.

Joe Flacco Throws A Party

Annnnndd this is (part of) where I’ve been the last month. More new work with the crew at TracyLocke for Pepsi.

Who knew Joe Flacco would be so funny? Well, he is. As always there are some wonderful jokes that had to be left on the cutting room floor for this reason or that, but overall I am pleased with the outcome. Give it a watch and look forward to the resumption of a more normal posting schedule here as my workload tapers off just a little bit.

UPDATE – This is the best comment on the Youtube page.

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Jet.com with Kumail Nanjiani

Another day, another piece of new work!

I did this with Circus Maximus and Punkle again, but this time—obivously—for Jet.com, a new shopping site launching today.

The video is your basic how-does-this-site-work and what-is-the-purpose-of-an-avocado-slicer and how-is-he-talking-to-himself instructional piece. It’s pretty funny and I think we all did a good job. Good job, us!

Check it out.

Vitamin Water “Keep Your Vits About You”

Here’s some recent work I did with my friends Circus Maximus and Punkle for Vitamin Water UK. It’s got nearly three million views on Youtube so far! Awesome!

I think it came out pretty damn nice. I miss the original cut which had about 2 minutes of the dude smashing the computer, but we all knew it was never going to survive that way. Regardless, I am happy with the result.

Enjoy!

Fuck Cancer

A couple months ago, I made this video with Sarah and our friend Heather Cahill to promote a benefit called “Fuck Cancer” which was to raise money for the charity Stupid Cancer. They describe themselves thus:

Stupid Cancer, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is the largest charity that comprehensively addresses young adult cancer through advocacy, research, support, outreach, awareness, mobile health and social media. Our innovative, award-winning and evidence-based programs and services serve as a global bullhorn to propel the young adult cancer movement forward.

Young adult cancer (age 15-39) is largely unknown in the war on cancer with 72,000 new diagnoses each year. That’s one every eight minutes. This is not OK! This neglected group—now millions strong—has limited resources, inadequate support, and, more importantly, a lack of awareness and understanding from the community around them.

Pretty damn good cause. We’ve all known and lost people to cancer, and anything we can all do to turn the tides of the war to our favor is a good thing. Fuck cancer. It sucks ass.

A belated theme for 2015 – Reset

Every year for something like 10 years (with the exception of 2014), I’ve picked a theme to describe my goals for the coming year. It has been a way to approach what I wanted to improve with broad-ish concepts and goals, rather than a set of limited, narrowly focused resolutions. I’ve written about it extensively. Feel free to go back and read some of the old posts for greater clarification on the idea. It’s all there.

With the revamp of the site, I’ve been thinking about what a good theme would be for 2015. Though I’ve missed my usual December announcement by 4 months at this point, it’s my life and I’ll make whatever choices I like. If I think it’s time to declare a theme for 2015 in April of 2015, I will. And you’ll just be fine with that.

A few days ago, a friend of mine wrote something on his Facebook that really clicked with me.

I firmly believe that some of the best writing and creative ideas I’ve ever had have come to me in the late hours of the night, when I’m the closest that I can actually get to being relaxed. Having said that, it’s equally amazing how much simpler the editorial process is in the light of day. Build up at night, rearrange during the day.

He’s totally right. Those wee hours of the night before bed, but after all the day’s chores are done, have always been my most focused, productive hours. The buzz of the day is gone and I am finally tired enough to focus, but not yet so sleepy I can’t think. The world is quiet, even here in New York City, and I can usually get something out in the little bit of time when my brain can actually produce.

In the last few years I haven’t been using those hours the way I used to, mostly, I think, because I got out of the habit of using them. Life changed. Schedules changed. Those nighttime hours became unavailable or filled with other activity. Then when I did have them, I squandered them. I have no regrets, but in retrospect I wonder why when I had a lot of hours to use, I didn’t use them. Of course, it’s very likely I needed to get to the point where it bothered me to see that I could have been using them more productively, instead of barreling forward, mindless of time’s passing, letting them slip away.

I realize that I miss using that time for my personal projects because those hours were the only way I got anything done that kept me feeling sane. And sane is important. Sane makes all the other stress and bullshit of life more easily digestible. For the moments I am pissed off about work, at least I can feel satisfied that I am making things for myself when I can. For all the time I am laden with personal and familial obligations, getting just that little bit of something done for myself is critical. And, even if nothing ever comes of all of this extra I do (and feel I should be doing), keeping me feeling balanced is a very important, very valuable, very real outcome.

I’ve been struggling a lot recently to find a mental/emotional place where I can feel some sort of magical equilibrium, where all the things are more or less balanced and I don’t feel like I am going to explode. The more off-balance I feel, the more I get angry, the more I get resentful, the more I shut off from those around me, and that takes its toll on the rest of my life and relationships. I don’t like harboring those feelings. They make everything a lot worse. I don’t enjoy anything. I don’t sleep. My fuse becomes dangerously short at all times. They make me god damned unpleasant to be around. Yet, those feelings come out in full force when I am out of whack and the only way I’ve ever found to address them is to try and reassert some semblance of order in my life.

That said, 2015 will be…

The Year of Reset.

What’s best is that I’ve already begun. Fantastic.

I intend to get back into the habit of making my personal creative goals a priority. I want to get back to creating things for myself regularly. It doesn’t matter what I make. What matters is that the work I do is for me. I can cut all the extra short films and friends’ projects in the world, but those aren’t mine. I can do all the creative work at my job, but that really isn’t mine. My ideas, my projects, my execution. Simple. Bringing back The Black Laser as both a forum for my work and a work in itself (double dipping, yeah) is a big first step. It’s also a bit of what Sarah would call a commitment device. I feel guilty when the activity here dies down. Avoiding that guilt is often plentiful motivation for me. I won’t always post the things I do, but when I want to post, I’ve got a place that is all my own.

I am not going to make any concrete creative goals for this year, though. In years past, I’ve stated an intended quota of production. 2015 is not for quotas. 2015 is for habit rebuilding. We can discuss quotas for 2016.

I’ve been collecting ideas and scribbles and half-finished thoughts for ages, and I want to see what I can turn them into. There are seeds for a wealth of projects and larger works buried here over the six and a half years of The Black Laser, I just have to nurture them. That means sticking to it. That means sitting down even when I am tired or don’t want to. That means doing the god damned work and not letting anything get in the way, even if my output is minimal. There will be nights when I can’t and many more nights where I feel like I can’t. The former cannot be changed, but the latter can. No excuses. No bullshit.

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Join me and this sleepy little butthead for many more nights of cranking out words and thoughts, and, hopefully, we’ll make something beautiful. Or awesome. Or beautifully awesome.