SnugHouse – “I Couldn’t Be”

One of my favorite new freelance gigs has been with a four-person folk outfit in Portland called SnugHouse. While a relatively new band, they have doubled down on their intention to make music their career, and, as such, needed a social media push before the debut of their first, eponymous EP.

Working with Nikhil Dasgupta, their lead singer, we created two videos to accompany songs off this album, as well as an album cover that resonated with their pared-back acoustic sound.

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The SnugHouse EP Cover

Two days ago, they dropped the announcement of their EP, and within 48 hours had accrued more than 2,100 impressions and 100 engagements through either likes or shares, on a budget of, wait for it… $20. They also saw 11% growth in their overall followers during that same time period.

That’s pretty impressive for just the first touchpoint in this mini-campaign. I’ll be excited to see what the next steps bring.

 

WEX & Rippleffect

 

Non-profits will always be near and dear to my heart. I cut my teeth doing work with these organizations, who gave a young, inexperienced, eager videographer the opportunity to get his hands dirty, make some impressions, and try out techniques that may not have flown with agencies and corporations.

Whenever I get the opportunity to tie my work back to non-profits, I invariably say yes.

The stories are so easy to tell. They are stories of hope, of success, of grit and determination. They are stories of underdogs and overcoming tremendous odds. The are stories that always, always work. They hit hard, have true emotional roots, and have to the power to substantially improve lives.

Last week, I went out to Cow Island with WEX to film their work for Rippleffect, a fantastic local non-profit, which I attended nearly fifteen years ago, that brings kayaking and outdoor, experiential learning to students in Maine. It was a blast to spend a gorgeous day with a group of passionate people helping strengthen a program that I strongly believe in.

Check out their site, consider sending your kids, and maybe even donate!

What the Heck is an HRA?

Apropos of the political situation around healthcare, it’s about damn time someone explained the proliferation of acronyms: HSA, HRA, COBRA, it’s all a little daunting. Back in April, I worked with WEX’s Health line of business to record interviews with industry experts to explain some of these new healthcare trends.

Check out this, the second episode, wherein HRAs are explained.

“Meet Graham” Wins First Cannes Grand Prix – Deservedly

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Clemenger BBDO snagged the first Cannes Grand Prix for their amazing work for the Transport Accident Commission of Victoria, Australia the other day. Their work, entitled “Meet Graham”, is a wonderful exploration of what human physiology might look like if we had evolved to withstand the effects of motor vehicle collisions.

For me, this campaign hits so many sweet spots: intricate practical effects, grotesque creature design, and one of the most effective data visualizations I’ve seen in… well, ever.

What Should I Shoot My Feature On: An iPhone 7, or an Arri ALEXA?

Camera choice is a touchy, borderline political, topic in the world of multimedia production. For photographers, it’s the eternal “Nikon vs. Canon” debate. For cinematographers, it’s a little less black and white.

If your life even peripherally orbits the film and video world, you’ve probably heard or seen the opinions on either end of the tech spectrum:

Exhibit A: The “Stories Matter More Than the Camera” Angle

From this person, you’ll likely hear “you can shoot on anything, as long as you’ve got a good story!” They’ll point you to Tangerine, a feature-length narrative film shot exclusively on iPhone.

Exhibit B: The “If You’re Not Shooting ALEXA, You’re Fired” Angle

I won’t mince words: the Arri ALEXA is a top-tier camera, producing insane dynamic range, and whipping other camera’s butts when it comes to skin tones. What I WILL say is that no, you don’t need to shoot on it to create something beautiful.

That said, many directors won’t even hire you unless you drop that alliterative camera’s name.

The video above is basically a gross exaggeration of what cinematographers see when comparing cameras, blown out to the biggest visual disparity possible. If you’ve got a video nerd in your life, the iPhone footage and its flaws are as glaring as the ones they see between even higher end cameras.

That said, it’s a pretty cool look at how big of a differential there is in video quality as you step up from the low end to the high end of cameras.

 

United Way Day of Caring

For the last three years, I have been fortunate enough to take part in the United Way of Greater Portland‘s Day of Caring. The UW brings together employees from some of the largest organizations in Southern Maine to provide a day of community service.

In the past, we have served at food pantries, school supply distribution centers, and more, all in the service of creating a stronger community.

Each year, I have put together a video for WEX, one of the companies involved, that highlights the work they do and reaffirms their corporate culture and dedicated to community.

Give it a watch!

Polyline – 3D Lines from Motion Paths

As a motion graphic animator without a background in 3D animation, I need to find every tool I can to successfully blend 2D elements, video, and pseudo-3D effects. After Effects has some built-in functionality, but I have come to rely on plug-ins like Polyline to “cheat” the effects I see in my head but don’t quite have the modeling experience to execute.

One style I’ve been working with heavily is incorporating polygonal “ribbons” that run through still photos. Easy as pie in Photoshop, less so when committed to motion. This has been an absolute god-send since I found it.

Looking to add some stylization to your work? Give Polyline a look!