Boston from above

We went to MIT to film the city 3 different times, and I played with that footage for a few weeks to portray a view of Boston that made sense. A journey, a tour. Something more than a montage of different shots. With a song thrown behind it.

It's not a comprehensive view by any means -- it shows a small part of the city near the river, but I think the video came out pretty well. 

Views from above

I like the idea of having a drone, but it's an expensive hobby. There always seems to be a part that you need that you don't already have. Batteries. Extra controllers. Screens. Drones are really useful at getting different camera angles for videos I like to make, and flying something around in the sky is always exciting. Because the drone hobby is expensive, I figured there was a way to make my drone pay for itself. I wanted to make aerial videos and sell them.

Because it's 2015, I decided the whole "start up" idea was interesting, so me and my good friend Jeremy decided to try it out. We bought a drone, and made aerial videos of houses to help people buying houses get a better feel for the house and the surrounding area, without even visiting it. We got a bunch of jobs this way, but we were constantly finding ourselves without anything to film. Instead of sitting around, we decided we'd make other cool videos with our downtime and figure out how it fit into our business later.

So we thought of cool places to film -- a reservoir (turns out, pretty boring from above), a pond, a school, and Boston. Boston seemed like it had a lot to offer, so we set off to MIT (Jeremy's school) and launched the drone from a frathouse. From what I've been told, seeing a drone around MIT wasn't uncommon so we felt pretty comfortable launching from there. So, we launched.

With the footage, we decided to make two videos: one called MIT from Above, showcasing Jeremy's campus in the hopes that we could sell it to the admissions department, or at least get some recognition from MIT students -- and another more general video showing the beauty of Boston from above.

When I finish that second video (most likely tomorrow), you--the readers of this blog--will be the first to know.

In-Person Communication

I wrote a haiku the other day.


I constantly find myself in conversations with friends over text message where my mindset is completely misaligned with theirs. It's hard to fit emotion into something so brief as a text. Even writers struggle to do this in whole novels. 

On another note, I think haikus tend to get a bad reputation because they're readily employed in grade-schools across the country to teach children about writing. A general google search lead me to this classic:

Haikus are easy
Sometimes they don't make sense
Refrigerator

 

While I appreciate the ingenuity required to use the five-syllable word "refrigerator" as the punchline to a non-sequitur joke, it misses what I like best about haiku poems. Yes, the author uses words cleverly and makes you think. Yes, he followed the haiku syllable structure. Yes, the poem is true to itself.

But beyond a giggle the first time I came across it, it just doesn't make me feel anything for long. I like haikus that can capture the essence of a moment. Ones that you have to read more than once to appreciate. My good friend Adam has been posting a bunch of haikus on Instagram, and I wanted to share one of his.



I made some posters

Over the summer, I was an intern at an excellent advertising agency in Boston. I've never done any work in advertising before, so the limited perspective I had was limited to a handful of episodes of Mad Men

When I started, I noticed that the office was crowded with people of completely different behaviors. You have account people: high-strung worker bees who live to email and make sure shit gets done, and that the money keeps flowing. On the other end is the creatives, who would rather smoke a joint and talk about art. I was surprised the two groups got along at all. 

I was given a task to make band posters using only text and without any color. I'm not exactly sure why I was given the task, other than it was something fun to test my creative skills with limits. Text and no color. I like projects with limits, because they set a framework for what's acceptable. The boundaries create a problem, and you need to be creative to solve it.

Anyways, here are two of the posters that I came up with.

Freakonomics Radio

You might be familiar with the book Freakonomics, or its sequel SuperFreakonomics, or the documentary of the same name; but if you're not, Freakonomics Radio is "a look at the hidden side of everything" through economic theory. It's hosted by the same guys who wrote the book -- Stephen Dubner (a journalist who used to write for The New York Times) and Steven Levitt (an economist and professor at the University of Chicago). 

If you're anything like me, the term "economics" just is not that intriguing. Dubner & Levitt are a curious duo, on a quest to find out about the way that everything works (and fits together). Each episode starts from a question -- the simpler, the better. Stephen Dubner, who hosts the radio show, constructs entire episodes dedicated to exploring a question like "why marry?" or "how are men and women different?" The commentary Dubner provides is direct, interested, albeit at times naive. Each episode provides a sophisticated yet easily comprehensible exploration of the topic at hand, and I always leave feeling like I understand the world a little bit better.