But wait there’s more...  

For fun or commission, or sometimes for both, I’ve shot ads – staged flash mobs – slept out with Star Wars fans – and done stuff that still haunts me, honestly, mostly listed here so I don’t forget and, I guess, also for you...


The Other News 2017


I flew to Lagos to help the largest news station in Nigeria launch the country's first ever prime time tv news satire show: The Other News.

 read more: The New Yorker 2018 > >

“Those secrets were lost to time...” Until now. 2016


A guy I know asked if I’d make him a promo video for his latest shady-sounding, sure-fire, money-making scheme: a climate controlled container to keep marijuana fresh. Based on actual science.


CUT TO: Rooftop fistfight at the United Nations.


The Most Dangerous Barber in the World 2014


He has been called “The Most Powerful Artist in the World” and “China’s Most Dangerous Man,” but he’s a horrible hairstylist. A bonus clip for  Sand Storm  Kickstarter backers: Ai Weiwei totally ruins my hair.

Axion° 2014


The Tribeca Film Festival, PBS, and CERN (yep, home of the Large Hadron Collider) brought together a bunch of scientists and storytellers for a “hackathon.” We prototyped a documentary about dark energy and dark matter, using biofeedback to interpret viewers’ brain waves and generate a custom film on the fly, assembling clips as it goes.

Edge 2013


To view full-screen, DOUBLE CLICK the video or try the arrow-icon on its lower right.


The Guardian has called Edge.org “the world’s smartest website” and, since the 1970s, its founder, John Brockman, has archived the world’s most fascinating scientific minds in a distinctively low-tech style (locked off camera, shot straight-on) until the day he invited me over to capture an Edge roundtable from a new angle. We called it a “post-TED aesthetic.”

We Are All Radioactive 2012


In a secluded surf spot and historic fishing village on the Japanese coast, post-tsunami reconstruction efforts were undermined by looming fears from the Fukushima nuclear meltdown.


I collaborated with journalist Lisa Katayama (The New York Times Magazine, NPR, and blog TokyoMango) to create a bilingual, crowd-funded, online documentary series about 2011’s unprecedented string of disasters which ravaged Japan.


We traveled from Tokyo to a town called Motoyoshi, about 100 miles north of Fukushima, where a group of surfers pitched tents and set out to rebuild their corner of northern Japan. We gave waterproof video cameras to the locals, so they could each tell their tales through a lens of their own. And we spent time with Japanese artists, anti-nuclear activists, government officials, and global experts on radiation to shed light on lingering questions left unanswered during this challenging time.


The future for cause-based documentary production and distribution will likely involve a serialized, crowd-funded business model, and this was our proof of concept. Chapter One received its full backing within 48 hours and went live on the one-year anniversary of the 3/11 earthquake. Chapters Two through Seven rolled out soon after.


Click through for  all seven chapters  back to back to back.

see them all > >

Me The People 2012



Kevin Bleyer (Emmy Award winning writer for the Daily Show) personally rewrote the Constitution of the United States and needed his author’s portrait painted for the book jacket. I’d never been to a life drawing class before, all I knew was they involved nude models. Afterwards, we cooled down with Daily’Show correspondents Jason Jones and Samantha Bee.


Five Bodily Fluids 2011


I just happened to be passing through the Maitri AIDS hospice in San Francisco with some friends and an iPhone 4. About a half hour later, they had a brand new PSA explaining the routes of transmission for HIV.


Tall Black Girls “Seahorse” 2010


Shot in a blizzard on New York’s Lower East Side at twenty four 80s band fliers per second, each frame a halftone print-out, 4,000 total, which I rephotographed, page by page.


Animal Hands “Lavender Lakes” 2010


The look for this music video is lifted from a toy camera I picked up pre-Instagram filter days.


TED Conference Titles 2009-2010



The TED Conference titles and speaker intros, exclusive for each live event, rarely appear anywhere again, even online.


When we brought TED to England and India, I set out to breathe new life into TED’s staid “idea-globe” iconography.


TED in the Field: One Laptop Per Child 2008


This is the pilot episode for a follow-up series about what happens after stepping off the  TED  stage.


Nicholas Negroponte flew to Colombia to bring laptops to school children in an isolated village recently liberated from FARC revolutionaries. We traveled by military transport with Juan Manuel Santos, Minister of Defense (now President).

oh, and I also got lost in the jungle: TED Blog 2008 > >

The Airborne Toxic Event “Sometime Around Midnight” 2008


The official, original music video for the iTunes #1 Alternative Song of 2008. One of the Rolling Stone’s Top 20 Music Videos of that year. It still plays VH1 and MTV2, but the record label later released a color version as well as a second video (plucking this off YouTube after 2 million views) so here’s the rare, first version, online again.


The Airborne Toxic Event “Moving On” 2007


Home made by me and the band. For a first single, HD on a budget was unheard of in 2007.


Zen of Zombie 2007


When a publishing house gave me carte blanche to market a self-help book for the undead, I said I’d need 100 flexible people who liked gauze. I had never attended a flash mob before but I liked the idea of staging my own. I had also never seen yoga up close. The New York Times quoted our invite, “Bring a Yoga Mat, Dress Like a Zombie,” and  zombie yoga  was “in.”

 read more: The New York Times 2007 > >

Maynard & Jennica 2007


To combat micro- millennial attention spans (you’re not even reading this are you?) in the mid-2000s, the publishing industry resorted to desperate, flashy tactics: producing trailers for books. I am a sucker for a good movie trailer and don’t get me started about a good mash-up, but “book trailers?” Some things will never be chocolate and peanut butter. First-time novelist Rudolph Delson and I were so sure it was a quick-passing fad, we never once mentioned the content of his book.

 this is how much I like trailers: Alternet 2002 > >

I Want You to Want Me 2007


Over one (very intense) weekend, I made 500 micro movies, “Rear Window”-style vignettes of people milling about in the tiny, isolated bubbles of their daily lives for my friends Jonathan Harris and Sep Kamvar to include in their giant-sized touch screen exhibit commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It remains in the MoMA permanent collection.


Icon Chef 2005-2006


After  Oedipus  toured with the RESFEST film festival, I returned to lead its live “designer challenge.” (Above: Singapore.) Part performance art, creative inspiration, and cooking show, top tier creatives battled to make fake trailers and posters for Hollywood-style blockbusters (of my own devising). Contenders included industry heavyweights Lucasfilm vs. Pixar.


The Weekly Pic 2005-2006


Nerve.com (the early noughties “literate smut” and dating site) approached me to curate the latest and raciest in online video. Much like the  New Venue  with the occasional exposed nipple. Or two.


Sony 2005


Before the iPhone, Sony had a media player of its own in development. In the first of several spots promoting its Kinoma video software, you had to entertain yourself by dragging around two guys to act out all your favorite songs and movies. (Featuring supermodel Jenny Shimizu.) Co-directed with Rodney Ascher.


The second time I posed for stock photography 2005


They told me the theme of the shoot was “The Jew at the Mexican Wedding.”


Outtake: “A baby sitting service...” 2000


Cut scene from a viral video (for a search engine that no longer exists) featuring Tunde Adebimpe (of TV on the Radio) and Clark Jackson (from Luke Cage).


Cursing the Gulls 2000


There was a time when meeting a collaborator, writing, shooting, editing, and distributing a movie all in a day was unheard of, so I snuck out before my panel at MIT’s inaugural Digital Cinema Conference to do all that. Co-directed with Evan Mather.


Makin’ Wookiee 1999


While directing a doc about Star Wars fans for tv, I ran my own fan film competition, online – “Makin’ Wookiee.”


From 300 script submissions, we produced “The Qui-Gon Show,” a mixed-up “Truman Show” meets “The Matrix,” which we tweaked technologically, to load fast and keep file size down, in bold new ways that mattered back then.

read more: Los Angeles Times 1999 > >

Star Wars or Bust 1999


As soon as I realized Star Wars fans would camp out for the re-release of a movie they had seen countless times before, I sold off my childhood toys to send camera crews to movie theaters around the country.


 Tatooine or Bust  was one of the first documentaries shot on digital video. (Hard to believe that was new!) British television acquired it and commissioned its Episode I sequel (or... prequel),  Star Wars or Bust . You can click through to watch both.

see them both > >

Behind the scenes...  


You can see how I got to have my brains and eat them too, or hear why our sci-fi shoot in China nearly killed me.