Video for JDRF Hope Gala

The JDRF Piedmont Triad Hope Gala raises over a million dollars for type one diabetes research each year. I was asked to produce this year’s Fund a Cure video, which focuses on the story of the gala honorees and their family, and kicks off a series of donations to the organization. This video features Wake Forest University Athletic Director Ron Wellman, JDRF advocate and volunteer Linda Wellman, Ron and Linda’s daughter Dr. Nicole Wellman Rice, Nicole’s family, and JDRF volunteers Red and Marinda Maxwell.

Work on the video included story development, principal photography and editing.

Why Web Metrics Don’t Matter

If your work involves measuring and analyzing activity on web sites and social media, or using that data to make business cases, read this.

Here’s the bottom line:

Can we still trust the metrics? After the Inversion, what’s the point? Even when we put our faith in their accuracy, there’s something not quite real about them: My favorite statistic this year was Facebook’s claim that 75 million people watched at least a minute of Facebook Watch videos every day — though, as Facebook admitted, the 60 seconds in that one minute didn’t need to be watched consecutively. Real videos, real people, fake minutes.

The article is a clear eyed look at something those of us in the digital world have long argued with clients, bosses and investors: Numbers can infer exactitude but they often don’t mean anything.

I remember, from 20 years ago, talking with clients about how digital metrics would make advertising more efficient. Instead, we got something that’s not just terrible, but terrifying:

You know how at the end of the day all nuclear power does is boil water? All of the advanced technology that’s been developed over the last decade has ultimately been about being better at advertising than the other guy. We literally broke most of the actual world and almost the entire damn Internet so that a crappy ad for something you’re probably not buying could follow you around the web that much better.

I don’t see much value in talking about metrics, though I still have to do it. Instead, I’d rather steer conversations toward activation. How to get real people to take real actions beyond clicking in ways that a room full of computers and cell phones can mimic.

Corporate Art for Multiple Audiences

New Breed Logistics (now XPO Supply Chain) operated more than 70 dedicated client distribution and repair centers across North America and Asia. Frequently, prospective clients would visit these facilities to see operational examples of the company’s innovative supply chain solutions. New Breed asked, how can we improve the appearance of these facilities, which were always in a state of evolution.

The solution went beyond window dressing. I developed large format prints and artwork that served multiple purposes: Art highlighted the clients’ connections with the Fortune 500 brands they serve. Client staff who worked on site were continually reminded of New Breed’s dedication to their brand values. And, the artwork encouraged New Breed employees to see themselves as extensions of those marquee brands.

To develop this long-running program that was installed in more than half of all New Breed facilities, as well as adopted by headquarters staff of some of the brands served, I provided graphic design and art direction, writing, photography, and production and fulfillment services. In some cases, projects involving these large scale banners and framed art for 100,000 square foot-plus facilities went from concept to installation in one week.

New Breed Employee Appreciation Video

New Breed Logistics (now XPO Supply Chain) called me with an urgent request: Could a photographer and I get to New Jersey on short notice to capture video of an unusual event?

New Breed provides manufacturing support for Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopters and had arranged for one to land at their facility outside Philadelphia, where employees and families could tour the aircraft and see the product of their hard work. The head of the Chinook program for the US Army would be at the controls, tour the facility and offer a few words to the assembled employees.

I quickly lined up a local shooter whose primary work is shooting sidelines footage for the NFL Network, then got on a plane to New Jersey. After landing I had an afternoon to scout locations and develop a preliminary shot list. With one photographer working the event, I planned to supplement his footage with stills that I would capture throughout the day.

Run-and-gun was the order of the day. From touchdown to liftoff later that day we were in constant motion, shooting Army, Boeing and New Breed staff, interviewing employees, and looking for opportunities for b-roll that would tell the story of an unusual day at the facility.

Back in North Carolina, I received the second part of the assignment: Create a show that focuses attention on employee’s involvement in the manufacturing of the Chinook. Those employees would be the primary audience.

A day long edit and a few revisions later, this was the final product.