I had an amazing experience working on three consecutive NBA All-Star weekends (New York City 2015, Toronto 2016 and New Orleans 2017). I was part of the team that would bring the soul of each city into their respective arenas. Our responsibilities covered exterior/interior screens, 360 degree rings that wrapped around the stadium and all jumbotron graphics. The challenge every year was to tastefully blend the themes of the cities with the logos for each sponsored event to fill the stadiums with fun and excitement.
The 2015 NBA All-Star game was hosted in our own backyard. From the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn, to Madison Square Garden in New York City, we took inspiration from the gritty subway systems and streets to bring the heart of the city into the mecca of basketball.
The Canadian flag features a stylized maple leaf so we created patterns with it for the backgrounds of each graphic and used the iconic CN tower as a focal point for the 2016 event in Toronto's Air Canada Centre. This was also the first year Verizon took over the slam dunk contest, giving us another challenge of electrifying the stadium using mostly their primary color of black.
In late 2016, the NBA All-Star Weekend festivities switched venues from Charlotte to New Orleans amid political controversy. We were forced to change our entire concept and luckily, we were able to adapt. The fleur-de-lis has been widely used throughout Louisiana as a symbol of grassroots support for New Orleans recovery. The emblem served as a central theme throughout our design process and in 2017 the pride of NOLA filled the Smoothie King Center.
Barclays Center - Brooklyn, NY Madison Square Garden - New York, NY
Google Play Awards
Google I/O is an annual developer conference held by Google in San Francisco, California. Every year Google Play hosts an award show where they choose 12 apps and games that “give their fans delightful and memorable experiences,” but also that captured the “imagination” of Google. The awardees are everything from smaller indie titles you may not have heard of, to some of the most popular apps you do indeed know with categories ranging from Standout Indie to Best App and Game. I was part of the team in charge of designing the 2016 and 2017 award show packages.
For 2016, the Google Play arrow was an obvious choice for a place to start and we based most of the transitions and reveals around the triangle shape. Since it was a tech show, the function of each nominee wasn't always self-explanatory. We thought that 2d animating the android robots and having them play out scenes in short interstitials throughout the show would be a fun way to explain each category.
Google gave us a little more freedom with the 2017 show. We came up with an origami paper/low poly look and introduced a new cast of 3d characters including cavemen, zombies and an arrogant astronaut named Arnie.
We took Google Play assets and combined them with aspects from the show categories and created a Rube Goldberg roller coaster that an android robot would ride to open the show.
One caveman fights when others flee and the results are outstanding.
Best VR Experience
What seems like a tropical paradise turns into a zombie apocalypse. Luckily, this reality is virtual.
Best Kids App
When her father leaves the room, this young android girl escapes to an underwater world.
Best Android Wear Experience
Play "The Claw" and win a prize that lets you track your fitness, glance at alerts & messages, and ask Google for help - all on your wrist.
Arnie the astronaut goes on a space adventure that leads to a terrifying new discovery.
Google Play Awards 2017
Watch the entire show.
Google Play Awards 2016
Watch the entire show.
Macy*s Holiday Windows
Macy*s traditionally adds a bit of Holiday Magic to their windows with each year featuring its own special theme. I had the pleasure of working on the 2015 and 2016 windows.
2016 combined the wonder of modern technology with stunning visual elements and an extra dose of nostalgia as they brought six key holiday themes to life. Each window was accentuated with an intricate handmade frame indicating the theme of the artistry that lies within. In addition, a fifteen foot tall representation of Santa Claus took center stage, perched high above the marquee entrance presiding over the festive activity in Broadway Plaza below.
The 2015 windows were based on The Peanuts gang, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the first airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Screen animations for the elves opening Santa's letters from children around the world.
2016 Window 1 - Believe (Final)
Some things never change…some children believe in Santa Claus while others skeptically question his existence, but the one thing that has changed through the years is how they communicate with him. From email and texting, to creating Santa-specific YouTube videos, Window #1 takes a look into Santa’s “Communication Station” where, upon receiving these messages, Santa is able to make his list, and check it twice. Nice children from all over the world are then “matched” up with their gifts. Once a match is made, the gift is magically transported from the communication station up through the magic gifting vortex where they make their way to their delighted recipients.
2016 Window 2 - Celebrate (Concept)
2016 Window 2 - Celebrate (Final)
The experience turns interactive in Window #2 in which the audience is invited to celebrate the unique experiences that make the holiday season so special in New York City. A custom designed vintage-style pinball machine is displayed within, with three bumpers each representing the 90th Anniversary of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®, skating at Rockefeller Center and the New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square. By touching the specially designed buttons on the glass, spectators are able to “play” this sentimental arcade favorite, launching the pinball toward the three bumpers which all light up spectacularly upon contact.
2016 Window 3 - Together (Concept)
2016 Window 3 - Together (Final)
One of the most important themes of the holiday season is exemplified within Window #3…the idea of spending time together. This concept is illustrated by silhouettes staged within a “Family Tree” each highlighting different displays of human interaction and affection. This window not only symbolizes the connections and relationships between loved ones, but also the interconnectedness of nature, with the trees and the branches flowing through and into one another with a crystal forest illuminated against the night sky.
2016 Window 4 - Giving (Concept)
2016 Window 4 - Giving (Final)
This window illustrates the beauty of giving. A majestic gold leaf reindeer rules this window, his delicately bejeweled antlers supporting 25 handmade elves as they generously pass gifts between each other, filling Santa’s sleigh against the backdrop of a crystalline snow covered forest.
2016 Window 5 - Love (Concept)
2016 Window 5 - Love (Final)
The elegant beauty of love is presented in Window #5. Set within an intricate oversized jewel box, Santa and Mrs. Claus are shown dancing and sharing a rare private moment. Not only does this window recognize the importance of love for family and friends, but it also salutes the great love that people share for the season. Passersby are once again able to participate in the fun at this window by way of an interactive “love” game which, not only measures the amount of love one has for the season, but also seeks to answer the age old question—“Naughty” or “Nice”?
2016 Window 6 - Magic (Final)
It all comes together in the grand finale in the final window which shows the magic of Santa’s final preparations on the night before Christmas. In this final installment, Santa is seen against the backdrop of a large scale LED screen, enjoying a vibrant North Pole winter wonderland with his reindeer and other magical elements as the final countdown toward Christmas is underway.
Macy*s 2015 Holiday Windows
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" with 3D scenes recreating six key moments from Charles Schultz's indelible cartoon classic.
2015 Macy*s Window 4
Snoopy's House - Stage 1 (Final)
Google Academy for Ads
I was lucky to be a part of the design and animation team for the introduction and walkthrough videos for Academy for Ads— a new e-learning platform that offers on-the-go training to help you learn how to advertise more efficiently with Google.
Navigating through the expansive world of online advertising can be quite daunting. We were challenged with providing the user with a friendlier, more comprehensive experience. We introduced fun relatable characters that help guide you through easy to follow, step-by-step tutorials.
Our Studio APA team collaborated with UNICEF to help spread awareness about the hunger crisis in Malawi. We chose to tell the story of 18 year old Shamim, a woman whose hometown was ravaged by a succession of severe droughts in 2015 and 2016, forcing her to sell sex to provide for her son, Junior.
We took on the difficult challenge of figuring out how to portray the sensitive contents of the story in a bold yet tasteful way. We approached the production with hardline themes of simplicity and subtlety to balance the graphic subject matter. The choice to remove facial expression and dialogue was made to make way for narrative and lyrics. We felt the song choice fit the emotion perfectly.
Our Studio APA team made this film "Rise" with A World at School for the #UpForSchool event in New York to mark the handing-in of 10 million petition signatures from around the world to the United Nations, calling for the right of every child to be in school. It tells the personal stories of three of A World at School's Global Youth Ambassadors and how they overcame the odds to get an education.
I worked with AWAS and the real life youth ambassadors (Ijeoma, Yaaseen and Mohammed), researching the details of their experiences to find a compelling way to weave their stories together.
The pre-production process started off with a photoshoot featuring three child actors. I then worked with our team to rotoscope the actors out and additional props (such as the wheelchair and the rifle) would be added in digitally. The elements would then be comped into a cg scene in post. Special thanks to Lecrae for allowing us to use his song. The beat and hook really brought the whole piece together.
Blessed to have joined the Hearst Digital Media team to focus on the Esquire brand. We produced some amazing content for their website and social media platforms and I was fortunate enough to direct/edit a video shoot with Jonathan Van Ness from Netflix’s Queer Eye.