Story Time for Portal by Facebook / Dr. Seuss!

/ Story Time for Portal by Facebook / Dr. Seuss!

As the father of three little girls (who are, sadly, no longer little enough for reading picture books) this project was extremely special.

This was my third time working as part of the AR/VR experiences team at Facebook on the Story Time platform for their Portal video calling device. This time, we would be partnering with our friends at Nexus Studios in London, adapting four early reading titles from the beloved Dr. Seuss catalog into augmented reality.

Working on this project through the Covid-19 crisis imbued the assignment with even more meaning. Story Time was designed to bring children face-to-face with family members so that they can share meaningful experiences that physical distance might prevent. Suddenly, here we are in 2020, and physical distance is a bigger barrier than ever. This somehow felt like we were giving people a magical, Seussical tool to overcome it.

Special thanks to Ian McCamey, who was not only our intrepid creative producer, but also serves as the talent on these delightful gifs!

Donate Life / Share the Love

/ Donate Life / Share the Love

A while back, a friend of ours died quite suddenly. As it turns out, he was an organ donor, and was able to save the lives of several other people as a result. Very shortly after that, I got the opportunity to work on a project to promote organ donation. The project didn’t end up working out, but this little song remains. It’s silly, and probably too long, but I’m proud to have written it just the same. If you’re not sure whether or not you’re an organ donor, check for the little heart on your driver’s license. And if you’re not, please register now at organdonor.gov

Raising Voices Against Rising Rents / MakeRoomUSA.org

/ Raising Voices Against Rising Rents / MakeRoomUSA.org

The rental crisis in this country isn’t something we hear our elected officials discuss very often. Rental housing, after all, isn’t part of the “American Dream” the way homeownership has always been. But in the wake of the Great Recession, more families have been forced into the rental market than ever before, pushing rents higher, while wages stagnate, and that dream of homeownership recedes farther and farther into the distance.

Today, in the United States, about 11 million families pay more than 50% of their income on rental housing, forcing them to make difficult tradeoffs for every other expenditure. These families pay on average 39 percent less on food and 65 percent less on healthcare than families who live in affordable housing.

The rental crisis is a crisis of this nation’s shrinking middle class, and our growing class of working poor. As a country, it’s crucial for us to learn more about it, and what we can do about it. MakeRoomUSA.org is working to make that happen.

I was fortunate enough to help friends at Matter Unlimited, New York develop the idea for this campaign for Make Room, and I’m deeply proud to watch as they’re bringing it to life.

The idea was inspired by rent parties thrown by friends in college. Each month, Make Room will introduce us to one of these real families struggling to make ends meet in the face of rising rents. And each month, a musical artist will come perform for these families, and an intimate group of their invited guests, in their rented homes. Carly Rae Jepsen and Grammy winner, Timothy Bloom were the first two with more to come each month. It’s a rent party with a reason.

#ConcertsForThe1st, presented by Make Room. Please visit MakeRoomUSA.org today. And let’s bring opportunity home.