Rappingtons Halloween Stunt

Introducing the Rappington Family (Click to enlarge)

For Halloween in 2012, RAPP’s CEO threw down a challenge to all of the North American offices: Come up with the best costume and get a handsome cash prize.

My creative brethren and I wanted that cash so we set out to not only create a fun costume but to create some buzz in the process.

We opted to go as an awkward family photo, complete with matching shirts and insane individual personalities. We took individual photos and plastered them all over our office the night before Halloween.

Me as Lil Reggie (Click to enlarge… if you dare)

Then we created a tumblr (check it out HERE) and sent that link out to the RAPP network and to select media outlets.

A Rappington Mention on Agency Spy

In the end, we got far more page views for our tumblr than we really ever should have, and more importantly, we won that cash prize…

… and then immediately donated it to Hurricane Sandy relief.

Hey, the Rappington’s might be weird but their good peoples overall.

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A great gift idea: Personalized Concert Posters

This last Christmas I was searching for something I could give my girlfriend that would be personal, heartfelt, stylish and awesome. After some thought (and some iPhone-aided remembering) I determined that she and I had seen A LOT of bands in 2011—48 to be exact.

So, with that astronomical figure in mind, I asked my good friend and creative life partner John Jurik to help me create a festival-style poster that included all 48 of these bands. The resulting poster turned out like this:

Pretty rad, right? Go ahead and steal the idea if you’d like. And if you want some creative help constructing a similar poster of your own, feel free to reach out to Mr. John Jurik. He’s ridiculously talented and he works for cheap.

Oh, and just for the sake of Internet record, the bands that we saw in 2011, in headliner-everyone else order, were:

  • Arcade Fire
  • Coldplay
  • Girl Talk
  • Band of Horses
  • Blondie
  • Bright Eyes
  • Bon Iver
  • Beirut
  • The Cars
  • M83
  • Death From Above 1979
  • Sleigh Bells
  • Crystal Castles
  • The Naked and Famous
  • Cold War Kids
  • Friendly Fires
  • Foster the People
  • Lykke Li
  • Explosions in the Sky
  • Mates of State
  • Local Natives
  • Cults
  • Tennis
  • Ana Tijoux
  • CSS
  • Nico Vega
  • Fool’s Gold
  • The Cool Kids
  • Okkervil River
  • White Lies
  • Typhoon
  • The Joy Formidable
  • Kathleen Edwards
  • Crystal Antlers
  • What Cheer? Brigade
  • Japandroids
  • Bass Drum of Death
  • Keller Williams
  • The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
  • Portugal. The Man.
  • Hardin Sweaty and The Ready To Go
  • Acid Baby Jesus
  • Hell Shovel
  • Ramesh
  • Active Child
  • Generationals
  • Little Birds
  • Soviet
  • (a)therapeutic smile

Later this week I’m going to write a post breaking down my top five performances from that list. Stay tuned for that.

Why does Netflix hate Shaquille O’Neal so much?

Netflix has been in the news lately for making some really questionable decisions. First they announced they were raising the prices for their service, then they actually raised prices (I was hoping they were bluffing), and now they have announced that they will be splintering into two separate companies — Netflix and Qwikster.

I could easily write 1,000 words on how bizarre I find all of this to be, and I could write another 2,000 analyzing and subsequently pooping on the name Qwikster, but that’s not what I’m really concerned with today.

Oh no. I’m concerned with something far more insidious brewing inside the Netflix brain trust.

I want to know why Netflix hates Shaquille O’Neal so much.

I know this may sound crazy at first. Who could hate Shaq? He’s really tall and lovable and he’s awesome at giving himself nicknames (which really is a skill… seriously, go to your office tomorrow and try to give YOURSELF a nickname… it won’t stick). But Netflix definitely does hate him and I will prove it using evidence pulled from their own site. Sit back and let the prosecution blow your mind.

EXHIBIT A: Blue Chips

Way back in 1994, a very skinny Shaq starred in a relatively high profile film about corrupt basketball recruiting. His character’s name was Neon, which is awesome. The movie also starred Nick Nolte as the same grizzled man filled with self hatred that he always plays. The movie wasn’t good but it was good enough to where you would think Netflix would have it in one of their warehouses somewhere, but when you look it up on Qwikster Netflix all you see is this:

Uhhhh… Save? Fuck you, Netflix. I don’t want to save. I want to watch Neon struggle with the tough life decisions that come with being a top basketball recruit. You’ve got He Got Game ready for rental and that’s basically the same thing… sort of. Something stinks here.

EXHIBIT B: Kazaam

Ok, so they didn’t have Blue Chips. I guess that’s forgivable. A movie called Blue Chips should really be about delicious savory snacks that happen to be a glorious shade of cerulean, not basketball. And Shaq was only a supporting character in it. But what about Kazaam? The first movie where Shaq finally stepped out of the shadows and became a full on movie star in his own right. Surely Netflix will have it right?

Save again? Damn you, Netflix. One movie missing is normal enough but two movies from the same great star? I don’t like it. And I don’t want to hear about how Kazaam isn’t in there because it’s a bad movie. I bet half the DVDs that go out daily are for bad movies. I mean how many times has Showgirls been rented? I’d be willing to bet it’s gone in and out of more households than Shaq’s whimsical character in Kazaam has gone in and out of magical genie lamps. Or dicks have gone in and out of Elizabeth Berkley’s whimsical character in Showgirls. Yeah.

Damn, those were some sweet analogies.

But to stay focused, there is no rational reason for Kazaam to be missing other than the obvious fact that Netflix hates Shaq.

But wait, Netflix has one more chance at redemption…

EXHIBIT C: Steel

Ok, so Kazaam  was Shaq’s first starring role but it wasn’t until his piece of the indirect Superman franchise, Steel that he really found what it took to lead a film. So what do I find when I look this movie up on Netflix?

Wait, what? Not even a save option? Netflix is not even acknowledging the existence of Steel? Instead I can save Real Steel, a movie that hasn’t even come out yet and looks like a Real Piece of Shit? That’s just ridiculous.

Three movies with Shaq as one of the leads and three dead ends on Netflix. Coincidence? Absolutely not.

It’s obvious that Netflix hates Shaquille O’Neal.

The prosecution rests.

I just finished READING: Imperial Bedrooms

imperial bedrooms

Imperial Bedrooms is the sequel to Less Than Zero and Bret Easton Ellis (the author of both) sure knows it.

From the first words of the first chapter he slides right back into the same familiar stylistic choices that made the first book so memorable, only this time it all falls very, very flat.

Let me explain.

In Less Than Zero the entire book read like one long thought process. It didn’t really have a plot, it just, sort of, existed. As you read you go from the beginning of winter break to the end and see some incredibly terrible things along the way, and because it’s almost like you’re parked behind the protagonist’s eyes you feel like you’re there. Nothing seems staged, nothing seems planned. Nothing seems like fiction.

In Imperial Bedrooms Mr. Ellis tries to inject traditional storytelling mechanisms like a jilted lover and a murder mystery into this same winning style. These mechanisms immediately shatter the idea that everything is just happening. The reality that what you’re reading is just a story and not some crazy first hand memoir is instantly apparent, and as a result the entire thing loses its most compelling element. What you’re left with is a poorly concocted mystery novel that doesn’t really have a mystery. Oh and it, like Less Than Zero, is randomly punctuated throughout with graphic descriptions of over-the-top violence. Only this time, because you’re not as attached, it all just seems excessive and disgusting. It’s weak sauce.

In its defense though, IB has an incredibly smart first 30ish pages where Mr. Ellis runs down how the characters all got from Less Than Zero to the present day. Beyond that though it just withers.

I did not enjoy reading this book.

And beyond that, I don’t know what else I can say.

I just finished READING: Less Than Zero

Less Than Zero cover

Less Than Zero is a vivid gallery of miserable, over-stimulated rich kid assholes in 1980’s Los Angeles. It doesn’t really have a story or any sort of character arc. It just sort of happens.

And for that reason, it’s a masterpiece.

It’s written from the perspective of the most likable of these assholes, a guy named Clay. Over the span of 200 pages Clay comes home from college for Christmas break, meets up with his old friends (who include an ex-girlfriend, a former friend turned heroin addict/male prostitute, a drug dealer and several other overly-tanned, drug addicted, sexually irresponsible types) and realizes that his entire world is a mess.

But don’t let that short summary fool you into thinking that this book moves like a traditional novel moves. It doesn’t. This book just glides by documenting everything going on in Clay’s life. It’s almost like a diary.

It’s captivating stuff. I can’t recommend it enough.

And if you like Less Than Zero, I recommend going out and getting the just-released sequel (yes, sequel): Imperial Bedrooms. I’m reading it now and over the first 50 pages it’s proving to be more of the same style, albeit 25 years later.

Go read. Do it.

SXSWi is coming soon!

SXSWITE

Starting this Thursday I’ll be attending the 2010 SXSW Interactive Festival down in Austin, TX. This will be my first SXSW experience and I couldn’t be more excited to get down there and take it all in.

To help myself better prepare for the fest I wrote a five-part preview over at ITE. It goes through each day of the interactive portion of SXSW and picks out 10 must-see events per day. Check it out:

And none of that really gets into the best part. The best part will be on the second day at 11am when in-this-economy.com makes its SXSW session premiere as a co-presenter at the Citizen Journalism Brigade core conversation. For more information on that, go HERE.

I don’t update this personal site nearly enough (if this and ITE were my two children… this would definitely be the neglected one), so I wanted to get the word out about the exciting week ahead. I’ll definitely make more of an effort to update this site while I’m down there.

And remember to check ITE often… because I really do love that child a little bit more.

OVER AND OUT.

Facial cHAIRity is back!

facial chairity

Every year the Donorschoose.org group does a program where benevolent dudes with lots of face testosterone rally together and grow mustaches, beards and everything in between in exchange for any donations their friends and family can muster. Now I understand that in my case there is very little novelty to me having a beard or even a disgusting lip broom (as I tend to grow these accessories on a semi-regular basis), so I am basically just doing anything I can to bring a great cause to your attention.

Check out my profile HERE. Bask in the brilliant glow of my pic for a moment before reading about some of the projects I am sponsoring. If you can donate anything, do it. The kids you’ll be helping will really appreciate it. And so will I. And so will my mustache.

HERE is that link once again. It’s also HERE. And HERE.

I participated in this program last year and raised $1,169 for DFW classrooms. I’d like to raise even more this year so please donate.

If you have any questions send me a note by clicking HERE.

Thank you in advance, and my mustache loves you all.

SXSWi Panel Discussion Promotional Video

I recently helped submit a panel idea for the upcoming 2010 SXSW interactive festival. To better promote this idea, I worked with my fellow in-this-economy.com creators — Rondo Estrello and Rachel Pinn — to write and direct the video you see above.

What started out as an after hours experiment quickly turned into something I’m extremely proud of. The video received a fair amount of blog attention and helped spread the word about our panel. However, we won’t know if we were selected until sometime at the end of this month.

Fingers crossed!

Oh, and one other note: That is my voice doing the narration on the video. So, if you are reading this and you happen to be a voice over agent looking for hot, young talent, drop me a line.

I also have to give huge shout outs to Colin Alsheimer and Alyssa Gardina from fiveoclockdallas.com and Jennifer Conley from iliveindallas.com for all of their hard work on getting this panel idea submitted and promoted. You guys are awesome.

UPDATE: WE GOT IN! Our core conversation will be on March 13 at 11am. If you’re going to be at SXSW swing by for some interesting dialogue on all things citizen journalism.

And just in case you didn’t see the beginning of this update: WE GOT IN! YEAH!!!

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