Micro-filming with Adobe Premiere Clip: My life in 4 short videos

About a month ago it occurred to me that I carry a super computer in my pocket. My phone, that is. It’s a smart phone that connects me to the world and offers me every little bit of information from anytime in history, much like a community garden – all knowledge ripe and for the taking. And the phone is powerful. I can pinpoint my friend’s exact real-time location, no matter how far away from me he or she lives. I can record music. I can film movies.

98% of the time I use my phone to check email.

When I want to be fancy, I post a picture to Instagram.

That’s about it.

With fresh eyes, then, (the unlimited potential of my phone revealed to me), a query clobbered my restless mind. What if the ’90s version of myself were to get ahold of an iPhone? What would I have done with it?

Certainly, I wouldn’t have wasted battery power reading stranger’s status updates.

Enter ‘Adobe Premiere Clip’

What if I were to film the most boring moments of my life and then try to make them interesting?

I’m sure there are many movie-making apps available to the mass public. iMovie, for instance, is probably the most popular (I have some familiarity with the desktop version). Adobe Premiere Clip, however, happened to get in front of my face at the right time. This powerful video-producing app allows you to record, edit, add music, adjust tone and color — all from your phone. (more…)


City Whisk, the app that localizes discovery

The following story appears in the current issue of 585 Magazine (July/August ’14).

Jonathan Marcowicz is the first real explorer I’ve ever met.

We sit in a café, sip coffee, and reminisce of travel. He speaks of his past like he’s still there: a heuriger inVenice, a Chopin concert in France, serendipitous nights of intrigue in Versailles. His voice has heart; his eyes tell me all I need to know. And, really, I do know.

I tell him about an Ireland trip that changed my life. About Dingle, where the locals pointed me down a windy dirt road, past roaming sheep and old ruins, a path that led me to a drop-dead gorgeous cliff edging the endless Atlantic Ocean.

“That’s it!” he says. “Exactly.”

To Marcowicz, locals are the secret ingredients for intrepid adventure—a belief he cemented after a New Orleans New Year’s road trip.The more natives he spoke with, the more unique and engaging his expe- rience became. That’s how CityWhisk—a mobile app he cofounded with Marissa McDowell and Stacey Lampell—was born. The app offers travel itineraries from a local perspective and recently won first place in the Existing Civic App category at the 2014 AT&T Rochester Civic App Challenge.


My Name is Kevin and I’m a Phone Addict

I have a love/hate relationship with my iPhone: I love it and I hate that I love it. In other words, I’m completely addicted. My life, my eyes, my attention—this little gadget has taken it all.

I used to make fun of phone drones, before my iPhone, that is. It was a pastime. The human race was declining, absorbing into their phones, but not me; I felt pretty good about myself. A distant judgement, sure, most likely rooted in bitterness since, well… my phone could barely turn on, let alone surf.

Here’s a handy, step-by-step guide I created for phone dependency:

The Phone Drone Fun Chart

1: Moderate. They take pictures or check e-mail. Causal tweeting exists here. Maybe they’re old and just don’t care.

2: Gateway. Instagram is new and they fight the urge to continually check it. Angry Birds exists here. Flirting with addiction is, potentially, the game.

3: Junkie. They check Facebook (or Instagram, or Twitter) once an hour to hold off diarrhea. They do it to feel “normal.”

4: Clueless. Reality, and the world around them, is gone. You’ve enjoyed waving your hand in front of their face at dinner.

5: The Walking Dead. These people run into telephone poles on the sidewalk. They also drool in waiting rooms.

My iPhone arrived last Christmas morning. Like any new toy under the tree, I ripped open the package and played for hours. Then for days. And days. Then six months went by and I’m playing with it still. You could say, my iPhone was probably the most successful Christmas present of all time.

My addiction level recently jumped up notch. Shortly after arriving at the Grand Canyon last week, my phone died. Within hours I began scratching my skin.

The cold-turkey technique, though effective and great for addiction diagnostics, is terrible for skin.

At the Canyon, there was only one place to charge my phone—the campground bathroom. So yes, I took my phone into the smelly Grand Canyon campground bathroom so Mother Electricity could do her thing. Fearing a stolen phone, I stood by the sink to watch it charge. Every few minutes someone would fart and I’d look towards the ceiling. It was awkward and weird.

This has got to be a sign. (fart) I’ve got to get out of here.

Here were the two lies I was telling myself:

1. I needed my phone to feel normal

2. I needed to share the experience to make it worth it

In other words, I had to brag to feel normal. This is big time Level 3 stuff; I’m totally a phone junkie. DANNGGG IT. Worst yet, I wasn’t present for my wife and my friend when I should’ve been. I let them down and disappointed myself.

I hear Step One is admitting the problem; so, this blog is my confession. I should probably set some boundaries before I run into a telephone pole.

What’s your level of phone dependency? Any tips on detoxing? Any feedback is greatly appreciated!