Valraven: A bleak Scandinavian VR folktale

“According to Danish folklore recorded in the late 1800’s, when a king or chieftain was killed in battle and not found and buried, ravens came and ate him. The ravens became valravne. The valravne that ate the king’s heart gained human knowledge and could perform great malicious acts, could lead people astray, had superhuman powers, and were “terrible animals”

Wikipedia

WHAT?

Valraven is an interactive virtual reality story where you as an observer is transported into the world of old Nordic folktales to be a part of a heartfelt and emotional story in an atmospheric world of old. In a world where we are constantly bombarded with catastrophe after catastrophe, terrorist attacks, global warming, famine, disease and death on a daily basis – unfiltered showed into our conscience by the media that surrounds us, in an attempt to fight for our ever fragmented attention.

We as human sentient beings have from nature and evolution’s side been equipped with a set of tools to help us filter the world that surrounds us, to deal with trauma and violence. To compartmentalise, to help us digest and cope with these external reactions.

We have over the last decade gone from images of starving children in Africa, that would appeal to our conscience and make us emphatically donate our money to help people half a globe away to compassion fatigued people fragments who can only deal with the world around us by swiping past one disaster and disaster after another on our Tv channel or Facebook feed. I wonder why is this?

The world we created around us have not changed dramatically over the last 10 years, only the way we are now presented with an increasingly unfiltered world has changed. Compassion fatigue (Secondary traumatic stress) is normally something that that nurses, police officers, ambulance crew could experience over time and without tools to help them.

“Compassion fatigue, also known as secondary traumatic stress (sts), is a condition characterized by a gradual lessening of compassion over time. it is common among individuals that work directly with trauma victims such as, therapists (paid and unpaid), nurses, teachers, psychologists, police officers, first responders, animal welfare workers, health unit coordinators and anyone who helps out others, especially family members, relatives, and other informal caregivers of patients suffering from a chronic illness. it was first diagnosed in nurses in the 1950’s”

Wikipedia

WHY VR?

I wonder if we are moving into the first stages where normal functional people in the western world is starting to move into a STS like mental state. The first stages in developing empathy fatigue. It is my believe that in order to combat this possible increasing empathy fatigue we have come to face on a human scale, we must return to the old stories.

We live in a time where the world we surrounds us with, is increasingly fighting for the attention of our consciousness using evermore hard hitting ways. Real unfiltered violence and emotional stress in media has become ever popular tools to sell everything from perfume to newspapers, to Tv shows and news channels. The increase is an ever rising exponential curve, but where does the human mind break under the pressures? Where do we lose our capacity to feel? In the old Folk tales like the Nordic folktales or the old Greek mythologies – the listener identifies with the main protagonist no matter if the main character is male, female, a King, a bandit, a child, adult, animal or other and experiences the hardship, the emotions, the hero’s journey through another character, and through a filter. This enables the storyteller to instill in-direct morals and lessons to be learned.

“Myths and folk tales are an ancient legacy: the legacy of many millennia of human interaction with the land which gives us life, and with the non-human others who occupy it with us. These stories implant themselves so deeply in our hearts, and remain there, in good part because they are redolent with archetypes – images that bridge the personal and the universal. Archetypes are like keys, unlocking an ancient, deep, magical wisdom which we may never have known we had. But in the vehicle of a story, archetypes become more than mere images: they become energies, embedded with instructions which guide us through the complexities of life and show us what we may become – or how we may participate in the becoming of the world. They have the power, as mythologist Joseph Campbell put it, ‘to carry the human spirit forward’

folklore thursday

The overall idea behind Valraven is to tell a coherent story over a series of tableau scenes that unfolds before the observer and where the observer can choose witch viewing angle and character to see the story from. You might choose to see the story from the angle of the woman forced to marry a heartless troll, or from the angle of the Valraven who hungers for a human form. It is up to the observer to chose who to follow or maybe take the more neutral view where both characters play out their role in front of you.

Valraven is an atmospheric story based on an Danish story from the 1800 but originally based on an much older story dating back to the Viking era.

VIRTUAL PUPPETS

Valraven is using an unique approach to motion capture in order to bring the characters to life. We will capture the animation of real life rod-puppets manipulated by a team of accomplished puppeteers. The motion is then brought into Unreal Engine where the characters are rendered in real time and the scene is build around the characters.

The environments are atmospheric sets and tableau’s build to support the story as fog rolls in through the bleak forest and Ravens feathers fall violently from the the vortex of Ravens swirling around the corps of the a dead King. A series of stylised environments where the observer are invited to indulge in the environment and the story.

MUSIC & ACTION

The main story line is told through music and the lyrics of the songs together with the expressive and engaging motion of the digital puppets. There is no voice over or traditional dialogue as It is my idea that the emphasis is very much on the user’s own interpretation of the characters via the music, animation and action


massive test layout post of huge measure

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VALRAVEN

A bleak Scandinavian VR folktale

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Calm over the horizon

Many years ago, I worked for my parents who own a video production company. Because it is a family business, you inevitably end up wearing many hats and being the czar of many different jobs. I mainly managed projects and worked as a video editor. On production, there were times that I was called on to work as an audio tech and was made to wear headphones on long production days. In those days, having a really good set of headphones that picked up every nuance of sound was essential to making sure the client got what they needed.

First impressions.

Naturally, my first impression of these headphones is based off of the look of them. They have a classic over-the-ear style that is highlighted by a blue LED light that indicates the power for the noise canceling. The padding on the ear pieces seems adequate for extended usage periods.

They are wired headphones, but the 3.5mm stereo mini-plug cable is detachable. Something else I noticed right of the bat was the very nice carrying case that comes with them. It has a hard plastic exterior with a soft cloth interior that helps to protect the surface of the headphones from scratches. I never truly appreciated cases for headphones until I started carrying them from place-to-place. Now I can’t imagine not having a case.

A perfect fit.

Once I gave the headphones a thorough once-over exam, I tried them on. As I mentioned, they have a classic over-the-ear style and just looking at them, the padding on the ear pieces seem adequate and the peak of the headband seemed to be a bit lacking, but you don’t really know comfort unless you try on the product. So, I slipped the headphones on and found them to be exquisitely comfortable.

Quality.

Now that I had the headphones on my head, I was finally ready to plug and play some music. I plugged the provided cable into the jack on the headphones and then the one on my iPhone 6. Then I called up Pandora. I tend to have a very eclectic music purview and have many stations set up for different moods. From John Williams to Fallout Boy, the sound quality of these headphones was remarkable. There is an amazing depth of sound and incredible highs and lows that make listening to music a truly breathtaking experience.

It’s safe to say that because of my unique professional experiences, I’ve tested out a lot of headphones.

In order to test how voices sounded, and the overall art of sound mixing, I pulled up Netflix on my iPad Air 2 and watched a few minutes of a movie to hear all the nuances of the film. None of them were lost. In fact, I ended up hearing sounds that I hadn’t heard before. Echoes…birds chirping…wind blowing through trees…breathing of the characters…it was very impressive what the headphones ended up bringing out for me.

I would highly recommend these to any sound mixing specialist.


Inspired by clouds

Take your time.

I’ve got a Fujifilm X100s. It runs about $1300. It’s easily the best camera I’ve ever owned. I take care of it as best as I can, but I don’t let taking care of it impact the photography. Let me elaborate on that a bit better. You’ll get better at each section of what we talked about slowly. And while you do, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it all is and how the habit forms. The best way to get better at photography is start by taking your camera everywhere. If you leave your house, your camera leaves with you. The only exception is if you’re planning for a weekend bender — then probably leave it at home. Other than that, always have it slung over your shoulder. It would probably help to get an extra battery to carry in your pocket. I’ve got three batteries. One in my camera, one in my pocket, one in the charger.

When it dies, swap them all.

For me, the most important part of improving at photography has been sharing it. Sign up for an Exposure account, or post regularly to Tumblr, or both. Tell people you’re trying to get better at photography. Talk about it. When you talk about it, other people get excited about it. They’ll come on photo walks with you. They’ll pose for portraits. They’ll buy your prints, zines, whatever.

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.

— Rabindranath Tagore

Breathe the world.

I’ve got a Fujifilm X100s. It runs about $1300. It’s easily the best camera I’ve ever owned. I take care of it as best as I can, but I don’t let taking care of it impact the photography. Let me elaborate on that a bit better. You’ll get better at each section of what we talked about slowly. And while you do, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it all is and how the habit forms. The best way to get better at photography is start by taking your camera everywhere. If you leave your house, your camera leaves with you. The only exception is if you’re planning for a weekend bender — then probably leave it at home. Other than that, always have it slung over your shoulder. It would probably help to get an extra battery to carry in your pocket. I’ve got three batteries. One in my camera, one in my pocket, one in the charger. When it dies, swap them all.

For me, the most important part of improving at photography has been sharing it. Sign up for an Exposure account, or post regularly to Tumblr, or both. Tell people you’re trying to get better at photography. Talk about it. When you talk about it, other people get excited about it. They’ll come on photo walks with you. They’ll pose for portraits. They’ll buy your prints, zines, whatever.

Heavy hearts, like heavy clouds in the sky, are best relieved by the letting of a little water.

— Christopher Morley

Enjoy the morning.

The best way to get better at photography is start by taking your camera everywhere. If you leave your house, your camera leaves with you. The only exception is if you’re planning for a weekend bender — then probably leave it at home. Other than that, always have it slung over your shoulder. It would probably help to get an extra battery to carry in your pocket. I’ve got three batteries. One in my camera, one in my pocket, one in the charger. When it dies, swap them all.

For me, the most important part of improving at photography has been sharing it. Sign up for an Exposure account, or post regularly to Tumblr, or both. Tell people you’re trying to get better at photography. Talk about it. When you talk about it, other people get excited about it. They’ll come on photo walks with you. They’ll pose for portraits. They’ll buy your prints, zines, whatever. I’ve got a Fujifilm X100s. It runs about $1300.

It’s easily the best camera I’ve ever owned. I take care of it as best as I can, but I don’t let taking care of it impact the photography. Let me elaborate on that a bit better. You’ll get better at each section of what we talked about slowly. And while you do, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it all is and how the habit forms.

There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.

— Gilbert K. Chesterton

Free your mind.

The best way to get better at photography is start by taking your camera everywhere. If you leave your house, your camera leaves with you. The only exception is if you’re planning for a weekend bender — then probably leave it at home. Other than that, always have it slung over your shoulder. It would probably help to get an extra battery to carry in your pocket. I’ve got three batteries. One in my camera, one in my pocket, one in the charger. When it dies, swap them all.

I’ve got a Fujifilm X100s. It runs about $1300. It’s easily the best camera I’ve ever owned. I take care of it as best as I can, but I don’t let taking care of it impact the photography. Let me elaborate on that a bit better. You’ll get better at each section of what we talked about slowly. And while you do, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it all is and how the habit forms.

For me, the most important part of improving at photography has been sharing it. Sign up for an Exposure account, or post regularly to Tumblr, or both. Tell people you’re trying to get better at photography. Talk about it. When you talk about it, other people get excited about it. They’ll come on photo walks with you. They’ll pose for portraits. They’ll buy your prints, zines, whatever.

Photography is better shared.


Make it clean and simple

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Just the other day I happened to wake up early. That is unusual for an engineering student. After a long time I could witness the sunrise. I could feel the sun rays falling on my body. Usual morning is followed by hustle to make it to college on time. This morning was just another morning yet seemed different.

Witnessing calm and quiet atmosphere, clear and fresh air seemed like a miracle to me. I wanted this time to last longer since I was not sure if I would be able to witness it again, knowing my habit of succumbing to schedule. There was this unusual serenity that comforted my mind. It dawned on me, how distant I had been from nature. Standing near the compound’s gate, feeling the moistness that the air carried, I thought about my life so far.

This is what has happened to us. We want the things we have been doing forcefully to fail. And then maybe people around us would let us try something else or our dreams. We are accustomed to live by everyone else’s definition of success. We punish people for the things they are passionate about, just because we were unable to do the same at some point in our life.

I was good at academics, so decisions of my life had been pretty simple and straight. Being pretty confident I would make it to the best junior college of my town in the first round itself, never made me consider any other option. I loved psychology since childhood, but engineering was the safest option. Being born in a middle class family, thinking of risking your career to make it to medical field was not sane. I grew up hearing ‘Only doctor’s children can afford that field’ and finally ended up believing it. No one around me believed in taking risks. Everyone worshiped security. I grew up doing the same.

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‘Being in the top will only grant you a good life’ has been the mantra of my life. But at times, I wish I was an average student. I wish decisions would have not been so straightforward. Maybe I would have played cricket- the only thing I feel passionate about. Or maybe I would have studied literature (literature drives me crazy). Isn’t that disappointing- me wishing to be bad at academics. It’s like at times I hate myself for the stuff I am good at.

I feel like these concrete buildings have sucked our desires and our dreams. We are so used to comfort that compromise seems like a taboo. We have lost faith in ourselves. If we can make through it right now, we can do the same in the days to come. You only need a desire to survive and nothing more- not money or cars or designer clothes.

Staying locked up in four walls have restricted our thinking. I feel like our limited thinking echoes through this wall. We are so used to schedules and predictable life that we have successfully suppressed our creative side.

When you step out of these four walls on a peaceful morning, you realize how much nature has to offer to you. Its boundless. Your thoughts, worries, deadlines won’t resonate here. Everything will flow away along with the wind. And you will realize every answer you had been looking for, was always known to you.

It would mean a lot to me if you recommend this article and help me improve. I would love to know your thoughts!


When you are alone

You will remember the people more than the place.

When you are alone for days or weeks at a time, you eventually become drawn to people. Talking to randos is the norm. I’ll never forget the conversation with the aquarium fisherman, forest ranger, and women at the Thai market. It’s refreshing to compare notes on life with people from vastly different backgrounds.

When you meet fellow travelers, you’ll find they are also filled with a similar sense of adventure and curiosity about the world. Five days of friendship on the road is like five months of friendship at home. It’s the experiences that bond you together, not the place. A rule I followed that worked well: be the first to initiate conversation. I met some incredible people by simply being the first to talk.

Make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.

Travel can be affordable.

Long term travel is different than a luxury vacation. The point is to see the world, not stay in a 5-star hotel. During the trip, I stayed on a strict budget. The goal was to spend no more than $33 per day on accommodations. After a year, I was able to spend only $26.15 per day by booking through HostelWorld and Airbnb. When I wanted to meet people, I’d stay in a shared room at a hostel. When I wanted to be alone, I’d book a private room with Airbnb.

Take the cost of your rent or mortgage + food per month and divide it by 30. This is how much it costs per day to live at home. You will find that it’s possible to travel the world for roughly the same amount. Or, if you live in an expensive city like San Francisco, far less.

English is a universal language.

I was surprised how many people spoke English (apparently 1.8 billion people worldwide). Places where English was less prevalent, I made an effort to learn a handful of words and phrases in the local language. Even though it’s passable, I do desire to learn another language fluently. You can only take the conversation so far when all you can say is: “¿Esto contiene gluten?”

It’s possible to communicate a lot without saying a word. For instance, I left my phone at a restaurant in Chile. I pointed at the table where I was sitting, put my hand to my ear like a phone, then shrugged — 2 minutes later, my phone had been retrieved.

Trust your intuition.

I learned to trust that tiny voice in my head a bit more. When you are alone in a foreign country and your phone is dead, you are forced to trust your intuition. Is this neighborhood safe to walk around? Is this person someone I should interact with? Am I heading the right direction? Intuition is like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it becomes. It’s feels like a sixth sense when you’re able to read between the lines of a situation.

The world is endless. The world’s a tiny neighborhood. My fav people are the ones who can hold two impossible ideas in their heads.


When you are alone

You will remember the people more than the place.

When you are alone for days or weeks at a time, you eventually become drawn to people. Talking to randos is the norm. I’ll never forget the conversation with the aquarium fisherman, forest ranger, and women at the Thai market. It’s refreshing to compare notes on life with people from vastly different backgrounds.

When you meet fellow travelers, you’ll find they are also filled with a similar sense of adventure and curiosity about the world. Five days of friendship on the road is like five months of friendship at home. It’s the experiences that bond you together, not the place. A rule I followed that worked well: be the first to initiate conversation. I met some incredible people by simply being the first to talk.

Make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.

Travel can be affordable.

Long term travel is different than a luxury vacation. The point is to see the world, not stay in a 5-star hotel. During the trip, I stayed on a strict budget. The goal was to spend no more than $33 per day on accommodations. After a year, I was able to spend only $26.15 per day by booking through HostelWorld and Airbnb. When I wanted to meet people, I’d stay in a shared room at a hostel. When I wanted to be alone, I’d book a private room with Airbnb.

Take the cost of your rent or mortgage + food per month and divide it by 30. This is how much it costs per day to live at home. You will find that it’s possible to travel the world for roughly the same amount. Or, if you live in an expensive city like San Francisco, far less.

English is a universal language.

I was surprised how many people spoke English (apparently 1.8 billion people worldwide). Places where English was less prevalent, I made an effort to learn a handful of words and phrases in the local language. Even though it’s passable, I do desire to learn another language fluently. You can only take the conversation so far when all you can say is: “¿Esto contiene gluten?”

It’s possible to communicate a lot without saying a word. For instance, I left my phone at a restaurant in Chile. I pointed at the table where I was sitting, put my hand to my ear like a phone, then shrugged — 2 minutes later, my phone had been retrieved.

Trust your intuition.

I learned to trust that tiny voice in my head a bit more. When you are alone in a foreign country and your phone is dead, you are forced to trust your intuition. Is this neighborhood safe to walk around? Is this person someone I should interact with? Am I heading the right direction? Intuition is like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it becomes. It’s feels like a sixth sense when you’re able to read between the lines of a situation.

The world is endless. The world’s a tiny neighborhood. My fav people are the ones who can hold two impossible ideas in their heads.


Real time design tools

Just the other day I happened to wake up early. That is unusual for an engineering student. After a long time I could witness the sunrise. I could feel the sun rays falling on my body. Usual morning is followed by hustle to make it to college on time. This morning was just another morning yet seemed different.

Witnessing calm and quiet atmosphere, clear and fresh air seemed like a miracle to me. I wanted this time to last longer since I was not sure if I would be able to witness it again, knowing my habit of succumbing to schedule. There was this unusual serenity that comforted my mind. It dawned on me, how distant I had been from nature. Standing near the compound’s gate, feeling the moistness that the air carried, I thought about my life so far.

I was good at academics, so decisions of my life had been pretty simple and straight. Being pretty confident I would make it to the best junior college of my town in the first round itself, never made me consider any other option. I loved psychology since childhood, but engineering was the safest option. Being born in a middle class family, thinking of risking your career to make it to medical field was not sane. I grew up hearing ‘Only doctor’s children can afford that field’ and finally ended up believing it. No one around me believed in taking risks. Everyone worshiped security. I grew up doing the same.

This is what has happened to us. We want the things we have been doing forcefully to fail. And then maybe people around us would let us try something else or our dreams. We are accustomed to live by everyone else’s definition of success. We punish people for the things they are passionate about, just because we were unable to do the same at some point in our life.

I feel like these concrete buildings have sucked our desires and our dreams. We are so used to comfort that compromise seems like a taboo. We have lost faith in ourselves. If we can make through it right now, we can do the same in the days to come. You only need a desire to survive and nothing more- not money or cars or designer clothes.

Staying locked up in four walls have restricted our thinking. I feel like our limited thinking echoes through this wall. We are so used to schedules and predictable life that we have successfully suppressed our creative side.

When you step out of these four walls on a peaceful morning, you realize how much nature has to offer to you. Its boundless. Your thoughts, worries, deadlines won’t resonate here. Everything will flow away along with the wind. And you will realize every answer you had been looking for, was always known to you.

It would mean a lot to me if you recommend this article and help me improve. I would love to know your thoughts!


Stumbled the concept

If you’re not sure how much time you are actually spending on various tasks, use a tool like Rescue Time (their free version is excellent!) which runs in the background and tracks where your time is being spent. It can even send you weekly reports so you know exactly how much time you wasted on Facebook, or spent in your email inbox! You can assign different websites or programs/applications on a scale of very distracting to very productive, so you can see at a glance things like: which days of the week you’re most productive, which times of the day you’re most productive, and the sites on which you’re spending the most distracting time. I stumbled upon the concept of margin while reading a post by Michael Hyatt, which led me to design my ideal week.

Richard Swenson, M.D. (who wrote the book: Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives) describes margin like this:

Last year I wrote about why booking too far in advance can be dangerous for your business, and this concept of margin so eloquently captures what I had recognized had been my problem: I was so booked up with clients that I wasn’t leaving any margin for error, growth, planning, or reflection. I wasn’t really growing my business in a sustainable way; I was just booking one client after the next. At the time this seemed like a good thing: doesn’t growing my business mean getting more clients?

What if instead of booking up to 100% capacity (which more often than not ends up being closer to 120%), we only booked up to an 80% capacity?

What if we left more room for growth (personal or professional) and stopped being one with “busy-ness”?
I spent nearly a year turning down every new project (and even getting rid of old ones) so that I could reduce my workload, build in more margin, and create what is now Digital Strategy School. It takes time to build margin into your schedule.

What could you accomplish with 20% more time?

Write a book. Create a program. Update your contracts and proposals (which has been on your to-do list for how long..?) Spend more time with your family. Go above and beyond for a client. Learn something new. Actually follow through on the things that have been nagging at you for a long time.

When you design your ideal week, you start to see that the time you think you have is often not in alignment with how much time you actually have.

After designing my ideal week, I had a much clearer idea of how to create a framework for my week that would empower me to feel more focused by theming days of the week, and even parts of the day. SO simple, I know. Some of you have been doing this for ages and you’re already a pro, and some of you who saw my schedule said “woah, that’s so rigid, I need more flexibility!”

Structure enables flexibility.

If you’re not sure how much time you are actually spending on various tasks, use a tool like Rescue Time (their free version is excellent!) which runs in the background and tracks where your time is being spent. It can even send you weekly reports so you know exactly how much time you wasted on Facebook, or spent in your email inbox! You can assign different websites or programs/applications on a scale of very distracting to very productive, so you can see at a glance things like: which days of the week you’re most productive, which times of the day you’re most productive, and the sites on which you’re spending the most distracting time. Turns out I’m consistently “in the zone” around 3pm in the afternoon; so instead of trying to tackle highly creative work first thing in the morning (when my brain is barely functioning), I handle it in the afternoon, when I know I’m at my peak!

Creating more margin has been game-changing for my business.
What would be possible for yours?


Stumbled the concept

If you’re not sure how much time you are actually spending on various tasks, use a tool like Rescue Time (their free version is excellent!) which runs in the background and tracks where your time is being spent. It can even send you weekly reports so you know exactly how much time you wasted on Facebook, or spent in your email inbox! You can assign different websites or programs/applications on a scale of very distracting to very productive, so you can see at a glance things like: which days of the week you’re most productive, which times of the day you’re most productive, and the sites on which you’re spending the most distracting time. I stumbled upon the concept of margin while reading a post by Michael Hyatt, which led me to design my ideal week.

Richard Swenson, M.D. (who wrote the book: Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives) describes margin like this:

Last year I wrote about why booking too far in advance can be dangerous for your business, and this concept of margin so eloquently captures what I had recognized had been my problem: I was so booked up with clients that I wasn’t leaving any margin for error, growth, planning, or reflection. I wasn’t really growing my business in a sustainable way; I was just booking one client after the next. At the time this seemed like a good thing: doesn’t growing my business mean getting more clients?

What if instead of booking up to 100% capacity (which more often than not ends up being closer to 120%), we only booked up to an 80% capacity?

What if we left more room for growth (personal or professional) and stopped being one with “busy-ness”?
I spent nearly a year turning down every new project (and even getting rid of old ones) so that I could reduce my workload, build in more margin, and create what is now Digital Strategy School. It takes time to build margin into your schedule.

What could you accomplish with 20% more time?

Write a book. Create a program. Update your contracts and proposals (which has been on your to-do list for how long..?) Spend more time with your family. Go above and beyond for a client. Learn something new. Actually follow through on the things that have been nagging at you for a long time.

When you design your ideal week, you start to see that the time you think you have is often not in alignment with how much time you actually have.

After designing my ideal week, I had a much clearer idea of how to create a framework for my week that would empower me to feel more focused by theming days of the week, and even parts of the day. SO simple, I know. Some of you have been doing this for ages and you’re already a pro, and some of you who saw my schedule said “woah, that’s so rigid, I need more flexibility!”

Structure enables flexibility.

If you’re not sure how much time you are actually spending on various tasks, use a tool like Rescue Time (their free version is excellent!) which runs in the background and tracks where your time is being spent. It can even send you weekly reports so you know exactly how much time you wasted on Facebook, or spent in your email inbox! You can assign different websites or programs/applications on a scale of very distracting to very productive, so you can see at a glance things like: which days of the week you’re most productive, which times of the day you’re most productive, and the sites on which you’re spending the most distracting time. Turns out I’m consistently “in the zone” around 3pm in the afternoon; so instead of trying to tackle highly creative work first thing in the morning (when my brain is barely functioning), I handle it in the afternoon, when I know I’m at my peak!

Creating more margin has been game-changing for my business.
What would be possible for yours?


Time is passing by

CSS selectors all exist within the same global scope. Anyone who has worked with CSS long enough has had to come to terms with its aggressively global nature — a model clearly designed in the age of documents, now struggling to offer a sane working environment for today’s modern web applications. Every selector has the potential to have unintended side effects by targeting unwanted elements or clashing with other selectors. More surprisingly, our selectors may even lose out in the global specificity war, ultimately having little or no effect on the page at all.

Any time we make a change to a CSS file, we need to carefully consider the global environment in which our styles will sit. No other front end technology requires so much discipline just to keep the code at a minimum level of maintainability. But it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s time to leave the era of global style sheets behind.

It’s time for local CSS.

In other languages, it’s accepted that modifying the global environment is something to be done rarely, if ever.

In the JavaScript community, thanks to tools like Browserify, Webpack and JSPM, it’s now expected that our code will consist of small modules, each encapsulating their explicit dependencies, exporting a minimal API.

Yet, somehow, CSS still seems to be getting a free pass.

Many of us — myself included, until recently — have been working with CSS so long that we don’t see the lack of local scope as a problem that we can solve without significant help from browser vendors. Even then, we’d still need to wait for the majority of our users to be using a browser with proper Shadow DOM support.

We’ve worked around the issues of global scope with a series of naming conventions like OOCSS, SMACSS, BEM and SUIT, each providing a way for us to avoid naming collisions and emulate sane scoping rules.

We no longer need to add lengthy prefixes to all of our selectors to simulate scoping. More components could define their own foo and bar identifiers which — unlike the traditional global selector model—wouldn’t produce any naming collisions.

import styles from './MyComponent.css';
import React, { Component } from 'react';
export default class MyComponent extends Component {
 render() {
    return (
      <div>
        <div className={styles.foo}>Foo</div>
        <div className={styles.bar}>Bar</div>
      </div>
    );
  }

The benefits of global CSS — style re-use between components via utility classes, etc. — are still achievable with this model. The key difference is that, just like when we work in other technologies, we need to explicitly import the classes that we depend on. Our code can’t make many, if any, assumptions about the global environment.

Writing maintainable CSS is now encouraged, not by careful adherence to a naming convention, but by style encapsulation during development.

Once you’ve tried working with local CSS, there’s really no going back. Experiencing true local scope in our style sheets — in a way that works across all browsers— is not something to be easily ignored.

Introducing local scope has had a significant ripple effect on how we approach our CSS. Naming conventions, patterns of re-use, and the potential extraction of styles into separate packages are all directly affected by this shift, and we’re only at the beginning of this new era of local CSS.

process.env.NODE_ENV === 'development' ?
    '[name]__[local]___[hash:base64:5]' :
    '[hash:base64:5]'
)

Understanding the ramifications of this shift is something that we’re still working through. With your valuable input and experimentation, I’m hoping that this is a conversation we can have together as a larger community.

Note: Automatically optimising style re-use between components would be an amazing step forward, but it definitely requires help from people a lot smarter than me.


Time is passing by

CSS selectors all exist within the same global scope. Anyone who has worked with CSS long enough has had to come to terms with its aggressively global nature — a model clearly designed in the age of documents, now struggling to offer a sane working environment for today’s modern web applications. Every selector has the potential to have unintended side effects by targeting unwanted elements or clashing with other selectors. More surprisingly, our selectors may even lose out in the global specificity war, ultimately having little or no effect on the page at all.

Any time we make a change to a CSS file, we need to carefully consider the global environment in which our styles will sit. No other front end technology requires so much discipline just to keep the code at a minimum level of maintainability. But it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s time to leave the era of global style sheets behind.

It’s time for local CSS.

In other languages, it’s accepted that modifying the global environment is something to be done rarely, if ever.

In the JavaScript community, thanks to tools like Browserify, Webpack and JSPM, it’s now expected that our code will consist of small modules, each encapsulating their explicit dependencies, exporting a minimal API.

Yet, somehow, CSS still seems to be getting a free pass.

Many of us — myself included, until recently — have been working with CSS so long that we don’t see the lack of local scope as a problem that we can solve without significant help from browser vendors. Even then, we’d still need to wait for the majority of our users to be using a browser with proper Shadow DOM support.

We’ve worked around the issues of global scope with a series of naming conventions like OOCSS, SMACSS, BEM and SUIT, each providing a way for us to avoid naming collisions and emulate sane scoping rules.

We no longer need to add lengthy prefixes to all of our selectors to simulate scoping. More components could define their own foo and bar identifiers which — unlike the traditional global selector model—wouldn’t produce any naming collisions.

import styles from './MyComponent.css';
import React, { Component } from 'react';
export default class MyComponent extends Component {
 render() {
    return (
      <div>
        <div className={styles.foo}>Foo</div>
        <div className={styles.bar}>Bar</div>
      </div>
    );
  }

The benefits of global CSS — style re-use between components via utility classes, etc. — are still achievable with this model. The key difference is that, just like when we work in other technologies, we need to explicitly import the classes that we depend on. Our code can’t make many, if any, assumptions about the global environment.

Writing maintainable CSS is now encouraged, not by careful adherence to a naming convention, but by style encapsulation during development.

Once you’ve tried working with local CSS, there’s really no going back. Experiencing true local scope in our style sheets — in a way that works across all browsers— is not something to be easily ignored.

Introducing local scope has had a significant ripple effect on how we approach our CSS. Naming conventions, patterns of re-use, and the potential extraction of styles into separate packages are all directly affected by this shift, and we’re only at the beginning of this new era of local CSS.

process.env.NODE_ENV === 'development' ?
    '[name]__[local]___[hash:base64:5]' :
    '[hash:base64:5]'
)

Understanding the ramifications of this shift is something that we’re still working through. With your valuable input and experimentation, I’m hoping that this is a conversation we can have together as a larger community.

Note: Automatically optimising style re-use between components would be an amazing step forward, but it definitely requires help from people a lot smarter than me.


Hey DJ play that song

Many years ago, I worked for my parents who own a video production company. Because it is a family business, you inevitably end up wearing many hats and being the czar of many different jobs. I mainly managed projects and worked as a video editor. On production, there were times that I was called on to work as an audio tech and was made to wear headphones on long production days. In those days, having a really good set of headphones that picked up every nuance of sound was essential to making sure the client got what they needed.

Keep me dancing.

Naturally, my first impression of these headphones is based off of the look of them. They have a classic over-the-ear style that is highlighted by a blue LED light that indicates the power for the noise canceling. The padding on the ear pieces seems adequate for extended usage periods.

They are wired headphones, but the 3.5mm stereo mini-plug cable is detachable. Something else I noticed right of the bat was the very nice carrying case that comes with them. It has a hard plastic exterior with a soft cloth interior that helps to protect the surface of the headphones from scratches. I never truly appreciated cases for headphones until I started carrying them from place-to-place. Now I can’t imagine not having a case.

All night long...

Once I gave the headphones a thorough once-over exam, I tried them on. As I mentioned, they have a classic over-the-ear style and just looking at them, the padding on the ear pieces seem adequate and the peak of the headband seemed to be a bit lacking, but you don’t really know comfort unless you try on the product. So, I slipped the headphones on and found them to be exquisitely comfortable.

Play me something for me and my darling, want you to make everything.

Now that I had the headphones on my head, I was finally ready to plug and play some music. I plugged the provided cable into the jack on the headphones and then the one on my iPhone 6. Then I called up Pandora. I tend to have a very eclectic music purview and have many stations set up for different moods. From John Williams to Fallout Boy, the sound quality of these headphones was remarkable. There is an amazing depth of sound and incredible highs and lows that make listening to music a truly breathtaking experience.

In order to test how voices sounded, and the overall art of sound mixing, I pulled up Netflix on my iPad Air 2 and watched a few minutes of a movie to hear all the nuances of the film. None of them were lost. In fact, I ended up hearing sounds that I hadn’t heard before. Echoes…birds chirping…wind blowing through trees…breathing of the characters…it was very impressive what the headphones ended up bringing out for me.


Me Myself and I

Many years ago, I worked for my parents who own a video production company. Because it is a family business, you inevitably end up wearing many hats and being the czar of many different jobs. I mainly managed projects and worked as a video editor. On production, there were times that I was called on to work as an audio tech and was made to wear headphones on long production days. In those days, having a really good set of headphones that picked up every nuance of sound was essential to making sure the client got what they needed.

First impressions.

Naturally, my first impression of these headphones is based off of the look of them. They have a classic over-the-ear style that is highlighted by a blue LED light that indicates the power for the noise canceling. The padding on the ear pieces seems adequate for extended usage periods.
They are wired headphones, but the 3.5mm stereo mini-plug cable is detachable. Something else I noticed right of the bat was the very nice carrying case that comes with them. It has a hard plastic exterior with a soft cloth interior that helps to protect the surface of the headphones from scratches. I never truly appreciated cases for headphones until I started carrying them from place-to-place. Now I can’t imagine not having a case.

A perfect fit.

Once I gave the headphones a thorough once-over exam, I tried them on. As I mentioned, they have a classic over-the-ear style and just looking at them, the padding on the ear pieces seem adequate and the peak of the headband seemed to be a bit lacking, but you don’t really know comfort unless you try on the product. So, I slipped the headphones on and found them to be exquisitely comfortable.

It’s safe to say that because of my unique professional experiences, I’ve tested out a lot of headphones.

Quality.

Now that I had the headphones on my head, I was finally ready to plug and play some music. I plugged the provided cable into the jack on the headphones and then the one on my iPhone 6. Then I called up Pandora. I tend to have a very eclectic music purview and have many stations set up for different moods. From John Williams to Fallout Boy, the sound quality of these headphones was remarkable. There is an amazing depth of sound and incredible highs and lows that make listening to music a truly breathtaking experience.

In order to test how voices sounded, and the overall art of sound mixing, I pulled up Netflix on my iPad Air 2 and watched a few minutes of a movie to hear all the nuances of the film. None of them were lost. In fact, I ended up hearing sounds that I hadn’t heard before. Echoes…birds chirping…wind blowing through trees…breathing of the characters…it was very impressive what the headphones ended up bringing out for me.

I would highly recommend these to any sound mixing specialist.


My tech travel setup

MacBook Pro

Robert Capa, a famous photojournalist once said, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” It’s not just about zooming in with your lens, either. It’s about getting physically closer to people and getting to know them better. It’s also about spending a little time with a stranger before taking their photo. That helps build the trust and comfort that’ll come through in your pictures. Walk up to your subject with a simple wave and a smile to help communicate that you mean no harm.

Ask permission to take a photo if they speak the same language as you. If you don’t share a language, try learning some basic phrases ahead of time, gesture at your camera and ask through expression. Of course if someone doesn’t want their picture taken, it’s imperative to respect their wishes and move on — people are always more important than photographs. National Geographic writes that “making great pictures is primarily a mental process.” What makes you want to photograph the person or place? How might you describe it to a friend, and what adjectives would you use? Are there details you can focus on that tell a story?

iPad/iPhone

Maybe it’s a dry, arid desert, captured by focusing on the patterns of cracked earth. Or a prairie that’s photographed with the horizon at the bottom of the frame, to help create a sense of the open sky and tranquility. Or maybe it’s the story of a deft artisan, fingernails covered in wet clay as she molds a pot. When you’re on the road it can be tough to eat right and make sure you get all the right nutrients. I started taking daily supplements of Multi-Vitamin, Fish Oil capsules and Vitamin D and it helps a lot. Especially the Vitamin D since I don’t get to see the sun a lot during the winter in Sweden.

Sennheiser HD-25 Headphones

It’s difficult to recreate the grandeur of a vast landscape in the confines of a picture frame. But one way to add a sense of depth to your photos is to compose them with objects in the foreground that support the scene. It can be as simple as a winding road through a national park, or some rocks to show off the local geology.

If you’re taking photos of people during normal daylight hours, a quick way to get more flattering light is to move the person out of direct sunlight. The light is much “softer” and doesn’t cast stark, unflattering shadows across their facial features. Even better, have someone stand next to an open door or window as the single source of light.


My tech travel setup

MacBook Pro

Robert Capa, a famous photojournalist once said, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” It’s not just about zooming in with your lens, either. It’s about getting physically closer to people and getting to know them better. It’s also about spending a little time with a stranger before taking their photo. That helps build the trust and comfort that’ll come through in your pictures. Walk up to your subject with a simple wave and a smile to help communicate that you mean no harm.

Ask permission to take a photo if they speak the same language as you. If you don’t share a language, try learning some basic phrases ahead of time, gesture at your camera and ask through expression. Of course if someone doesn’t want their picture taken, it’s imperative to respect their wishes and move on — people are always more important than photographs. National Geographic writes that “making great pictures is primarily a mental process.” What makes you want to photograph the person or place? How might you describe it to a friend, and what adjectives would you use? Are there details you can focus on that tell a story?

iPad/iPhone

Maybe it’s a dry, arid desert, captured by focusing on the patterns of cracked earth. Or a prairie that’s photographed with the horizon at the bottom of the frame, to help create a sense of the open sky and tranquility. Or maybe it’s the story of a deft artisan, fingernails covered in wet clay as she molds a pot. When you’re on the road it can be tough to eat right and make sure you get all the right nutrients. I started taking daily supplements of Multi-Vitamin, Fish Oil capsules and Vitamin D and it helps a lot. Especially the Vitamin D since I don’t get to see the sun a lot during the winter in Sweden.

Sennheiser HD-25 Headphones

It’s difficult to recreate the grandeur of a vast landscape in the confines of a picture frame. But one way to add a sense of depth to your photos is to compose them with objects in the foreground that support the scene. It can be as simple as a winding road through a national park, or some rocks to show off the local geology.

If you’re taking photos of people during normal daylight hours, a quick way to get more flattering light is to move the person out of direct sunlight. The light is much “softer” and doesn’t cast stark, unflattering shadows across their facial features. Even better, have someone stand next to an open door or window as the single source of light.


You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.

Albert Einstein

I was recently quoted as saying, I don’t care if Instagram has more users than Twitter. If you read the article you’ll note there’s a big “if” before my not giving of said thing.
Of course, I am trivializing what Instagram is to many people. It’s a beautifully executed app that enables the creation and enjoyment of art, as well as human connection, which is often a good thing. But my rant had very little to do with it (or with Twitter). My rant was the result of increasing frustration with the one-dimensionality that those who report on, invest in, and build consumer Internet services talk about success.
Numbers are important. Number of users is important. So are lots of other things. Different services create value in different ways. Trust your gut as much (or more) than the numbers. Figure out what matters and build something good.

The new brand identity

I stumbled upon the concept of margin while reading a post by Michael Hyatt, which led me to design my ideal week. Richard Swenson, M.D. (who wrote the book: Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives) describes margin like this:

Margin is the space between our load and our limits. It is the amount allowed beyond that which is needed. It is something held in reserve for contingencies or unanticipated situations. Margin is the gap between rest and exhaustion, the space between breathing freely and suffocating.

Last year I wrote about why booking too far in advance can be dangerous for your business, and this concept of margin so eloquently captures what I had recognized had been my problem: I was so booked up with clients that I wasn’t leaving any margin for error, growth, planning, or reflection. I wasn’t really growing my business in a sustainable way; I was just booking one client after the next. At the time this seemed like a good thing: doesn’t growing my business mean getting more clients?

A long redesign.

What if instead of booking up to 100% capacity (which more often than not ends up being closer to 120%), we only booked up to an 80% capacity?
What if we left more room for growth (personal or professional) and stopped being one with “busy-ness”?
I spent nearly a year turning down every new project (and even getting rid of old ones) so that I could reduce my workload, build in more margin, and create what is now Digital Strategy School. It takes time to build margin into your schedule.Write a book. Create a program. Update your contracts and proposals (which has been on your to-do list for how long..?) Spend more time with your family. Go above and beyond for a client. Learn something new. Actually follow through on the things that have been nagging at you for a long time.

When you design your ideal week, you start to see that the time you think you have is often not in alignment with how much time you actually have.

After designing my ideal week, I had a much clearer idea of how to create a framework for my week that would empower me to feel more focused by theming days of the week, and even parts of the day. SO simple, I know. Some of you have been doing this for ages and you’re already a pro, and some of you who saw my schedule said “woah, that’s so rigid, I need more flexibility!”

Structure enables flexibility.

If you’re not sure how much time you are actually spending on various tasks, use a tool like Rescue Time (their free version is excellent!) which runs in the background and tracks where your time is being spent. It can even send you weekly reports so you know exactly how much time you wasted on Facebook, or spent in your email inbox! You can assign different websites or programs/applications on a scale of very distracting to very productive, so you can see at a glance things like: which days of the week you’re most productive, which times of the day you’re most productive, and the sites on which you’re spending the most distracting time. Turns out I’m consistently “in the zone” around 3pm in the afternoon; so instead of trying to tackle highly creative work first thing in the morning (when my brain is barely functioning), I handle it in the afternoon, when I know I’m at my peak!

Creating more margin has been game-changing for my business.
What would be possible for yours?


The new brand identity

I stumbled upon the concept of margin while reading a post by Michael Hyatt, which led me to design my ideal week. Richard Swenson, M.D. (who wrote the book: Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives) describes margin like this:

Margin is the space between our load and our limits. It is the amount allowed beyond that which is needed. It is something held in reserve for contingencies or unanticipated situations. Margin is the gap between rest and exhaustion, the space between breathing freely and suffocating.

Last year I wrote about why booking too far in advance can be dangerous for your business, and this concept of margin so eloquently captures what I had recognized had been my problem: I was so booked up with clients that I wasn’t leaving any margin for error, growth, planning, or reflection. I wasn’t really growing my business in a sustainable way; I was just booking one client after the next. At the time this seemed like a good thing: doesn’t growing my business mean getting more clients?

A long redesign.

What if instead of booking up to 100% capacity (which more often than not ends up being closer to 120%), we only booked up to an 80% capacity?
What if we left more room for growth (personal or professional) and stopped being one with “busy-ness”?
I spent nearly a year turning down every new project (and even getting rid of old ones) so that I could reduce my workload, build in more margin, and create what is now Digital Strategy School. It takes time to build margin into your schedule.Write a book. Create a program. Update your contracts and proposals (which has been on your to-do list for how long..?) Spend more time with your family. Go above and beyond for a client. Learn something new. Actually follow through on the things that have been nagging at you for a long time.

When you design your ideal week, you start to see that the time you think you have is often not in alignment with how much time you actually have.

After designing my ideal week, I had a much clearer idea of how to create a framework for my week that would empower me to feel more focused by theming days of the week, and even parts of the day. SO simple, I know. Some of you have been doing this for ages and you’re already a pro, and some of you who saw my schedule said “woah, that’s so rigid, I need more flexibility!”

Structure enables flexibility.

If you’re not sure how much time you are actually spending on various tasks, use a tool like Rescue Time (their free version is excellent!) which runs in the background and tracks where your time is being spent. It can even send you weekly reports so you know exactly how much time you wasted on Facebook, or spent in your email inbox! You can assign different websites or programs/applications on a scale of very distracting to very productive, so you can see at a glance things like: which days of the week you’re most productive, which times of the day you’re most productive, and the sites on which you’re spending the most distracting time. Turns out I’m consistently “in the zone” around 3pm in the afternoon; so instead of trying to tackle highly creative work first thing in the morning (when my brain is barely functioning), I handle it in the afternoon, when I know I’m at my peak!

Creating more margin has been game-changing for my business.
What would be possible for yours?


Sounds from the streets

Many years ago, I worked for my parents who own a video production company. Because it is a family business, you inevitably end up wearing many hats and being the czar of many different jobs. I mainly managed projects and worked as a video editor. On production, there were times that I was called on to work as an audio tech and was made to wear headphones on long production days. In those days, having a really good set of headphones that picked up every nuance of sound was essential to making sure the client got what they needed.

It’s safe to say that because of my unique professional experiences, I’ve tested out a lot of headphones.

First impressions.

Naturally, my first impression of these headphones is based off of the look of them. They have a classic over-the-ear style that is highlighted by a blue LED light that indicates the power for the noise canceling. The padding on the ear pieces seems adequate for extended usage periods.

They are wired headphones, but the 3.5mm stereo mini-plug cable is detachable. Something else I noticed right of the bat was the very nice carrying case that comes with them. It has a hard plastic exterior with a soft cloth interior that helps to protect the surface of the headphones from scratches. I never truly appreciated cases for headphones until I started carrying them from place-to-place. Now I can’t imagine not having a case.

A perfect fit.

Once I gave the headphones a thorough once-over exam, I tried them on. As I mentioned, they have a classic over-the-ear style and just looking at them, the padding on the ear pieces seem adequate and the peak of the headband seemed to be a bit lacking, but you don’t really know comfort unless you try on the product. So, I slipped the headphones on and found them to be exquisitely comfortable.

Quality.

Now that I had the headphones on my head, I was finally ready to plug and play some music. I plugged the provided cable into the jack on the headphones and then the one on my iPhone 6. Then I called up Pandora. I tend to have a very eclectic music purview and have many stations set up for different moods. From John Williams to Fallout Boy, the sound quality of these headphones was remarkable. There is an amazing depth of sound and incredible highs and lows that make listening to music a truly breathtaking experience.

In order to test how voices sounded, and the overall art of sound mixing, I pulled up Netflix on my iPad Air 2 and watched a few minutes of a movie to hear all the nuances of the film. None of them were lost. In fact, I ended up hearing sounds that I hadn’t heard before. Echoes…birds chirping…wind blowing through trees…breathing of the characters…it was very impressive what the headphones ended up bringing out for me.

I would highly recommend these to any sound mixing specialist.


Sounds from the streets

Many years ago, I worked for my parents who own a video production company. Because it is a family business, you inevitably end up wearing many hats and being the czar of many different jobs. I mainly managed projects and worked as a video editor. On production, there were times that I was called on to work as an audio tech and was made to wear headphones on long production days. In those days, having a really good set of headphones that picked up every nuance of sound was essential to making sure the client got what they needed.

It’s safe to say that because of my unique professional experiences, I’ve tested out a lot of headphones.

First impressions.

Naturally, my first impression of these headphones is based off of the look of them. They have a classic over-the-ear style that is highlighted by a blue LED light that indicates the power for the noise canceling. The padding on the ear pieces seems adequate for extended usage periods.

They are wired headphones, but the 3.5mm stereo mini-plug cable is detachable. Something else I noticed right of the bat was the very nice carrying case that comes with them. It has a hard plastic exterior with a soft cloth interior that helps to protect the surface of the headphones from scratches. I never truly appreciated cases for headphones until I started carrying them from place-to-place. Now I can’t imagine not having a case.

A perfect fit.

Once I gave the headphones a thorough once-over exam, I tried them on. As I mentioned, they have a classic over-the-ear style and just looking at them, the padding on the ear pieces seem adequate and the peak of the headband seemed to be a bit lacking, but you don’t really know comfort unless you try on the product. So, I slipped the headphones on and found them to be exquisitely comfortable.

Quality.

Now that I had the headphones on my head, I was finally ready to plug and play some music. I plugged the provided cable into the jack on the headphones and then the one on my iPhone 6. Then I called up Pandora. I tend to have a very eclectic music purview and have many stations set up for different moods. From John Williams to Fallout Boy, the sound quality of these headphones was remarkable. There is an amazing depth of sound and incredible highs and lows that make listening to music a truly breathtaking experience.

In order to test how voices sounded, and the overall art of sound mixing, I pulled up Netflix on my iPad Air 2 and watched a few minutes of a movie to hear all the nuances of the film. None of them were lost. In fact, I ended up hearing sounds that I hadn’t heard before. Echoes…birds chirping…wind blowing through trees…breathing of the characters…it was very impressive what the headphones ended up bringing out for me.

I would highly recommend these to any sound mixing specialist.


A day alone at the sea

Just the other day I happened to wake up early. That is unusual for an engineering student. After a long time I could witness the sunrise. I could feel the sun rays falling on my body. Usual morning is followed by hustle to make it to college on time. This morning was just another morning yet seemed different.

Witnessing calm and quiet atmosphere, clear and fresh air seemed like a miracle to me. I wanted this time to last longer since I was not sure if I would be able to witness it again, knowing my habit of succumbing to schedule. There was this unusual serenity that comforted my mind. It dawned on me, how distant I had been from nature. Standing near the compound’s gate, feeling the moistness that the air carried, I thought about my life so far.

I was good at academics, so decisions of my life had been pretty simple and straight. Being pretty confident I would make it to the best junior college of my town in the first round itself, never made me consider any other option. I loved psychology since childhood, but engineering was the safest option. Being born in a middle class family, thinking of risking your career to make it to medical field was not sane. I grew up hearing ‘Only doctor’s children can afford that field’ and finally ended up believing it. No one around me believed in taking risks. Everyone worshiped security. I grew up doing the same.

‘Being in the top will only grant you a good life’ has been the mantra of my life. But at times, I wish I was an average student. I wish decisions would have not been so straightforward. Maybe I would have played cricket- the only thing I feel passionate about. Or maybe I would have studied literature (literature drives me crazy). Isn’t that disappointing- me wishing to be bad at academics. It’s like at times I hate myself for the stuff I am good at.

This is what has happened to us. We want the things we have been doing forcefully to fail. And then maybe people around us would let us try something else or our dreams. We are accustomed to live by everyone else’s definition of success. We punish people for the things they are passionate about, just because we were unable to do the same at some point in our life.

I feel like these concrete buildings have sucked our desires and our dreams. We are so used to comfort that compromise seems like a taboo. We have lost faith in ourselves. If we can make through it right now, we can do the same in the days to come. You only need a desire to survive and nothing more- not money or cars or designer clothes.

Staying locked up in four walls have restricted our thinking. I feel like our limited thinking echoes through this wall. We are so used to schedules and predictable life that we have successfully suppressed our creative side.

When you step out of these four walls on a peaceful morning, you realize how much nature has to offer to you. Its boundless. Your thoughts, worries, deadlines won’t resonate here. Everything will flow away along with the wind. And you will realize every answer you had been looking for, was always known to you.

It would mean a lot to me if you recommend this article and help me improve. I would love to know your thoughts!


Some amazing buildings

Minimalism and geometric.

When you are alone for days or weeks at a time, you eventually become drawn to people. Talking to randos is the norm. I’ll never forget the conversation with the aquarium fisherman, forest ranger, and women at the Thai market. It’s refreshing to compare notes on life with people from vastly different backgrounds.

When you meet fellow travelers, you’ll find they are also filled with a similar sense of adventure and curiosity about the world. Five days of friendship on the road is like five months of friendship at home. It’s the experiences that bond you together, not the place. A rule I followed that worked well: be the first to initiate conversation. I met some incredible people by simply being the first to talk.

Long term travel is different than a luxury vacation. The point is to see the world, not stay in a 5-star hotel. During the trip, I stayed on a strict budget. The goal was to spend no more than $33 per day on accommodations. After a year, I was able to spend only $26.15 per day by booking through HostelWorld and Airbnb. When I wanted to meet people, I’d stay in a shared room at a hostel. When I wanted to be alone, I’d book a private room with Airbnb.

Take the cost of your rent or mortgage + food per month and divide it by 30. This is how much it costs per day to live at home. You will find that it’s possible to travel the world for roughly the same amount. Or, if you live in an expensive city like San Francisco, far less.

An universal language.

I was surprised how many people spoke English (apparently 1.8 billion people worldwide). Places where English was less prevalent, I made an effort to learn a handful of words and phrases in the local language. Even though it’s passable, I do desire to learn another language fluently. You can only take the conversation so far when all you can say is: “¿Esto contiene gluten?”

It’s possible to communicate a lot without saying a word. For instance, I left my phone at a restaurant in Chile. I pointed at the table where I was sitting, put my hand to my ear like a phone, then shrugged — 2 minutes later, my phone had been retrieved.


Some amazing buildings

Minimalism and geometric.

When you are alone for days or weeks at a time, you eventually become drawn to people. Talking to randos is the norm. I’ll never forget the conversation with the aquarium fisherman, forest ranger, and women at the Thai market. It’s refreshing to compare notes on life with people from vastly different backgrounds.

When you meet fellow travelers, you’ll find they are also filled with a similar sense of adventure and curiosity about the world. Five days of friendship on the road is like five months of friendship at home. It’s the experiences that bond you together, not the place. A rule I followed that worked well: be the first to initiate conversation. I met some incredible people by simply being the first to talk.

Long term travel is different than a luxury vacation. The point is to see the world, not stay in a 5-star hotel. During the trip, I stayed on a strict budget. The goal was to spend no more than $33 per day on accommodations. After a year, I was able to spend only $26.15 per day by booking through HostelWorld and Airbnb. When I wanted to meet people, I’d stay in a shared room at a hostel. When I wanted to be alone, I’d book a private room with Airbnb.

Take the cost of your rent or mortgage + food per month and divide it by 30. This is how much it costs per day to live at home. You will find that it’s possible to travel the world for roughly the same amount. Or, if you live in an expensive city like San Francisco, far less.

An universal language.

I was surprised how many people spoke English (apparently 1.8 billion people worldwide). Places where English was less prevalent, I made an effort to learn a handful of words and phrases in the local language. Even though it’s passable, I do desire to learn another language fluently. You can only take the conversation so far when all you can say is: “¿Esto contiene gluten?”

It’s possible to communicate a lot without saying a word. For instance, I left my phone at a restaurant in Chile. I pointed at the table where I was sitting, put my hand to my ear like a phone, then shrugged — 2 minutes later, my phone had been retrieved.


Working from your home?

01. Wake up at the same time every day.

Naturally, my first impression of these headphones is based off of the look of them. They have a classic over-the-ear style that is highlighted by a blue LED light that indicates the power for the noise canceling. The padding on the ear pieces seems adequate for extended usage periods.

They are wired headphones, but the 3.5mm stereo mini-plug cable is detachable. Something else I noticed right of the bat was the very nice carrying case that comes with them. It has a hard plastic exterior with a soft cloth interior that helps to protect the surface of the headphones from scratches. I never truly appreciated cases for headphones until I started carrying them from place-to-place. Now I can’t imagine not having a case.

It’s funny — the thing I feared would take away my “freedom” is the one thing that has allowed me to have it.

Joelle Steiniger

02. Have a routine when you wake up.

Once I gave the headphones a thorough once-over exam, I tried them on. As I mentioned, they have a classic over-the-ear style and just looking at them, the padding on the ear pieces seem adequate and the peak of the headband seemed to be a bit lacking, but you don’t really know comfort unless you try on the product. So, I slipped the headphones on and found them to be exquisitely comfortable. In order to test how voices sounded, and the overall art of sound mixing, I pulled up Netflix on my iPad Air 2 and watched a few minutes of a movie to hear all the nuances of the film. None of them were lost. In fact, I ended up hearing sounds that I hadn’t heard before. Echoes…birds chirping…wind blowing through trees…breathing of the characters…it was very impressive what the headphones ended up bringing out for me.

I’d start my day by checking email, Twitter, Facebook. Reading the “news”. I’d look at my to-do list and start working on something.

03. Plan your workout time — stick to it.

Now that I had the headphones on my head, I was finally ready to plug and play some music. I plugged the provided cable into the jack on the headphones and then the one on my iPhone 6. Then I called up Pandora. I tend to have a very eclectic music purview and have many stations set up for different moods. From John Williams to Fallout Boy, the sound quality of these headphones was remarkable. There is an amazing depth of sound and incredible highs and lows that make listening to music a truly breathtaking experience.

In order to test how voices sounded, and the overall art of sound mixing, I pulled up Netflix on my iPad Air 2 and watched a few minutes of a movie to hear all the nuances of the film. None of them were lost. In fact, I ended up hearing sounds that I hadn’t heard before. Echoes…birds chirping…wind blowing through trees…breathing of the characters…it was very impressive what the headphones ended up bringing out for me.

Distractions aside, there was no real rhyme or reason to my workflow. The not-so-fun (but necessary) stuff kept getting neglected.

04. Call it a night.

Now that I had the headphones on my head, I was finally ready to plug and play some music. I plugged the provided cable into the jack on the headphones and then the one on my iPhone 6. Then I called up Pandora. I tend to have a very eclectic music purview and have many stations set up for different moods. From John Williams to Fallout Boy, the sound quality of these headphones was remarkable. There is an amazing depth of sound and incredible highs and lows that make listening to music a truly breathtaking experience.

In order to test how voices sounded, and the overall art of sound mixing, I pulled up Netflix on my iPad Air 2 and watched a few minutes of a movie to hear all the nuances of the film. None of them were lost. In fact, I ended up hearing sounds that I hadn’t heard before. Echoes…birds chirping…wind blowing through trees…breathing of the characters…it was very impressive what the headphones ended up bringing out for me.


I was recently quoted as saying, I don't care if Instagram has more users than Twitter. If you read the article you’ll note there’s a big “if” before my not giving of said thing.
Of course, I am trivializing what Instagram is to many people. It’s a beautifully executed app that enables the creation and enjoyment of art, as well as human connection, which is often a good thing. But my rant had very little to do with it (or with Twitter). My rant was the result of increasing frustration with the one-dimensionality that those who report on, invest in, and build consumer Internet services talk about success.

Numbers are important. Number of users is important. So are lots of other things. Different services create value in different ways. Trust your gut as much (or more) than the numbers. Figure out what matters and build something good.

I was recently quoted as saying, I don't care if Instagram has more users than Twitter. If you read the article you’ll note there’s a big “if” before my not giving of said thing.
Of course, I am trivializing what Instagram is to many people. It’s a beautifully executed app that enables the creation and enjoyment of art, as well as human connection, which is often a good thing. But my rant had very little to do with it (or with Twitter). My rant was the result of increasing frustration with the one-dimensionality that those who report on, invest in, and build consumer Internet services talk about success.

Numbers are important. Number of users is important. So are lots of other things. Different services create value in different ways. Trust your gut as much (or more) than the numbers. Figure out what matters and build something good.

Trust in your intuitions

Once I gave the headphones a thorough once-over exam, I tried them on. As I mentioned, they have a classic over-the-ear style and just looking at them, the padding on the ear pieces seem adequate and the peak of the headband seemed to be a bit lacking, but you don’t really know comfort unless you try on the product. So, I slipped the headphones on and found them to be exquisitely comfortable. Once I gave the headphones a thorough once-over exam, I tried them on. As I mentioned, they have a classic over-the-ear style and just looking at them, the padding on the ear pieces seem adequate and the peak of the headband seemed to be a bit lacking, but you don’t really know comfort unless you try on the product. So, I slipped the headphones on and found them to be exquisitely comfortable.

If no one hates you, no one is paying attention. If attention is what you want for vanity, confidence, or, hell — to make a decent living — then know that it’s not instantaneous. Every single person that you’re currently paying attention to, at some point in their lives, was in your exact position.

You need to be
true to yourself

Just like every other human on the planet, I have epically awesome days and days when life just turne against me. And while I can’t stand most self-help (see: tired quotes over stock photography on Instagram), sometimes I need a little pick-me-up. And most of the time, in order to get out of a slump (because my brain leans more into math/science than anything else), I need to drop a logic bomb on my ass.

Yes, this is a long article. But here’s the thing — if you’re reading this in your inbox and are already like, “fuck this!” delete it. No hard feelings. If you’re reading this in a browser on a website, and you see how tiny the scroll-bar is because of how far you still have to scroll to get to the bottom, close this tab and go back to 140-character tidbits of advice. Still with me? Phew. Just had to weed out all the folks from points: #1, #4 and #8. Welcome friends, onward we go.

Remember to
never give up

If no one hates you, no one is paying attention. If attention is what you want for vanity, confidence, or, hell — to make a decent living — then know that it’s not instantaneous. Every single person that you’re currently paying attention to, at some point in their lives, was in your exact position. They kept at it and worked enough so that others started listening. Also know that if no one is watching, you can experience true freedom. Dance in your underwear. Write entirely for yourself. Like there’s a going-out-of-business sale. Find yourself — not in some coming-of-age hippie way involving pasta and ashrams— but in a way that helps you draw your own line in the sand for what matters and what doesn’t. Do what you want to do, just because you want to do that thing. This will build confidence that will come in handy later.

Once I gave the headphones a thorough once-over exam, I tried them on. As I mentioned, they have a classic over-the-ear style and just looking at them, the padding on the ear pieces seem adequate and the peak of the headband seemed to be a bit lacking, but you don’t really know comfort unless you try on the product. So, I slipped the headphones on and found them to be exquisitely comfortable. Once I gave the headphones a thorough once-over exam, I tried them on. As I mentioned, they have a classic over-the-ear style and just looking at them, the padding on the ear pieces seem adequate and the peak of the headband seemed to be a bit lacking, but you don’t really know comfort unless you try on the product. So, I slipped the headphones on and found them to be exquisitely comfortable.

If no one hates you, no one is paying attention. If attention is what you want for vanity, confidence, or, hell — to make a decent living — then know that it’s not instantaneous. Every single person that you’re currently paying attention to, at some point in their lives, was in your exact position. They kept at it and worked enough so that others started listening. Also know that if no one is watching, you can experience true freedom. Dance in your underwear. Write entirely for yourself. Like there’s a going-out-of-business sale. Find yourself — not in some coming-of-age hippie way involving pasta and ashrams— but in a way that helps you draw your own line in the sand for what matters and what doesn’t. Do what you want to do, just because you want to do that thing. This will build confidence that will come in handy later.


Top Deejay Headphones

First impressions.

Many years ago, I worked for my parents who own a video production company. Because it is a family business, you inevitably end up wearing many hats and being the czar of many different jobs. I mainly managed projects and worked as a video editor. On production, there were times that I was called on to work as an audio tech and was made to wear headphones on long production days. In those days, having a really good set of headphones that picked up every nuance of sound was essential to making sure the client got what they needed. Many years ago, I worked for my parents who own a video production company. Because it is a family business, you inevitably end up wearing many hats and being the czar of many different jobs. I mainly managed projects and worked as a video editor. On production, there were times that I was called on to work as an audio tech and was made to wear headphones on long production days. In those days, having a really good set of headphones that picked up every nuance of sound was essential to making sure the client got what they needed.

Naturally, my first impression of these headphones is based off of the look of them. They have a classic over-the-ear style that is highlighted by a blue LED light that indicates the power for the noise canceling. The padding on the ear pieces seems adequate for extended usage periods.

They are wired headphones, but the 3.5mm stereo mini-plug cable is detachable. Something else I noticed right of the bat was the very nice carrying case that comes with them. It has a hard plastic exterior with a soft cloth interior that helps to protect the surface of the headphones from scratches. I never truly appreciated cases for headphones until I started carrying them from place-to-place. Now I can’t imagine not having a case.

It’s safe to say that because of my unique professional experiences, I’ve tested out a lot of headphones.

John Williams

A perfect fit.

Once I gave the headphones a thorough once-over exam, I tried them on. As I mentioned, they have a classic over-the-ear style and just looking at them, the padding on the ear pieces seem adequate and the peak of the headband seemed to be a bit lacking, but you don’t really know comfort unless you try on the product. So, I slipped the headphones on and found them to be exquisitely comfortable. In order to test how voices sounded, and the overall art of sound mixing, I pulled up Netflix on my iPad Air 2 and watched a few minutes of a movie to hear all the nuances of the film. None of them were lost. In fact, I ended up hearing sounds that I hadn’t heard before. Echoes…birds chirping…wind blowing through trees…breathing of the characters…it was very impressive what the headphones ended up bringing out for me.

Quality.

Now that I had the headphones on my head, I was finally ready to plug and play some music. I plugged the provided cable into the jack on the headphones and then the one on my iPhone 6. Then I called up Pandora. I tend to have a very eclectic music purview and have many stations set up for different moods. From John Williams to Fallout Boy, the sound quality of these headphones was remarkable. There is an amazing depth of sound and incredible highs and lows that make listening to music a truly breathtaking experience.

In order to test how voices sounded, and the overall art of sound mixing, I pulled up Netflix on my iPad Air 2 and watched a few minutes of a movie to hear all the nuances of the film. None of them were lost. In fact, I ended up hearing sounds that I hadn’t heard before. Echoes…birds chirping…wind blowing through trees…breathing of the characters…it was very impressive what the headphones ended up bringing out for me.


Top Deejay Headphones

First impressions.

Many years ago, I worked for my parents who own a video production company. Because it is a family business, you inevitably end up wearing many hats and being the czar of many different jobs. I mainly managed projects and worked as a video editor. On production, there were times that I was called on to work as an audio tech and was made to wear headphones on long production days. In those days, having a really good set of headphones that picked up every nuance of sound was essential to making sure the client got what they needed. Many years ago, I worked for my parents who own a video production company. Because it is a family business, you inevitably end up wearing many hats and being the czar of many different jobs. I mainly managed projects and worked as a video editor. On production, there were times that I was called on to work as an audio tech and was made to wear headphones on long production days. In those days, having a really good set of headphones that picked up every nuance of sound was essential to making sure the client got what they needed.

Naturally, my first impression of these headphones is based off of the look of them. They have a classic over-the-ear style that is highlighted by a blue LED light that indicates the power for the noise canceling. The padding on the ear pieces seems adequate for extended usage periods.

They are wired headphones, but the 3.5mm stereo mini-plug cable is detachable. Something else I noticed right of the bat was the very nice carrying case that comes with them. It has a hard plastic exterior with a soft cloth interior that helps to protect the surface of the headphones from scratches. I never truly appreciated cases for headphones until I started carrying them from place-to-place. Now I can’t imagine not having a case.

It’s safe to say that because of my unique professional experiences, I’ve tested out a lot of headphones.

John Williams

A perfect fit.

Once I gave the headphones a thorough once-over exam, I tried them on. As I mentioned, they have a classic over-the-ear style and just looking at them, the padding on the ear pieces seem adequate and the peak of the headband seemed to be a bit lacking, but you don’t really know comfort unless you try on the product. So, I slipped the headphones on and found them to be exquisitely comfortable. In order to test how voices sounded, and the overall art of sound mixing, I pulled up Netflix on my iPad Air 2 and watched a few minutes of a movie to hear all the nuances of the film. None of them were lost. In fact, I ended up hearing sounds that I hadn’t heard before. Echoes…birds chirping…wind blowing through trees…breathing of the characters…it was very impressive what the headphones ended up bringing out for me.

Quality.

Now that I had the headphones on my head, I was finally ready to plug and play some music. I plugged the provided cable into the jack on the headphones and then the one on my iPhone 6. Then I called up Pandora. I tend to have a very eclectic music purview and have many stations set up for different moods. From John Williams to Fallout Boy, the sound quality of these headphones was remarkable. There is an amazing depth of sound and incredible highs and lows that make listening to music a truly breathtaking experience.

In order to test how voices sounded, and the overall art of sound mixing, I pulled up Netflix on my iPad Air 2 and watched a few minutes of a movie to hear all the nuances of the film. None of them were lost. In fact, I ended up hearing sounds that I hadn’t heard before. Echoes…birds chirping…wind blowing through trees…breathing of the characters…it was very impressive what the headphones ended up bringing out for me.


contact


Résumé

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MIKAEL JAEGER JENSEN

ART DIRECTOR & STORYTELLER

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_button button_url="http://www.jaegerjensen.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/CV_Mikael_Jaeger_Jensen_Art_Director.pdf" url_new_window="off" button_text="DOWNLOAD RESUME" button_alignment="center" background_layout="dark" custom_button="on" button_bg_color="#f922c4" button_text_color="#000000"][/et_pb_button][et_pb_image src="http://www.jaegerjensen.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/jaegerjensen.png" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="fade_in" sticky="off" align="center" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" admin_label="Image" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_width="1px" border_style="solid" disabled="off"] [/et_pb_image][et_pb_testimonial author="John Lewis" company_name="The Guardian" url_new_window="off" quote_icon="off" use_background_color="off" background_color="#f5f5f5" background_layout="dark" text_orientation="center" admin_label="Testimonial" body_font_size="24px" body_letter_spacing="2px" body_line_height="1.9em" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off"]

"Under Mikael Jaeger Jensen’s visual direction, dancers can change in size and vanish, fires can encompass a stage, cities can be constructed and destroyed before your eyes. In that sense, you are briefly filled with the awe and wonder experienced by the earliest cinema audiences"

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SUMMERY

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text background_layout="dark" text_orientation="left" header_font="||||" header_font_size="18px" header_line_height="1.3em" text_font_size="14px" use_border_color="off" border_style="solid" disabled="off"]

A committed, creative and artistic individual with proven track record working with a wide range of creative and technical roles – from Hollywood Vfx heavy blockbusters such as Gravity and Avatar among others, to the world's first holographic feature length production and across to engaging storytelling within Virtual reality. An Art director with a strong style and vision and with a passion and desire to deliver an engaging and truly heartfelt end-product through Virtual reality, Film, Holographic performances and Art.

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SKILLS

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Art Directing
Storytelling
Storyboarding
3D VR Expiriences
Creative problem solving
Film shoot mangement and direction
Crew management
Technical problem solving
Highly technical literate
Leading cross-functional team collaboration
VR filmmaking

Video editing
Motion Capture

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SOFTWARE

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Adobe Creative Collection (Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects, Illustrator, Indesign)

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Nuke Studio

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Autodesk Maya

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Unreal Engine 4.xx

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Unity 3D

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Shotgun VFX production mangement software

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FREELANCE EXPIRIENCE

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ART DIRECTOR 
DECEMBER 2016 - ONGOING  / 
PANDORA VR EXPERIENCE / VIRSABI  VR 

 

Designing the flagship in-store VR experience from physical installation and design to an engaging virtual journey. A 3 minutes VR experience that takes the observer though a fascinating and different brand experience leaving the observer with a sense of awe, thrill and wonder towards the Pandora brand and an impact on the observer's past and possible future.   

 

ART DIRECTOR
JANUARY 2017 - ONGOING  / KUMPAN VR EXPERIENCE / VIRSABI  VR 

Art direction for a VR experience for the world leading company within contemporary playground - Kumpan. A fully interactive virtual showroom where the user can playfully experience entire playgrounds and where they can interact, play and learn themselves to a better understanding the quality of Kumpan’s catalogue.


ART DIRECTOR

APRIL 2016 - 
ONGOING  / 12th BATTALION PRODUCTIONS  

 Defining the art direction of 12th Battalion Productions. Creating a line of holographic content ranging from small holographic boxes for use in museums, windows displays, education and interactive experiences to truly epic holographic projection experiences for large scale stadium events and theatrical performances. From multi layered holographic projection to simple evocative branding.

 

VISUAL DIRECTOR & ART DIRECTOR
AUGUST 2015 - APRIL 2016 / 
SYMPHONY TO A LOST GENERATION  / 12th BATTALION PRODUCTIONS

Pivotal role in defining, leading, innovating and executing the entire project from incubation till finished project across all stages of 12th Battalions productions - Symphony To a Lost Generation: The World's first feature length holographic symphony.

A multi projection, 127.500 frames, 85 minutes long story told through 5 movements solely through the use of visual effects, symphonic music, ballet dancers and an astonishing 250 actors and musicians with a team of 5 vfx artists.

 

 

 

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PERSONAL VR PROJECTS

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VALRAVEN /  PRE PRODUCTION / ONGOING 

A Bleak Nordic VR FolkTale. A VR experience using a unique method of motion capturing real puppet and a unique art style in order to tell an engaging and truly emotional old style folk tale through the use of Unreal Engine. A study in creating a mordern version of old world folk tales. A bleak VR journey though the human condition where the observer is presented with a rich vistual style and a emotional story of human vanity, animalistic tendencies and desires and the age old urge for un-dying love. 

 

MACBETH / ON HOLD 

A study in creating compelling VR 360 video storytelling through an abridged version of Shakespeare's Macbeth. A meditation on VR filmmaking and the language needed to create engaging VR 360 video content in order to gain a better understand the limitations and strengths of VR 360 filmmaking.

 

HUMANITY / PRE PRODUCTION / ONGOING  

A VR Vfx experience and contemporary dance project. How do we re-calm our fatigued minds and instill empathy back into our humanity. A emotional experience meditating on a journey of our fellow man though displacement, war and environmental disasters. A study in the power that VR has to communicate to our conscious and subconscious through images and and sound.

 

FURTHER EXPIRIENCES

 

FREELANCE DIRECTOR / DOP / VIDEO EDITOR
2013 - 2016
Forming my own freelance business as a one man band directing, filming and editing in order to facilitate my own need of being in charge of the creative process and to learn hands-on what it means to direct, film and edit within smaller projects. Worked within the 3 spheres with a list of clients ranging from fashion, music videos, short film and website adverts.

 

FRAMESTORE
2010 - 2012 / HEAD OF DIGITAL ACQUISITION

Having identified an urgent need for Framestore having its own digital quisition department, headed up a 2 man department to run a photographic studio, photogrammetry capture and elements shooting facility to accommodate Framestore growing on-set presence. Quickly becoming a sort after department gathering textures, models, elements and more on Gravity, 47 Ronin, Clash of the Titans 2, Sherlock Holmes, War Horse and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and more. Other duties involved running the asset library and equipment facility.

FRAMESTORE
2010 - 2012 / VFX COORDINATOR
Scheduling, prioritizing and tracking internal technical assignments and project details for the 2D/Compositing department on AVATAR and CLASH OF THE TITANS. Coordinating the delivery and daily sending of assets between Framestore and Client. Running the daily showing of Avatar stereoscopic dailies in the cinema and coordinating the notes from the supervisors to the relevant artists. Setting up and running of the daily video conference call between framestore and James Cameron's production team.

FRAMESTORE
2007 - 2009 / DATA OPERATOR

Coordinating with production to balance priorities and allocate bandwidth appropriately, dynamically adjusting our transfers to ensure timely delivery of assets. They provide the production team with ETA’s and status reports at regular intervals. Handling and distributing raw film files on drives, ftp, digital scans to the production including renaming and renumbering.

FRAMESTORE
2005 - 2007 / RENDER WRANGLER

Daily supervising of Framestore’s in house render farm consisting of 7500 + cpu render farm. Troubleshooting any issues with the renders and technical problems with the hardware. Liaising with the productions teams on a daily basis in order to prioritise and schedule the render bandwidth across the company

JIM HENSON'S CREATURE SHOP
2005 - 2007 / IT ASSISTANT / RENDER WRANGLER / ASSISTANT PUPPETEER

Jim Henson's Creature shop - IT Assistant / Render Wrangler
Supervising the render farm on a daily basis and troubleshooting any issues with the renders, liaising with the artists and acting as an on call IT assistant in order to assist the small team in any day to day IT problems from servers to workstations.

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a quick through on vr

I believe that VR is more than roller coasters and triple A studios turning their attention to producing highly polished experiences.

Albeit their place in driving VR into the consumer marked is important and cannot be disputed, I wholehearted believe that the smaller art makers and innovative studios are a integral part of the future of VR. The contemporary VR art or VaRt sphere is where most of the emotional and felt experiences will come from. The strange and the fantastic, the merge of game and social experience experiments, the weird and the wonderful. The fall of the 4th wall and the unlimited freedom of virtual movement. All of these and more is where #VaRt will find its place.

A place where dance, storytelling, animation, painting, sculpting becomes more accessible as technology evolves to be affordable and available to all.

A playground of technology problem solving and creative innovation.


TEST

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there


HUMANITY

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HUMANITY

 

HUMANITY explores the depths, complexities and vicissitudes of human emotions through a series of short films and artist cross collaborations within film, dance, fashion and music. It seeks to use the full range of human knowledge - scientific, artistic and technical - to explore that which we experience every day as our truest reality: our feelings.

The films will explore 6 emotions. Anger, Disgust, Fear, Happiness, Sadness and Surprise.  (WIP)

Each emotion will be explored through a dramatic / musical / dance / artistic piece, which I will be filming using: choreographers, dancers, fashion designers and composers will be encouraged to interpret the emotion in their own language. Thereafter, each film will also contain interviews, debate and discussion with scientific practitioners, who will use their own fields to explain the feeling in question.

I want to challenge our view of staged artistic performances - theatre, dance and so on - and take them out of their normal environment, presenting them in a digital form. The series will attempt, through the work it creates to prove  that a one-on-one experience through a television, computer or handheld device can be an equally, if not more emotionally powerful than attending a performance / discussion in person.

The visual style of the film will be in line with what has inspired me as a filmmaker such as David Lynch’s Lost Highway, Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia and Wim Wender’s documentary about Pina Bausch but also from theatres such as Robert Wilson & Tom Waits, The Black Rider and the Shakespeare Sonnets by Rufus Wainwright and the Berliner Ensemble. Even Terry Gilliam's The damnation of Faust. The style of choreography and dance would be drawing parallels to Wayne Mcgregor (Infra, Chroma) and Pina Bausch (Cafe Muller & Vollmond)

Please contact me on Mikael@jaegerjensen.com if you want to contribute to the project.

Thank you for your support and interest in the project.

Mikael Jaeger Jensen
Producer and Director

 

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[tab title="PRODUCER FAQ"]

PRODUCER FAQ.

 

1. What I am looking for at this stage?
- A Producer. A person who can help me produce the whole film and the documentary. A creative person who has a passion for the contemporary dance scene but also for film and new and exciting ideas. Someone to work closely with me from start to finish. Someone with the will to succeed and a head full of good ideas.

2. Schedule.
- I am filming the first emotion - Anger in august 2013 to use as a showcase for the project and to generate interest around the project. This will also be used to secure funding either via film and art funds and via crowd funding. The entire film will be filmed throughout  2014 in and around Greater London.

3. Will this role be a paid role?
- At first no. Travel expenses, Yes. If we are successful in securing funding then this will be a paid position.

4. What would be required of me?
- I would love to work with and develop my idea with someone who is passionate about dance, film and music. You live in the London, UK area and have your own computer and hopefully a bag of great ideas, industry contacts and a positive personality. I would prefer to work with someone who has worked as a Producer before in one of the mentioned fields.

5. End product.
- The idea is to produce an approx 40 min film using all the modern film equipment and techniques that can be shown in film festivals around the world and  through online digital distribution. My hope is also to do a - one time - live performance in London of all the dance pieces with live music in a high profile LOndon venuevenue.

You will be credited as Producer (or Executive Producer) and receive full credits, DVD/Blue-Ray and a digital copy of everything produced connected to the project.

6. Location
- The films will be filmed in about round Greater London. It is my hope to identify both interior and exterior urban areas that lends itself to the emotion in question. I would like to use locations that has a strong architectural visual feel and could be both a concrete building, derelict building site or a highway crossing.

-

If you want to know more or have questions about the project please contact me on Mikael@jaegerjensen.com[/tab][/tabs][/colswrapper]


SHOWREEL 2013

SHOWREEL
Directing, camera operator, Editor & Storyteller 

LIVE CONCERT RECORDING

ROGER O'DONNELL & ADAM DONEN's REQUIEM.
Directed, Filmed and Edited by Mikael Jaeger Jensen

 SHOWREEL CONTENT

NOW! - RICHARD III : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=So3inzQj9Ag
ENO MINI OPERA - WRECKAGE OF DREAMS : https://vimeo.com/50027079
CENTRE POINT SLEEP OUT - CHARITY SLEEPOUT - FRAMESTORE : No link available
THE ADVENTURE OF AN EXPLORER - FUND RAISING MINI SERIES : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1o0p8ymNmvE
THERE WILL COME A TIME - MUSIC VIDEO, ADAM DONEN : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEqsK6mvtMM
COMPANY DAY OUT - FRAMESTORE : No link available
MUSIC VIDEO COMPETITION - THE DEAD CAN DANCE, CHILDREN OF THE SUN : https://vimeo.com/61001088
SICKLE MOON - MUSIC VIDEO, ADAM DONEN : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FSvIrx-1dM

 


MALENE ODDERSHEDE BACH LOOK BOOK AW13/14

Photographer: Marc Hibbert
Styling: Sylvester Yiu
Make Up & Hair: Pei Chen Chen
Model: Emma Elfors M+P
A film by Mikael Jaeger Jensen

THE DEAD CAN DANCE MUSIC VIDEO

The judges are still trying to find the winner and the runner ups - so until they do here is some photographs of the people in involved in making this fantastic music video. It was a brilliant music video project to work on.

To celebrate that we finally finished the video for the competition here is the final video on the Generto.tv website.

This blog is the behind the scene for The Dead can Dance – Children of the Sun video competition by filmmaker, photographer & Storyteller Mikael Jaeger Jensen


IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER

[quote style="first"]One fleeting moment captured forever in a heartbeat of my shutter graceful shapes of perfect female anatomy -  slender fingers reaching past the moon for the stars as fluttering eyelashes like dark butterflies rested over her sensual eyes.  I saw it all through the viewfinder.  I saw it all in front of my eyes.  I saw it in slow motion but I felt it in real time.  All she did for me to see - was simply just to be.[/quote][nggallery id=1]


18 DAYS TO GO

One of the main actors almost ready for its closeup!

puppet1

This blog is the behind the scene for The Dead can Dance – Children of the Sun video competition
by filmmaker, photographer & Storyteller Mikael Jaeger Jensen


26 DAYS TO GO - CAMERAS AND BEING A DO-IT-YOURSELF FILM MAKER

I will be using the 5D MK 2 to shoot our entry to the Dead Can Dance video competition. The reason for using this camera is mainly because I own one and I don't have the funding to rent or buy a Black Magic, C300, Sony FS100 or even the Red Scarlet but truth be told - not a lot of people have access to that kind of money either. I have always been a great believer that making films is about using what you have available to you. No one, that I can think of starts shooting straight on an Alexa or Red Epic for their first short, music video or full length feature. They started on something a lot smaller and cheaper. The idea that you need a specific camera or a specific tool to start is utter nonsense -  and its a thought that can stop you from doing what you want to do. Making films. If you are serious about it you will find a way.

location2

I am not saying that I didn't wish I had the funding to shoot on a better camera, Of course I would! But I choose to work with what I got. I would have shot this on an Iphone if I had to. The biggest thing about being able to shoot this video is not the technical aspects its the people willing to help and this is the most important aspect of any creative art. There will be a time where you idea requires someone who can do it better than you - or simply have the skills you don't. In my case this started out as a live action music video with people, costumes, hair and make up & on set fly-rigging. I loved the idea but it seamed daunting. I spoke to a few friends about the option for stunt / fly rigging on location and the possibility of using green-screen instead at a studio but when you have no money and zero time it all gets a bit crazy. Without this group of friends who knew about these things I wouldn't have known where to start and even more important is I wouldn't have know it was not ideal and moved the music video into using rod puppets.

Taken the decision to use puppets was fairly easy and truly excited (I worked for Jim Henson's Creature Shop) but this is only possible because I know an excellent puppeteer and puppet maker who is willing to follow me and my crazy ideas, and had the time to do so this is now possible.

face1

With great collaborations anything is possible! So if you want to make a certain type of film find people who are interested in the same ting, get together and ferment, plot and talk about the things you love and together you can make beautiful art - it takes time, a lot of effort, great leadership, planning and a uncanny sense of when and when not to compromise - but its not impossible and the feeling of collective achievement is the most wonderful experience.

So ask questions!

face2_2

Do you really need an expensive camera, Probably not. Do you know anyone who has a camera you could use? Iphone shoots half HD! Do you absolutely need 12 Arri lights, Can you use something instead? An Ikea lamp? LED lights? Most houses has lamps! Is it important to tell you story with a long one-take glide camera over London? Or can you establish where you are with a simple ground shot?

Use social media to find people who can help. use websites like www.shootingpeople.org And under no circumstances should you fall into the pit of the "I need x fancy equipment or it cant be done" pit of despair.

My point is. If you are willing to think with what you have, and then improvise - then down the line if you are successful, you get to use all the fancy toys out there. But for starting out you need to go out and do it and with a small group of like minded people and a strong attitude - you can do anything.

CAMERA GEAR
Canon 5D Mk 2
50 mm 1.4 Sigma
24 -70 mm 2.8 Sigma
70 - 200 mm 2.8 Sigma

Lights
HDV-z96 LED  A great LED light, mounts on the camera, runs of mains or 6 x AA batteries
2- 3 LED lights with magnet/hook - These are bright, runs on 3 x AAA batteries best thing is they are 3.50 £

Until next time.

Jaeger Jensen


WRECKAGE OF DREAMS

“It could have been you.
Adrift in a leaking boat
huddled together with the dead and the dying

The only one alive
It could have been you
trying to escape
trying to survive
desperately clinging on to a false hope
It could have been you
whose infant child
is - like you
condemned to a watery grave
It could have been you
in fact
It is.”

To finish a creative project like this feels as if a great weight has been lifted off your shoulders and at the same time as if your long time girlfriend that you love passionately has just left you!

Its a feeling of complete opposites. On one hand the feeling of having taken it from the spark of creative thoughts through to finished and “out of your hands” project is a wonderful feeling but the fact that you have spend a lot of time thinking, feeling, nurturing, talking, explaining, working, re-working, struggling, cursing, negotiating, project managing, location scouting, hoping, directing, despairing, filming, loving, editing, colour grading, exporting, uploading, writing about, twittering and more makes it somewhat of an emotional roller coaster. But then if it isnt - it might not be worth doing in the first place!

Wreckage of dreams - is the title of a script and piece of music from the ENO Mini Opera competition. (http://www.minioperas.org/) 1 month ago I stumbled upon the website by chance.

I have tried entering the Big Dance competition before, but was unsuccessful in being among the finalists. I like the way that different media like dance and now opera tries to crossover and into film or short films in order to try and challenge both art forms in to a third and exciting format. Its not a new idea but as far as I know the idea of making it available to the public as a competition is new. As the base for the Mini Opera short film I had to chose between 10 soundtrack finalists. Each had to have a base in 10 script finalists where they could use all of, some of, or a just a fraction of the script as inspiration for the music. I went through them one by one but for me they all sounded rather like traditional opera.

I was looking for something what would have a more filmic sense and would leap out at me. I see everything in images and I am always looking for that inner film to start and the ideas to start flowing. When I heard Riz Maslen’s Wreckage of a Dream i knew I had the soundtrack I wanted.

Riz’s haunting music and soundscape transported me directly into the sea. It captured my imagination right away. crashing waves, wind and a single soft high note gliding above the clouds - this captured my heart instantaneously. http://www.minioperas.org/composer/wreckage-of-dreams-2/

The music is based on the script of Shaun Gardiner about a group of boat refugees trying to survive. Shaun struck upon a line in the original story from Niel Gaiman (http://www.minioperas.org/?stories=the-sweeper-of-dreams) - who wrote one of the original short stories that they used as a base for the script writing competition.

The lines where “they are the ones who live, each day, in the wreckage of their dream”

It’s all about the despair and heartbreak and fear of death that surrounds the desperate action of desperate people trying to reach a better future and escaping a bitter life, but also about the failing of our modern society in helping people in the utmost need as Nato boat sees them but remains heartbreakingly impartial. The idea was to create a 6-7 min short film telling the story of a young couple and their infant child of un-descriptive racial background, as I feel that if the world has been but a different one it could have been you and me in a small leaking boat trying to survive.

As the couple struggles to survive a siren appears unseen to sing to them. First He slips into a coma from the lack of water and food. She is left alone with her child. After a desperate fight to stay in the boat the waves capsizes the boat spilling all three into the black sea for a final struggle in which she desperately tries to save her child by placing it on the upturned boat.

In closing the siren picks up the child and as she sings to it they both vanishes back into the sea.
I wanted the short to have a theatrical sense so it could be transferred and scaled up unto a theater or opera stage. The idea was not use an approach that would somewhat mimic an opera production and not use too many film effects and practices .
The fact that you can sometimes see the people creating the waves though the fabric only adds to the idea that this is not “just a play”

These are not just actors playing a part but real people who are going through hell.

Sometimes its better to make it stand out boldly in order to make it standout less.

The final short film was shot in a grassy field, with 3 x 8 meter strips of cloth as waves/backdrop, an old used boat from the local sailing club and a handful of my brilliant friends acting as waves and a handful of homemade sandwiches. We shot the film in 6 hours during the daytime on the Canon 5D mk2 using a 24-70mm 2.8 and a 50mm 1.4 all sigma lenses. An important thought about making this film has been that without great friends and collaborations, who are willing to give you their most precious thing - their time, it wouldn't be impossible for me to do what I like best.

Creating something that didn't exist before. And for that its worth I would do it all again. And I will.

Wreckage of Dreams
A film by Mikael Jaeger Jensen
Music by Riz Maslent
Based on a story by Neil Gaiman and script by Shaun Gardiner
---
Concept, directing, filming & editing : Mikael Jaeger Jensen
Her : Juliana Yazbeck
Him : Pierre Buf
Siren : Tugba Tamer
1st Ad : Ashley Vanderford
Waves : Vendredi Noir, John Conaghan, Justina Kochansky


REQUIEM by ADAM DONEN & ROGER O'DONNELL

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DVD for Adam Donen & Roger O'Donnell's Requiem. Filmed in Shordich Church 2nd of April 2012. Above is the package artwork. The DVD will be available to purchase very soon. it is filmed on 3 Canon 5D mk II. Edited in Final Cut Pro.

-

Kaparte Promotions presents

A Mikael Jaeger Jensen film

Adam Donen & Roger O'Donnell's Requiem
for Russell Hoban and Christopher Hitchens

Shoreditch Church, London
2 April 2012

Violin Anna Curzon
Viola Danyal Dhondy
CelloJay Jenkinson, Magdalena Petrovich

Clarinet, flute and soprano saxophone Debbie Sargent
French horn Toby Thomas
Piano Ricardo Gosalbo

Singers Kimberley Devonshire, Natasha Elliot

Conductor Adam Donen
Piano Roger O'Donnell

Camera operators Sarah Howe, Viviana Miliaresi, Mikael Jaeger Jensen

Directed and edited by Mikael Jaeger Jensen

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THERE WILL COME A TIME

Music video for Adam Donen's There will come a time.

Info: Concept, directing, filming & editing - Mikael Jaeger Jensen
Shoot in Hapstead Heath, London.
6hours shoot 5 hours editing.
Camera: Canon 5D mk2, Final Cut Pro


THE PROBLEM WITH SAINTS

Music by: Ben Folds, Neil Gaiman, Damian Kulash, and Amanda Palmer

music.amandapalmer.net/album/nighty-night

Infro: 3 hours to shoot and 4 hours to edit! Shot on the Canon 5D mk2, edited in Final Cut Pro.

Concept and Joan of Arc: Mikael Jaeger Jensen
Silly sausage 1: Gary Noble
Silly sausagee 2: Magnus Arrevad