The next chapter – #ItsInTheGame

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A quick update to note that I am moving on from my time at Activision and joining the ranks of EA as Manager – Digital Communications.

Woking at Activision over the last three and a bit years has been a fantastic experience. Getting to have an impact on the marketing across all the titles has been absolutely invaluable for me and I cannot have asked for a better group of people to work with during that time.

A particular highlight was of course Destiny. As many people know working with Bungie was a real dream come true for me and being able to play a part in bringing their latest mega franchise to the world was unbelievable.

I also cannot overstate how exciting it was to work on Call of Duty and what I learnt whilst doing so will always remain with me.

Now it is time for something new and getting to go to EA and join the team that look after digital marketing is incredibly exciting. I cannot wait to get started and get my teeth into the work for the titles that are coming out in 2016 and beyond.

To see what we’re going to be doing make sure to check out all the announcements from EA’s press conference and the streams from this years EA Play event.

Also please take the time to visit EA’s latest charitable initiative – Play To Give.

I wish everyone I know and have met at Activision, Blizzard and the studios Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer, Treyarch, Raven, Toys for Bob, Vicarious Visions, Freestyle games and of course Bungie all the very best and a huge thank you. I cannot wait to see what is coming next from you all.

#ItsInTheGame 🙂

 

365 Seconds – Content Planning for 2016

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This post originally appeared here on Linkedin.

In 2015 I set myself the goal of recording one second of video each day. The idea behind this was to satisfy my creative curiosity and to provide a way to document what I knew was going to be an exceptionally busy year. Despite some issues with some of the images (the Hyperlapse app unfortunately doesn’t work 100% of the time in dull light) I think the final result has turned out really well.

This isn’t the first time I have set myself what can seem like a difficult new years resolution goal. In 2012 I challenged myself many more goals with a central one being to take a photo every day. What I learned then and expanded on in 2015 was that with some simple planning and being prepared to be reactive when called upon this can be achieved and produce strong results.

I have had a few people ask me about how they might go about such a project so here are some thought starters that I think work for a personal project like this and also when approaching a new year of work.

Continue reading

#SamsProject2015 – The Final Film

(To see the version without music scroll down.)

What a crazy year! I’m not sure I have ever been so busy with so much travelling around the UK and on trips abroad.

To recap (not in chronological order):

  • Six festivals
    • Reading
    • V
    • Bestival
    • Common People
    • Bishops Waltham Festival
    • SW4 – Faithless Headliner
  • Axwell ^ Ingrosso gig
  • Ministry of Sound night
  • All the Southampton FC matches
  • Call of Duty Championships in LA
  • E3
  • Some walking…
  • San Francisco
  • Star Wars Secret Cinema
  • Amsterdam
  • Madrid
  • Dublin Facebook Conference
  • 30th birthday
  • Star Wars!!
  • FA Cup Final
  • Holiday in Turkey
  • Gamescom
  • Rugby World Cup – Samoa v USA
  • My friends wedding
  • Lots of walking…
  • A fair few birthday parties

Right back when I announced I was going to do this I had a grand vision in mind of how the video could look. One continuous walking motion with straight lines keeping consistency in the images. Obviously that is not how it completely turned out as you know…life…. but I am overall happy with the result.

This was largely born out of my enjoyment of creating videos and also a nice challenge to set myself to document the year. I think as a video art project it has turned out well and has become much more personal than I really expected. I can see how my mood changes and have memories attached with each second. It has also made me acutely aware of just how much can happen within such a small time frame.

One thing I learned from #SamsProject2012 was that I did not include my friends and family enough, something I was determined to change with this new project. Thanks to all of you for putting up with me randomly walking towards you with my phone filming 🙂

There are technical problems with the video that I addressed in the first update. I am frustrated that not every shot is in focus or that the Hyperlapse app worked 100% of the time to give the true steady-cam effect. It definitely needed bright lights to give the best effect but of course I was not able to always record during the day, especially at my most busy times of the year. If I was to ever do this again I would look at either a camera set up or getting a steady-cam rig for my phone. However having said that there is something special to the in the moment nature of the shots which is achieved by using a phone camera. If I had anything more intrusive it may have taken away from that.

The video at the top of this post is the main one that uses the track Let It Happen by Tame Impala, one of my favourite tracks from 2015. I created this version as I think having a music track underneath the images helps to carry it along. I was inspired to use that song as I felt the walking pace and the structure of the song matched the images almost perfectly. The inspiration to create this version came in the final week of the year and I think it was a good call.

For those interested below is the full 365 second clips without anything else added and the original sound.

Thanks to everyone who has come along on this ride with me. It has been great reading people’s comments and getting feedback as the year has gone on.

Happy New Year and I hope 2016 is an incredible one for you.

September – #SamsProject2015

Whoops! It is the end of October and I am only just putting the September blog up now. Well at least you don’t have long to wait until the next instalment!

A quick trip to Cardiff, Bestival, Southampton Boat Show, a visit to Selsey, the Rugby World Cup, Star Wars Secret Cinema, a day at Marwell and flying off to San Francisco. Another jam packed awesome month.

 

Welcome to the Future Marty!

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Well since my blog has “Hoverboards” in the title I think it is only fitting I publish a post today which is of course that fateful day Marty McFly arrived in the future with Doc Brown in Back to the Future Part II.

As we are now officially in the future I have compiled a list of my favourite new tech developments for your perusal. There have been some staggering leaps forward in the tech world in the last few years let alone the last thirty and I can’t wait to see where these ideas go next.

Self Driving Cars

For a long time I have felt that it is bizarre how accepting we are of people being involved in car accidents. I think what Google, Tesla and now the wider car industry (and it is now rumoured Apple) are doing in this space is incredibly exciting and one that will have huge ramifications once vehicles that can drive themselves are introduced properly to the mainstream. Add in Uber and other similar tech companies and within 10 years we could see people’s attitudes to cars radically change. Why own a car when you could just tell your watch or phone where you need to go, when then signals a car nearby to take you to your destination for less than a bus fare or train ticket? All these vehicles would be able to talk to each other as well so no more traffic jams and delays on the roads. Once people are convinced of their safety you would also be able to spend extra time with friends, family or colleagues, watch a film or get some sleep. Sounds like paradise to me!

Here are some of my favourite videos highlighting this new tech.

Tesla’s lateset software update allows for a new kind of cruise control:

Imagine what self driving cars could do for all kinds of people:

It’s not just cars:

Perhaps Mercedes vision of the future is a bit too clean…but I kind of like it:

AR & VR

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality seem like they are at a point to finally hit the mainstream and make a huge impact on everyday life. From what Facebook are doing with Oculus to the incredible Magic Leap and Microsoft HoloLens demos it really does seem like these will usher in a major shift in computing and entertainment.

The promise of Oculus and Magic Leap in particular excite me. The latest demos that both have shown off and the buzz coming from silicon valley around them really gives the sense that something big is coming. It isn’t only video games either but a huge range of entertainment areas are being investigated as well as some great educational innovations.

I am a big fan as well of how Google are attempting to bring Virtual Reality costs down with project Cardboard.

Magic Leap’s latest demo:

Oculus new controller developments demo:

Google cardboard:

AI Personal Assistants

Now perhaps this one doesn’t sound as exciting as the first two, but the fact that many of you already have simple versions of these in your pocket shows the impact they have already have and will have soon. You’ll likely have heard of Apple’s Siri and also Google Now but then there is also the incredible sounding version from Facebook known as ‘M’.

All three of these collect data from activity on your phone and the other touch points they have on you around the Internet and actively attempt to help better organise your life by presenting you with contextual information. Right now Siri and Google Now are only really impressing at odd moments, for example telling you how long it will take you to get home from work, and this is only scratching the surface of what they can and will be able to do.

Facebook’s M seems to take this another step by convincingly having a human like conversation with you. Go to this Buzzfeed article to read more on this.

These AI will not just live on your phone but also your watch or smart clothing, your home appliances and work computer, helping you go about your every day. They’ll also be able to keep an eye on your health and alert you of any issues. We’re already seeing wearable devices providing important health care information, imagine what an AI enabled version could do?

There is definitely an element of creepiness that will need to be overcome. This will likely come down to how information is presented and how our devices act.

Project Soli

This is a difficult one to describe so I’ll just place this here:

What an incredible use of radar to create a personal experience. Hope to see this used in devices soon.

And that’s it! All my favourite new pieces of technology. There is of course a lot more like Hyperloop, 3D printing, drones etc etc but the above are absolutely my top four picks. I hope you enjoyed the read!

One last and very recent development…who could resist self lacing shoes: http://news.nike.com/news/nike-mag-2015

Happy back to the Future day!

BTTF_Day

July – #SamsProject2015

Some more shots from Turkey at the start of this month. That was a great trip! I have never been to somewhere with so much sunshine and heat. The cold pool was very welcome.

Add in a quick trip to Madrid (also very hot), a house warming and a local music festival and it turns out July was pretty jam packed.

Not sure who that Jedi is though…