Weeknote 13.0

Getting by with the help of friends, fabrication, and SNAFUs

Fig. 1

I edited and posted the user experience video study I shot with Dave Levin last week. The goal of the study was to depict a user performing a biological age test to establish a baseline age. The footage was shot with the wrong white balance, and the set was also naturally lit so the shots appear dark with a strong color cast. Despite, I’m pleased with the number and variety of camera angles I shot—they provided flexibility when editing. My favorite angle was a close-up head-on view of Dave swabbing the interior of his cheeks. (Fig. 1) I will have to find a better lit, larger location to stage the scenes—a sci-fi inspired Apple Store, a design studio, home office, a bedroom—I want to create. By the end of the week, I had a few personal leads and local photography studios in mind.

Fig. 2

I’ve been working with Tim Daly, owner of Dalymade, to finish the sensor prop and gas cylinders. On Sunday, I dropped off a few dozen sensors and six cylinders for paint. We discussed how he would need to smooth the edges of the sensors before painting them. (Fig. 2) Upon closer inspection, I decided that the sensors were too unrefined as compared to the other device components (stainless steel gas cylinder regulators and CNC aluminum display). I found suitable replacements in the form of perfectly machined disc-shaped magnets. I had them delivered directly to Tim’s studio, he was able to turn around all of the parts by the end of the week.

This week was a flurry, coordinating actors and crew. My plan was to film the user experience video with an actor at the end of the week, who, had agreed to the shoot weeks ago, but was difficult to get ahold of as the date approached. By mid-week, I cancelled because depending on him was more risk than I was willing to take on. Luckily I had the foresight to plan a fallback: friend and ITP student, Paragini Amin, was an early sounding board for this project and willing to devote up to up to three days playing the part. I was, and will continue to be, indebted to her desire to collaborate. Paragini and I plan on shooting the next week, which leaves just days to receive the display that is being fabricated in California, scout and finalize a location, organize a crew, and, not to mention, write a script.

Fig. 3

All the while, industrial engineers Jen Sutton and Martin Sullivan have sending updates on prototype fabrication, estimated delivery dates, and a parts hitch. Since we had finalized the drawings last week, Sutton and Sullivan “released them to the floor.” The prototype consists of a base and cap that require lathing and milling. Lathing was complete by mid-week (Fig. 3), however, milling won’t be able to occur until Saturday, pushing the delivery date close, very close, to the shoot date I have scheduled with Paragini. Sullivan also sent word of a snafu with the quartz glass display cylinder: one of them has the manufacturer’s logo etched into it. Although the manufacture offered to receive the parts, acid wash the logo off, and flame the area to smooth it over, doing so would set the project back days we couldn’t afford.

I end this weeknote with a quote by game designer and creator of Passage, Jason Rohr:

“You die only once, at the very end, and you are powerless to stave off this inevitable loss.” —Jason Rohr

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