XSD Consultant at Slalom Consulting and Advisory Board Member at Mint Gallery
Design | Greater Atlanta Area, US
I want to create experiences through apps and direction, bridging the gap between our digital and physical worlds by viewing users and devices as part of the emerging Internet of Things.
2014 - Present
Advisory Board Member / Mint Gallery
Mint Gallery works to cultivate a stronger creative community in Atlanta and throughout Georgia by providing exhibition space, curatorial opportunities, workshops and classes, and other resources for artists of all skill levels and backgrounds.
I'm there to help further that mission in any way I can by volunteering time, experience, and connections.
2013 - Present
XSD Consultant / Slalom Consulting
I dig deeply into many aspects of experience design including research, requirements, testing, prototyping, and layout for large companies in Atlanta assisting SVPs directly. Projects span iOS and Android apps, consumer facing websites, company intranets, and C-suite level presentations.
Currently working on a small team in UX and Development of innovations, primarily focused on a consumer product launch.
Quick Draw / Art Director / Mindpower
Art direction of branding and design of signature pieces for education, healthcare, and banking clients. My production skills were viewed as second-to-none and my ability to successfully work in all aspects of the design process made me an indepensible member of the team.
Projects included large print pieces, web front end, print ads, outdoor, and many points in between utilizing layout, photo art direction, and typography skills.
Graphic Designer / mPrint Design Studio
Here I cut my teeth diving into the world of professional print design, assisting in large design projects for the UGA Law School, Athens Film Festival, and St. Mary's Healthcare.
Production Assistant / Red & Black newspaper
Here I gained an appreciation then disdain for Quark Xpress. Intern to staff, I often worked late waiting for basketball games to end. The news knows no timeline!
Publications Executive / WUOG 90.5 FM
Here I did as much awesome stuff as I could think of with a small staff and alongside other student executive board members. The range of projects was as broad as I wanted it to be and I had a lot of fun in this environment balancing art school projects with professional ones.
All these feelings just make me want to get a plush Cloverfield Monster and sleep with it every night. There’s so much potential for cuddling. – Michael Diffenderfer, Movies We’ve Seen, Cloverfield: A Love Story
DeviantArt user SpaceVoyager listened and felt the same way, with devastatingly adorable results.
Monsters University has a .edu site! This is awesome, and so much funnier due to the fact that I work in higher-ed branding. So what are you doing on campus later? Want to go see Screaming in the Rain on the quad?
This is a fun little short film by Axelle Carolyn (seen here as an infected in DOOMSDAY [super hot, right?]). Love the look and feel of this piece, and if nothing else it truly shows the virtues of a solid puppy kindergarten.
I always get excited when I get to see Atlanta in a movie, and this is showing off quite a lot of it. There’s a lot of the Braves, Turner Field, and even, that evil place called Georgia Tech. Making it even better, the booth that Amy Adams and Clint Eastwood are sitting in is just up the street at a restaurant called Homegrown. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go be a creeper and see if Amy left any stray shed hairs or bits of toast or anything.
“Supine: A Dream” by Lyon Hill - Saw this at the Puppet Slam at the Center For Puppetry Arts on Friday. It is amazing. All presented live via illustrations and cutouts projected on to a screen and manipulated by hand. I’d gladly contribute to a feature-length version of something like this.
Without that much coercing from friends, I agreed to see Magic Mike today with the requisite gaggle of ladygirls. There was brunch. After lamenting that she didn’t have any friends getting married (i.e., no bachelorettes to plan), Olivia pulled from the oven cocktail weenies with crescent roll balls, and produced a boot mug filled with penis straws.
Despite my general embarassment about seeing this movie, I think brunch turned out to be far more inappropriate.
Here’s what I learned from seeing Magic Mike: Real-life conversations that you have inside bars don’t make for good entertainment, even if you think you are pretty funny.
Here’s what I took away from the experience:
1. I will happily watch Channing Tatum in a crappy dance movie, because he is a talented dancer.
2. I will watch a Steven Soderbergh movie, because he is a talented filmmaker.
3. These two individuals never have to work together again.
I think I may have enjoyed most of the movie, and I appreciated the awkward dialogue that felt like real life. Mike is a really sympathetic character, and you really feel for him. He gets sucked down this rabbit hole with the Adam character (Alex Pettyfer), like I think we have all gotten sucked in with a charismatic friend who doesn’t seem to see the big picture.
But I generally felt that the end was really forced, and that’s what you walk away with.
I’m not going to do any spoilers, because who knows, maybe you’ll break through the silliness and go see a movie where spangly thongs cover up the fact that it’s actually a decently serious story.
That ending just didn’t do it for me initially. When we walked out, I thought of two alternate endings that would have made more sense to me (or at least felt more substantial): 1) A triumphant “The Full Monty” ending or 2) A pit of despair “Requiem for a Dream” ending.
The actual ending didn’t do much for me at all; it just sort of came and went like a moment in time. Then I realized that it completely fits into the story it’s trying to tell - the reality one. So, good on you, I guess, Steven Soderbergh.
Although I could see how enjoying Baz Luhrmann’s work might be an acquired taste, I have typically enjoyed his movies. If I had television channels and Strictly Ballroom was on, I would drop everything to watch it. You probably know my feelings on Australia. Michael doesn’t like to talk about Moulin Rouge, but I have big love for it. R+J is the one that took some time for me to cozy up to, but I still enjoy it almost 15 years later.
Baz and the 20s just seem like an obvious fit, what with all the shiny, but the casting has seemed all wrong since I first heard about it.
After watching the trailer, I realized that I can probably live with the majority of the choices, but one seems so off the mark I feel compelled to post about it.
Tobey Maguire is Nick Carraway.
I’ve never really liked his movies. The Cider House Rules was OK but not because of anything he did. I guess I liked his performance in Wonder Boys, but both books were still far superior to their film counterparts.
So I don’t trust that Maguire can handle this critical of a character in an American classic. If Nick’s not a strong enough counter to Gatsby, the whole thing could fall apart. Maybe in a film-version he is less important than as the narrator of the book, but it’s hard not to feel like there are so many other, better actors out there.
Would that we could go back in time and mount a protest in favor of casting Joseph Gordon-Levitt into this role. He can play any character you throw at him, and we know he looks right in a vest.
Or even! Scrap the 20s setting, tell the meaty part of the story sans roaring glitz, and cast an up-and-coming black actor as Nick Carraway. Michael B. Jordan. Anthony Mackie. I think we have as much to say about wealth in America today as F. Scott Fitzgerald did then.
When I picture Tom Buchanan in my mind, I’ve always pictured a big, menacing guy (ex-football player, and all that). Tom Hardy is blowing up. How about him? Or maybe someone daintier but more threatening would work too, like Vincent Cassel, since we’re just spitballing here.
I’m largely in favor of Carey Mulligan as Daisy, but Jessica Chastain also comes to mind.
Jay Gatsby is tough. It’s hard to think of an actor who has the looks and the chops to show and not show everything that’s going on under the surface. Am I putting Gatsby on a pedestal? If Robert Redford could do it, maybe it doesn’t really take that much talent. I heart him, but I don’t know where I rank him on a list of great acting.
Maybe Gatsby’s just a dirty guy who wants to throw parties and “win” Daisy. It’s been a long time since I’ve read it, but I remember feeling for that character and his charade. I think Leonardo DiCaprio can do it, but I feel like there must be someone else out there I’d prefer to watch. What do you think?
Holy crap, y’all. The Dibbuk Box movie is finally a reality.
Based on one of the creepiest internet stories we’ve ever read, The Possession is a film that Emily will surely try her hardest to not watch.
(Note from Emily: My initial response was NOPENOPENOPENOPE. But I watched the trailer and I like The Exorcist, so I will watch this. I just can’t think about the original story between now and then, or thereafter.)
Michael has been anticipating the arrival of Drive in the mail for a while now. You should have seen him, giddy and jumping.
:You go run your errands and when you get back we can watch DRIVE!!!:
I didn’t actually know what I was getting into, so the MPAA warning was helpful. The film was rated R for “strong brutal bloody violence, language and some nudity.” The Motion Picture Association of America does not play and neither does “Driver.”
The editing and composition is downright strange, and definitely takes some getting used to. Michael insists that “those things [beyond the frame] aren’t important, since your mind can fill in the gaps anyway.” It builds a pretty consistent suspense around every scene that your brain isn’t quite able to compute. (Or maybe that’s just me, because I am a control freak?)
As the movie went on, it became more familiar (but never comfortable), and I began to appreciate it. Now, looking back, I think I loved it. The director (Nicolas Winding Refn) used the same editor as he’s used on his other films (Valhalla Rising, Bronson, which Michael has seen but I haven’t), and Tom Sigel for cinematography who has done more movies than I can even count (The Usual Suspects, Three Kings, Valkyrie, lots more). Golden triumverate of awesome.
When the action is not intense, the movie makes a pretty picture. One of my favorite scenes from the first-watch is Bernie Rose (Albert Brooks) sitting on the sofa after [REDACTED].
It’s spare and affecting, even though it’s a bit of a surprise from Bernie.
The characters are all strong, even the small ones. According to the bonus materials, the characters were fleshed out a great deal for the film - much beyond what was in the original book - and it shows. I’ve not read the book, but I suppose I will now. (Edit: I just read the “look inside!” and… don’t read the first page if you haven’t seen the movie yet. Meta Spoiler Alert!)
I’m not sure how these characters jibe with Sallis’ original intentions, but they certainly tell a story of their own, despite their frequent reticence.
When the movie came out, I heard a lot of people say they didn’t like it. I think those people were probably disappointed that it wasn’t your average action/drag-racing/heist movie. Well, I’m glad!
On the surface, the movie reads like a 100-minute music video, but to say it *is* a 100-minute music video would be dismissive of its triumphs. There’s a great deal more to Drive than 80s-inspired electronica and pink brush script fonts. (That stuff is still awesome, though.)
If you don’t mind the “strong brutal bloody violence,” we highly recommend a watch.
P.S. I wrote a review about a Ryan Gosling movie without pre-teen squeee-ing! I deserve a medal.