Freelance update

Really interesting time this.

Since going freelance at the end of July, the amount and variety of work that’s come my way has steadily increased. It’s still manageable, although I am essentially working 7 days a week at present. I do take some time off, although it doesn’t tend to be whole days.

This last week serves as a good example. For starters, there’s been the ongoing work with 21 Foundation – an educational organisation established by Tokyo International School founder Patrick Newell, to help bring about significant changes  in education systems worldwide. More on that in due course, but suffice to say, with my educational background, this is right up my street.

Whilst I was taken on for the social media side of things for 21F, there’s been a fair bit of groundwork to do, and also the coordination of the subtitles for the foundation’s film, 21:21 (out soon. We’re making good progress though – it’s great to see things take shape. I’m also creating a new website, which I hope to get online this week, provided domain changes go through without any hitches (Google Apps here we come!).

Nike Elite Training Football Coach Leigh MansonLast week I launched a new website for my brother-in-law Leigh’s company, Total Football. That was a fair bit of work: much of the content was created from scratch, and the design took a great deal of time (I create all the graphics myself). As you can see from the layout, it’s powered by WordPress, a platform I’m increasingly happy to hack for client purposes.

I’ve also taken, edited and uploaded or forwarded over 1,500 photos this week for a couple of client projects.

Then there’s been the video project that I undertook for a local company participating in a large trade show. The two videos both weigh in at over an hour fifteen minutes, meaning my computer has been going non-stop overnight every night rendering the work I’ve done during the day (as it is now).

Thrill the World Tokyo (video) served as a short break, both filming on Saturday and quickly editing yesterday afternoon.

Next week I’ll be going to visit a new client regarding their use of social media, and another meeting about a potential physical challenge that would see me cycle the whole of Japan (that depends a lot on whether the sponsors we have in mind will get on board). Fingers crossed.

Alongside this I’m continuing to work on the Tokyo Marathon 2011 campaign – both physical training to ensure that I can carry the rig I’ll need to support multiple cameras and computers, and also the planning and construction of the necessary gear.

Planning for TEDxTokyo 2011 is also now underway – I’ll be heading the social media / live stream team for that.

These bits and bobs all help keep me out of mischief and pay the iTunes app store bills. I’m now earning more than I ever earned as a full-time employee, which is very helpful what with our Christmas trip to the UK, and am loving the variety. Managing my time requires a good deal of discipline, but I’m getting a lot better at that.

It’s an exciting period in my life; I feel things are really progressing.


Cunning Caterpillar

I was in for a shock during my regular garden inspection this morning – my precious broccoli seedlings had been ravaged!  It didn’t take long for me to deduce who was responsible for this outrage – he was still on the scene, clamped tight to the stem, munching away on the remains of the leaf.

Seeing me however, he realised his game might be up – it was time for camouflage mode. Releasing his jaws from the top of the stem, he slowly leaned back, gradually tilting out until he was at a 45 degree angle to the stem. Once there, he stopped still, making like a twig.

Unfortunately, he’d neglected to take into account the fact that this was a baby broccoli seedling he was attached to – and not a big brown tree.

The scream he made as I flicked him off our third floor balcony was pretty horrific, but given the damage he’d inflicted, it fell on deaf ears.

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Zombies rise from the asphalt in Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park

A few weeks back I was introduced by friend & entrepreneur Dave Mori to his wife Andrea – she was organising Thrill the World Tokyo – would I be interested in live-streaming it?

Knowing that I had far too much on already, I said yes, and on Saturday night following a meeting with the organiser of the upcoming Rock Challenge Japan (regarding live streaming and photography) I headed over to Yoyogi Park.

Apparently Thrill the World has been happening for a number of years now. Groups gather in all corners of the globe and, at the prescribed hour, simultaneously begin the Thriller zombie dance routine.

Although I’d gone along to do the live broadcast (over the emobile data network), just before the dance started I was asked if I could also record it for upload afterwards. I wasn’t exactly prepared for this, thus the video isn’t exactly the best. Still, for a rush job, in the dark, it’s not bad.

It was also quite a bit of fun!

YouTube have blocked embedding due to copyright on the music, but I don’t think facebook have reached that stage yet, so here we go.