The Empire State Building Flash-A-Thon

Part II


ESB I | Cell to Serial | Main site | Back

Last year, Joe Hobaica and I got a whole bunch of people together on the top of the Empire State Building to do The Wave with flash cameras. Many people seemed to enjoy it the first time, so we had to do it again.

For those people wanting to know about the technical details of running the camera from a cell phone, go here.

This time we had two big advantages: more people (about 40), and fewer tourists.

It's cold on top of the Empire State Building at night in March (March 10, 2000, to be precise), so not a lot of tourists visit there. This worked well for us, as we were able to take many more spaces along the south face of the building. In addition, we had learned our lesson from last time, and mailed well over a hundred people, including a few hapless mailing lists. We got about 40 people to show up, and were able to fill most of the south face this time.

We had two video cameras watching it this time, one at the Tisch School of the Arts at Broadway & Waverly, and one at Midori Yasuda's apartment on 18th St. in the East Village. A friend of Bill Braine's was apparently videoing it too, and I look forward to seeing that tape someday.


Joe & Billy

Greg (Sewell) & Lucia. Greg looks apprehensive. Perhaps it's the raw excitement in the air.

Drew and someone's back.

Ever wonder what the tourists get back when they develop their pictures?

Here it is.

Greg (Shakar) & Renato. Guys named Greg all look apprehensive this night.


Sarah (Stevenson) & Nate. Sarah, breaking with established flash-a-thon practice, chooses to aim her camera carefully.

The crowd, post-shoot and pre-drinks.

The crowd again.

Bill Braine was not featured prominently enough in the first shot.

Bill and Claudia, taken by someone who decided to aim the flash at Bill's gut,
for reasons unknown. Thanks to Bill for the photo.


The Videos

(You'll need Quicktime 3.0 or later)

I chose to break them up in pieces this time. People complained about the 11MB download last time. Imagine that.

Jaime's Camera (721 Broadway, 12th floor) Midori's Camera (E. 18th St)

West to East line (743KB) (the second time. The first time looks mighty, um, random)
(Try this link or this link if that one doesn't work)

West to east line. (604KB)

East to West Line (818KB)(Again, the first time, well, sucks.)
(Try this link or this link if that one doesn't work)

East to west line. (711KB)

An attempt at a single flash. (105KB)Note Jaime's audio comment
(Try this link if that one doesn't work)

An attempt at a single flash (100KB)
At the end, we all huddled in a corner and took a shot (100KB)
(Try this link or this link if that one doesn't work)
Group shot (457KB)
  Everyone goes crazy with the flashes (918KB)



A lot of people helped put this all together:

The plan was dreamed up by a number of people, including (but not limited to) Brad, Joe Hobaica, Jamie Barnett, Mark McClusky, Ellen McDermott, Maura Johnston, and me.

Joe handled all the email work this time; I was only a forwarding tool.

Midori Yasuda and Jaime Villarreal were the camera crew for this one. Thanks to them for missing the fun part to make sure it was documented. Thanks also to Sarah Teitler for covering the camera at Tisch during the pre-event cell phone test.

Thanks to the Interactive Telecommunications Program at the Tisch School of the Arts, NYU for the video equipment, for allowing me to spend a week getting this all together, and for loads of fine people who flashed well.

Thanks to Anne Marie in the Dean's office at Tisch for the use of the Dean's conference room, which had an excellent view of the top. Thanks also to Richard Pierce in the Tisch publicity office for his blessing to put a camera there.

Bill Braine let me abuse him verbally so much during the planning and execution, and that was nice of him. He's a heck of a nice guy, really.

ESB I | Cell to Serial | Main site | Back