MEET #30 TODD LAMB
Writer/Director/Creative Director • New York, NY
Worked at Google Creative Lab, Mother NY, W+K and Goodby. Created "Notes From Chris" and developed TV pilots and scripts for NBC, Adult Swim and Sundance Channel.
1. How long have you been freelancing?
Since 2007. Longer than I anticipated when I left a staff job that year. Now I see a larger shift where freelance/project basis is becoming the standard for creative people.
2. Is there a time or place that you feel most creative/have the best ideas?
Morning. I need coffee and silence to come up with ideas. Then I put on good music to grow those ideas.
3. What's your ideal Working:Not Working ratio?
70% Working on things I care about.
30% Not working.
0% Working at Halliburton with Dick Cheney.
4. Do your parents understand what you do?
I don’t strive for that. If I was looking for my parents approval, I’d be a dentist with a law degree.
5. What scene from a movie makes you laugh just thinking about it?
I’m a comedy nerd, so I’ll give you two: The scene in Woody Allen’s Broadway Danny Rose where he’s coaching a professional balloon folder. And the scene in Albert Brooks’s Lost In America where he’s begging a casino boss for his money back.
6. If you were stranded on a desert island, with your computer, what 3 websites would you take with you?
NYTimes.com (I subscribe to the paper and I read it online.)
My Google account (Google Docs, Chat and Gmail are the center of any production or project that I do.)
RobertPollard.net The man behind the band Guided By Voices. He has a thousand other musical side projects and spin-off bands. He makes his own album art with collages. He puts out like 12 albums a year, and never lets up. The guy is always making something new, and 95% of it is amazing. He’s a big inspiration to me.
7. What do you do when Not Working?
I do lots of other creative projects. I recently produced a female human being – my wife and I had a baby girl. So that’s a project I’m working on. I tend to work on it at 3:30 AM.
And I’m currently working on a web series with NYC fashion designer Rachel Comey. In April, we’ll start a livestream series featuring NYC’s best female comedians and storytellers. One performance per week will livestream on RachelComey.com. It starts on April 4th at 4pm with Starlee Kine (from NPR’s This American Life) and the next one is on April 11th at 4pm with Carrie Brownstein (Portlandia, Sleater Kinney).
8. Do you have a hidden talent?
After 13 years of meetings, I can spot the bullshit artists in two sentences or less. I call them “bad actors”. We’re all making it up as we go. But some people are better actors than others. The bad actors don’t offer much to the situation. If you’re not sure, a distinct sign is when they repeat what the guy before them said – but in vaguely different words.
9. Any tips or advice for fellow freelancers?
Don’t wear cologne. It’s nauseating.
10. What's your favorite thing on the internet this week?
Matador Records produced a music video for Kurt Vile’s upcoming album, featuring Steve ESPO Powers. It’s part music video / part documentary. The painted sign that ESPO made acts as three things: the album’s cover art, the music video, and the “commercial” for the album. I love the song and I love the idea. I’m usually only jealous of comedy, but I wish I did it.
Notes from Chris
What started as a single note hung outside my apartment, became an online meme posted as far away as Australia. Featured frequently on Funny or Die and The Huffington Post, these are notes posted around NYC by a fictional character – a lonely man named Chris. Chris has lots of problems. He loves snacks. Visit the Pinterest board to see the gallery of notes I've created over the past four years.
TV commercial for Google+ Hangouts. Created while at Google Creative Lab.