In 2011, I took the lead on boxing content for HBO.com. In addition to managing the editorial for the site and HBO’s boxing blog InsideHBOBoxing.com, I oversaw robust content packages to support the network’s pay-per-view events. During a major fight week, I’d assign dozens of articles, produce stylized news videos live from Las Vegas, and live-tweet the night’s action from ringside via @HBOBoxing. I also worked to launch new digital content initiatives, including ‘Under the Lights,’ a “pause-and-play analysis” web exclusive that grew quickly in popularity. (The segment for Pacquiao-Marquez 4 embedded below received more than 1 million views on YouTube during the two weeks surrounding the fight).
The online strategy for ‘Game of Thrones’ started almost a year in advance of the show’s premiere. I helped activate the hit novels’ existing fan base by writing and editing HBO’s official production diary for the show. In the lead-up to premiere, I also planned content on HBO’s sites to support an ambitious transmedia campaign launched by Campfire. Then in-season, the engagement strategy transitioned to helping viewers navigate the complicated world of GOT with an encyclopedic, tablet-friendly Viewer’s Guide. And throughout the 10 episodes, I outlined and created content to spur and deepen online conversation, including cast interviews, creator commentary and fan-focused recaps.
I was also integral to the creative development and execution of interactive special features for HBO’s new streaming service, HBOGO. A viewing experience different from anything else online, this new product presented contextually relevant info — behind-the-scenes production details as well as in-story enhancements — at precise moments during full-episode streaming.
HBO.com created the ultimate online companion for this epic World War II miniseries. Rich in archival video as well as show footage, the site explored the perils of the Pacific campaign unlike anything else online. Each episode detailed the Marines’ struggles on an interactive battle map, which I researched and scripted. I also wrote a series of historical backgrounders to accompany the episodes, tapping the expert knowledge of historian Donald L. Miller, and had the opportunity to profile Okinawa veteran Edmond G. Farah as he visited the WWII Memorial for the first time as part of the Honor Flight program.
The buzz around ‘True Blood’ exploded at the start of Season 2, and HBO.com responded by expanding its core site, adding brief video mashups to the character pages in addition to the regular fare (episode guides, music lists, bio info, etc). On the microsites for the American Vampire League and the Fellowship of the Sun, the content paralleled the story that viewers were experiencing onscreen. The two sites interacted with each other throughout the season, and in a hidden section of the FoS site, jock-turned-bomber Luke blogged his own descent into anti-vampire extremism.
As part of HBO Films’ promotion of ‘Grey Gardens’ — the feature-film version of a story that had already captivated fans as both a documentary and a Broadway show — I wrote profiles on both leading actresses, Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange. I also interviewed the film’s writer/director, costume designer, production designer and special-effects makeup designer to produce a behind-the-scenes piece for HBO.com.
It’s tough to dig fall foliage with a tree limb gouging your pal’s torso. Here are some backwoods medic tips so you can play hero. See you on Dateline!
Sliced: When your buddy’s need to knife-juggle turns your hike into a slasher flick, apply firm pressure for 10 minutes directly to the gash, says Dr. Paul S. Auerbach, author of Wilderness Medicine. If anything’s poking out – bones, robot innards – don’t put it back; you’ll introduce more bacteria. If your pal suddenly has clammy skin, a racing pulse, and shallow breathing, elevate his legs 30 degrees to pour blood back toward his heart to stave off shock. Camping is fun!
Smashed: When a limb is crushed by a falling Redwood, don’t try to amputate, regardless of how hopeless it seems or how bloodthirsty you are. “Once you cut a limb off … it’s off,” Auerbach says. But if the victim is trapped and your distance from doctors far outweighs his fear of shopping for single shoes, apply a tourniquet above the wound and just saw through it. Yum! If your pal doesn’t lose too much blood, he could have a full life of pirate impressions ahead of him.
Bitten: Assuming your trail bud wasn’t mauled to death by that kill-crazed liger, the key after an animal attack is to fully clean out the wounds. A bear, a wildcat, or an angry unicorn has more germs in its mouth than Amy Winehouse. According to Dr. Luanne Freer, a medical director at both Yellowstone and the Mount Everest Base Camp ER, “Simple dish soap will kill the rabies virus and get out the bacteria that can cause complications in the weeks to come.” So don’t forget to pack the Palmolive.
Gouged: Arrows, ski poles, javelins – no matter how ghastly it looks, don’t pull it out. Besides possibly shredding up more tissue, you’ll eliminate the one thing you’ve got going for you: a plug – the perfect stabilized state. “If it’s occluding a big blood vessel and you take it out, the person could bleed to death,” Auerbach says. If it’s not bleeding too badly, you have a little time (up to a day) before an infection kills him. “So, dude, you feel like finishing the hike and then heading to the ER?”
Burned: First, apply bandages. Then wrap them in plastic – keeping air off the scorched nerves diminishes the pain. And don’t underestimate simple meds. “Any anti-inflammatory will help,” says Freer. “I give Ibuprofen to some burn victims, even if I have narcotics.” Drinking lots of fluids is key. The body can lose liters of water in a few hours when there’s no skin left to retain it. In the meantime, give your ailing chum a stern talking to about how enflamed humans start forest fires, too.
Behind the marketing of HBO’s latest hit show
In addition to producing the core site content (episode guides, character bios, etc.) at HBO.com, I wrote copy for two microsites as part of a wider viral-marketing campaign launched by Campfire. These in-story sites represented two groups that appear in the show: The Fellowship of the Sun (an anti-vampire group) and the American Vampire League (which fights for the creatures’ civil rights).