In addition to regular employment in Pittsburgh's film industry, my freelance work incorporates design and fabrication in a variety of trades:

2014 - Dave Randolph (friend and colleague) and I designed and constructed seven different projects for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. They included an oversized sandbox framed in artificial turf and a shack with chalk-boards on the inside and a white plastic surface to which kids could apply stickers on the outside, for the Pittsburgh International Children's Festival. For the Three Rivers Arts Festival we also built shelving units shaped like giant letters, a Before I die kiosk (pictured) and a display structure for environmentalist/artist Rose Clancy.
2013 - The Arts Festival asked Randolph and me to design and construct their "Mini Marina," sponsored by Dollar Bank. It was installed in and around the 1 Gateway Center fountain. During the Festival, children were encouraged to acquire a small, wooden sailboat from a "vending" cart and guide it around the fountain, interacting with floating buoys and a dock.
2010 - The Arts Festival asked me to develop an interactive Donation Kiosk. It spoke to passersby, and accepted bills and coins from them. During idle periods, it goaded people with randomly selected messages to persuade them to give more cash. Using vending-machine technology it counted deposited change and greenbacks until the donor pushed a "Donation Complete" button. The reward was a musical fanfare accompanied by a very polite word of thanks and an announcement stating the amount of the donation.

Driven by a microprocessor, it flashed its illuminated buttons and signs, "speaking" with a Digital Audio Repeater which contained a collection of pre-recorded soundfiles. Dave Randolph constructed its weatherproof shell.
2009 - I designed and built eight windmills to draw attention to the Arts Festival's Information Kiosks. The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, which sponsors the Festival, subsequently requested five more, featuring all thirteen in its 25th Anniversary celebration. The windmills have been used in subsequent Arts Festivals, and to promote "Gallery Crawls" and First Night festivities.
For the Carnegie Museum of Natural History's Exhibits Office, I scripted interactivity, designed hardware interfaces for, and/or assisted with the general installation of such exhibits as "Coelophysis," "Wild Blue Planet," "Earth Revealed," "Extreme Earth," "Bog People," "Stuffed Animals," "Amazon Voyage" and most recently "The Horse."
2008 - I designed and supervised the constructeion of "My Recycled Prayer," a giant (5-meter tall) animated praying mantis, for the Three Rivers Arts Festival. The windmill "wings" on his back drove a mechanical linkage causing his head to rotate back and forth, as well as a small electrical generator that lit up his eyes.

In keeping with the Festival's "transition to green" theme, he was made almost entirely of recycled and recyclable materials. When the Festival closed we dismantled him and, to the best of our ability, recycled his components. (CREDITS, PHOTOS, VIDEO)
2008 - I was the Technical Designer for Space Available, an installation by Artist Kim Beck (no relation), a member of the Faculty in the Carnegie Mellon School of Art. Featured in the Pittsburgh Biennial 2008 exhibition, it was a 3-meter tall billboard with no display surface, sitting outdoors on the roof of the gift shop at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, at Fifth and Shady Avenues in Shadyside. (PHOTOS)
2007 - Artists Upstairs (ArtUp) selected a group of mechanical puppets I had created in 1983 to be included in their SWITCHBACK exhibition in the Gallery at 937 Liberty Avenue. The theme of SWITCHBACK was "artists who create traditional art using untraditional materials and artists who create untraditional art using traditional materials." I was never quite sure in which category I belonged. (PHOTOS)
2007 - For the First Night Pittsburgh festivities I worked with Designer Tavia LaFollette, of Artists Upstairs, and Venise on a 3.5-meter tall puppet / float representing the River Muse. A large articulated face on the belly of a three-headed, winged seahorse, it rolled down Penn Ave. in the First Night Parade. (PHOTOS)
2006 - Venise and I worked for Major League Baseball as "Prop Masters" for the All-Star Fanfest. The job actually consisted of maintaining supplies (bats, balls fielding mits and prizes) in the various competitive booths on the Fanfest floor.
2005 - For the Zany Unbrella Circus' performances of "Tinker" at the Three Rivers Arts Festival, my friend and colleague Dave Randolph and I built a zany bicycle, inspired by a design sketch by company member Alberto Almarza. It had an umbrella mounted above it, but when the handlebars were squeezed together (Arnold Schwarzenegger style), the umbrella split in half to become a pair of "bat wings" that flapped with the motion of the handlebars. (PHOTOS)
2004 - I created mechanical special effects for Lift, a charming 30 minute Romantic Comedy starring Dominique Pinon. The film was written, produced and directed in Pittsburgh by Jeff Garton and Hughes Dalton. (PHOTOS)
For German artist Christian Jankowski and the Carnegie Museum of Art, I drew on my early experiences at Pittsburgh's Lovelace Theatre Company, bringing the Museum's mascot Art Cat to life in Puppet Conference 2003. Derek was my "second hand." He animated the cat's right hand and tail.

In this "art video" Art Cat moderates a symposium in which famous puppets contemplate the historical role of Puppets in Television. The distinguished panel consists of Grover (Sesame Street), Fozzie Bear (The Muppet Show), the notorious but adorable Lamb Chop (accompanied by Shari Lewis' daughter, Mallory), and Mr. Shelby, the turtle in The Magic Woods.
2002 - I designed the sound for Milton's Eyes, a 15-minute comic film directed by Greg Lehane.
For many years I freelanced in Carnegie Mellon's Media Design Center, headed by Videographer Ralph Vituccio until the University phased out the entire operation. My primary function was as music editor and audio mixer for a number of video projects.

I also designed computer animations for several Media Design Center projects including a fund-raising video for the yet to be constructed Purnell Center for the Arts, and I co-designed "The Daily Challenge" (pictured), an interactive introduction to Student Life, for the Carnegie Mellon Undergraduate Admissions website.
1995 - I collaborated with Producer Patty McKeown, Director Ron Hankison and Advisor Margo Lovelace on a pilot for "Doctor Zoology," a children's educational TV program. For this episode, known as "The Tamarin Mystery," I helped with script editing, supervised computer animations and designed and built physical props.
Site updated 3/28/2015