The Guy Who Turned Cuomo’s Inspiring Words into a Video


Name: Peter Maiden

Age: 36

Hometown: Wildes Meadow, a small town outside Sydney, Australia.

Now Lives: In a two-bedroom, walk-up apartment in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn with his wife Bugs; their five-month-old daughter, Indigo; and a dog named Kevin Bacon.

Claim to Fame: Mr. Maiden is a founder and C.E.O. of Convicts NYC, a boutique creative agency in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, with a hip client roster that includes Ian Schrager and the Surf Lodge in Montauk. Last week, the agency released “We are NY Tough,” an uplifting video montage narrated with snippets from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s coronavirus briefings. The two-minute video has more than 1.5 million views on Twitter and has been shared by Hillary Clinton, Katie Couric, Ellen DeGeneres, Diddy and the governor himself.

Big Break: After winning a gold medal for Australia at the 2002 World Rowing Junior Championships, Mr. Maiden attended the University of California, Berkeley, on a rowing scholarship. In 2007, Mr. Maiden appeared on “I’m from Rolling Stone,” an MTV reality series in which aspiring journalists competed for a job at the music magazine. “I didn’t win, but Jann Wenner” — the magazine’s owner at the time — “took me under his wing and gave me a job as video director on staff,” Mr. Maiden said. “I roamed the United States interviewing artists and getting myself into the right kind of trouble.”

Latest Project: In March, Convicts NYC released “Electric Wave,” an arty four-minute homage to surfing featuring Stephanie Gilmore, a seven-time world surfing champion. The film, which was sponsored by Audi, was filmed at Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch, an artificial surfing lake in California’s Central Valley.

Next thing: One day after releasing “We are NY Tough,” Mr. Maiden was contacted by the governor’s office and plans to produce more inspirational videos, pro bono. “We want to do one that’s focused on health care and grocery store workers, and others that are out here right now, putting themselves at risk,” he said. “We would like to work with the governor’s office and direct people to resources, and where they can donate.”

But Can He Surf?: “I’m terrible,” Mr. Maiden said. “In the ’90s, when I was growing up going to the beach, boogie boarding was cool. So my dad bought me a boogie board, which is the worst thing he could have done.”



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