Information Diet: David Wain

The 'Wanderlust' director enjoys curating news and notes on his iPhone but draws a line when it comes to games like Angry Birds


Who David Wain

Age 42

Accomplishments Writer/director of Wet Hot American Summer, Role Models and the upcoming Wanderlust (Feb. 24): creator/star of Web series Wainy Days, Hosted by My Damn Channel (available on DVD Feb. 14)

Base New York

What’s the first information you consume in the morning?

It’s either my email, or I listen to the news on the NPR iPhone app, or I look at the headlines of The New York Times.

What do you read or watch or listen to at the breakfast table?

I usually eat breakfast out. On my way to breakfast, I listen to podcasts. My favorites are This American Life and Fresh Air and film-related podcasts like Filmspotting and The Q&A With Jeff Goldsmith.

What occupies your mind in the car, on the subway, train or bus?

I listen to music. Sometimes I play karaoke and sing if I feel like I need to get my energy up. I have my iPod on shuffle so the music selection usually ranges from what I was listening to at age 10 until today.

Are you a TV junkie or on an airtime-restricted diet?

I don’t watch too much TV. After a whole day of working on a screen, to then go home and flip on the television and watch more . . . I don’t want to do that.

If you’re a couch potato, what do you watch and how: TV, laptop or tablet?

I make sure to catch Mad Men and Louie. Otherwise, there are a lot of shows I’ve seen one or two episodes of and thought were amazing—like Boardwalk Empire—but there just isn’t time. I do watch TV shows on my iPad—I have favorite shows from the past that I occasionally revisit, like The West Wing and Six Feet Under.

Before bed, do you bite into a novel, graze on Twitter or fast until morning?

I sound like such a nerd. Before I go to bed, I read Instapaper. I collect articles all day, and at night, I sit with my iPhone and I just read Instapaper like a book.

Which is more nutritious: print or Web?

I know that there’s something physiologically different about reading print. But with the advent of things like Instapaper where you can just look at the text you’re interested in without distractions, the Web can be a really great help.

Give us the skinny on your favorite app.

I really love Notesy. It’s a Dropbox-based app where I keep my notes and information in one place. It syncs with my laptop so I have this collection of text files that are instantly searchable, anywhere.

What’s your biggest digital indulgence?

I find myself getting very addicted to games and having to get rid of them. I played Angry Birds for awhile and had to stop. Like, I would cancel meetings to keep playing Angry Birds.

With such a bloated media universe, how do you cut out the fat?

I think it’s mental. It’s making a decision that you don’t need to keep track of everything. I try to stop myself from going into surf mode when I could just close the screen.