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Is “Beyond Infinity” a Good Goal, or Going Too Far?

Vancouver Institute of Media Arts (VanArts) organized a 3-day Animation Masterclass in New York, NY: Story Development, Character Design & Animation. The event featured three brilliant creatives from Pixar Animation Studios, Story Supervisor Matthew Luhn, Lead Production Designer Ricky Nierva, and Directing Animator Andrew Gordon.
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Have a Click and a Smile


Computers can do so much when in the hands of creative people. For years this has challenged me because I always thought that advertising was a creative realm, yet most of the industry’s output seems misguided and flaccid.

This week I came across two campaigns that really embrace my ideals, not just to sell more shit to people who don’t need it, but also to play, and take the power of a brand to help spread some international goodwill.
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Marvin Hamlisch: Good Sport and a Gentleman

Marvin Hamlisch died.

While not a huge fan of all his work (his disco “Spy Who Loved Me” soundtrack is now cringe-inducing), he was quite a musical marvel, winning pretty much every major creative prize way before Tracy Morgan joked about EGOTs.

But what I will always remember about him is a wonderful stepping stone in my career that coincided with a huge moment in my person life. Short story: He was a gentlemen and a good sport, and for that I will always be grateful.

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A Non-Eulogy – “Six Shades of Flash”

Flash is Dead... Long Live Flash?

I understand many of the issues people have with Flash, and even agree with a lot of them. But the there’s no other program out there that can do so much and reach so many. So in fairness, or as a list of what post-Flash-app developers may want to consider, I offer the following list of stuffs I still dig about Flash.

With all this bad press, you’d think Adobe Flash kills Kitten Memes.

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It’s crazy how a word can lose it’s meaning, like ‘interactive.’ It used to mean something that’s engaging and full of possibilities, but now it usually just means “it’s on a computer.”

This is especially true in advertising, where ‘Interactive Art Directors’ congratulate themselves on linear animations that are nothing more than silent TV commercials. Their flat banner ads play in 728×90, 160×600 and 300×250 configurations, usually to the aggravation of web site visitors. They offering nothing new, and if you missed the animation all you’re usually left with is an option to “click for details.”
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Streaming TV Ads


Advertising agencies still don’t know how to use technology to really benefit their clients. In general, clients want what’s new and sexy while measuring effectiveness with inapplicable rulers. Business and creative people think they know and understand it, but they usually don’t. Meanwhile, developers struggle to keep up with “what’s new,” while juggling non-technical schedules and expectations. This battle between ego, ignorance and bureaucracy is, sadly, pretty common, and probably the reason behind so many streaming TV ads, a bad idea that’s usually executed badly.

The worst offenders IMHO are companies who stream their ads before you can watch what you want to watch. Hulu,, the big networks, they all do this to some level. One one hand it’s brilliant: Companies get to show off their product to a “new” audience by showing a TV ad that’s already done and paid for. In exchange, websites get money to pay for hair restoration, fake tattoos, and other stuff websites spend money on.

However there are two major problems here:

ONE: Forcing an target audience to do something they don’t want to do is a turn-off.

TWO: It’s often done incorrectly, becoming an even bigger turn-off.

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Seth Godin and Ted Kusio

Seth Godin and Ted Kusio (l to r)

Usually when you see someone famous and want to say “Hi,” you either have to fight a mob or intrude on their privacy. So I let celebrities have their crowd or their peace, without me.

However when author Seth Godin joined us at the NYC Meetup on June 14th, he didn’t hold court with a select few, he didn’t just say “Hi” to the organizers and leave, so he could officially say “I was there.” No, he made the rounds, walked up to people and said “Hi.”
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Art Thou Indispensable?

Director's Chair

Pull up a chair and film a while…

A lot of people have read and been moved by the ideas in Seth Godin‘s book Linchpin. So when he suggested getting together on June 14th, a world-wide series of gatherings sprouted with gusto.

This could be really exciting, a chance to meet others who question current ways, who are ready to work toward improvement, who are willing to try something new, who know risk is part of the game.

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I had this idea a long time ago. Really! I did!

Then again, it’s not THAT original: Others have mentioned it. Yet we didn’t make it a reality, Amp did. Of course I’m talking about Caffeinated Orange Juice.

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Kill My Banner Ads, Please

Can we please agree to bury the banner ad? It served its purpose, but at this stage it’s mostly just digital noise.

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