I typically refer to my calendar in Outlook when I experience a lapse in consciousness and forget the exact date, the weeks fly by and it is not uncommon for me to lose track of what day of the month it is.

Those of us who break up our year by project schedules and delivery dates know exactly what I am talking about.

On November 28th I did something that changed my view of how important the FWA is in my life.

I did something so strange that it made me stop and really think.

What I did was I referred to the FWA for the exact date rather than my Outlook calendar or operating system clock on the lower right hand corner of my computer screen.

Ironically the theme of the site of the day for November 28th is time, Flickr Time to be exact.

With the year coming to an end, and this strange occurrence I was instantly inspired to dedicate this article to a year in review and a glimpse of what to expect in 2007.

2006 proved to be a monumental year; we witnessed the maturation and dominance of Flash video, inspiring new interfaces, breath taking designs and breakthroughs in interactivity and user experience.

Now let’s take a moment and reflect on the achievements made, technologies introduced and the groundwork laid down for the coming year and what we can expect to see day in and day out on our favourite website awards in the year to come.

The small screen made a huge impact this year, it redefined how the public gathered and transmitted information, users spent countless hours watching and uploading videos, playing games, interacting and engaging in all kinds of content on the web. The majority of the content was delivered via Flash.

Designers and developers worked endlessly pushing the limits of what Flash is capable of and delivering some of the coolest sites we have seen so far, not just in the way they look and feel but how they deliver content, interactivity and functionality.

Some of the more memorable sites not only dazzled us but also set the bar and level of complexity that should be expected from Flash websites. In 2006 advertisers pumped millions of dollars into Flash websites that would bring their brands to life and add value to their products and services.

In turn developers delivered a new level of excellence proving that the interactive medium can fully handle itself as a mainstream marketing and entertainment platform.

In 2006 I was particularly impressed with this year’s batch of automotive sites. Who could forget Helga as she joined you for a ride in your own custom VW GTI?

What about the sheer exhilaration of test driving a SAAB on an open airfield and the sleek fluid navigation when checking out the features of the SAAB Aero X.

This list would not be complete without mentioning the highly interactive and very strange Suzuki Wolfboys site that took things to a whole new level.

The automotive industry wasn’t the only one fueling the creativity in 2006. The fashion world took a step forward into the interactive realm with some really sexy sites that not only extended the personality of the labels but gave users a place to preview new styles and attitude that created a stronger connection with brand.

Legendary Flash developer Yugo Nakamura redefined the shopping experience with the Uniqlo Explorer.

The urban brand House gave us a truly bizarre and interesting site to play with and Levi’s Japan gave us a rather American take on Rock & Roll.

Marc Cain Fashion delivered the runway right to our desktops and Diesel once again took us to Flash heaven with another killer site.

Beverages made a big splash this year with my favorite being Smirnoff’s site for the new Bond premier.

Equal in size was Heineken’s mammoth summer promotional site depicting the beverage in a larger than life format.

Red Bull’s recruitment site was a blast of energy as was Full Throttle’s the day before.

In 2006 we saw more great work from the usual perennial superstars like Nike who gave us two amazing sites in Jumpman and the highly innovative Nike Air site.

Altoids also kept flexing their Flash muscles with a charming new Valentines Day site.

There was the usual healthy dose of amazing photography sites like Magnum in Motion and Lauren Greenfield to name a few. There are cruise ships, and interactive worlds, experimentations and innovations, 2006 gave us a wide spectrum of diversity and culture.

A big surprise this year was Adobe coming out with some really creative Flash sites that featured some of the advanced capabilities featured in Flash.

FWA 2006 also gave us some great interviews with the interactive industries brightest stars.

Amazing insight from Pascal Leroy to Mike Geiger to Joonyong Park and historical background and interesting twists from Firstborn’s Michael Ferdman and Fantasy’s David Martin.

Every interview this year was a peek into the lives of the people driving this industry and the genius behind all of the great work being produced.

Firstborn is one of the firms who has always been active on the FWA, specializing in creating interactive wonders and a respected name in this industry for quite some time now.

2007 will be marking our 10 year anniversary as an interactive agency.

As a producer at Firstborn I am extra excited about the coming year, it will be a year that we will once again push the level of our work to new heights and launch some really exciting new projects for our clients and a few new internal surprises to look out for as well.

2006 was an exciting year at Firstborn; we launched some truly amazing sites like Nationwide insurance that fed directly into a Times Square billboard.

We hatched a site for Perdue, rocked out with JBL on its Destination Anywhere Tour, spent time with the Stride Gum marketing team, stitched a quilt for FordMalibu Rum. and partied with

Those were just a few of the memorable sites we launched in 2006 and we are even more excited about what is in store for 2007!

What is in store for 2007? Layers! Lots of new interactive layers over video, audio, flash and more! I think we can all look forward to the convergence of some of the amazing video motion graphics and flash skills that have been on display all year.

We will see more creative implementations of alpha video in flash and interactive video characters such as the recently popular Stuntman.

Im sure everyone has January 10th marked on their calendars for the highly anticipated new website from Group94.

We will also see the mini-site step up as a huge player in many new ad campaigns, and I think we will also be seeing more user generated content where people will be mixing video clips, creating avatars, environments and lots and lots of 3D.

Im particularly excited about the new ideas, it is the idea that makes the site. It is the clever angles and the intelligent implementation, the smart ass effects and the sexy treatments. The details! It’s the small details that turn me on. It is the attention to the movement and the subtleties that make Flash so irresistible.

That is what I personally will be looking out for in 2007. The new talent and the new ideas will be what will make 2007 a year to look forward to.

About the Author, Craig Elimedliah
(former) Producer, Firstborn

Craig Elimeliah (former) Producer at Firstborn Multimedia. He is a native New Yorker who started his design career in Jerusalem. Craig has a background in design, technology, project management, entrepreneurship and sales.

When Craig is not producing projects for Firstborn he spends his time with his kids, writing, painting and cooking.

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