Jean-Frédéric is an Interactive Director and Founder of “Cher Ami” who loves working with talented people to imagine good stories.
What’s your name and do you have a nickname?
My name is Jean-frédéric but all my friends are calling me JF or Jeff. Jean-Frédéric is only for my Mum when she is angry at me.
My studio : www.cher-ami.tv
My Portfolio : www.03prod.com
Where do you live and work?
After ten years working in Paris, I decided to open the Creative Studio “Cher Ami” in Lyon, France.
How old are you?
I am 32 years old now.
What’s your current job?
I don’t really know anymore what is my job. When you found a company, you have to do so many things… nevertheless i try to spend as much time as possible to do what I love and to design innovative and well crafted experiences.
Do you have a regular morning routine?
I am a new father and my wife has to go early to her office so my morning routine is to take care of my son and to bring him to the daycare.
What have been your career highlights so far and best places to work?
I spent an amazing year at BETC DIGITAL. I worked with extremely talented creative directors and i learn that you can reinvent the business of a brand with good ideas. It was also a very frustrating period because i wanted to be part of every projects.
That’s why I move to a smaller studio called Grouek to be the Creative Director and we produce so many projects in 3 years. During my last year at grouek, I have the chance to launched two amazing projects “ A trip out to sea” & “Batman Arkham Origins - The Joker's Job Interview” which received 5 lions each in Cannes.
Do you have a personal project, or a project that you worked on that you are most proud of?
When I was in school, I imagined a very ambitious and funny interactive TV series that I was really proud of. But then i took a job and didn’t developed enough this project but now that i found my own company i really want to allow time to personal work.
Can you tell us about the first time you heard about the FWA?
When I was a student at the Gobelins School, we were all visiting theFWA.com everyday.
When did you start judging for FWA?
I begin to start judging for FWA in 2012 when I was the Creative Director of Grouek.
How many FWA winning projects have you worked on?
Around 12 I think.
What do you think qualifies you to judge other people’s work, and what attracted you to being a judge?
I’m not sure to have the qualification for this role but I’m deeply passionate about digital experiences, design and storytelling so I am really proud to be part of the judging panel.
What was the first thing that blew your mind on the internet?
Probably the work of North Kingdom like Vodafone “Futurevision” or Get the Glass. Robert Lindström was a great inspiration for me at the beginning.
Favourite FWA winner in the last 6 months?
The Network effect ( http://networkeffect.io/ ). I’m a huge fan of the work of Jonathan Harris ( http://therethere.is/ ). He always work on how you feel sensations at the digital age.
Favourite FWA winner of all time?
Probably Get the Glass !
Where and when do you do your judging? Do you have a ritual when it comes to judging?
Now I judge with my team every Monday at the end of our weekly meeting. It’s a nice way to share ideas and to talk about design and technology.
What makes a site an instant win?
I’m always looking for a good idea but the design has to serve the idea. It has to be obvious.
What things annoy you / make you immediately vote no?
An ugly homepage. The first impression is so important on the web.
What are the top 3 things you look for in an FWA award winner?
Nice use of the technology
What are the characteristics of an FWA SOTM in your mind?
I want to be jealous of the people who work on the project !
How do you stay impartial when you judge a website for a big brand, or one designed by a major agency?
When you are super busy, the easiest way to judge is to look at the brand or at the agency but when you are a small agency it’s so annoying to see always the same winners.
So I try to stay impartial
How has the web changed in the last 10 years, how do you see it changing in the next 10?
The web is no more a subject that was produced apart. The web is strongly connected to the retail, to the marketing, to the branding, to the product design… We have to work more and more closely with our clients to imagine a storytelling that can live everywhere. The devices are changing but the emotion stay.
Which agencies have impressed you the most over the years?
I am really impressed by companies like Hello Monday or B-Reel that really achieve to evolve nicely.
Do internet awards matter?
Of course it’s important. It’s important for the team, for the client, for the studio.
It’s always a nice way to end a project.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Never blame the client when you loose a pitch. Work harder to win the next one.
What keeps you awake at night?
I try to spend a long time every evening with my wife and my son but I often work several hours when the house is asleep.
What is the best part about being a judge for FWA?
After some time spending judging websites, I always come back at my work with the feeling that I doing crap and it motivate me to improve my work.
What kind of music do you listen to?
I listen a lot of different style but I have a very strong connexion with music and it really influence my way to work and my mood.
Would you recommend other people get involved in judging for FWA?
Of course !