It was a time of my life that was really incredible, as I put together teams of some of the most talented people I have ever worked with. Our appetite for doing things that hadn't been done before bled through the entire agency.

Your name, plus your original "web name/handle"

I am Jason Zada.

When I was younger I ran a Commodore BBS, then an Amiga BBS.

For as long as I can remember I have gone by Shiny Robot. It became my DJ name. On my social medias, I am simply jasonzada.

Your first web encounter, year etc.

Web encounter sounds dirty. But I guess I'd have to say when I was working in CD-ROMS in SF in 1994.

I started on online record label in 1995 and registered my first domain name in 1996. It was Manipulation.com.

South Park in San Francisco was the birth place of the web, for the most part, so most days you could catch me hanging out there. 

What our readers might recognise you most for, when you first hit the web.

In 1998 I started a small web design company called spyplane. We did some great work and  really were pioneering Flash technology, animation and design at the time.

My partner Greg Hipwell and I created a site called Spiff, which grabbed the attention of the New York Times in September of 1998 (http://nyti.ms/13Y5uwI).

It was an artistic playground of technology and design.

I'd have to say the biggest first "hit" was Elf Yourself in 2006. While it didn't win many awards, it's the project that lights people's eyes up when you mention it. 

Your digital journey since. 

After the Internet imploded in 2000, I started a company called Evolution Bureau (EVB).

I realized that I was happier working for myself and really loved creating work that was innovative and new. Above all of that I was attracted to creating content. I never wanted to create an agency, but I did want to create content that people fell in love with and connect with on an emotional level. 

Over the years we produced a lot of incredible, ground-breaking work.

For Leapfrog, we create a web site that featured full motion video characters interacting with you.

For Winterfresh gum, we created one of the first consumer generated ad campaigns.

adidas allowed us to create some truly rich content for various sports.

It was a time of my life that was really incredible, as I put together teams of some of the most talented people I have ever worked with. Our appetite for doing things that hadn't been done before bled through the entire agency. 

In 2006, Omnicom took a majority stake in the company and we had grown to over 65 people.

It was a hard transition for me, as I loved the smaller version of the company that allowed me to have my eyes on every detail.
Although change was hard, I was able to hire a ton of talented people who really had the same ideals that I did. Over the course of the next two years I think we produced a volume of work most agencies would produce in 10 years. 

After directing a few campaigns for 2k Sports and adidas, I realized that every time I was on production, I was happiest.

I woke up one morning and decided to leave the agency I started 8 years prior. It was a hard decision, but I had wanted to be a director since I was 8 years old. One thing I had learned over the years is that while change is hard, if you follow what makes you happy, thing usually have a way of working out.  

In 2009, I signed with the production company Tool of North America. At the time, Tool was getting serious about moving into digital production. While I loved working on TV commercials, interactive video and longer format was so important to me.

Over the next few years, Tool kicked ass and built out an award winning digital production department and I continued to grow as a director behind the camera. 

My life definitely changed when I wrote a script for a short interactive film called Take This Lollipop.

I was itchy to sink my teeth into a personal project, so I wrote/directed/designed/edited the Facebook Connect experience and pulled in my good friend Jason Nickel.

In October of 2011, it became the fastest growing Facebook app of all time and launched me into the strange land of Hollywood. 

What are you up to now?

My head is spinning from all the amazing work I am currently doing.

Unfortunately, I don't sleep as much as I'd like.

I just shot a few campaigns for a couple big brands, back to back.

I'm working on a new interactive music video, in development on a few feature films, about to go off and shoot some incredible digital content.

I spend a lot of my time writing, which is a big change for me. It's a great time in my life. I am doing what I love, working with fantastically talented people and hopefully creating work that keeps me cool with the FWA.

It's been a long, amazing journey, but I have so much more to show you all.  

Jason Zada... then
Jason Zada... then

Jason Zada... now
Jason Zada... now

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