Be a team player. Some of the most valuable experience I've gained is working within a team environment. It's important to be open to new ideas and viewpoints. Consider what's best for the project, not your ego.

Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

I studied at the School of Visual Arts at California State University San Bernardino. While in school, I took on a part-time job designing and developing websites for local businesses and non-profit organizations. Shortly after graduation, I shifted focus to entertainment marketing and landed a position at a small digital agency, quickly moving up the ranks from Production Artist to Lead Art Director. I then joined Jason Yim at Trigger in 2006 as Creative Director and assembled a tight-knit team of talented designers and art directors to create interactive campaigns for film studios including Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Disney, Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate, Open Road, FilmDistrict, Summit Entertainment, and Lucasfilm. Over the years we've also worked with brands such as Nike, Qualcomm, Adobe, and Red Bull.

What do you do for inspiration?   

I try to spend time with peers and talk about the work that they are doing. Just listening about other's successes and challenges always helps to put your own work into perspective. I also check out a lot of design showcase sites to see what else is out there. Of course, since our company is heavy into film marketing and mobile gaming, I try to watch movies regularly and play a lot of games!

Please list 3 of your favourite sites. 

The FWA, Dribbble, and Awwwards

What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

That's tough! I've had the opportunity to work on so many great projects and collaborate with so many clients. But I think if I had to choose, I'd say working together with the core group at Trigger for as long as we have says a lot about our team chemistry and how well we compliment each other. Together, we've cranked out good work and have contributed to the success of our clients. That's really gratifying. 

How many hours do you work each week?

It depends on our workload really. On average, I'd say 45-50 hours a week. 

How do you relax or unwind?

Getting outside and spending time with my family.

If you weren't working on the internet what would you be doing?

I can't see myself doing anything else really. Maybe in-house creative for the Los Angeles Lakers. :D

What's your favourite part of your job? What's the hardest part of your job? What do you do when you get stuck?

My favorite part of the job is working with the staff here at Trigger. We have an amazing group of talented people and everyone is working towards the same goal of creating the best experience possible. The hardest part of the job is having to stop working on something and declaring it "finished." I always feel like there is something to improve upon. When I get stuck on a project, I usually step away and tackle another portion of the project, or sleep on it. Usually the next day, I'll see things differently.

What's the longest you've ever stayed up working on a project?

Back in the early days, I went a day without sleep and continued into another full work day. I'm too old for that now.  

If there are any pivotal experiences/decisions you could point to that helped shape your career, what would they be?

It was when I saw the Independence Day movie site that I knew I had to get into film entertainment marketing and design. I had never seen anything like it and it just blew me away. Digital film marketing was in its infancy back then but the Independence Day site had such a high level of detail and back-story.

What software could you not live without?

Photoshop, Illustrator, inDesign and to a much lesser extent these days, Flash.

In terms of software, is there anything new you have been playing with lately or that has impressed you? 

We have been working a lot with Qualcomm's Vuforia lately. Augmented Reality is something we've been involved with for a few years now and the improvements and capabilities are growing at a rapid rate. It's just a fun medium to be involved in.

Are there any websites that have shone through as being pioneering in the last 5 years or so?

I think the FWA does a great job showcasing a lot of the pioneers. :) There's just so much great work out there it's impossible for me to single out just a few. 

Has winning FWA awards helped you in any way?

We've received numerous pats on the back from our clients and peers, so that's always nice. It's an honor being amongst some of the best in the industry. 

When dealing with major clients, how difficult is it to meet the needs of such wide target audiences?

Our clients are so sophisticated and well-versed with their users/audience so it really takes out a lot of guess work. For the work that we do for our clients, they usually have a narrow target audience that they are striving to reach initially, then it tends to fan out a bit broader.

What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?

It was a student portfolio site and it was very moody and very dark. Thankfully it has been offline for quite some time!

Are there things you do OUTSIDE of work to ensure that you are in the right mindset to be creative and/or successful in whatever you are doing?

I think just getting out of the office and spending time with friends and family helps balance out the fast paced work environment. It helps to "recalibrate" on a regular basis to maintain a high level of enthusiasm for the work.

Have you been a part of a campaign that was rooted in digital and THEN reached over into other consumer touchpoints? Did this happen organically or was it a part of the plan from the beginning? 

Yeah I think a lot of the work and prototyping we've been doing lately with augmented reality is a good example. We just finished an augmented reality component for a book, Horrible Hauntings. Readers are able to see and interact with 3D ghosts on screen and "see" these characters within a physical space. It was really fun to see the kids' reaction to a book literally coming to life. That level of storytelling and convergence of the printed page and digital is very cool. At Trigger, we're just scratching the surface of what's possible. 

Of all the websites you/your company have produced, which one are you most proud of?

I'd have to say working on all four Spider-Man movie campaigns with Sony has been an amazing experience.

What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash? How long did you spend on it? Is it still online?

I think Paramount's Rango site was the toughest project. It was a fairly immersive exploration experience and it was important that all of the movements and flow appeared seamless to the user. We had very high expectations and it was important to us that the experience on the site conveyed the richness and detailed world of Rango.

Do you think Flash is here to stay?

Flash still has its uses for desktop, but many of our clients are asking for a consistent mobile and desktop experience which of course proves problematic with iOS. However, there are still cases where we are creating immersive experiences in Flash for desktop users and a more functional and practical experience for the mobile audience in html.

There is perhaps a shift in web use these days. We are seeing a decline in the purely experiential sites in flash with huge production efforts, to a relationship with clients based on tools and services, that many times have simples interfaces. How do you see that trend developing? Will Flash suffer?

I think designers/artists will always find various tools and mediums to create unique experiences and continue to push the boundaries whether it's flash or something else entirely.

What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?

I personally gained much of my basic foundation from schooling, but I think it really comes down to the individual. If they have natural talent, then it's certainly possible to get into the field without university experience. They usually have to be willing to take an internship or entry level position and commit to learning on the job and absorb as much as possible from their fellow designers. It also takes a willingness from the employer as well. 

If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring FWA award submitter, what advice would you give them?

Be a team player. Some of the most valuable experience I've gained is working within a team environment. It's important to be open to new ideas and viewpoints. Consider what's best for the project, not your ego.

How difficult do you find employing the right people in a world where everyone calls themselves a web designer?

It's difficult. For Trigger, it's about the right fit. Will a potential employee work within our structure and workflow? What unique traits can they bring to the table? What can we learn from them? In addition to skill set, personality and attitude still goes a long way.

When your company was just getting started, what did you find was most effective for getting new clients?

Hard work, demos and face to face meetings. We had to show our new clients that we had the desire, drive and talent to deliver a successful campaign. Jason, our President and Executive Creative Director, has such a passion for the work that we do and our clients could see that. 

How do you keep your finger on the pulse of the latest web trends?

I spend lots of time on various industry specific sites as well as meeting weekly with our creative team to discuss emerging technology that is of interest to them.

There must be a project that you have always dreamed of doing, what is it?

I've done it! As a kid, I loved Spider-Man. From books, toys and tv shows I couldn't get enough. To be able to work on the Official Movie Sites for the franchise has been a dream come true for me. 

What does the future hold for your company, or you as a person?

I would like to continue to evolve as a company. We're moving into different project types that move beyond the desktop and that's exciting. It's a great time to be in the industry with the rapid progression of mobile. 

Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

Don't work in a vacuum. Absorb as much as you can from your co-workers and peers. Often times, they can help spark a new idea or an even better solution to a design or project problem.

It has been a privilege, thanks very much

Thank you!


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