Usually inspiration happens in the most likely places. The challenge is filtering really bad ideas from the inspiration.
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
For most of the past 15 years I have worked as an Audio Engineer and Composer in Australia, mainly in Theatre. Programming and Design became the focus during the past 5 years working as composer and sound designer for a number of large projects.
What do you do for inspiration?
Pray... :-) Without inspiring insights fuelling a project I find it impossible to put in the required 18hour days. Usually inspiration happens in the most likely places. The challenge is filtering really bad ideas from the inspiration.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
www.Google.com - The cleanest and most useful site on the net.
Babelfish - The real-life homage to Douglas Adams.
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
Pulling the Opera House project off. It was an enormous task convincing a public service bureaucracy that it was a good idea. Then actually bringing the project in on-time and under budget.
What software couldn't you live without?
Mac OS X, it's the ultimate web development platform now.
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
There are only a few buildings that deserve the same level of treatment that we gave the Opera House, with any luck we will have a new one out soon... Think UK.
Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?
Web Design is an odd field, it still seems that form out ranks function. Ostentatious design over clean interface design. Some people have managed to resist the temptations, www.LookandFeel.com, www.Tomato.co.uk.
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
At least for the foreseeable future, yes.
What effect on traffic do your new designs have?
Well, when we went live with the on-line version of the Opera House tour, the massive increase in traffic took all the servers down.
Who is your target audience?
That depends on the project. But I always work hard to build a site that is lean and loads fast for modem users.
What area of web design lacks the most?
Browser Standards. I cannot believe that companies develop browsers that do not conform to standards. A new feature is useless if your audience is unable to view it.
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
I requested that Google flush the cache of last vestiges of my earlier sites. If they were still online I don't suppose I would be answering this interview. But, it contained plenty of frames, side bars, java rollovers.
I promise there were no flashing text, java text tickers, counters or midi files.
Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?
No books as yet, but I have been discussing future publications with a large UK publisher.
What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash? How long did you spend on it?
The Opera house tour was my first foray into flash and it was the biggest challenge thus far. I had only eight weeks to convert the CD-Rom version we did of the tour to an online version. I chose flash for its cross-platform supremacy and streaming capabilities.
How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?
I always consider myself a newbie, at all things. A fresh naive view of a problem affords you the best chance of new ideas and a better solution. Each project I have done has only been completed by hours (days) of tweaking till I find the solution that I can feel is right. I may not posses the required experience to articulate the solution to a problem, but as an artist I know when something is wrong, and it's this knowledge that I use as a guide to find the answer.
What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?
Hehe, great question. No, for the past decade I have taken great umbrage at manufacturers thinking they can use me as a walking billboard. So no labels for me, just plain pragmatic clothes. But if I am working on a large project and it's crunch time, which usually means no sleep, and if it's a typical Aussie summer working from home, the clothes can often find themselves left in a pile on the floor. Not a pretty site I can tell you.
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
Flash, PHP, MySQL, Mac OS X, Bluetooth, Philanthropic motivations, Pure Intentions.
It's been a privilege, Tony, thank you!