We had four weeks to create a complete site with five packages of extreme adventures, a corporate site and a complete new image for the corporation.
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
Hi, my name is Marcelo Moyano and I was the Creative Director of WideGroup, for the last 4 years. I'm a 26-year-old restless yet mellow guy.
I was born in Argentina so I like the country and the mountains very much. I also enjoy playing soccer and swimming.
What do you do for inspiration?
Working in Hollywood and working with clients like DreamWorks, keeps you constantly inspired. It's difficult to explain…but it's difficult to design a device for an entertainment site.
Today, the Web doesn't inspire very much. For me the best thing is to "unplug" myself and look for inspiration in nature, in my surroundings. It's different for each person and I don't think that many people will get inspired by what inspires me.
Music does inspire me! Cool rhythms, cool mixes, I love mixing all that. When I do finally get inspired, I simply "Put on the ring" like Frodo does in The Lord of The Rings, and say "let's roll!!!."
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
FWA, IAB and Ultrashock. I surf these sites to keep myself updated on issues regarding the Web and interactive advertising. Lately, I haven't had much time to surf but I do it whenever I have some spare time.
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
Having helped WideGroup become what it is today, after all the hard work it takes to stay ahead in this industry and having contributed to elevate the standard of web design to a higher level by developing outstanding projects.
Working with a team of 12-people that's solid, is a serious challenge. Holding your place is the key.
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
We worked very hard on the creation of our corporate image, "WideGroup 2003 | 2004" and we are now in the process of creating a whole new image for the design studio that will be unbelievable.
We also just finished working on the Carl's Jr. Online Campaign, which consists of EyeBlasters and other different advertisements, which consolidate their TV ad campaign.
I can't give you any info on the other projects we have at hand but I'd be more than happy to update you on them later on. I'm happy to say that this has been a hectic year for WideGroup.
Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?
It's difficult to name only three design companies. Everything that composes a Design Company counts. Taking into account the kind of projects and general performance, I would say that:
2advanced does things very well and, corporately speaking, it's well positioned.
Fantasy Interactive has also demonstrated to be a very good company when it comes to developing projects of high quality. Maybe the broadband is not so well integrated to the Web as a whole but they do a great job, undoubtedly.
And I must say that I consider WideGroup to be one of the top design companies since I know our process and the quality of our products very well. We will always strive to break the barriers between interactivity and the imagination.
Who is your target audience?
Since we focus on the Entertainment Industry, our target audience varies from video game developers and publishers to television and film studios.
Having had a large variety of projects targeting different types of audiences helped us strategically balance and focus our offerings depending on the needs of our target audience.
What effect on traffic do your new designs have?
Projects like the one developed for DreamWorks SKG had excellent results in regards to traffic. The Eyeblaster for "The Tuxedo" - which features an animated Jackie Chan we created -, was a success with a CTR (click through rate) of 25%.
The MirCorp site was a success with traffic as well. They offer adventures in extreme tourism, the possibility of traveling to outer space… that's not everyday stuff and consolidating that in the web is not an easy task either. The result was a high impact website that submerges the user in an experience out of this world!
What software couldn't you live without?
Today... Flash MX.
What area of web design lacks the most?
Hmmm... I've read somewhere: "browser compatibility...nope, life is too short for that" I totally agree with this.
Technical restrictions, browser compatibility, IE or NS and, of course, Flash Player 6. The Flash Player needs more power. Come on Macromedia!! Bring it on!!!
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
God! That was a work of art!! (ironically) Fortunately, it's NOT online anymore!
Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?
Yes. At the end of last year, I wrote a chapter for Friends of Ed's "Flash MX Most Wanted" book. The chapter explained how to create a high-impact intro. It was the first time WideGroup appeared in a book and it was a very cool experience. I enjoyed having the chance to teach my techniques to those who are just starting out or are looking to perfect their skills.
One of my proudest moments was when I learned that the book had sold thousands of copies prior to being released, and that there were people who had bought the book just because WideGroup had contributed to it. It was very exciting!
What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash? How long did you spend on it? Is it still online?
Yeah, MirCorp. That was a very complex project for us due to the short timeline. We had four weeks to create a complete site with five packages of extreme adventures, a corporate site and a complete new image for the corporation. This was a difficult yet rewarding project whose outcome was amazing.
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
I think Macromedia is revolutionizing the web design community, as well as the companies that require different types of solutions. With the wide range of "MX" products, I think Flash has given a huge step to consolidate themselves within the industry and stay forever.
How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?
Well... The first time I sat in front of Flash it was with version 3. As soon as I saw the timeline and the whole interface, I felt completely lost!
I never attended any kind of Flash class or lessons and I believe that rules are made to be broken. Everything I know, I learned on my own, doing things my way, trying, testing, over and over again. Through the exploration of Flash and the combination of different techniques, I discovered my style.
Another thing I learned is that you need to focus...it sounds weird but you need to think of it like in The Matrix. Flash is the matrix and the timeline is the vertical code in Japanese. There comes a time when, after so much trying, testing, changing, and mixing, you can interpret the code and the animations in flash clearly. If you think of it, all our movements are Motion Tweens (laughing).
What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?
I'm more of a labels man in regards to my electronics. I feel good looking at my Nike sports watch (one of the coolest models in the market) and, seeing the time, I take my Toshiba P4 laptop, plug it to my Sony CLIE NX to update my calendar, and listen to some MP3s.
When I take a break, I grab my Sony Playstation 2 and play "Enter The Matrix" for a while (laughing). Now you can see what labels I like the most!
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
Whenever I have an opportunity to enter a board of designers and read some threads, it impresses me to see how designers kill each other with their comments!
Instead of expressing so much envy in words from behind a board, they should take it out to the field and show what they've got.
It's been a privilege, Marcelo, thanks very much.
It's been a pleasure, thank you! Because of sites like yours, the community of flashers can truly enrich themselves and I hope that, with this interview, I've somehow contributed as well.