..waking up, giving my girl a kiss, wrestling with my three dogs and scratching my potbelly pig's booty…
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
Born and raised on the farm, my journey has taken me from the stables to the urban mix of Chi-Town, through the drift of the Rockies, landing on the surf of the west side and suck'n in the Venice vibe.
Along my path I jumped at every opportunity in front of me. From playing collegiate sports, copy writing, filmmaking, television production, marketing, advertising, to jumping out of planes, riding off a cornice at twelve thousand and taking down big game.
I have formally studied English, Film Thematic's, Cinematography, Drama, Fine Art, Design, and Interactive Multimedia, but I have to say the most valuable knowledge I have gained has come through pushing through my fears and experiencing life outside the book.
What do you do for inspiration?
Inspiration comes to me through many different avenues, music, art, architecture, design, graffiti, nature, biology, sex, but overall, I find that taking the time to be a voyeur is my most inspirational source.
It is not to shut out social interaction, it is taking the time to listen and to be aware as to what is around you while inhaling its voice.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
I don't have three favorite sites, as my opinions evolve as technological barriers fall, but what I can tell you is that I am a lover of emotional experience, whether happy, sad, or terrifying.
The dark side, my love… I am a stickler for the details that make the experience real and a fan of those who push beyond the confines of current technology.
Examples of my affection are represented by
What lies ahead with HD Video and Wireless tickles my fancy. Talk about viral opportunities…
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
Realizing each morning I will make today better than the last, building a close relationship with my family and joining a great crew to help grow a company with.
Outside of that, waking up, giving my girl a kiss, wrestling with my three dogs and scratching my potbelly pig's booty…
What software couldn't you live without?
As far as software goes… I'll always figure out a way to achieve my goals. Maybe my media player…
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
Projects in the pipeline that I am collaborating on include Reebok's "I Am What I Am" online campaign and a few projects for Sony PlayStation.
Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?
Top 3 design companies… outside of Zugara? Of course I'm going to give my comrades props…
Silo Design, and
What effect on traffic do your new designs have?
I believe my designs affect traffic, as I use design as a language to communicate emotions, inspire and move creative thought forward.
If I am designing for a client I take in everything they are trying to achieve and who they are communicating it to while studying the comparative social dynamic and trends.
Ultimately…I open my eyes to whom the client is speaking to on all social levels. With this input I adjust my palette to advance design beyond current conforming trends, looking to stimulate, excite, and encourage open discussion.
If I am designing for myself… it is anything goes. It is what and where my mind takes me.
Who is your target audience?
Generally speaking my target audiences for most of my projects run 13-34.
What area of web design lacks the most?
If you are looking at the areas of web design that lack the most, it is all subjective based on the individual market. I do believe there is a breakdown in web design that stems from generational gaps.
Generations are growing up with the freedom the web provides and are much more savvy users then those who control the content. The users are not given enough credit.
However, similar to when TV was introduced as an alternative to radio, pioneers were learning every day on how to define their space.
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
Well, at the time I thought my first web-design looked trick.
I actually looked at one of my earlier sites a few weeks ago and I must say that my skills and the technology have certainly come a long way.
I definitely had a good laugh. What a trip down memory lane…
My first site… down in flames with the dot COM crash.
Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?
A little ghost writing and some screenplays, but no books as of yet.
There is a novel in the works, but my love for other artistic endeavors is taking up most of my time. Thus, the novel is slow going.
What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash? How long did you spend on it? Is it still online?
That would be dependent on the advances in the current tech, as every project I try to step over the line.
However, the toughest was SOCOM III. I have tackled some big ideas before, but this time we were pushing the limits of interactivity video/FLV's in flash MX.
After spending three days shooting the U.S. Navy SEAL’s in the woods of Virginia we had the daunting task of converting our assets to meet our goals.
Using the footage to create an interactive game with FLV's brought on the headaches. As we were creating a virtual combat sweep scenario we needed to search through the FLV's in time to resource the user’s choice and playback the right footage.
At first everything was working as planned, but the more complex, the more options, the more problems. When trying to seek to a specific point in time, the FLV would either play another point in time or it would play through the right footage without stopping.
After exhausting most of our options we discovered that increasing the key frame rate when publishing FLV's gave us the ability for greater precision and control over our footage.
It was one of the many surprises and struggles along the journey, but the experience was well worth the effort.
As to time put into the project, it consumed me. There was no one to ask how to do what we were doing at the time. No one had done what we were doing yet and that was exciting about the challenge. We were making bold strokes and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
Yea, I think Flash is here to stay. However, I think we will see more of a hybrid between Flash and After Effects with continued advances in backend technology.
What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?
Sure I think someone can get into the design field without formal training. Anyone with drive and passion can. However, the opportunities and resources for learning in school are bountiful.
Not only does school give you the opportunity to develop relationships and foster unique experiences, but it also prepares you for what will be expected.
School is what you make of it. Teachers are yours for the asking, your fellow students are your crew and creative brainstorm team. I wouldn't trade in my formal education and the experiences that came with for anything.
I will say that there is no greater education than actually doing or participating in your endeavors on a professional level. School will give you the tools; practical experience will give you the answers.
When your company was just getting started, what did you find was most effective for getting new clients?
When our company was first getting started we had to make a name for ourselves.
In order to grow we needed to be viewed not only as great design firm, but also as a strategic agency that understood the market.
Thus, in order to get the attention of clients we had take chances, push our creativity to the edge and make sure that we exceeded our client’s expectations.
With a strong work ethic and a passionate crew we established and fostered close client relationships that propelled growth.
How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?
My advice to beginners with Flash is to never limit yourself. Dream big and challenge yourself at every corner.
Study online resources and books to learn from others that have stepped before you.
Propose a unique project for yourself and see how you can best communicate your idea with your skills in Flash.
Once you’re done, research ways that could have made your project easier, perform better and communicate more effectively.
Cleaner code, advanced animation techniques, experiment with sound and video, the point is that you just have to grab the reins and dive in.
Make a fresh pot of coffee and ride you minds eye.
What is the most expensive thing you've bought in the last week?
The most expensive thing I bought in the last week… a new heavy duty power drill with a high grade, tempered auger bit set and grinding wheel.
What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?
No labels for this cat… I make my own path.
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
Pearls of wisdom… Follow your passion and have a good attitude. Open your eyes to the world around you and experience all that life has to offer.
Don't be afraid to take a chance and make your own road. Always remember, nothing beats experience. When the opportunity presents it self step forward and take it.
Also, try not to take comments personally when working with others, you'll add years to your life.
It's been a privilege, Hans, thanks very much.