...being the first person who introduced Studio 8 to the world of Flash Video in front of thousands of people in the audience was great! I am still shaking.
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
In the year of 1973, I was born in DaeGu (One of the hottest regions in South Korea).
I always interested in playing music, making short programming codes, and speculating on the world of design since I was a little boy.
Now I think back to that time, they were all more then curiosities or interests because I spent most of my childhood and school years working towards them.
At University, I studied mechanical engineering as a major and I had a great time solving various problems of dynamics and mechanics.
When I watched the movie titled, Beautiful Mind, I wanted to be the one who completed the mathematical equation of a pigeon’s movement.
If I tell stories which I have described above to others, they all say the same thing to me…
“Why would you do such complicated things? Life is already complicated enough!”
Well in my case, anything that is related to design, mechanics, and programming, are all enjoyable subjects which I would love to play with for the rest of my life.
For now, I am currently working at the agency called, Allm, as Director of the Web Agency Department.
What do you do for inspiration?
Personally, I like to get an idea which comes from no where. For that reason, I tend to prefer to read a magazine rather than a novel.
Even it is a similar subject and volume, I could finish a lot faster by reading from a monthly published magazine.
It is not necessary to look for some ideas with a particular purpose. I like to have a free soul and have a chance to experience different places, situations, sceneries, colors, music bits or anything… you name it.
I might start to walk without any reason but while I am walking, my eyes will catch a lot of information without any awareness. Someday, the information which is flooding around my head and mind will come up to the surface as a visual idea.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
I think I should mention the FWA site, because it is all time my favorite.
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
First of all, my greatest achievement of all is working at allm, presently working in South Korea.
It’s a place for me. I am surrounded by very talented young people who have a free soul to draw an unimaginative world. Each of our crew members are passionate about their works and lives.
Every single project we create, I like to put some new ideas in to it.
For doing that, with my crew, I don’t have any limits. Since we all have a very focused intention of being together, working with them makes me a bigger person all the time.
I couldn’t stop staying where I am. With my crew, I feel like I am constantly evolving.
Second incident should be a time which I already described above. Being a guest speaker for the launching show of Studio8, held by Macromedia was a great experience in my life.
It was only a 15 min. speech however being the first person who introduced Studio 8 to the world of Flash Video in front of thousands of people in the audience was great! I am still shaking.
While I was preparing the speech, I also had time to study more functionalities of Flash. And at the end of the show, I ended up meeting great people who are working in the same field as I am.
Third should be the project which I completed not long ago. It was for the newly designed Hyundai automotive launching web site.
Me and my crew succeeded in producing a full 3D animated car model and replaced real pictures with our own visuals. It was very hard work, however I am really happy with the outcome.
What software couldn't you live without?
Well, be honest with you. I can live without Flash. However, I should be faced with the real world. Flash keeps my living in tact.
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
Currently I am working on 3 very different projects, New GUI design for Digital TV, a promotional site which is related to charity, and a Micro site for a Samsung Mobile product.
Among these projects, the donation promotional site is the most interest project for me. I am having to show the relationship between people. Visualizing a delicate but somewhat strong bond effectively is the key element of this project. Doesn’t it sound interesting?
Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?
North Kingdom : Full of creative ideas and passionate works. Sometime in the future, I even like to work with them.
Psyop : Very unique and distinctive styles of works. More of hand drawn style rather than digitalized work. Very eye catching site.
Ideo : Good place to see how all works get through. You can catch the highly respectable series of over all their working process, with amazing outcomes
What effect on traffic do your new designs have?
I might think of two projects.
First, MBC Project. In 2004, there was a general election in South Korea. I was a head director and producer of the site which should show various voting data in real time.
I designed the site with full Flash with vary unique and functional GUI elements. It was a great challenge for me. Since this site was broadcast throughout the whole nation in real time.
Performance and accuracy were key elements. There are 4 major broadcasting companies in South Korea. As the election was heading to the end, the traffic rate of my site was well ahead of all other major site. I can't describe the atmosphere and rush I felt in words. :-)
Allm, company which I am currently working for, opened up a new type of online arcade RPG game. The game was called, The war of Lunia.
For now, this game is on the service with open beta title In the year of 2005, I had to make a teaser site for this game. The main roll of the site was to gather gamers who would play this game for the first time.
The site was only online during the promotional time, so it was really important to bring out all goodies of this particular game and make great impact with general gamers.
Key requirements for this game were dynamic actions and controls. I wanted to make the site as interactive as possible.
Within less than a week, the teaser site has become the most visited online game site in the online game category for the most famous key word searching site of South Korea. Hu~~~~
Who is your target audience?
General viewers who are sensitive enough to appreciate my new attempts and clients who are capable of discussing my works with a rational point of view.
What area of web design lacks the most?
There is no web agency which can be grown up more than web agencies as they were 10 years ago. Can you see my point? Artists, Producers, and Directors of web design are having a hard time to make their path.
We are all frontiers of the industry. Personally it is a lot of fun trying something new and launching it to get feedback from viewers. However, it would be a lot of risk for a corporation to do this over and over again.
Sometimes, this atmosphere makes me think the reason that I can make up my living with web design is that I am still young!
Well, don’t get disappointed. As the industry grows bigger and more specialized, various positive changes in risk management and the working process are continuously made.
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
That would be, The Fan, a clothes branding site.
I made a few more sites before but if I think of the size of the project and the amount of my contribution that I made, I would say by first complete sites was The Fan.
The main copy of this site was “For the NewYorker”. I had a really fun time making new designing issues for this copy title.
Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?
Well, I don’t have any yet. I had planned to write one over the last year but due to a heavy project schedule I couldn’t finish it yet.
Writing a book of my own will become my biggest project ever. Well, I might finish it off this year but don’t count on me :)
In my first book, I like to write about Flash Action Script.
Since I have a great interest in 21c gadgets, I might write essay like books or a collection of short stories like “how to take great pictures with a digital camera!” or “newly introduced digital gadgets for early adopters!” and so on.
And also I already made a promise to myself that I am going to finish up my autobiography before ending my life. I couldn’t say that my life is something special or splendid but organizing my life by writing an autobiography is not a bad idea at all!
What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash? How long did you spend on it? Is it still online?
In the year of 2002, I had to launch the movie ‘Madeleine’ promotional site which consisted of a teaser and main sites.
The producer of the movie handed me unfinished VHS movie tapes. That was all I had.
I run the tapes over thousands of times and tried to bring up emotional out calls from the movie. Spending uncountable hours of talking with the movie producer for splashy ideas paid off as the movie became one of the top 5 promotional movie websites.
I think that I spent 3 weeks on that project. Of course, I spent around a month to collect useful ideas that could give shape to the plan. Right after having a concrete solid plan for the project, everything went pretty well.
Well as we all know, there is always unexpected and annoyed problems to deal with. I ended up spending a reasonable amount of time to make up a new full flash mini game at the last minute though.
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
Yes! Flash is a very flexible and platform friendly program. Interactive and dynamic action script is one of the greatest advantages of using Flash for various web projects.
I am one hundred percent positive that the usage of Flash oriented content will grow in fast pace. Flash will be used in even more various fields for sure.
Recently, Sony announced that PSP can even run Flash files.
Flash file handling speed is not sufficient enough to play animation clips at this point. I believe myself it wouldn’t take a long time to see people watching Flash animated movies with Sony PSP in the near future.
As an example of Sony PSP, newly designed display hardness and software will take Flash as their content editor as long as Flash keeps the ability to utilize dynamic and interactive UI easily in the most effective ways.
At this point, I might dream of having a 3D engine in Flash programming as Director has.
What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?
Education facilities in South Korea need to have a lot of progress in the future.
Those facilities need to add more of the real world like imaginative training sessions, so people who graduate from these facilities can fit in at work with relative ease.
For that reason, I run at least 2 to 3 months of intern sessions before hiring staff at our office. This intern session is not only for the employer. The applicant will also have sufficient time to see whether the company suits him / her.
When your company was just getting started, what did you find was most effective for getting new clients?
Quality. In the 90s, most web agencies were more like factories that print out the same product over and over again.
Creativity or over-all quality was not their concern at all. Spending uncountable hours for making an unprecedented and innovative design cricked the sense of clients who's thirst was for unparalleled outcomes.
The other factor was announcing Allm brand throughout the world. Raising the brand power up to world class is essential for a company located in a small country such as South Korea.
Right after announcing the Allm as a Silver Lion Winner of CANNES LIONS 2002 in the category of International Advertising Festival with the movie promotional site called “ChiHwaSeon”, hundreds of clients called from many countries.
How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?
Basically, the most essential part of being a great Flasher is having unbeatable passion.
No matter what you are capable of doing, if you don’t have unbeatable passion then the flame will not go any longer or get brighter.
If you were a Neo from the movie, Matrix, and have access to the super computer by connecting wires from your brain for learning various material arts skills in less than few seconds, you don’t need to waste your time learning new skills in Flash programming.
Think of it as having a baby. No matter how much you rush yourself, a healthy baby needs to be under a great care in the mother’s womb for 9 months before he / she is born.
You need to raise your skills by spending hours of training over and over again. Don’t be inpatient! It takes times.
It is necessary to have reference books for yourself. But for tips, I recommend to use F1 key to open up the Help from the Flash program. There isn't any better book which contains better Help contents than the Flash program itself.
If you need more help, I recommend you use the Adobe site.
Remember and put it into your mind! All you need to have to be a Top Flasher, hold your unbeatable passion within you. Someday, all of your hard work will pay off.
What is the most expensive thing you've bought in the last week?
Congratulate me! I had a healthy son recently. My wife is taking a rest at hometown in DaeGu. So I had to buy a round trip ticket of KTX, the fastest train in South Korea, between Seoul and DaeGu. I bought this ticket for USD $74.
Well, if I have to pay millions of dollars to get to my wife and son, I would pay it without any hesitation! :-)
What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?
I am not! Comfortable clothes are the best.
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
I can pick up good phrases from the bible, “Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. [Bible Psalms 127:1]”
And a few phrases on my own such as -
“Live today as if today is the last of your life.” or
“Wherever you go, be an essential and powerful person.” or
“If you want to get things from others, be a person who can share yours first.” or
“Don’t be a workaholic. Take life easy. Your heath and family come first! “
It's been a privilege, thanks very much.
I am grateful for having a chance to answer these questions. It gave me time to arrange my thoughts and put more fuel within my heart to be a bigger designer.
I really appreciated your time and effort to bring up the overall class of the web design industry.
Thank you so much!