Do what you want to do as you want to do it, no holds barred.
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
My name's Kentaro Masamura. I was born and also raised in Tokyo. The kanji symbol, "Ken", in my name means "hard" or "strong". My father chose this name with the hope that his son would become a strong willed man. Currently, I work as a director for interactive creative and film at HAKUHODO.
What do you do for inspiration?
Opportunities to get in contact with various genres of work are available at all times. I always keep in mind to not judge them by preexisting reviews but by what I feel and see myself. Brainstorming through meetings are great but I think that a little bit of quiet, focused solitary is better in getting more unique ideas.
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
I won't be able to say this without my collaborators and understanding from my clients, but how I get to do my job right now.
How many hours do you work each week?
It depends on the work load, but at least, over 70 hours.
How do you relax or unwind?
I sometimes go swimming. I love how by using big, gentle strokes to just flow through the water makes me feel good. Although I'm pretty relaxed during work as well. Forgetting about time and just simply focusing on work is the best way to unwind.
If you weren't working on the internet what would you be doing?
I'd be happily directing a long narrative movie.
What's your favourite part of your job? What's the hardest part of your job? What do you do when you get stuck?
The part that's exciting. Coming up with a great idea for instance, and getting that idea to take form… and eventually catching the user's hearts with that idea. All these things make me excited. The hardest part of my job is the moment when I have to choose which idea is the best. As much of a cliched answer this may sound, when you hit a wall, you have to go through the process of trail and error, taking your time evaluating your problems.
What's the longest you've ever stayed up working on a project?
I not sure but I guess about fifty hours? I enjoy my job but who likes staying up all night? I'd like to get at least three hours of sleep no matter how busy I get.
What software could you not live without?
Can't think of any.
Who is your target audience?
It depends, but isn't the first person you want to impress yourself? You of all people should be confident about it.
What area of web design lacks the most?
The quality of the embedded videos have been, and still are, awful.
Has winning FWA awards helped you in any way?
Of course. I'm glad to have received such an opportunity to get more creative people throughout the world to see my work.
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
It was a website I made for practice using Macromedia Director's programming visualization Lingo. Must have been over ten years ago. I received a couple of awards and prize money. Its off the web now.
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?
On sunny days, I go outside with my camera.
What was the last digital effort you saw (or were a part of) that used social media in a way that really made sense. Why?
INTERACTIVE FILM good job, me! 003022.jp/watashi
This was one of my projects. It focuses on recognizing a positive image toward temporary work among young adults in their twenties. It's only viewable in Japanese but don't let that prevent you from checking it out. Social media is unique in how it records each of its users' daily life in various ways. We extended this recording aspect to create an original future for each user. You can experience this interactive film through your Facebook ID and get to see the happy future you'll be able to lead by becoming a temp. We aimed to get the target audience to positively empathize with what advantages a temporary working position would bring them by designing the film to use the "User's future transactions" "Comments from Friends" and the "User's Profile" to develop the story. Friends praise the user for their success as a temporary worker. Many send a "Good Job!" message. Working as a temporary worker gets the user to attend get-together parties. Their friends praise them for that as well. The user also enjoys more time for hobbies as well as growth in relationships by getting more free time to go on dates after work and interact with their friends. The cast in the film changes according to which sex the user views as a romantic endeavor. The fruitful life of the user as a temporary worker ends with these closing words that question the their direction on temporary work: "This is your possibility. You want to be something. Or don't. You think you can't become something. But you hope so. You are the one who knows about yourself the most. Now, it's your turn. Good Job, Me!"
What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash? How long did you spend on it? Is it still online?
SHOOTTER, which received the FWA, comes to mind. You can still play it online. It took about 1 and a 1/2 months. We took extreme care to get the synchronized interaction of visual and sound feel great.
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
As long as Flash continues to provide unique and rich user experiences, yes.
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 studied the theory and history of design, as well as basic practical designing skills at an art university. I also got to meet great teachers. Schools provide a very environment. But attending these kinds of schools don't guarantee you a place in this field. The key is how much effort you yourself, give to establish that place. This doesn't require you to go to art schools. I know many people who have become proficient art directors without attending design schools.
If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring FWA award submitter, what advice would you give them?
Do what you want to do as you want to do it, no holds barred.
How do you keep up with the latest capabilities of Flash or do you rely on other members of you team to do this?
I keep in touch with my friend technical director.
What would be your ultimate vehicle to travel in?
A bike. Moving my body always makes me feel good.
How do you keep your finger on the pulse of the latest web trends?
Nothing special. I chat with some friends who are always up to date in the field or just read some magazines.
What does the future hold for your company, or you as a person?
I'm not satisfied with myself yet. I'd like to achieve more deep and wonderful things in the future.
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
Here are a couple of links to my recent works. Please take a look!
SCHOOL DAYS SHOOT
good job, me!
It has been a privilege, thanks very much
Arigato very much.