I never really stop working. To me, the job of being a creative isn't a job which has hours against it.
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
I have over 18 years of experience in the creative industry and have won many awards including a Cannes Golden Lion, a London International Gold and three Creative Showcase awards. And now the 'coveted' FWA MOTD! Over the years I've created campaigns for Sony Pictures International, Paramount, Lionsgate, Microsoft's Xbox, Nestle/Rowntree's, Sony PlayStation Europe and SYCO Entertainment. I have a passion for games, films and storytelling which I try and bring to all the work that I create.
Drain Pipe Surf Dudes has been a collaboration between Leo Marques from NetDevo and myself. We partnered up to create the iPhone game last year and have worked pretty much every night outside of our day jobs for the last 9 months to design and build it.
What do you do for inspiration?
I love graphic novels and any form of animation; from Batman - Year One, to Toy Story. Some of my best ideas and inspiration come from exploring stories and narratives like these.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
I'm not blowing your trumpet - well maybe I am - but I love The FWA. It showcases the best of what us creative folk have to offer. NETFLIX has really grabbed me over the last few months too. There's films and TV shows I would have never have discovered or chosen to watch if it wasn't for this service. And finally Wikipedia. Where would I be without that? A hell of a lot of my ideas for stories and campaigns have been fueled by its endless source of material.
What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?
This one is easy. If it's to do with work, it's DPSD. Me and my work partner have spent every hour outside of day jobs to create this baby. If it's to do with my personal life, it's my two kids. Me and my partner spent every hour outside of day jobs to create these babies.
How many hours do you work each week?
I have no idea any more. I never really stop working. To me, the job of being a creative isn't a job which has hours against it.
How do you relax or unwind?
Mmmmmmm. Do people do that?
If you weren't working on the internet what would you be doing?
Saying 'THAT'S A RAP!' in one of Ridley Scotts' films.
What's your favourite part of your job? What's the hardest part of your job? What do you do when you get stuck?
Telling stories. Telling stories. Read stories.
What's the longest you've ever stayed up working on a project?
If there are any pivotal experiences/decisions you could point to that helped shape your career, what would they be?
I have always had a passion for films and games, but only got involved with them professionally when I took a role as Creative Director at the entertainment marketing agency, Greenroom Digital. This was a career/brain change for me: I was still creating work for brands, but the brands were the likes of Lionsgate, Pathe, Sony Pictures International and PlayStation Europe, and it changed the way I thought about marketing. It became less about creating traditional advertising campaigns, and more about creating stories and experiences for people to engage with. The storytelling of the films and games themselves influenced me, and I applied that to the way I thought about marketing. That was - and still is - really exciting to me .
Are there any websites that have shone through as being pioneering in the last 5 years or so?
Facebook. I hate to state the obvious, but there it is. The Timeline is awesome. Who understands social better than Facebook.
Has winning FWA awards helped you in any way?
This is the first FWA Award I have won. I'll let you know.
When dealing with major clients, how difficult is it to meet the needs of such wide target audiences?
Find the thing they love, let them get closet to it, let them share it and reward them for it. Simples right?
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
I created this pod like thing in flash which you could click to open to see my CV. It's not online anymore. It's in my mum and dad's loft gathering dust next to my A level artwork. Well, it is in in my head anyway.
Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?
I've illustrated and printed a book, but never published it. It documented the first 90 days of my first born, Milla. It had a humorous spin. At present, it makes a handy doorstop for her bedroom door. I thought it was funny.
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?
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?
At ais we produced the digital/social media campaign for the boy band 1 Direction to launch their debut album. This was an amazingly successful campaign that had social media at the heart of it. It made sense because we developed a campaign around the habits and habitats of the audience. Just to give you an idea of how successful it was, it produced 16 Global Twitter trends. Check out the Save the 1Day campaign.
Have you been a part of a campaign that was rooted in digital and THEN reached over into other consumer touchpoints? Did this happen organically or was it a part of the plan from the beginning?
I created the digital and experiential campaign to launch Microsoft's Xbox Kinect in the UK. It was planned from the start to integrate the online digital experience with the offline/physical experience. This was the best way to gain maximum reach for the campaign which turned out to be 7.9 million people.
Of all the websites you/your company have produced, which one are you most proud of?
Small but neat. It was for Duncan Jones' film MOON. We recreated the moon in Papervision3D and allowed viewers to navigate a ship across the lunar landscape to discover exclusive content and rewards. This was coupled with an amazing score from Clint Mansell. For me, it allowed the viewer to experience the solitary confinement that Sam Bell (actor Sam Rockwell) was subject to.
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring FWA award submitter, what advice would you give them?
Craft, focus and passion are so important. I haven't seen anything on the FWA that hasn't had these three elements.
What would be your ultimate vehicle to travel in?
The Batmobile - 1960's version.
How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?
What does the future hold for your company, or you as a person?
A lot of late nights.
What are you excited about learning next and is there a long term challenge you are considering tackling?
Building on the story of Drain Pipe Surf Dudes. We think this is the start of an exciting story that we want to take our fans on. Watch this space.
What is the most expensive thing you have bought in the last week?
Injections for my bad back :(
Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?
Find the stories you love and live them. You only get one shot... so some say.
It has been a privilege, thanks very much
Wow! Thank you for the Award. We are very proud.