April 30, 2008

Free at last, free at last thank God Almighty! Free at last!

These are very exciting times. Stay tuned.

The Frenchman Has Conquered Text in Flash!

Mathieu Badimon is a close friend and someone who I admire greatly, he set me free with his FIVe3D interactive vector based 3D engine its so intuitive and unbelievably easy to use every shop, agency, school, student, monkey, alien, ninja, zombie and spy should use this! Folks I'm talking true font width!! make your flash navs truly line up with rollovers and other effects... bring your text to life! Add a whole new dimension to everything you do!
get it here

Oh! and play in his LAB


One of my heroes, Carlos Ulloa the creator of Papervision liked my article on him and his achievements. He is truly a historic figure in the early history of the internet.

Your Very Welcome Carlos!

April 28, 2008

Not a Huge Fan But...

Im definitely not a huge fan or a fan at all of South Park, I may have watched all of 2 episodes in my entire life but I did like their Avatar creator. I played with it here...

April 25, 2008


I want to personally congratulate the folks over at Firstborn for their recent induction into the FWA hall of fame!

I am personally very proud to have been part of the FB team. I have always been a fan and it is well deserved and everyone and anyone ever associated at FB should be proud of this collective honor.

April 22, 2008

Bavarian Creme

Those sweethearts of the industry are at it again. The Barbarians are starting this summer season with a new website and a new alter ego.

The Barbarian Group have always done things their own way and now the new company website shows an adherence to the Apple logic of Flashless HTML5/CSS/Wiki style websites. I dig it and so should you - here -

April 17, 2008

Tim Sent Me A Pic

Tim Nolan sent me this pic of myself, Joon and Tim meticulously checking the green screen during the video shoot for TAG.

That was a wild and fun shoot!

April 16, 2008

Love What you Do and Do it Hard!

A very honest and very smart person asked for some help with cohesiveness of the production team at a pretty big studio.

I was really pleased to see that someone cared enough to seek outside help in making the team better, this person really cares!

Hats off to you buddy!

You know who you are!

Below is my response...

I'm sorry to hear that the team is having cohesiveness issues, that is really a major work flow problem.

I faced this issue at some studios that I had worked in and was able to help solve some of the issues by restructuring and better defining roles and responsibilities that both empowered people and made them very accountable for their specific roles.

Team members need to clearly understand boundaries and where hand off points are and when to come in (many times without being asked) and help out.

There needs to be chemistry amongst the team that is based on trust, ultimate trust is what will allow people to go into a project with the best attitude and wanting to give it their all.

Apathy is our cancer and when you have members of the team who have their minds on other things or simply don't care enough to perform on the highest level then you will see that the quality of the work suffers and that every project becomes a nightmare.

That is one reason why I am so against a revolving door policy where designers and developers come and go, a team needs time to grow.

Members need to know the others through and through, its not all business, its a creative field that requires everyone knowing what is in the head of the other.

Producers need to gauge every team member and then deal with them accordingly, sometimes talk out of both sides of their mouths in order to please everyone and get everyone to perform at their very best. No different than a sporting team.

1. How is your current creative team structured (ECD, CD, Senior AD, etc)?
The Creative Director sets the overall tone of the project's design phase he or she makes sure everything is tight and on brand and can be executed from a technological standpoint> The Art Director dictates the specifics and execution> The Developer works with AD on motion and look and feel> The Producer has final say as to what client will see.

The Producer IS the client and should understand how to look at the project through the eyes of the client and help anticipate any issues that may arise.

I hate sounding biased but the producer has to be able to explain to the creative director what the client expects and the CD has to fit that into the overall vision of what is being produced.

I have produced what would have been award winning sites that have never seen the light of day simply because what was delivered was not what the client wanted and the CD or AD didn't want to budge...

You learn your lessons...

Ultimately the client is in charge and the team needs to understand that. The team is somewhat sheltered from the client so they need to trust that the producer is making decisions based on the best interest of the relationship and that everything pushed back on will benefit the relationship and ultimately lead to more business and at the same time not sacrificing the quality of the work produced.

2. Are your teams assigned to a particular account / client or do they
work on pretty much everything?
Teams are assigned based on availability and yes pretty much work on everything, only places like RGA and AKQA have the ability to have special teams for special projects.

Smaller shops MUST cultivate their talent and must evenly distribute the work. I knew one producer who would only give the best projects to who he liked working with the best, that is not going to benefit the studio, everyone should have a chance to raise their abilities and grow as a professional.

Again it is all about trust. I have always been pleasantly surprised at how amazing a young art director or junior developer will come through it you give them the chance.

3. How do you guys handle work flow, meaning once a big project gets in the pipeline, how does it start and finish? Is it talked about amongst the
group or just given to a random designer / AD?
The project is ideally give to those best suited in terms of skills and expierience, however smaller shops must rely on available resources and don't have the ability to shuffle things around mid project.

Typically 2-3 design directions are submitted, the client chooses, winner stays on as Art Director - it is given to the available resources.

There have been cases where certain people MUST be added to the mix, at that point special decisions must be made. But again, try to trust and get people to expand themselves as professionals.

4. How do you guys share ideas amongst the team as far as where you want
to go or do as a group / company?
Drinking beers, having lunch, talking openly and always listening attentively and allowing everyone to have an equally loud voice.

There needs to be a collective consciousness developed, no one will ever always agree however people may give in at certain times knowing that it is the best solution for that particular direction.

The group must have equal say, if there is someone who is part of the group that time and time again is shunned or one person who dictates all then that person doesn't belong.

Leaders should be established and I do believe that they naturally rise to the top.

Follow those who are passionate, those who really believe.

The company must represent the common collective, not some facade, it will show through eventually.

5. How do you guys share what your working on? Do you have a weeekly /
monthly type meeting to discuss what everyone is involved in?
You must encourage people to get up and walk around, to ask "hey, whatcha working on?"

To involve people in various capacities and to force people to talk about what they are up to and if any issues have arisen and how did they solve it.

People need to speak up, think out loud and present ideas and issues to the group. Its a matter of getting others involved.

I would sometimes bring people over and say, "hey, what do you think of this, i know your not on this project but i need an outside opinion?" just keep the gates open be a catalyst for chatter, IM links and progress it only takes a second.

6. How do your communicate as a group as far as creative ideas / workflow
is concerned?
Assemble the team to talk about upcoming possible projects, look over RFPs, specs, ideas, as a group bring paper, pencils, and blocks and toys to the table, let people think out loud write everything down.

Pose imaginary problems and let the group solve them. If we were to get such and such project, how would we attack it?

Ask questions that get people to think. Groups become very stale if they dont engage in strategic thinking.

If there is a project that is particularly impressive done by another company, get together and ask how WE would have done it. This will not only provide ammunition for the next pitch but also grow the team as a single thinking unit.

7. What do you do for fun as a group?
Do lots of drugs! ... just kidding, DO NOT DO DRUGS!.... same as everyone else, Beers, BBQs, dinner... go to a museum, take cameras and snaps pictures, talk about what you would do with these assets, how you would animate them, design with them, go out and get inspired together.

Movies, shows, etc... try to always get the group to think at the same time, train them and you will see that when the time comes the ideas will flow like one single river.

8. Do you guys meet every week to discuss whats going on in the industry?
Unfortunately no one does this, I try to do this but people tend to not care or be too busy.

I would shoot everyone links all day long LOOK AT THIS LOOK AT THAT!

I was annoying but it works, this is a MUST, there has to be some small sense of competition as well as what others are doing.

It should inspire a person to see what someone else in his field is producing. I will typically send out 25-30 links a day for people to look at, i will force them to comment just so that I know they saw it and "got it".

I think its important to keep the rear view mirror focused all the time or you will get lost. The industry is the body and we are just one organ. Be aware of the body and the role you play.

A company should know who they are.

9. Do you meet weekly for creative / status meetings?
We used to and found it was not productive... as long at it is productive then yes every Monday pep talk, or Thursday night beer and review.

It should be something that is done all week in smaller chunks and then one quick review where everyone is more or less already familiar with what they are looking at.

Many times we would do this and people were like "WOW I didnt even know we were working on that!" and once we even won an award and someone said to me "Wow we did that!" so there should be a general awareness of what is going on at all times.

10. How is it handled when an artist / team does an AMAZING job on a
project and the client LOVES it, do you get a bonus, a day off, etc?
UHHH NO! thats your job!

Bonuses should be for production over a year.

Why should someone be rewarded for something that is expected of them.

I would say bonuses should go to those people who went above and beyond the call of duty as well as those who have performed on a consistently high level all year.

Beside the obligatory Christmas bonus I think that extras are a good way to motivate people but not for every little thing. If a team is in sync then maybe send them all out for beers on the shop or sushi make the reward a team thing as well.

11. If there is anything else you guys think could possibly inspire us a
bit, or perhaps put us in the right direction, please write down.

Love what you do and realize that as a team your creating things together.

Like parents you are partners in creation.

Dont fight the differences, embrace them, love what the person brings to the team and forget the petty bullshit.

Realize that anything less will only hold the project back and the end results will be less than expected.

Want to win together, individual accolades are lonely and somewhat hurtful, a team is a team, no one person is greater than the whole team.

Give everyone, even interns an equal voice, hear it out, if it sucks then thank them and keep moving, if its great make sure you tell them that.

Go into projects excited, producers should build a sense of positive excitement and not anticipate the worst. Many people produce from fear and expect something to go wrong at any minute, those people are the worst leaders, be mindful but be positive, if something does come up it is not the end of the world, try to be flexible and make the adjustment where needed and move on, don't let it break up the team with accusations and finger pointing.

If someone falls then everyone should help them up.

Jealousy is cancer.

Disrespect is a disease.

Not everything will be a GET THE GLASS but the effort put into it should always shine through.

Even bad designs can be redeemed with effort and passion.

The client sees all of this.

Even over the phone the client listens to the tones, to the words used.

When the client feels safe then the shop gets more work, when the clients feel that the team is on the same page and all the gears are moving at the same time then even if the project fails the client knows that every effort was made to make it a success.

Care about shit, just care, give it more than a second or two in thought, really be honest with yourself and others and make sure that you never ever compromise your standards, your ethics and your beliefs.

Oh have TONS OF FUN!! really! not foosball table fun, i mean really have fun! Love what you do and do it hard!

April 13, 2008


Over the years I have been asked by many of my friends and family and even some of my colleagues, "Craig, what is a producer and what does a producer actually do?" hmmm... I had prepared a lengthly and elaborate explanation but I am not as good looking and charismatic as Ashton Kutcher so I figured I would let him explain and maybe people would have an easier time understanding.

Check it out...

April 9, 2008


Let My People Code is the latest FWA article... how fitting so close to Passover.

April 8, 2008

Starbucks is so smart and so evil!

Went to get my morning Venti Coffee today and im handed a new cup with a rather ugly brown logo!! I was really mad! Basically because I didnt order an 8 dollar latte (those who did got the traditional green logo white cup) i was set apart like some degenerate who only drinks drip.

This is a very cunning move by our favorite coffee empire. This bold move just shows us the subtle control that the corporate shops have over us. I left feeling out of place, people on the street looked at me and my "different" cup. I didnt feel right!

This is the horrible logo adorning my cup! Look how evil and sloppy it is!

So tomorrow I will order my normal Venti Coffee in an old cup to see what happens...

April 2, 2008


Im still kinda paranoid about this new article, I hope it is a decent read and I was able to capture the spirit of who and what Yugo Nakamura is. The man earned respect, I hope it was given.

Check it out!