I handle all areas of digital production, from initial consultancy, scoping and architecture to front and back end build, bringing together and running a team if required.
I'm most at home when working for nice people on a challenging creative brief that technically needs something just a bit beyond the norm.
If you think that sounds like you, please get in touch.
The website for this Philippe Starck-designed chain of boutique hotels presented just the kind of challenge I like. Working for regular collaborators GBH we started with a simple idea, created away from the shackles of technical requirements, wireframes and templates. We then sculpted this into a room and restaurant reservation system, interactive guide maps and event calendars, covering multiple locations and delivered in multiple languages. Despite the complexity, the result is a simple, elegant site, all of which the client has the freedom to control, whilst preserving an experience that respects the high design ideals of the hotels themselves.
Bond. Yep. That Bond.
This motion graphics piece for a pivotal scene needed to convey the atmosphere of the night-time Shanghai skyline as well as deliver a dynamic lighting source that contributed to the mood and tension of the scene. I worked between the Art Department, animating their designs, and the Lighting Department, helping to deploy the final animation onto a 15 metre high display.
The animation features in one of the defining production stills of the movie. It’s just a shame that the bloke in the foreground obscures it really.
A fully responsive site for the largest YouTube network outside the US. The site features a custom-built edit-in-place content management system.
Working with GBH, I helped global consumer and professional audio specialist Sennheiser find a way to break the trend of bland yet confusing sites that dominate the sector. The result was a set of web guidelines created for their developers and then overseeing the build of the new sennheiser.com site. I also implemented the first site to utilise the guidelines - a partner portal for Sennheiser’s UK resellers.
Over the last 20 years, I’ve worked with a eclectic array of creatives across a multitude of digital platforms covering hundreds of projects.
These are some of my favourites.
Although disparate, whether it’s work for corporations like Warner Bros. and Channel 4 or creative mavericks like Mike Figgis and Philippe Starcke, what typifies these projects is an ambitious and innovative idea that has required an unprecedented technical solution. Whilst the solutions are bespoke and cutting edge, my task is always to make sure it is the idea and not the technology that becomes the story.
Quizzes on the web can be typified as either looking terrible or being style over substance affairs with poor content. The challenge set by Channel 4’s in house agency 4Creative was to break the mould and offer an online quiz that would satisfy the keenest of pub quiz aficionados with a front end experience that would match the production values of the companion More4 on-air trails. The result was fusing stills photography with live action and a real-time multiplayer game engine.
It also cast me in the unlikely role of double for David Starkey, who was comped in later. The magic of green screen.
At Franki&Jonny, the agency I co-founded and ran for seven years, we were celebrated for our integrated campaigns for films. One of the more ambitious was for The Infidel. At the heart was the “Which religion is the funniest?” competition, run across YouTube and Facebook, via a custom app.
Participants uploaded videos of themselves telling their favourite religious joke. The public voted on the best and the winners got to tell their joke in a special live event compered by writer David Baddiel that proceeded the film’s première.
Laughter is infectious. How funny would it be if we could see that? That was the premise of this campaign devised by the good people at The Viral Factory. I was tasked with sorting out how it worked. Whilst people watched a clip of other people laughing, their webcam captured them laughing. Our magical player, which could be embedded into any site, then automatically added them to the original clip.
My academic background is in artificial intelligence. Whilst my fellow alumni pursued careers designing weapons systems or predicting (causing?) financial crashes, I utilised this experience in a campaign website for a psychological horror film. At the heart of this site promoting the Warner Bros production Trauma, starring Colin Firth, is a computer model of Rogerian therapy which acts both as site navigator and, mimicking scenes from the film, an unseen personal therapist.
It won a BAFTA for best film website, which in turn, perhaps more significantly, garnered me column inches in the South Wales Echo (who honoured it with one of the punniest headlines you’ll find west of Fleet Street).
To celebrate the launch of his new, rather chunky watch, Philippe Starck created a really massive, chunky watch. So big in fact that an entire Apple Cinema Display doubled as the watch’s screen. Starck approached his go-to design guys (GBH) who in turn approached their go-to technical guy (me) to decide what to put on the screen. We mimicked the giant watch display to look like the real thing, telling the correct time. But at certain intervals, the time would shuttle off to various key points of the day and play short, graphic films depicting that time of day - eating breakfast, doing the laundry, going for drinks etc. all framed for the watch’s unique screen format.
When Mike Figgis asked me to piggy back the production of his A-list ensemble movie shooting in Venice and create an online experience, I didn’t need too much convincing.
Backed financially by Film4, I ran a guerilla team, including award-winning director Damien O’Donnell (East is East) and my soon-to-be collaborator in Franki&Jonny, Franki Goodwin. For six weeks, we lived, ate, slept and worked under the same roof as the cast in the same hotel as the eponymously titled film was set. The 96 pieces of content we created included short films starring Rhys Ifans, Salma Hayek, David Schwimmer and Danny Huston amongst others as well as graphical, photographic and animated content inspired by the location, the story and Mike’s maverick filmmaking techniques.
The project was years ahead of its time with the Film industry only now, more than a decade later, starting to recognise the value of companion content. It didn’t go unnoticed though, gaining much critical acclaim including a BAFTA Interactive nomination.
You can read my blog post on the project for more information.
Most of my time as the inaugural Head of Technology at SAS was spent in the world of digital communications for blue chip corporates. As a brief diversion, I was able to put my experience of touch screen development (long before tablets and smart phones made this commonplace) into practice in this fun, very personal project for The Science Museum. The kiosk displayed a famous face, constructed using the same E-FIT software used by the police. Users had to commit this to memory, then had 30 seconds to recreate it. Working with the very talented designer Mr Ben Tomlinson, we transformed the concept of the original E-FIT software into something a child could use. We also had great fun recreating our own faces, which of course we left on display whenever visiting the museum.
Picture the scene. It’s the mid nineties. Hair is spiky and suits are baggy and, whilst working as Head of Technology for a post production company, I spent many long nights and weekends locked in a small room with a Silicon Graphics workstation and a large amount of crisps building a system for this quiz show for S4C, the Welsh language broadcaster. The result was a real-time 3D game based on noughts and crosses operated by the contestants via tracker balls, with a guiding hand from me in the gallery.
Sadly, the only remnants the interweb could provide of this classic of the 3D-noughts-and-crosses-TV-quiz-show genre was some YouTube footage of a VHS recording. Thanks though to whoever saw it fit to preserve.
That means one of three things: