Saturday, May 08, 2010

universal positive 2.0

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

What's great about summer, in a bottle...

Stardust's Brad Tucker and the creatives from DDB Chicago have served-up summer in a bottle for Bud Light Lime in this spot you've probably seen a lot if you've been watching the NBA Playoffs. More information is available on the project here....

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The amazing Technicolor talents of director Andy Hall


By virtue of their attendance at the recent 2009 Newport Beach Film Festival, tens of thousands of Southern Californians - including industry professionals and film fans alike - had numerous opportunities to witness the amazing talents of director Andy Hall first-hand. Since 2005, Andy has been with LA-based VFX boutique a52 (www.a52.com), filling roles on high-profile projects as director, 3D supervisor and/or VFX supervisor, and collaborating with many top industry talents - including a52's own VFX supervisor Patrick Murphy - on a growing list of amazing projects. For the 2009 Newport Beach Film Festival, Andy worked through full-service design company Elastic (www.elastic.tv), and in tandem with advertising agency RPA creatives Scott McDonald, David Smith and Gary Paticoff, to craft the festival's official :30 opening, which introduced all fare screened at the 8-day event. In the words of RPA's Scott McDonald, "Andy Hall is a mix of pure enthusiasm and sheer talent. Our client understood and supported what we were trying to do and believed in the artistry of the project. Elastic, Andy and a52 contributed such a sharp point of view - the very first ingredient was world class - we just kept throwing gasoline on that fire. I got to see this piece play on the biggest movie screen this side of the Mississippi and, let me tell you, it dropped some jaws."

It's my pleasure to present this project for your viewing enjoyment here. You can also read a detailed "behind the scenes" Q&A with Andy on this project on Boards Magazine's Behind the Scenes blog.


Andy began his career at London's The Motion Picture Company, earning the title of senior animator and working on numerous TV commercials and features including "The English Patient," "Tomorrow Never Dies," "Richard III" and "The Miracle Maker." He then spent six years as animation supervisor for Digital Domain, where his feature film credits included "Peter Pan," "The Time Machine," "How The Grinch Stole Christmas," "Oh Brother Where Art Thou" and "Lake Placid" - as well as a long list of prestigious commercials and network on-air IDs. Throughout 2004 and the early part of 2005, Andy served as VFX/animation supervisor at CreoCollective, handling VFX supervision on many projects - and also serving as animation supervisor on high-profile jobs, including David Cornell's 2004 HD Sony Dreams project. At CreoCollective, he also directed a VFX-intensive cancer research spot for Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Andy was brought into the a52 family during the tenure of Mark Tobin, who served as the company's executive producer from 2004 to 2007. At the time, Mark said, "Clients that come to a52 will always work with an extraordinary team, and Andy's unique combination of talents makes him a great addition. In the past, the role of VFX supervisor has typically been in the 2D realm, but as CG becomes increasingly important, it's wonderful to have a world-class animator who also has the skills and talents to contribute effectively on-set to supervise visual effects."

Hope you enjoy this latest example of Andy's impressive talents at work. With this visual feast and quick history to guide our collective expectations, it seems pretty clear that his best is yet to come.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Business ventures of your dreams...

I remember being 12 years old and being very impressed by a young guy I met, Tommy Ewasko, who at that time (1978) was well on his way to becoming a professional photographer. Tommy was the first professional creative person I ever crossed paths with, and after getting to know him a bit better, I began to see the world in a different way. Last month, my successful English entrepreneurial comrade Rob Ford of Favourite Website Awards (TheFWA.com) shared a story with his friends on Facebook where he was included in a 10steps.sg feature by Johnson Koh entitled "Interviews of Ten Accomplished Founders." If you have not visited TheFWA.com before, I can easily imagine you having a kind of epiphany when you do, and there are other domains within Rob's empire which are equally inspirational, including FWATheater.com and FWAPhoto.com.


To me, because his business model is original, creative, seemingly very fun, and largely self-guided, Rob represents the kind of successful entrepreneur that one only dreams of becoming. Do please read the "Interviews" article linked above to learn more about the origins of Rob's business, and those of the other talented young gentlemen listed below. There's enough inspiration here to change many people's perceptions of the very nature of business... and represent new approaches to how resourceful individuals can build their own unique success stories independently.
. BuySellAds - Todd Garland
. Envato - Colliss Ta'eed
. Good Tutorials - Zach Holman
. Abduzeedo - Fabio Sasso
. Tutorial9 - David Leggett
. DeviantArt - Angelo-Sotira
. iStockPhoto - Bruce LivingStone
. Pixel2Life - Dan Richard
. SmashingMagazine - Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day 2009 and beyond... onward and upward!

Huge thanks to Earth Day LA's Jim Stewart, Ph.D., for these insights for continuing to make positive impacts through our day-to-day activities... and to my inspirational buddy Kacy Palmieri, who has worked with Earth Day LA for the past several years, for passing along Jim's sage advice. Also please enjoy the following spot from Stardust Studios for PG&E's ClimateSmart program.


1. Become carbon neutral: Use this carbon calculator, fill in the form with your energy use at home and on the road, and sign up to fund measures that will neutralize your carbon output.
2. Drive Less, Take Transit or Bike or Walk: A well-tuned car with properly inflated tires burns less gasoline—cutting pollution and saving money at the pump. If you have two cars, drive the one with better gas mileage whenever possible. Better yet, skip the drive and take walk, bike, or ride public transit.
3. Write your leaders now to urge them to use existing technology to raise fuel economy standards to 40 miles per gallon -- the single biggest step we can take to curb global warming. This step can save nearly 4 million barrels of oil a day... and save you personally up to $2,000 at the pump over the life of your car.
4. Sign up for Green Power: Renewable energy solutions, such as wind and solar power, can reduce our reliance on coal-burning power plants, the largest source of global warming pollution in the United States. If you live in Los Angeles, call LADWP (800-473-3652) and sign up for Green Power. Some other municipal utilities offer it as well; ask yours.
5. Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, especially those that burn the longest each day. Compact fluorescents produce the same amount of light as normal bulbs, but use 1/4 of the electricity and last 10X as long.
6. Save energy at home: Start with caulking and weather-stripping on doorways and windows, then adjust your thermostat and start saving. For each degree you lower your thermostat in the winter, you can cut your energy bills by 3 percent. To save on heating bills see www.socalgas.com. Finally, ask your utility company to do a free energy audit of your home to show you how to save even more.
7. Become a smart water consumer: Install low-flow showerheads and faucets, then turn your hot water heater down to 120ºF and see hot-water costs go down by as much as 50%.
8. Buy energy-efficient electronics and appliances: Replacing an old refrigerator or an air conditioner with an energy-efficient model saves electricity bills and cuts global warming. Look for the Energy Star label on new appliances or visit www.energystar.gov. Get rebates: See www.ladwp.com for details or call 1 800 246 0441 for free pick up service, or check your own utility’s website for home appliance rebates.
9. Plant a Tree / Protect a Forest. Planting shade trees around your house absorbs CO2, and reduces air-conditioning bills. In Los Angeles, call LADWP to have FREE shade trees delivered to your home: 800-473-3652.
10. Reduce + Reuse + Recycle! Producing new paper, glass, and metal products from recycled materials saves 70-90% of the energy and pollution, including CO2, that result when products come from virgin materials. And by all means, buy recycled products!
11. Mount a local campaign against global warming: Educate your community about how it can cut global warming pollution. Support measures at the national, state, and local level that make automobiles go further per gallon of gas; accelerate the use of clean, renewable energy sources like solar and wind power; increase energy efficiency and conservation; and preserve forests around the world.
12. Buy less: Consumerism is a pattern of behavior that helps to destroy our environment, personal financial health, and human institutions. See www.verdant.net for information on how to reduce consumerism.
13. Grow your own food, and buy local produce to save transportation fuel. Also, compost your food scraps....
14. Install solar panels.
15. Get Connected! Sign up for regular updates, such as the Sierra Club's global warming action network: www.sierraclub.org/globalwarming/e-newsletter/
16. Educate your business, church and school about how they can save money and the planet by becoming carbon neutral through the Climate Neutral Network: www.climateneutral.com.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Let's give them something to talk about: Trendhunter's top 10 publicity stunts

Jeremy Gutsche, the colorfully successful founder of Trendhunter.com, presents this Trendhunter TV feature entitled "Top 10 Publicity Stunts."


Chronicling Improv Everywhere's 2008 Grand Central Station stunt in New York city, the recent "Sound of Music" performance in Antwerp's Central Station, and other sensational videos deemed "Must See" by enough people to ensure they've quite likely already come to your attentions, Jeremy's piece is worth checking-out and bookmarking as a compilation of noteworthy promotional efforts that have given us all something to talk about.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Om Malik on Glam Media, Fundinistas...

David Kaplan of paidContent.org reports today that international ad network Glam Media has raised a $10 million fifth round from investors to expand its operations in Japan and Germany. Here's GigaOm.com founder/writer Om Malik's coverage... naming Glam to a short list of "fundinista" companies "relentlessly pursuing" (and getting) venture capital.
read more | digg story