Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tools: Behance Action Method

At Behance, we believe that there are too many ideas, and not enough action. Based on interviews with hundreds of the world's most productive creative professionals, Action Method Online was designed as a radically different approach to task management; a simple system for making ideas happen.

Design is a critical element of the Action Method. The products and services developed by Behance to help people practice the Action Method are based on the belief that good design is great for productivity; and that progress in any project ultimately comes down to simplicity in taking action.

All of life can be divided into "projects" - the categories we use in our minds to separate and make sense of what we need to accomplish (e.g. "the party I'm planning," "client X," "event Y," "finances"). The program's based on the idea that a few fundamental elements are necessary in completing these projects:

- The Action Step: a task that needs to be completed
- References: notes, sketches, designs, etc that give your Action Steps context
- Backburners: fantastic ideas that you'd like to act on in the future, but don't quite have time for at the moment
- Discussions: enable you to manage ongoing conversations with a variety of collaborators

AMO combines these elements into an intuitive interface that can be accessed directly via the web.

For more, see here

AMO is simply one of the most easily adoptable task management systems out there; it's based soley on the fact that action should be at the center of any endeavor.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Razor Sharp

Q: Introduce us to yourself and your company.
Michael Delahousaye BD Director of California, Razorfish. Razorfish is one of the largest interactive marketing and technology companies in the world. We counsel clients like Levi's, Mercedes and MillerCoors on how to leverage digital channels such as the Web, mobile devices, in-store technologies and other emerging media to engage people, build brand loyalty and provide excellent customer service. Our client teams provide solutions through strategic counsel, digital advertising and content creation, media buying, analytics, creative, technology, user experience and Social Influence Marketing.

Q: Interactive Producers come from all walks of life, they are a hybrid of talents, tell us about your background and how you got interested in digital production?
N/A – BD Director.

Q: How do you stay on top of emerging technologies and keep your team informed and motivated?
Pick 5 leading bloggers and read their every word.

Q: What does your ideal client/project look like? CPG Company with at least 20 brands.
Digital AOR

Q: How do you educate your clients and set realistic expectations for a project?

Q: What was the best project you have ever worked on?
HP Global pitch

Q: How many projects are you comfortable producing at one given time?


Q: What does your dream team look like?

Account Planner, ECD, Tech Director, Sr PM

Q: How do you ensure that your client's best interests are met?
Dig deep into every project plan and push for the best possible ideas.

Q: What is your vision of what the next phase of our industry is going to look like?
Digital agencies are going be lead agencies with many types of clients. Clients are going to learn to think digitally.

Q: Please share a snippet of wisdom that you would like to impart on our readers. Digital advertising is about brands giving their target audience something of value. Traditional advertising is about giving the target audience something to remember the brand by.

Northern Fare

Q: Introduce us to yourself and your company.
I’m Adrian Gunadi, a producer at TAXI Canada.

Q: Interactive producers come from all walks of life, they are a hybrid of talents, tell us about your background and how you got interested in digital production?
My first brush with production actually started when I was in university. I remember sitting in a film pre-pro. This one girl jumped at the chance to be the producer. I was so surprised. I think I said something like, “Why would anyone want to be that?” Ahhh Jennie, I think you got the last laugh in the end.

My first seven years in the business were spent as a broadcast producer in Australia (Ogilvy) and Canada (BBDO). Gradually though, I became restless for more mixed media opportunities so I made the move to TAXI. The first thing they did was throw me on a year-long ecommerce project as the lead. Talk about baptism by fire. I will say this though, everything since has been comparatively easy.

Q: How do you stay on top of emerging technologies and keep your team informed and motivated?
The most compelling advertising lies at the intersection of popular culture, business, non-commercial art, technology and social discourse. No one person can stay on top of all that. My solution? I try to surround myself with people who are much, much smarter than me in all those areas.

Q: What does your ideal client/project look like?

The dream would be an integrated project that has significance beyond advertising. Something that might still be relevant 10 years after launch. Projects like Tap Water, Million, Earth Hour and 15 Below.

Q: How do you educate your clients and set realistic expectations for a project?
Don’t baffle a marketer with jargon. Break everything down into its simplest elements. So many people forget that tech talk has to be dished out in small doses, like penicillin. Recognize when their faces go blank and their eyes glaze over - that's when you have to stop, because it's counter-productive to keep going.

Q: What was the best project you have ever worked on?
A Blue Shield project about how Californians are suffering in the absence of universal health coverage. Live stunts drove traffic to a microsite ( where users were invited to pass on a message to Congress. The core elements were linked by outdoor, live read and banner components. We launched at the height of the election race last year. In just 11 days, we smashed our yearly traffic estimate and pulled in over US$1.8 million in P.R. Almost 1,400 user petitions were sent by real people to the U.S. Speaker of the House. The whole thing was orchestrated by a small team of five creatives from mixed disciplines, working between our NY and Toronto offices.

On a personal level, I recently won a competition traditionally entered in by full creative teams. I recommend any producer to try something like this at least once in their career. I think there's tremendous value in learning first-hand what goes into concepting, writing, art directing, designing or coding a campaign. It can only make you a better producer. And recently I had a go at cobbling together my own site (, just for a lark. It was fun to play the client for once.

Q: How many projects are you comfortable producing at one given time?
Lombardi said it best: “We didn’t lose the game, we just ran out of time.” Lack of time, not budget, is the biggest creative-killer. So my personal preference is to work on fewer projects, which in turn allows a more hands-on approach. Because of that attention to detail, I've done everything from building full creative decks, to writing copy decks in a pinch, to presenting finished work to clients when the rest of the team couldn't be there.

Q: What tools do you use to help you better organize your projects?
My brain and my tongue, mostly. Everything else depends on what kind of project we’re talking about.

Q: What does your dream production team look like?
I prefer a team that is always changing. It doesn't help the end result if the same producer is always working with the same creative team because everyone falls into a rut. That's just human nature.

Q: How do you ensure that your client's best interests are met?
Don't just focus on the written brief or what they tell you verbally. Sometimes it's the stuff that they don't say which is more important.

Q: What is your vision of what the next phase of our industry is going to look like?
Digital advertising has to be functional to make a lasting impact. Look at what people are using: iPhones, iPods, Google maps, Facebook, RSS readers, email, Wikipedia, Nike Run, Wii Fit, PVR, Amazon recommendations, Skype. They all have one thing in common: each technology added a new dimension to people’s daily lives. Advertising has to match that level of service or become obsolete.

Q: Please share a snippet of wisdom that you would like to impart on our readers.

On any given project, a producer has to figure out what’s best for the project; what’s best for the creative team; what’s best for the client; what’s best for the agency; what’s best for themselves. How good a producer you are ultimately depends on how you stack these goals.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Can You Dig It?

Q: Introduce us to yourself and your company.
Hi, my name is April Benton. I head up production and client services at Metajive Design.

Metajive is a full service interactive agency specializing in experience oriented web sites and online strategy. We have a team of 5 plus a french bulldog to keep everything light! Our clients come from all industries (Burton Snowboards, Gap, Sony to name a few) so because of the variety we approach each by first defining their web strategy and main goals.

Q: Interactive Producers come from all walks of life, they are a hybrid of talents, tell us about your background and how you got interested in digital production?
Let's see ... I started out doing events for a couple of ski resorts in the Lake Tahoe area, one event that I was hired for my title was literally a 'wrangler'. I then moved on to an Ad Agency in SF doing typical account work but after a taste of that not so glamours account life I quickly headed back to my 'snow roots'. Next moving to San Diego and working for a Action Sports publishing company, there I ran a gamut of their Snow, Skate, Surf and Moto events as well as their other marketing efforts. Interactive production was always in my life ... mainly because my husband was doing design and flash freelance work so I always heard about the inefficient producers and annoying account people so I figured that I could do better!

Q: How do you stay on top of emerging technologies and keep your team informed and motivated?
I'm actually really fortunate to have a team that really stays on top of knowing what's going on and being done out there. They all have a lot of years experience and are exceptionally knowledgeable about what's happening in our interactive realm.

Q: What does your ideal client/project look like?

Truthfully? A client that will let us do whatever we want, has a huge budget and pays on time!! Good joke, eh?!

In the real world there really are just not enough of those types of clients. So I'd say our 'real world ideal client' would be a client that most importantly is a real person with real ideas and open mind to listen to other idea - we want to be able to respect this person and they respect what we do - of course! Ideally this client would listen to our advice of what to do and not to do, trust that we will lead them down the right direction and really just let us do our jobs!

Q: How do you educate your clients and set realistic expectations for a project?
As far as expectations we do our research and find out what their competitors are doing and then set the expectation of how the site should look, flow and really compete. We educate our clients on what can be done and most importantly what can be done on a scale that is suitable for their audience and budget.

Q: What was the best project you have ever worked on?
We just finished an online media kit it was great because we'd worked with this same client years before on a similar type of project so they understood what it would cost, what they could do and had very realistic goals. It was the most enjoyable and stressless project that we've had in a long time.

Q: How many projects are you comfortable producing at one given time?
It really depends on the scope of the projects. If it's a straight design and HTML website we can knock those out in no time, if it involves a big CMS system it takes a bit longer then add in Flash or After Effects and it becomes more time invasive. Currently we have an average of 6 to 8 projects going on at once and of course the are all different sizes and in different stages of completion. As well as random maintenance, additions and banner ad for existing client sites.

Q: What does your dream production team look like?
We're a small and mighty team so pretty much our current team is our dream team. But if I were to put together another team it'd be run like this ... senior level designer, senior level flash developer, junior level designer that can also do HMTL code. A high end PHP/ back-end developer and a strong account person that will push when and where needed.

Q: How do you ensure that your client's best interests are met?
We spend a good amount of time in the beginning defining what they need, what makes sense and then we layout a tight plan and then we just make it happen.

Q: What is your vision of what the next phase of our industry is going to look like?
Our industry is constantly changing, we can't wait to sink our teeth into augmented reality but really even something like that is just one more tool to allow us to get our ideas across. Change is part of the game in interactive so we are happy to be mixing mediums and pushing the limits. Incorporating After Effects, 3D and creating a seamless environment for our users to enjoy. We are sure the tools are going to get better but the game will still be the same.

Q: Please share a snippet of wisdom that you would like to impart on our readers.
I've learned that it's very important to keep the office well stocked with snacks and beer! Nothing screws up a project like a persnickety designer with low blood sugar. And nothing gets a client more stoked than keeping the fridge stocked with their favorite beer ... this also works well for motivating designers and developers to work late on a Friday night!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Dare To Do Daring Work

Q: Introduce us to yourself and your company.
Hey, my name is Bill Allen, I'm the Head of Interactive Development at BooneOakley. BooneOakley is a full service advertising agency in Charlotte, NC (pop. 6). We've done work for a variety of clients in a number of categories. Ruby Tuesday, CarMax, Bloom Grocery Stores, MTV2, HBO, Continental Tires, NASCAR, The Charlotte Bobcats ... the list goes on.

Q: Interactive Producers come from all walks of life, they are a hybrid of talents, tell us about your background and how you got interested in digital production?
Well, I started painting at Rhode Island School of Design and that led me to printmaking which led me to photography which led me to computer manipulated photography (Photoshop 2 baby!) and then on to applications like Director. From Director and early CDRom projects I started learning basic web technologies like html, flash...etc. At a certain point I took a freelance gig with an advertising agency and I got hooked on the environment. Been with it ever since.

Q: How do you stay on top of emerging technologies and keep your team informed and motivated?
We have a small shop so we don't really need sophisticated tools for sharing information, no Basecamp etc. Mostly link sharing and sticking your head over into your neighbor's space. "Come look at this".

Q: What does your ideal client/project look like?
Well like the website says "For those who dare to do daring work". Ultimately is it worth it to spend a ton of money on something with mediocre results? I'm sure every group will say this but we want to work for people we respect and who respect us, and trust us. Trust us enough to know that we don't just throw crap against the wall and hope it sticks. We think really, really hard about our crap and when we throw it...we're positive it will stick.

Q: How do you educate your clients and set realistic expectations for a project?

Well, being able to identify what problem they are trying to solve really helps, and then you can tell if what you're doing actually addresses that problem. That and ask lots and lots of questions and get answers.

Q: What was the best project you have ever worked on?

The latest one, . When the original idea surfaced I knew it was going to be great because A. It terrified me and B. I knew it was completely doable. The only real challenge were the ones usually associated with internal projects: Decisions, Finding Time, Scope Creep. Remarkably without a whole lot of structure it pulled itself off wonderfully. Mostly due to the nature of the project, the creative team could work directly on almost all of the site including the annotations. There wasn't a technical hurdle in place. That was refreshing for all parties involved. Also, the frenzy around the site has been a lot of fun. Some very strong opinions but overwhelmingly, and quite surprisingly, they're very positive.

Q: How many projects are you comfortable producing at one given time?
Given the size of our shop we usually have a couple of smaller projects going at once. If the job is gigantic we tend to farm out to development shops of appropriate size and skillset. We've also set up several ongoing maintenance jobs that have to get done every week, emails and banners with dynamic feeds etc. The nature of campaigns now gets pretty mixed up so digital development is sometimes the focus and sometimes it's just a garnish.

Q: What does your dream production team look like?
Uh, solid LAMP loving DB developer, I think that's a solid foundation to build on. A great back-end developer, who can rock stuff like AS3, Flex and overlap with the DB dev, also might know iPhone and a couple other technologies. Thirdly, some kind of front-end designer / animation rockstar. And last but not least someone to crack the whip and keep them away from the Call of Duty 4. This team would work in tandem with a creative team that would drive things conceptually. Ultimately they would all get along but it can be tough getting the personalities and egos to mesh and respect each other.

Q: How do you ensure that your client's best interests are met?
Think...lots...really hard. We do our research, we try to put the teams in the best possible position to do great work. And if we think we're doing something that isn't going to help them we say so. The smart one's listen, sometimes they have very valid reasons for doing what seem to be crazy things and once they explain that to us it's easier to go do what they want us to do. Talking helps a lot.

Q: What is your vision of what the next phase of our industry is going to look like?

Wow, I almost don't want to say because I want us to get there first :P. I think W+K's production of Battlegrounds, that 1vs1 basketball tournament a few years back, was a harbinger for me of where things where headed. Seen a few failed attempts (Cavemen) but ultimately I see content production in all our futures. Quality production tools are so readily available. Cheap Canon Rebels are going to have video soon. The booneoakley site showed that you can put tools directly in the hands of creatives and develop something compelling.

Q: Please share a snippet of wisdom that you would like to impart on our readers.
It is rare that I've been unhappy with myself when I've gone well beyond what I thought was necessary to get something just done, but instead stopped and polished a project up, actually thought about if it could be better and took the steps to make it better.


As far as development goes, make a habit of being thorough, name things consistently etc. and always be aware that you're not the last one who will ever have to touch your work. Be thoughtful, comment your code, think of others and how your code "reads".

Unity 3D

Q: 3D on the web is one of the more popular technologies being used in campaign sites, what makes Unity different than say Papervision3D?
Scope, size and quality of games that operate within the browser or running at fullscreen. From MMOs like cartoon network's Fusion Fall to causal game experiences featured on or - Unity is a leading the class in 3d in-browser content experiences. Unity has a full 3d editing system, features Ageia PhysX, support for 3rd party back-end solutions (such as Smartfox, or Exit Games - for MMOs) and cross platform capabilities to publish on the PC / Mac / iPhone / Wii and additional consoles.

For new end-users, The Unity web player features near seamless install process that does not links guests off the website, nor does it install 3rd party applications (such as a toolbar)

Q: What are some of the best ways the Advertising Industry can use Unity to tell better stories?
If your clients are looking for a rich 3d content experience - Unity can provide that near console quality experience in browser. Please navigate to our gallery for examples of games which have been released by some of our developers.

Q: How does Unity position itself amongst other web based technologies?
With cross platform capabilities, a clean web player install process, and proven launched content, we are well poised to appeal to both AAA developers (please look for an announcement in the very near future :) ) and students as Schools and Universities are adopting Unity to complement their educational game programs.

Q: Outside of gaming, what other industries have adopted Unity as a story telling technology?
NASA, US Government, Architectural firms for visualization, Aerospace industry, NYU (human anatomy visualization) to name a few...

Q: How closely has Unity worked with the Interactive industry to help educate and integrate its technologies?
Game Developers are our core market. We appear at GDC, CGDA, as well as host our own Unite event. We've been featured in EDGE magazine, and have Ads running in several gaming publications.

Q: What does the future hold for Unity 3D?
What's in store for Unity? New platform support, growth for our company (we're currently staffing up our offices in EUR and US) and new developers coming on board.

Lunch Time

Q: What is Lunch and what was your motivation for starting the company?
Being agency side for so long, most recently at TAXI and Grip, and through my colleagues in the industry it became glaringly apparent that there was a gap in the market in terms of clients and agencies knowing who they can call for what types of work.

I’ve been really lucky throughout my career that I’ve gotten to know a lot of incredibly talented people. I’d co-founded an industry event in Canada called Inter-action where we’d been sharing work and encouraging dialogue and collaboration. It was really a natural progression for me.

I absolutely love this business.

Digital production has been close to my heart for 12 years. I’ve tried to achieve a certain production value throughout the years with production partners and as a producer and executive producer and it really came together as the next logical step.

I’d been thinking about creating a different kind of model for a long time, and I started to talk to people about it and the feedback was solid. Lunch was born out of the idea that producing and creating great digital work should be as easy as one phone call. Lunch is a time where people meet, and talk.

I think clients look forward to their time at the agency and agencies look forward to lunch, whether it’s with production partners, directors, pre-pros, screenings, edits. Etc. It’s a fun time. I wanted something that captured that, and was approachable. All to often digital is scary. I think for me this is an effort to really pull back the curtain and make things easy for everyone, whether they come from the digital space or not.

Lunch is about ideas.

Lunch provides representation for artists, illustrators, directors, design and animation studios, audio houses, editorial talent, flash, web and application developers, production management and consulting as well as technical services. Not only are we there as reps, but we’re there to provide production services and manage the work if required. We can package a whole production from start to finish, or provide a la carte services.

It’s totally up to the client and the nature of the production. We’re setup to do absolutely anything whether digital or otherwise.

Q: How do you determine the best way to distribute projects across your network?
I’ve had the luxury of building some pretty incredible relationships with an amazing group of people so in that sense because of the number of productions we’ve been involved in together, we have a great sense of capabilities. I know what they’re great at, and I know where their interests lie. I always say, I wouldn’t necessarily want to work with someone I didn’t want to talk to on the phone.

So initially the starting line up is based on companies, I’ve really, really enjoyed working with. I’ve won Lions with some of them, Pencils with others, and we know how to work together. I’m excited to bring that to the table.

I love building teams.

It’s about the creative, what’s required, and who is best suited to doing that work. I’ve always looked at developers as directors, you want them to bring something to the table, a treatment, ideas etc. Projects will be paired with appropriate partners.

Sometimes partners will work together, yes, even competitors, or sometimes we’ll all have to talk, and sometimes it’s up to the client. It was important to me in building the network that we had a mix of the right people. People had to be willing to work in a different way.

I think that speaks to the interactive approach vs. traditional, we in the digital space are pretty accepting of sharing and collaborating. It’s how a lot of us got to where we are, we shared. Inter-action reminded me of that, pulling back the curtain on the smoke and mirrors that can exist in terms of the technology was important to me. It’s not about finding work for those she represents, it’s about finding the right work, where everyone makes a meaningful contribution in an open and honest atmosphere to create something amazing.

Q: What excites you most about this new model?
I think I’m most excited about the types of projects we’re seeing and having the opportunity to be on the same side of the fence as my partners. I’m really excited to help in bridging the gap between art and commerce.

There’s so much that can be done in so many different ways, looking at getting clients more educated and arming them with information is probably the most exciting for me.

I’ll also be holding workshops for producers who’d like to cross the floor into producing digital. That’s been one of my favorite things in the business is working with broadcast producers, traditional teams and print producers to get them up to speed on how we work.

The ability to work with some of my favorite artists is also a thrill, we’ve partnered with a gallery space and retail space in order for us to offer more variety and venues for immersive. Representation of artists like Kozyndan, TADO, Tara McPherson, and Junko Mizuno is absolutely surreal for me, these are artists I collect.

I’m thrilled to be able to bring them to a new audience. They were a key piece of the puzzle for me because they affect creative so greatly. Huge inspiration. To be honest, there isn’t a lot I’m not excited about right now. I’m looking forward to the years ahead. Lunch is about stripping away all the technical jargon that alienates so many clients and putting the right people together to create something amazing

Q: How are you going to manage work flow across multiple teams that have similar skill sets?
The model is really based around a central conduit, which in this case is me. It’s like intake. Projects come in, and obviously with all of the partners I work with, I have a sense of what their bandwidth is like, who needs what, who’s looking for what and who’s managing what.

The majority of them have in house producers and coordinating and working with them to assist in the execution of the work is critical. It’s certainly something I’ve had a lot of experience with, being a director of production agency side it was imperative that workflow was flawless across multiple partners. It’s all about communication. Lunch has a standard process, and structure that helps to standardize workflow, but it’s the same thing I’ve always said to my producers when I’m agency side – talk.

Q: Are you able to mix and match talents across the various teams based on individual skill sets?
Part of the beauty of lunch being a network is that the teams can work together. It provides an incredible capacity as well as a place to collaborate and work together. I pursued partners that were forward thinking, truly collaborative and ready for change.

I think that’s been the amazing thing so far is the partners getting to know each other and their excitement in being able to work together.

Again, I’ve had the luxury of knowing and working with them all, so I’ve always had ideas of who would get along with who and what might go with what in terms of service offerings. It’s amazing to watch it all come together and see them in a room together. I keep calling it the Voltron of production.

Lunch is really about stripping away all the technical jargon that alienates so many clients and putting the right people together to create something incredible.

Q: What does lunch look like 5 years from now?
I think the evolution of lunch will obviously mean expansion to different markets, with different partners, with more producers under the lunch umbrella, robots? :) It’s been so funny so far, it’s such an opinionated community (to which I am completely included).

Lunch is about keeping things simple and approachable. Easy. So I hope we’re still like that, but as I always say I’d like to finally be off of the computer by then and controlling everything with some kind of universal controller. It’s funny, I launched the lunch site last week ( and some people got it, others commented on how “old school” it was.

It’s definitely a play on the average site of a development shop and the digital production world in generally. We never have time to build or own site because we’re too busy working on something great for someone else. So in that sense I hope all that’s the same in 5 years is the website.

Monday, June 1, 2009

For All its Worth

Q: Introduce us to yourself and your company.
I'm Hank Leber, founder of Agency Nil and recent graduate of the VCU Brandcenter (MS, Mass Communications). For those who are unfamiliar, Agency Nil's model is, "Pay what you think the work is worth once you get it. Nothing up front."

Q: Interactive Producers come from all walks of life, they are a hybrid of talents, tell us about your background and how you got interested in digital production?
My story is not ordinary - much like others who have wound up in Interactive. After undergrad at William and Mary (English major) I toured in a rock band for 5 years, full time. We had a very good time, played with many of our musical heroes, and sold a lot of music. I ran the business, which included art direction (posters, cd art, stickers, merchandise), web design, copywriting/music writing, and lots of stuffy MBA kinds of things.

We were the generation of musicians caught in the whirlwind of a post-Napster era (2001-2005) where music was becoming free but no one knew how to make it work yet (and, arguably, most people still don't). But there are some smart folks out there trying to fix it - how can I not mention Bruce Flohr and his plan for Radio Head's In Rainbows release? Pay what you think it's worth...hmm...

Anyway, we had a major record deal fall through and were left with a tough choice. (Chose to stop). Grad school at VCU seemed appropriate - some business, some art, and a lot of advertising/communications training - right up my alley. And it was a fantastic experience. I got exposed to the wonders of interactive digital technology and studied the social aspects of the internet from the inside and the out.

Q: How do you stay on top of emerging technologies and keep your team informed and motivated?
Twitter and Tumblr have become increasingly relevant to my staying up with the times. They're great as long as you're following the right people. I keep telling others who are confused about Twitter, "It's not about, 'I'm eating this awesome sandwich right now.' It's about, 'Check out this really smart, obscure link/article I found.' " And of course, I've got my daily feed of blogs coming in. BBH Labs, Scobleizer, Noah Brier, Kawasaki, PSFK - too many to list, really (and I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings if I didn't mention them). There's just lots of smart stuff out there. And the filtration/feed system is getting better every day.

Q: What does your ideal client/project look like?
Ideal is a dangerous thought. I can more easily tell you this: Projects go well when I've got an open-minded (read: less totalitarian and more eager to learn) client who wants to get out of comfort zones, take a few chances to make things new, and doesn't mind the thought of letting something develop over a bit of time. A lot of clients expect a social or interactive solution to be immediate, as though we could air-drop 100,000 sheep onto their fenced, green pastures.

Q: How do you educate your clients and set realistic expectations for a project?

Story, story, story. Setting up a viable, sensible layout for the landscape you're working in, business situation, and most importantly - behavioral needs and qualities your work will be based on is key. If you don't set the scene right in the first place, you'll have a confused, nervous client instead of an excited one. And that's trouble. Once you get a receptive client, setting up realistic timetables, expectations, and projections will go over much better.

Q: What was the best project you have ever worked on?
I wound up writing the strategy for the launch of Budweiser American Ale last year while interning at DDB Chicago. It's not the sexiest 'interactive project' story, but it was great to work on the top level with great creatives, a big old fashioned budget, and web developers that could really crank it out. The site could have been way more interactive and socially minded, but it was a year ago, last summer. That's an eon, essentially.

Q: How many projects are you comfortable producing at one given time?

The Agency Nil model is set up to handle lots of projects at once. Since the employees are mostly between-jobs ad people and recent ad school grads, there are a lot of potential team members to put on projects. I get emails every day from people wanting to work for the agency from all over the world. Personally, I don't like to get invested in 4 or more projects at once - it's a brain space issue, and quality of thought goes down. I trust my teams to lead their projects a lot of times, though, which makes it easy to keep more things going if need be.

Q: What does your dream production team look like?
I'm a big fan of creative technologists - specifically focusing on the strategy behind an interactive execution and whether or not it's fulfilling a specific need in the consumer. An interactive designer is good to have, especially when paired with a smart programmer who knows how to work fast while working smartly. And I always want to have an out-of-the-box-minded copywriter on board to to any writing and also to be the effect/vibe coach. Most of the time if it isn't cool it isn't going to work. The team can be comprised of all of these parts, fewer, or more - to me, the most important part is that everyone is thinking strategically and that all minds are on the same page working toward the goals. If that happens, a whole lot can get done with fewer people.

Q: How do you ensure that your client's best interests are met?
Interactive work needs to fulfill a definite, established need in the consumer. Not to be confused with a made-up or hoped-for need, as is the case many times. I'm talking about Maslow's Hierarchy here - old school stuff. The basic human needs like self-actualization, communication, survival, reassurance, information - all of these are behind any successful interactive execution. And if the need is perceived, or hoped, the thing fails. Think of Second Life, or Wal-Mart's social network try a while back.

Q: What is your vision of what the next phase of our industry is going to look like?
The notion of too much noise and overcrowding in media seems like the most likely factor in shaping the new Internet and advertising. Everything will be so filtered and feed-ed and customized that a brand will have to either A) become as human as their consumers and provide relevant, interesting content instead of just messages or B) utilize Ad Exchanges to give their placements a sickening, scary amount of relevance based on each of our surfing histories. Big Brother is watching, and he knows what kind of underwear you'd be interested in buying.

Q: Please share a snippet of wisdom that you would like to impart on our readers.
I don't think I have much wisdom. But a belief I'd like to share: all of this new technology, apps, i-this, i-that, web 3-point-something, they are all all just new vehicles for ideas. There is no replacing the value and utility of simple, great ideas. And we mustn't lose sight of that; if you can't get the idea out on a sheet of paper with a line or two, then start over.