Dear Jenny

Way back when, at AGENCY.COM our creative group collectively made a short film as an internal creative project. I’ll put the movie up again shortly.

The Prophecy

Francis Ford Coppola

In 1991, Francis Ford Coppola said:

“To me the great hope is that now these little video recorders are around and people who normally wouldn’t make movies are going to be making them. And suddenly, one day some little fat girl in Ohio is going to be the new Mozart and make a beautiful film with her father’s camcorder and for once, the so-called professionalism about movies will be destroyed, forever, and it will really become an art form.”

This quote should make any self-respecting film buff smile.

Smoke without fire

It was in 1966 that Yves Saint Laurent’s introduced his first “le smoking” – a classic three-button dinner jacket, worn with a frilled white silk blouse, tied with a black ribbon at the neck, and mannish trousers featuring a satin side-stripe.

The look – at once androgynous, mysterious and alluring – was immortalized by the late Helmut Newton in 1975, with his black and white photograph of a model in the rue Aubriot in Paris, wearing that season’s “le smoking”, with her hair slicked back and right hand clutching a cigarette. It became one of YSL’s most recognizable signatures.

Satellite phones.

The monstrous handsets are gone, check out the slender and sleek sat phones. Would they tempt you back now that the original clunky devices have seemingly dropped off the map? During the NY blackouts and the recent London terror campaigns the mobile phone network was knocked out by the instantaneous spike in phone traffic. Expeditions to mountainous regions still rely on these bad boys.


Benjamin Franklin was right: “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” Most adults require seven to nine hours of quality sleep per night in order to wake up feeling their best. Yet so many people swear they only need 5-6 hours of sleep per night. Are they fooling themselves?

Yes. Many people will say that they only need five to six hours of sleep per night, but they are usually not doing this on a regular sustained basis. Studies have repeatedly showed we need a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night in order to function optimally.

Steven Soderbergh on clarity

“The hardest thing in the world is to be good and clear when creating anything. It’s the hardest thing in the world. It’s really easy to be obscure and elliptical and so fucking hard to be good and clear. It breaks people. Because you don’t often get encouragement to do that, to be good and clear.”

This quote came from a great interview with Believer magazine. His version of the 1970’s sci-fi epic Solaris is stunning/complex/sparse. I laugh when I think that might actually be his ordainment movie.

Red text on a black background

A black background should be used in a limited manner though. It can be used as a way to create simple variety in a design, such as the headers on this page. A full page of white text against a black background certainly creates contrast, but seems to be harder to read than black text on white. In addition to black text against white, and white text against black, red text is also a suitable color that creates good contrast against white, and is acceptable to those with visual impairments.” Here’s a red background to ponder the opposite effect (red bg, black foreground image, white text)…

Old school classics

The VW camper van was built nearly 60 years ago and is now becoming one of the great vehicles of all times, its nature seems to be one that will never give up. The VW camper van will always turn heads and will always be part of an owners life. The VW camper represents a certain way of life, a life of freedom, a life of youthfulness. Check out the airstream for a new school vibe.

Just do it, write!

Write it, do or don't

Self-consciousness, self-doubt, awkwardness, and overcompensation are perennial hallmarks of the beginning writer. The reason today’s amateurs seem more profoundly un–profound could be a simple matter of exposure.

There used to be impenetrable gatekeepers. Now, CNN round tables, documentaries, independent films, MTV, and the web—which has no gatekeepers in most countries—are broadcasting every poorly crafted phrase and half–cooked idea imaginable. Patience, readers. All is not lost. Great writing can be taught and atrocious writing is entirely preventable.

Promax BDA Panel

Dale Herigstad, our executive creative director is off to London and asked that I cover for him on a panel showing off some creative for AE History Channel. Here’s a sneak peak at some screens, and be sure to attend the session:

Moderator: Marcia Zellers, Director, AFI Digital Content Lab
David Jensen, VP Business Development, ZeTools
Bob Holmes, Founder & CEO, Sudden Industries
Dan Sellars, Creative Director, Schematic New York

Promax BDA New York
New Design For Digital Distribution
Julliard Complex, 5th Floor
June 21 @ 2 p.m.

A short walk from the Q

The number “444” (44 zhang, 4 chi, or 444 chi) prescribed for the length of this important imperial ship was certainly no accident. Four was the symbol for the earth, which was thought to be “four cornered.” The Middle Kingdom was imagined to be in the middle of four seas. There are four cardinal directions, four seasons, and, according to Confucian philosophy, si wei, “four bonds” or virtues: propriety, integrity, righteousness, and modesty. All were auspicious associations for the treasure ships. Image Copyright Lisa Whiteman:

First day at work

I really appreciate it when a smart number matches a significant moment in your life. Today is 12-6-2006, significant because I start a new job as creative director, Schematic (New York). I’m really thrilled and feel very privileged to be joining them. They are behind some of the best design work for television 2.0

Pleasures with ichat

Apple iChat enabled this sparky conversation with some distant friends in Scotland. Okay, some credit does go to broadband internet for providing a fast, stutter-free video connection. I’m putting this up out of great respect for the humor/spontaneity of good video chat. These lovely bunch of friends are all alumni of Edinburgh College of Art.

Femme Fatale

Angry Femme Fatale with high heel in her hand

I’m figuratively dressing a femme fatale for a cinematic sequence.

She’s well read, well-spoken and has her own particular ‘likes and dislikes’ navigating several centuries of art/culture yet enjoys talking up trashy fashion.

Make no mistake, this women is versed in the science of seduction. Frankly, her weapon of choice is the sophisticated pencil skirt, a move of her calculated creativity.

‘Seek and you shall find’ meaning accept deeper research. The true jewels of this intriguing femme fatale can be found fairly easily. I’m adoring this women already. Defining more expression/history/character traits will allow us to go beyond stereo-typical references.

She’s a trained master in seduction.

“slim silhouette stays that way – with just a flattering hint of poufiness”

The hand-on-hips is a unifying image of sophisticated 1920’s style femininity.

Femme Fatale wearing pencil skirt

The high-hip skirt is a much softer look/playful touch. Black nylon tights, or something with a slight pattern. Elegant Christian Louboutin’s stilettos, painted toes, red gloss, towards the darker side of red.