I am a writer, producer, promoter and designer. My work spans all media: from theme park productions to Hollywood entertainment, interactive CD’s and games, and all things Internet — web sites, WordPress, and social media.
I have done work for clients both full-time and on a project-by-project basis for more than 15 years. Some of my clients / projects include: Hilton Hotels (interactive registration system), Western International Media (television infomercials), Hyundai Computers, Sandra’s Haarzauber Shop (German eCommerce web site), KLH Audio, and an animated corporate video for Western Digital.
Before returning to California, where my current focus is web design, social media marketing and promotion, I lived in Germany for 12 years. There I had the opportunity to study German at the Universitäte des Saarlands and was involved in a variety of international business and design opportunities, including operating a vehicle export business for classic Mercedes-Benz off-road vehicles — Unimogs. I also designed and maintained eCommerce web sites for German clients, and bought commercial air time at RTL (a German TV station) for US clients advertising in Germany.
Prior to going independent with Digital VooDoo, I was a Producer for Warner Brothers Interactive. My assignment was the creative oversight of the game design on “The Egyptian Jukebox”, based on the book by Nick Bantock. Before that I was Line Producer on the CD-ROM, “500 Nations”, hosted by Kevin Costner and distributed by Microsoft. The CD was an interactive history of American Indians based on the 8-part documentary. I was also in charge of the localizations of the CD into French and Spanish.
So how does a pencil-and-paper storyteller become a digital designer? You could say my career has been driven by an evolution of opportunities, although at the times it felt more like chaos theory. After graduating from USC, I began my career in earnest as a Writer / Talent Coordinator for The Merv Griffin Show in the heart of Hollywood (at the TAV Celebrity Theater on Vine Street). I and other writers met with Merv before each show and presented our interviews with the guests. In over three years, I interviewed hundreds of celebrities, authors, artists and statesmen. It was daily live television with all of its excitement, deadline pressures and the instant gratification one gets when you see the results of your work play out on stage.
My next assignment was as an assistant to the President of International Creative Management‘s television division. ICM is one of the largest talent agencies in Hollywood. It was the perfect place to learn the art of the deal. I co-wrote proposals with my boss, one of which resulted in a co-venture with the founder of Second City and Ron Howard’s Imagine Films, creating a company called Second City Entertainment.
I became Director of Development for Second City Entertainment and served as Associate Producer on three television pilots, one of which resulted in a syndicated series for Universal Television. The Second City also had a theater in Santa Monica for improv comedy. We traveled back and forth between the theater and television stages in a stream of production.
The demise of that Hollywood marriage (between Second City and Imagine Films) led me to the magical kingdom of Walt Disney Imagineering as a Creative Development Executive. Together with teams of designers, engineers and artists, I co-developed theme park attractions for Walt Disney World in Florida and Euro Disney in France. One of the shows we developed was a video wall presentation with an Anamatronic® figure called the “Time Keeper”, whose original inspiration was the voice of Robin Williams. I worked in Paris until shortly before the theme park opened.
On all of these very different media experiences, the story — and how it is told — is the connecting point. Telling stories is the root of human communication. My job on any project is to help tell the story, to connect with an audience. I also explore how our digital technologies can enhance the story-telling process and re-define the experience.