My work has ranged 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 20 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 Western Digital (animated videos).
Before returning to California, where my current focus is web design and social media marketing, 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 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 and print ads for the Bild 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 oversight of the game design on “The Egyptian Jukebox”, based on the book by Nick Bantock. I was also a 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 responsible for the localizations into French and Spanish.
So how does a pencil-and-paper storyteller become a digital designer? My career has been driven by an evolution of opportunities (although sometimes it felt more like chaos theory). After graduating from the USC School of Journalism, I began my career in earnest as a Writer / Talent Coordinator for The Merv Griffin Show in Hollywood (at the TAV Celebrity Theater). I and the other writers would meet with Merv before each show and present our interviews with the guests. In three-plus 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 you get when you see the results of your work play out on stage. The show ended in 1986.
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 new company called Second City Entertainment, based in Century City.
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 (the co-venture of Second City and Imagine) 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 the theme park opened in 1992.
On all of these 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, and I like to explore how digital technology allows us to share our stories in more innovative ways.