F5 Conference : New York

The F5 conference brought together a range of people from a bunch of different fields to talk about their work, how they do it etc. It wasn’t wall to wall motion graphics people and all the attendees were pretty high level hombres from good companies. The caliber was excellent and the range top notch.

Here’s some notes:
they represented “INTERACTIVE DIRECTORS”. Same idea as a film director. An individual who could roam around, do treatments and guide the team to fruition. They asked a few of their guys to come up with a treatment for a brief. Very interesting to see the different presentation styles and what ideas they were presenting.

On guy, (alex (?)) can’t come up with multiple ideas so he needs to sit with an idea and become inspired in order to stay interested in an idea.He’s got a creative cycle which i quite liked:

  1. problem / brief
  2. find inspiration2. have an idea
  3. peer review (talk to people)
  4. repeat

This “repeat” idea is pretty cool, making the process iterative and include others in it. I think this is a big theme: how to find the best way to manage multiple creative ideas in one process and get the most value out of that. There’s some sort of balance there that needs to be struck and then celebrated.

He needs to find an angle that inspires him so he can stay motivated through the whole project. I liked that too. I think that’s what defines the vision. The thing that makes the idea rock right til the end.

To find inspiration, he dives into references for seeds of inspiration…
This was later summed up best buy another speaker who said “TO THE INTERNET!“.

But obviously the inspiration can come from anywhere.

The next director summed up the directors challenge:What’s the story? The story is like a good song. You need to feel it.

Then you need to work out  devices can you get to get people to feel it.
This was a nice idea: start with the story… what tools can we use to tell it?

These guys were super loose and funny. They said they’d make 3d animatics to explore a story, then take frames out of that to make boards. That is crazy as they admitted.  They go through lots of cycles to get to where they need to be. Seems like going straight to animatic isn’t a time saver, but lets them work through how it feels as a cut film real quick.

One of the Short films presented at F5 was a film called  puppets  – it was pretty amazing. Great use of special FX to bring a odd and excellent idea the life. Great balance. I’ll try to find a link

Did some live dj’ing of some songs. He is obviously pretty amazing at doing non beat-based record mixing and sampling. His 2yr old daughter came on stage and dances to his yo gabba gabba song (her favourite). He talked about his various other projects (books, films, a night he plays music for people to draw to…). He’s into  fun on a budget.


Adam Sawosky(?): They do clever technology based live installations. He summed up the 60/40 split as “sometimes we do it for the meal, sometimes we do it for the real” and looking at commercial brief and  “taking the hard sell and making it fun”.Then he went through o.k. go rube goldberg clip.. behind the scenes making of etc. Interesting insight into the amount of detail and sweat that goes into something amazing.

CARTOON NETWORK and Adult Swim CD jacob escaboado Talked about an experience of seeing a severed goats head on the top of a fridge at  a barbecue. This impacted him deeply (it’s violence, it’s intensity).He talked about that image and how he searches for it in projects. They need to e- simple- arresting- memorableThen looked for what has the severed goat head factor?Then he asked if anyone wanted to deign for them because they’d just lost a lead designer.

I really wished we had a reel of all the crazy crap we ever wanted to do. More so that we’d known about him years ago and / or had kept making little crazy ideas and refined that. There’s a tiny market for it, but maybe if we could make them small enough, we could grow and be awesome like that. Check Cyriak, who they just hired to do a bunch of promos. We’re not him and we’re running a real company, but great stuff. There might be a morsel in there for us.


He was talking about making things happen. Had a nice graphic of the word “creative” but like “creatXXXe”… to mean, don’t be creative: create. To do this you need a circle of people to even out every ones different styles. There’s Dreamers, Doers and Incrementalist. Doers need to let dreamers start things off and then dreamers (who keep thinking of ways to make things better) need to let the doers get it done..Thinks you need to review your peers work and vice versa… apparently the impressionist movement started like this (or something).

“Ideas are easy, doing it is harder”

He thought “fighting” is a good thing. Think of 4 people tugging on ropes to bring an idea into their realm. The movement of hearing other people’s ideas results in a new idea. The main thing you need to fight is apathy. Hire people who are happy to fight and fight with a glimmer in your eye.

Don’t be “burdened by consensus”. But find the  2 or 3 most important things in a project and steward them through the process. Compromise on everything else.
People need to curate a stream of good stuff that people tune into. then, when you make something, you post it and everyone’s listening. This is like our blog and twitter stream i suppose.

go for the “credible mass versus critical mass”

Leaders need to talk last, to let others ideas come up. If you’re the CD and you’ve got an idea, you can’t tell people you’re idea and say “what do you guys think?”. They’ll only be able to respond to what you said. Better to listen to the ideas and then talk. This helps people feeling like they’re listened to and included in the process.

Plus you obviously get great ideas as well.

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