Category Archives: watches

2011 in Retrospect

I am Repetitive
In my two previous end of year posts, the first sentence tells that I had a strange year. Mostly due to the transition to freelance and all that entails. This year I was fully prepared for how weird freelancing is and was ready to rock and roll the highs and lows. So suffice it to say, I embrace the “strange”. 2011 was an amazing year!




Witches! …no… sorry… Watches!
Scott Wilk of Wilk Watchworks approached me at the tail end of 2010 about collaborating on some watches. In 2011, the two watches I’d designed came to reality!

On the left is the Tron-inspired watch and on the right, the Rounders-inspired watch. Available from Scott’s Cargoh shop.

Scott’s just ordered cases for my next three watches and I am super excited.




Working in Rarified AIR
At the beginning of the year I was asked by the superb folk at Invivo to build a desktop AIR application that could take communication from an iPad as a sales tool. The answer, of course, was “sure!” To be fair, I’d never built an AIR application before, nor communicated with an iOS device, but whatever, right? With a little finagling and a socket server, we did just that.

Invivo seemed to like the work because shortly after they asked me to make another desktop app. This time, it was a quiz show with two states; one on one moderated and team-play. Once again the ask was to communicate with iOS devices. This time the devices would be 7 iPod touches and an iPad. Using a socket server, the communication was one-sided (the iPods only broadcasting, not listening) Anyway, this was another challenging, super-cool project.




Making a Movie… ?
I spoke at the 10-year FiTC in Toronto. (The Influxis Voodoo Lounge, to be specific). I was announcing my intention of making a documentary about the roots of inspiration in the digital industry. I’d called it, brazenly, Influential – The Age of Digital

Seems that, once again, I think HUGE while having small capabilities. Here’re some observations as I mosey along, slowly.

  • I don’t know how to make a movie/documentary
  • I don’t have money to make a movie/documentary
  • I seriously misjudged my ability to pull contributions
  • In the meantime, check out this awesome doc released recently. AND IT’S FREE! PressPausePlay It’s worth the watch. I promise.




    I am NOT an Activist
    On July 16th, my 4 yr-old son (4 at that time) asked me to write a letter to the Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, to tell him:

    The response was so overwhelmingly positive, I told my pal, John Breton, to register the URL, Dear Mayor Ford and work up a little database and form for people to write letters to the mayor. It took off from there. The super cool Amber MacArthur mentioned us in a Globe and Mail post and John was interviewed on CBC’s Metro Morning! There’s a facebook page with some lively discussion and you can still write a letter to the mayor. It appears he won’t read them although we’ve offered him access to write responses to his taxpaying residents.

    Whatever, it’s been an interesting experience.



    Displacer’d

    My friend, Michael Morton, is a musician who goes by the name Displacer. He approached me about doing live visuals for his performances. I’ve already blogged about it, but man, it’s been a trip. I cannot wait to do this again with Mike.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ay6nLicfErw




    A Ring for September

    I was approached by my good friend, Spencer Saunders, about helping his company, Juice Agency, out on a worthwhile cause: Septembering, an effort to raise funds for Trillium Childhood Cancer Support Center. The project is now offline, but it was a great project and allowed me to play with Box2D a little.




    AIRing out my differences

    My last major project for 2011 was an AIR application for MacLaren McCann and HP. An interactive screensaver that allowed users to get a pretty look at the new notebooks on offer from HP.




    I also renovated my kitchen this year (honestly it’s still in progress, embarrassingly, but it’s almost done.)




    Rhymes with Sleeve

    Most importantly, my wife, Libs gave birth to our beautiful daughter Niamh Ava on October 17th.




    There was a lot more work I did during the year, but I just have no energy to list it all. If you’re a client reading this, I love you. If you’re a potential client reading this, I want to love you. Wait… that sounded wrong… unless, you know, you’re into it… koff…

    FITC 2011 – The Aftermath

    A week later and I am still unable to fully use my voice for anything other than the occasional croak. FITC, you are a beautiful beast. Due to scheduling conflicts, the HotDOCS documentary film festival was also running, I did not attend as dutifully as I normally would.

    I was honoured to speak at FITC once again. Slightly different experience as I was an Influxis Voodoo lounge speaker and not a regular stage speaker. With a mere half hour to fill, the pressure was off and I took full advantage. In my session, Film Fan to Filmmaker, I covered self-direction and self-improvement, how to not accept dead-time in your work schedule by creating your own work and how that self-direction can create opportunities you’d never have expected. hey Hugh, run-on sentence much?

    There are too many people to mention and I was busy attempting to record submission for Influential – The Age of Digital to attend many sessions, but my highlight was seeing Planetary Robert Hodgin’s new endeavour with Bloom.

    I think what was lacking were the old guard speakers, unfortunately. There were some noticeable absences that would have made a 10 year celebration even better. Not to take away from the speakers that were there. Once again, the organizers picked the best and brightest and most inspirational people around. *ahem*

    Having sponsors’ row right behind some curtains beside the main stage made for distracting sessions at times as there was no control over people who figured the enormous curtains were also soundproof. However, once again Shawn Pucknell and his crew pulled off a great event in a challenging venue.

    Thank you, FITC, for allowing me to be a part of such a groundbreaking event for so long. I look forward to the next 10 years!

    Wilk Watchworks Collaboration

    During my FITC Influxis Voodoo Lounge session, I showed a couple of slides concerning my collaboration with Scott Wilk, a toronto-based silversmith and watchmaker. His shop is called Wilk Watchworks.




    I am incapable of doing justice to how impressed I am by Scott. He has shown an insane amount of patience for a non-watch designer. The process of dealing with me can be summed up in one sentence “Why not?” When he seemed reluctant to do something, he just shrugged and I could see it in his head “Why not?”. So kudos to you, Scott.

    Finishing these are some revisions and finishing comments both Scott and I have and will address in any sold watches. The prototypes I have in my possession are 95% what I want. The process Scott went through to make these watches at all was monumental. Truly an impressive feat.

    Cost while cost may be barrier for most, I want you to know something (and it took a very dear friend’s advice for me to realize this) if we could make these watches less expensive, we would. In fact, Scott has looked into alternatives to the casting and hand-finishing methods he is obliged to use to make these handcrafted objets d’art. Our intention would be to have cheaper, in the $300 range, production watches and these art handcrafted watches.

    Where where would I be able to order these fine, hand-crafted pieces, you ask? The Rounders watch is available here. Tron, here.

    WIP I was constantly amazed that Scott was willing to let me collaborate with him in the first place that I actually kept up a pretty good work-in-progress gallery on the Moviesinhaiku facebook page for both Rounders and Tron.

    To those of you that have seen the watches firsthand and liked them and said so, thank you so much. I can honestly say I was blown away by the positive reaction during FITC to Scott and my watches! Means a lot!