Category Archives: fotb09

Festival/Conference Titles

Most recently I spoke at FITC Toronto 2011. Very fortunate to be included in MK12’s titles.

FITC Toronto 2011 Titles from MK12 on Vimeo.

I have been super lucky to be included in FlashontheBeach’s conference titles (being a speaker and all) in 2009 and 2010. After watching Buck’s F5 titles, I realized I never give more than a passing “good titles” comment. However a ton of work goes into them and I need to give them their due.

First off is Artillery’s titles for FOTB ’09

Flash On The Beach 2009 Titles from Artillerystudio on Vimeo.

Wonderfully done. Quiet, delightful and fun. I loved seeing my name in these.

Next up are Nando Costa’s magnetized FOTB ’10 titles.

Flash On The Beach 2010 Titles from Süperfad on Vimeo.

Just amazing. Thank you to John Davey for having me at his events. It’s been a real honour.

Public Speaking

I am booked to speak at two events in the next few months; FlashBelt in Minneapolis and Flash on the Beach in Brighton, UK.

FlashBelt is first. As in five weeks away! I’m super stoked about speaking at FlashBelt as it’s in its seventh year and I really respect what Dave Schroeder has done with FlashBelt.

Next up is the awesome Flash on the Beach! I was invited to speak there for the first time last year and had such a blast! Fortunately John asked me back and I can’t even begin to say how much fun I have in Brighton.

At both events, I’ll be presenting my 2010 session.

The Art of (Mis)Communication

Consider your past projects. Tight timeline? An art director or a technical lead with a huge ego? A project manager that neglects to disclose specific details? While these things directly impact your project you’ll find, more often than not, they can be more easily dealt with when you provide and receive proper, effective communication.

Let’s delve into how we deal with the people we deal with. Let’s look at how we speak to the people we speak to. Ins and outs of conversation. Lengthy meetings that test everyone’s patience. Email forwarding and why a few minutes of editing can save hours of time. Setting alerts. The little things, the big things and everything in the middle. Nothing should be overlooked. Taken in perspective, every project starts with a 50/50 chance of success. It’s how we as a team communicate that pushes that ratio one way or the other.

If you’re in either locale, I invite you to come and enjoy my stress of standing on stage!

FOTB 2009 – The Experience

It’s hard to describe Flash on the Beach to someone that wasn’t there, but I’ll try.

This was the second time I’d been to FOTB, but the first as a speaker. The difference between the two is minimal. You might sit back and think, “WTF? It ought to be awesome as a speaker.” It is. But the last time I attended, I felt like a star just attending. And that’s the magic of FOTB. Everyone is important to John Davey and his crew. From the volunteers, to the speakers, to the attendees. We’re “family” and he treats everyone as such.

Let me break the experience down;

Sunday, I arrived at heathrow after flying the red eye. I was tired, but felt manageable. Made my way to terminal 5 to catch the bus and ran into Dave Schroeder of FlashBelt fame. Once on the bus, we saw Jared Ficklin already seated. We had a fantastic chat all the way to Brighton and I knew I was going really enjoy myself over the week. We rolled in around 11 or 12 and attempted to check in. No room in at the inn, yet. So it was store the bag time. Sunday essentially just turned into a hug-fest as speakers trickled in and people I see only very occasionally but feel an incredible kinship made their presence known. The speaker dinner was awesome and myHotel did a fantastic job.

Monday, the official start of the conference, was the first keynote I’ve ever attended. Possibly the funniest part (apart from the screenagers mariachi band) was Mark launching the Twitter Air app and Keith Peters’ Tweets taking up one entire column as he commented on the keynote. No vetting, FTW!

I then went back to my room to agonize over my Wednesday presentation. However, there was no way I would miss Dr. Woohoo because of my nerves. Drew Trujillo has one of the softest voices that can yet captivate with the information he’s providing. Believe me, that’s a difficult thing to accomplish. His enthusiasm for his subject matter left me so inspired. I am fortunate enough to count him as a friend and he has time and again made me wonder why I’m not smarter. I think he dumbs down our conversations to let me save face. ;P I digress. He unfortunately ran out of time, as often happens when you are passionate about what you have to say, but saved himself by just moving along to the slide he wanted to end on. Awesome job, Drew!

The end of day one was the inspired session and I sat up in the balcony with the inimitable Chris Pelsor and his sneaky bar to watch Joel Gethin Lewis. Perhaps the biggest takeaway I had from Joel’s session was “Be it. If you want to be a director, make a movie.” To me, stirring stuff.

It’s a little sad that I only managed to attend the keynote and two sessions on the first day, but with my own session stressing me out, I just couldn’t do it.

The official party was at Audio and although I went, like most speakers it was overwhelming and the word went out to head to the original crash pad and speaker hotel The Old Ship. This is where you chill, it’s quieter and you really have an opportunity to kick back and chat. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything.

Day two, I started with Grant Skinner. Grant’s optimization research really made me rethink some of my own foibles when it comes to code. Not to mention being called out and having him tell everyone first to avoid my session then telling them that it would be “the best of the conference” and they needed to go. Thanks so much, Grant. No pressure now, eh?

Once again, as my session loomed, I went back to my room and messed with my presentation. I must have looked odd pacing my room and gesturing as I talked out loud to myself. It’s terrible I was remiss in attending sessions, but again, nerves got the best of me.

The official party was at Oceana. It’s hard to describe the smell there, but someone said to me it was like “a locker room”. According to one person, a rep from Oceana admitted they cleaned the floors with dirty water. At any rate, unfortunately, a bust. So it was back to The Old Ship. Heh.

Day three, or as I started to call it, “Doomsday” had finally arrived. The first thing I noticed was my voice was in really rough shape. Not an auspicious beginning. I took my time getting moving. Joshua Davis offered to let me use his laptop as my own laptop was borrowed from my wife and I suspected was not up to the task. We rolled into the end of Stacey Mulchahy‘s talk and I am so glad I caught even a part of it. She was funny, engaging and, well… Stacey. Great presentation.

She wrapped up and I nearly started to hyper-ventilate. I posted about my session so I won’t go on about it here. Suffice it to say, I have been completely taken aback by the response.

With my session out of the way, the calm that suffused my body was evident. Following lunch, I headed in to watch Ralph Hauwert. Ralph is amazing. He’s so smart, it’s a little on the scary side. He was freaking out about his session as much as I was about mine and there was nothing indicative of that when he presented. Simply incredible.

The day was ended with Josh. There is not much I can say about Josh that hasn’t been said. He is a gifted individual and deserves all the kudos he gets. His work has inspired countless people and he will continue to do so for years to come.

There was no ‘end of conference’ party. This was okay with the speakers as we converged on the restaurant and bar of myHotel and just chilled. Drinking and chatting in such a relaxed way that can only be described as perfect.

As a surprise for John, Niqui Merret organized a photo shoot on the beach as John’s extended of past and present speakers and FOTB supporters.

There’s a lot left out since FOTB has a very personal side and no-one needs me blubbering about my friends.

Cheers, John, Joey, Jo and Hippie. You guys managed to do it again! To the speakers, damn, I couldn’t be more pleased to count you as friends. To the attendees, you make us all try harder, thank you!

FOTB 2009 – My Presentation

This will be the first of two blog posts; My presentation and then the conference experience.

This was the first time I’d been invited to speak by John Davey. It was my top-most priority to do a good job and not let him down. I chose what I thought was a subject useful to me, procrastination and how to steer away from it. I titled it “The 10 Best Excuses to NOT do Amazing Work”. Here’s the opening slide.

The first three days I was there was really me freaking out about my preso and dry-running it repeatedly. Removing Slides, adding slides and removing them again. Hammering out exactly what I wanted to say because I didn’t want anyone to feel that their time was wasted.

Josh Davis was kind enough to let me borrow his laptop. On wednesday, I transferred my files, tested it out and we had some laughs at the expense of my poor, beleaguered voice. Turns out three days of too much drinking, too much smoking, too much yelling and too little sleep wore out my throat.

We headed over to Stacey Mulcahy’s talk Can play well with others and caught the last half. I’ve never seen Stacey speak and she really did a great job. Funny, engaging, comfortable and smart. Besides, a picture of a giant bottle of liquor on screen with a suggestion of “If all else fails, get drunk with them.” Thumbs up, Stacey.

When it came my turn to get on stage, the fact that I was on stage for the first time in a year and a half hit me and I had the worst case of stage fright I’d ever encountered. Then as people sauntered in, it hit me “Fuck it. Too late.” So I felt myself relax slightly and I stepped off the stage to chat with my friends who decided to forgo Seb Lee-Delisle and Colin Moock, who were both presenting at the same time. The support these people gave me by coming to my talk was really appreciated. As the seats filled and I got back on stage, and time was creeping up on me, a volunteer came forward to let me know he was introducing me.

The hour went quickly. The audience was top-notch; helpful, attentive and communicative. They laughed when I hoped they’d laugh and didn’t when I hoped they wouldn’t. So if you were in attendance at my presentation, you should know that a presenter feeds off their audience as much as an audience feeds off their presenter. Not in a creepy vampire way, but a buffet kind of way. No… wait… not like that, either. A good way. My throat held out and the applause was boisterous at the end.

If you’re looking for the presentation, I’d used Keynote to build it, and exported the slides as jpegs. There are some fundamental things missing, but it is my presentation. You just click on each image and you’re off to the races.

The response since has been gratifying, to say the least. I wasn’t really thinking that my own procrastination and excuses were universally understandable. It’s been a whilrwind of compliments and I’m truly pleased that y’all liked it.

Next post, when I have time, will be thoughts on the everything that wasn’t above.

FoTB 30 days away!

Things are really motoring. I’ve moved over to my friend John Breton’s server. John is a .NET guy and knows his junk, lemmetellya.

I have never done so much using webservices. Registration, login, updating, uploading, friending, messages, world locations, etc, etc. I have exclusively been using Carlo Alducente’s WebService class. It’s been invaluable and I don’t know where I’d be without it.

Soon enough I’ll be making use of Senocular’s Transform Tool.

Interested in being a beta-tester (or as I like to call it, Better Tester)? send me an email. I hope to be ready for full-scale testing in about a week. Many hands make light work, as they say. Many eyes make amazing work, I say.

The end goal for this is to be finished by Flash on the Beach where I am presenting my session The 10 Best Excuses to NOT do Amazing Work. I hope to see you there! I did say I would light a monkey on fire to compete with Quasimondo’s presentation happening at the same time as mine.

I’ve been updates about development on Twitter : tattoocapture

Flash on the Beach Brighton '09

I’ve blogged a couple of times about speaking at Flash on the Beach Brighton in September.

Finally I took the time to fill out my session description.

I’ve titled it The Ten Best Excuses to NOT do Amazing Work. Have you ever had an idea but found yourself unable to get started? Or, once you’ve started, unable to work on it? Or, once you’re working unable to finish?

There are ways to get past these little stumbling blocks before they become huge hurdles. I have run into these roadblocks from hurdles from stumbling blocks. I look at these situations with suspicion and wonder how much is self-manufactured and how much is legitimately stopping me from getting my work done.

Honestly, this title could end with just “work” as opposed to “amazing work”.

Tickets are going fast!


I am so excited about speaking at Flash on the Beach (or FoTB, depending on your interest in acronyms) Brighton.

Get your tickets here.

Suffice it to say, this is a must attend conference.

Besides that, it appears there’s a contest for a giveaway pass to the conference.

To quote
Put an FOTB09 badge on your site, link it to us, then fire us an email at to let us know the URL and we’ll enter you in a draw for a full 3 day pass!

Now that’s a good deal.

RIP Flash on the Beach Miami '09

It’s a sad day to discover that due to the current economic climate, John Davey has canceled the upcoming Flash on the Beach Miami event.

Everyone I know that was speaking, myself included, are thoroughly bummed out. John and his people have consistently put on a great event. Miami would have been John’s first foray into North America and we all were excited at the prospect.

Nothing but love, John.