My LinkedIn profile starts with “OK I’ve got a weird left-brain right-brain thing going on …” and is probably a better place to understand what my background is than here, however perhaps I can take a less formal approach to help you get inside my head.
After completing a degree in Graphic Design in 1977, I went on to work at a number of advertising agencies including JWT, USP, and DDB before starting my own agency in 1985. In 1986 life as we knew it changed forever as the Apple Mac arrived on our shores. The advertising industry was the first to rush in recklessly and adopt this small Beige box as the saviour of the profit margin. We set our own type, did a horrible job, convinced our clients to accept it on the basis of cost and went without sleep to learn how to make this baby sing.
At my agency Lamont & Gray, we took this to the bleeding edge and in 1994 we were producing all advertising material in-house; we photographed and produced catalogues digitally, we shot and cut our own commercials on Avids, we made radio commercials and recorded them on digital tape and we used the internet to download photos taken just hours before from Associated Press. It was the day of 14.4k modem and the internet was a super highway.
With fewer than 100 servers on the world wide web, the highway didn’t go very far, but it was enough to make me sell the agency and move into software development. In 1999 I started Miro and built the Mambo Content Management System which went on to be (much to my continued surprise) one of the worlds most popular CMS’s. From the United Nations to Michael Jackson, it was estimated to run over 40% of the world’s internet sites.
That was a long time ago and I’ve had a number of software and SaaS companies since, but fast forward to present time and I seem to have gone full circle. Over twenty five years of technology distracting everyone, I’ve realised you should never let an i-whatever get in the way of a good story. Today I make short (and sometimes long) films about people with great stories. Everyone has a great story; a company wanting to rise above it’s peers and shine has a great story, Artists who reflect our life and times in paint and bronze have simply wonderful stories.
My simple passion these days is to find them and help tell those stories on (digital) film.