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Subject: Re: FLASH: FlashForward 2000 response? (astounding turn-out)
From: Franke James
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2000 17:39:50 +0100


Joe Sparks wrote:
>Flash Forward 2000 was astounding, if only for the special, high-powered
>turn-out...I met people from Sony, FOX, Disney, many others

Hi all,

Joe's summary is closer to my experience as well. It was far and away the
best trade show I've attended.

I was there as an attendee (flash artist), and also to write an article for
the advertising trade. I spoke with people from NBC, Disney, Macromedia,
Shockwave, independent producers, animators and lots more. The people I
spoke with we're totally pumped about the opportunities they were facing
thanks to Flash software. There was a hunger and impatience to soak up
everything at the conference and then go back to the drawing board and play
with the new concepts.

For Flash artists, this fleeting moment in time is our window of opportunity
to leverage our creative skills to our best advantage. It's not going to
last and we have to move fast to position ourselves for the best
opportunities. Just looking at one segment -- Flash artists who have
animation skills -- we can now create cartoons, characters, stories etc.
that compete with Tim Burton, SouthPark, StanLee, Michael Lipman and even
Joe Sparks. Those characters can then be spun off into merchandising
opportunities. Talent is the start button.

The flash film festival gave me a better perspective on what's out there,
and what other people like (you come up against your own taste barriers!). I
played spot the "fashion" flash trends: Who's hot? Who's not. What style is
overused? What's popular? Why? What "licks" and gimmicks to avoid.

The one thing that was missing for me (and I'll be writing Lynda about it)
was a sharper business focus. I wanted more information on how the licensing
deals are being put together. Natalie Zee's presentation (from USweb/CKS now
MarchFirst) was billed as "Selling Flash to Your Clients". She gave a nice
presentation of their San Francisco Airport website but she completely
sidestepped the issue of billing. In response to someone's question "How do
you charge the client?" she responded with wide eyes, and a flip of her hair
that she was just a designer...Yeah, maybe she's not privy to that info (or
didn't want to disclose it), but let's get someone who WILL speak to the
realities of Flash artists everywhere. We need to know how to be better
business people, understand licensing, syndication, and use the ins and outs
of copyright to cut better deals for ourselves.

The FlashForward conference was a resounding success as far as our company
is concerned.

See you in New York,


Franke


The James Gang [art+tech]
http://www.jamesgang.com
416-256-9166
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