Filterati + Paparazzi

I sat down to chat with Ryan Hoback and Matt Dale, recent Vancouver Film School students who graduated into full-time Filterati – represented by Filter, the agency where I’m a Talent Manager. We started the conversation joking about the fame that comes along with agency representation, and made some inevitable Entourage references — since I brought the ‘paparazzi’ along for the photo shoot. Then we quickly got down to business with the interview.

Filter, the digital solutions agency where I work, has recently teamed up with VFS to help students find jobs after graduation. Since my job (all day every day) is to work with companies to find talented designers, I was curious what the process was like for Ryan and Matt from the other side of the fence.

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Blast Radius, Always a Blast!

Flashback to 1996. Four Digital Design (then called New Media) grads are sitting at a bagel shop, Benny’s Bagels. They have four distinctly different personalities. But they converge on a single idea: that the internet is about to change everything. Gurval Caer, Lee Feldman, Francis Chan, and Gary Stuart knew they had the right combination to create an agency.

Blast Radius began in November, 1996 as a boutique digital agency specializing in interactive, immersive experiences for video game companies. As it grew, Blast developed an expertise in strategy, technology and design. This led to relationships with major brands, including Nike who they still work with today. Their single West Coast location wasn’t enough, so they took their now-global business model to New York and opened their second location. Before the turn of the millennium, Blast Radius had offices in Los Angeles, Amsterdam and Toronto.

Today, Blast Radius is still headquartered in Vancouver but has grown to 400+ team members globally with over 150 located in Canada. As part of the WPP/Wunderman family, they’ve added many new offices, including Paris, Dallas, Seattle, Hamburg and Portland. And the clients keep rolling in — Ford, Bacardi, Michelin, Microsoft and Nokia.

So, back to our four grads… Each brought something unique to the table, and through this dynamic, they challenged each other to think big. That’s what we’re all about in Digital Design! Ever since the inception of their agency, these alumni have given back to their alma mater by informing curriculum development, mentoring students, speaking, instructing and hiring grads. As part of its ongoing involvement in our community, Blast recently hosted our term 3 students on an agency visit. As always, it was informative, inspirational and… a blast!

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Goldtooth: Motion Design That’s Solid Gold

“Goldtooth is the secret ingredient behind marketing games. They create worlds and stories that take the game experience beyond the gaming, because storytelling comes first and technology is second.” Those are the words of Digital Design student, Saadi Alkouatli, and they couldn’t be more apt. Goldtooth Creative has always been the most gracious of agencies and often hosts our students on thrilling agency tours.

Goldtooth describes itself as a hybrid creative agency and full-service production studio. Each member of their team is a master of their craft and, together, they work on the hottest franchises in the video game industry, producing award-winning trailers and generating some of the highest user-rated content online. Recently, they were awarded the ‘Best Trailer of All Time’ award in 2011 as voted by users at

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Sequence Sets a High Bar

Tucked down a narrow alleyway in the heart of Gastown, it wouldn’t be hard to miss the entrance to Sequence, the motion design studio that myself and half of class DD22 had the opportunity to visit in late January. Their work, however, is anything but hard to miss! From the Vancouver Canucks intro visuals at Rogers Arena to video game cut scenes from some of the biggest AAA titles out there, Sequence certainly sets a high bar for itself. With around 20 employees, the studio offers it all including live action, post production and of course digital work.

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My Artist In Residence Visit by Peter Hong

the journey of UX continues’¦ or momentarily re-thinking child labor laws.

30 minutes ago—whoa

you know, writing this blog post was a lot harder than i thought it would be.

the time with the students and staff at VFS last december, reaffirmed that extraordinary people, ideas and dreams go through that place.

how does one encompass and express all profoundly the good people and experiences that happened during that brief week? or all the events that have happened afterwards?  there are just too many people i want to thank, thoughts and stories that i want to share.

thank you

let’s begin with that:

“thank you.  meeting you, getting to know you—witnessing how you craft utter delight—made me see thing differently, and for the better”

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