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Becoming Trigger

From: Creative Inspirations: Trigger, Interactive Design Studio

Video: Becoming Trigger

(Music playing) Jason Yim: All the way back, I started at UCLA. I went to design school there, in the graphic design program. There was five of us. There was myself, our math/physics major, this guy Yush, who was our programmer guy, and then another graphic design major Sharon Wang and then two art majors. The first agency, out of school, we started in my apartment called Epoch Communication Design, Inc.

Becoming Trigger

(Music playing) Jason Yim: All the way back, I started at UCLA. I went to design school there, in the graphic design program. There was five of us. There was myself, our math/physics major, this guy Yush, who was our programmer guy, and then another graphic design major Sharon Wang and then two art majors. The first agency, out of school, we started in my apartment called Epoch Communication Design, Inc.

So we all agreed that was probably the worst-named agency ever. During our final year, we did this conference at Digital World in LA Convention Center, showed all our school work and stuff and then just got a stack of cards from people that were interested in web design, work wise. So we thought that that was enough of an indication that there are enough buyers out there. We pooled all our money together. It wasn't a lot. I had my car stolen. So the money that came back from the payment for that car, we put into the company.

And we just bought a bunch of computers and just went for it. The first year was really rough. Like I think like we were learning everything on the fly. I mean, I was 22 or something like that. And so the first jobs we had, like we had local law firms or - but we started working up to kind of larger clients. We did a lot of demo work, when we didn't have real clients. But it was rough, like we ate - we didn't eat anything except for instant noodles, for like the whole year, just to keep costs down and stuff. I think the longest stretch I worked was 35 days in a row like 14 hours to 16, every single day. But it's funny.

It's just a great atmosphere. It was just cool to be in it with these friends that you have known for so long and really trying to accomplish something. And then it was funny because we, since we have lived downstairs like me, Yush, there were two rooms downstairs, and then the office was the next floor up and then another person lived in the loft area. I remember, we used to be sitting on the computer, and then Yush would come up, like straight out of bed, like in his boxer shorts, like he hadn't even washed his face and stuff, and just go straight to the computer and start programming and then just stay there.

We first worked with Hans Zimmer on his website. So Hans is an Academy Award winning composer. I think he made his name on the Lion King. But since then, I think he has done over 100 plus movies. But after we did that website, they are interested in us kind of doing a joint venture. It was going to be called Media Revolution and we were, originally, going to do original content. Like we wanted to do kind of branded entertainment and this was the way back in 95, 95, because on our movie sites, we were already doing things like animated comic books and online games.

We built them out of Shockwave instead Flash and we were trying to basically use the internet as a story telling medium, not only as a marketing medium. The goal was to do original content, but that didn't pay the bills. We started doing film marketing, straight away. We were hoping that, because Hans was involved in the production of film, that we get a lot of contacts through that side, but unfortunately, the film- making site is quite different from the film marketing site.

And with Trigger it was a brand new slate and I think one thing that was really important, right out the gate, was to be different from previous agencies.

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Creative Inspirations: Trigger, Interactive Design Studio

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Jason Yim
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