Nov/18/10F5 2011 IS ON! HAPPY F5!

For its second birthday, F5 is throwing a big party with all its friends. (That’s you.)

Since the initial fest in 2009, we’ve seen the reform of strategies in our industries, our landscapes, and our lives. It’s ripe time to bash that piñata and celebrate our collective artistic rebirth. April 15th and 16th, we’ll throw down again in NYC with full two days of incredible presenters, workshops, original motion work, a full bar and a killer after party.

We’re lining up enough inspiration, enough surprises, and enough cake to make the event well worth it. If you were an attendee in 2009, check your inbox today for the extra special first surprise. If you’re a first-timer, tickets will go live next Monday, November 29th. And make sure to sign up for the F5 mailing list to get the latest news. We’d hate for anyone to miss out.

F5 is founded on the belief that true change occurs when you look outside your world and explore new horizons. The festival fosters creative collisions—unexpected insights from sources you didn’t see coming. The goal is nothing less than to change the way you think about your work and your life. Our ethos:


Full disclosure: We don’t make any money from this. We have no sponsors and keep our ticket prices to an absolute minimum. There is no commercial involvement today or tomorrow. It’s about community and creativity.

Seriously. That’s not bullshit. We mean it.

We also don’t pay speaker fees and don’t allow agencies, studios or reps to sponsor the event. Purity matters. We don’t want dollar signs clouding anyone’s judgment.


It’s all about the attendees: Creative spirits on fire. Cream of the crop artists, designers and storytellers looking for some way to connect with each other and with the world at large. You are the most passionate people on this earth, and as such, you embody the essence of F5.


This isn’t “another design conference.” It’s a meeting of great minds—it’s about diversifying our perspective. In addition to top studios and individuals you know from Motionographer, we’ll be mixing the party up with talents from places and spaces that exist outside our comfort zones. All in the spirit of creative collisions—those moments of lasting insight and inspiration that occur when we smash into something unexpected.


Yes, there is a bar at the venue. Yes, we will be giving out plenty of free drinks. Yes, that means you’ll have to pace yourself. I mean, seriously… it’s a birthday party.

Friendships will be formed. Connections will be made. Ideas will take flight.

Join us.

Jul/21/09F5 Talk 01: Simon Robson and Tim Rayner

For those of you who attended F5 last April, you know that our speakers were a diverse and inspiring mix of creative people from a wide spectrum of fields. As promised, we’re sharing those talks with the world, starting with Simon Robson and Tim Rayner’s presentation about their collaborative project, The Coalition of the Willing.

Although Simon and Tim weren’t the first speakers of our two-day event, we’re sharing their talk first for two reasons. 1) We believe in their cause, and 2) They need your support.

I asked Simon to tell us about his experience of F5:

Talking at F5 was a real pleasure. It gave Tim and I the chance to introduce the project we are currently developing, entitled ‘Coalition of The Willing’. It also gave us a deadline for which to prepare enough material to give the audience a good idea of what the project is all about. In short, F5 gave us a shot in the arm.

I won’t go too much into what ‘Coalition’ is about here, Tim does a fantastic job in the presentation of distilling the thinking and ideas behind the project. Suffice it to say that it’s a film that suggests a collaborative, technological way of combating climate change.

The film is also being made in a collaborative way. In the presentation, I talk about artists who became involved prior to F5. Since F5, Loyalkaspar, Parasol Island and World Leaders have all begun creating sections for the film. I’m thrilled and excited by the good will and the caliber of the artists who’ve thrown themselves into this project.

We plan to give the film a staggered online release, starting by publishing the written argument online and then fleshing this out with shots as and when they are completed. It’s an idea that Tim and I have been developing with Chris O’Reilly from Nexus Productions.

We hope that people will engage with the argument and then respond to the way ideas are visualised as the shots are published. It’s all about keeping the argument current and alive. To this end, we will be making the film the ‘core’ of a site that will evolve as people post comment and invited writers post articles on issues that branch off from topics introduced in the film.

We’ve been inspired by online data visualisation by artists like Manuel Lima, and we’re currently looking for an online partner to help us develop our online aspirations for this project.

So finally I’ll just echo the last thing I said at F5: If you’re a great moving-image maker or a creative interaction designer and you’d like to get involved with Coalition of The Willing, then please get in touch with me at

I hope you enjoy the talk.


Dvein has consistently blown my mind with their diverse and staggeringly awesome body of work. When they agreed to create the title sequence for F5, I actually felt bad for them. I thought, “This is too much pressure. The expectations are too high.”

But that didn’t deter them. Not one bit.

I recommend going full screen for the optimal experience. QuickTime version here.

Dvein were intent on creating a title sequence that reflected F5′s speakers, something that captured some hidden aspect of each person. They explain their approach:

When we were invited to make the F5 titles, we wanted them match the eclectic spirit of the conference. The idea was to get the soul of the speakers into the titles in some way.

We asked each speaker to name five objects that inspire them or has something to do with their work. We received all kinds of answers—really interesting objects that gave us a great starting point: wind turbines, microscopes, lights, smoke, lamb rib cage, French bulldog…

The speakers didn’t know what their answers would be used for, but they were the seed for our story. In this way, all the speakers added their bit. There is not a unique authorship but rather a multiple collaboration.

I know I sound like a broken record, but I have to send my deepest gratitude to the entire Dvein team for creating such a wonderful title sequence. Again, there was zero budget. They did this because they love challenging themselves, and they believed in the vision of F5.

Antfood deserves big props for providing the music and sound design. Like the visuals, the soundtrack is a brilliant blend of analog and digital.


I’m very pleased to get the first batch of F5 RE:PLAY films online. We debated about how best to share these films. While sharing them all in one go would be fun, it’d be too easy to miss some tasty action. Sharing them one at time, on the other hand, would quickly become tedious.

So the compromise: Three films at a time, roughly one batch each week.

This inaugural batch includes films from Buck, Crush and Holbrooks. I’ll let the work do the talking. But before I do, I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to all the participants of the RE:PLAY Film Festival. Working on zero budget, each team created unique and inspiring nuggets of creative expression. That is a rare and wonderful treat.


Buck: “Lumber Jack’s Wood Fest”

Crush “Inspire”

Holbrooks “Bren Hystien”

Apr/26/09THANK YOU


It’s been a week since F5, and our heads are still spinning. By all accounts, it was a smashing success. It’s hard for us to see it from the outside, but I can tell you that we were deeply moved by the entire experience.

From 10am on Thursday, when the line outside Roseland Ballroom wrapped around the block, to the final screening of the titles from Dvein, we were blown away by the positive energy and inspiring enthusiasm from the attendees.

It was infectious. Everywhere we turned, people were smiling and laughing, connecting with old friends, making new friends, listening to speakers, taking notes, cheering, jeering, debating, thinking, rethinking, dreaming.

It was, in short, everything we wanted it to be. And we owe that to you.

From the entire F5 team, thank you all very much to those of who you made it to the event. You traveled from every corner of the globe to be there, and we want you to know how deeply we appreciate your involvement.

While we may have created F5, you made it. Thank you.

Stay tuned for the F5 RE:PLAY films, as well as video coverage of the talks.

Apr/03/09DIGUP.TV at F5


We’re pleased to announce that the brilliant new video-based design review site will be attending F5. To quote Digup’s About page:

Digup is produced and directed by CELLULES (an audio-visual and interactive production studio) thanks to a multidisciplinary team: collaborators, journalists, internet, animation, and graphic design professionals. It’s a guarantee of a non-compartmentalized approach and of a critical tone.

We’ll also be playing some of Digup’s interviews during the conference. Make sure to say hello if you see them at F5!

Apr/02/09You’re Almost Here

F5: April 16-17, NYC

It’s officially April, the month of F5. In two weeks, the best creative minds from around the world are going to meet for two epic days at the historic Roseland Ballroom in Times Square.

The response to F5 has been overwhelming. Those of you who’ve already bought your tickets—you rock. We’ve been blown away by your enthusiasm and your passion for this celebration of creativity.

For those of you who’ve been on the fence about F5, I encourage you to join us. F5 is set to be the creative event of the year. A rich mix of disciplines will be represented by a range of speakers and attendees—all eager to push the envelope and redefine creative expression for the 21st century.


Full disclosure: We don’t make any money from this. In fact, we only allow two sponsors, and we keep our ticket prices to an absolute minimum. This isn’t about money. It’s about community and creativity.

Seriously. That’s not bullshit. We mean it.

We also don’t pay speaker fees, and we don’t allow agencies, studios or reps to sponsor the event. Purity matters. We don’t want dollar signs clouding anyone’s judgment.

It’s all about the attendees: Creative spirits on fire. Artists, designers and storytellers looking for some way to connect with each other and with the world at large. Our attendees are the most passionate people on this earth, and as such, they embody the essence of F5.

This isn’t “another design conference.” It’s a meeting of great minds. In addition to top studios and individuals you know from Motionographer presenting on a bewildering array of topics, we’re mixing it up with people like:

  • MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow
  • Media Molecule, celebrated developers of LittleBigPlanet
  • Jonah Lehrer, editor at large for Seed magazine and author of How We Decide
  • Ed Ulbrich, co-founder of multiple Academy Award-winning Digital Domain
  • Acclaimed photographer/filmmaker Charlie White

See our full speaker lineup:

Yes, there is a bar in Roseland. Yes, we will be giving out plenty of free drinks. Yes, that means you’ll have to pace yourself.

Don’t forget: the Media Temple After Party on Friday will be atomic: Open bar, live performances and hip-bumping good times for all.

Friendships will be formed.
Connections will be made.
Businesses will blossom.
Ideas will take flight.

See you soon.

Mar/12/09Schedule of Speakers Now Online


The schedule of speakers for F5 is now online! A brief run-down: Things get started both days around 11am and run until the early evening, with lunch and afternoon breaks for you to grab a drink from the bar and mingle a bit.

By the way, our remaining tickets are moving along at a pretty good clip. I see a sell out on the horizon…

Mar/06/09F5 VIP Pre-Party


We’ve firmed up our plans for the F5 VIP pre-party on the evening of April 15th, and it’s going to be hot. I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but I can tell you it will involve alcohol, rock stars and bikinis.

We really wish we could include everyone in the festivities, but we can’t. Here’s what we’ll do instead:

If you’re registered for F5 before Friday, March 13th, we’ll include you in a random selection for 10 VIP (+1) passes. Those who win will get to rub shoulders with F5′s speakers, sponsors and a clutch of honored guests at the pre-party.

Feb/23/09Special rate at Grace Hotel for F5 attendees


We’re very pleased to announce a special room rate for F5 attendees at the chic but comfortable Grace Hotel. Deluxe Rooms, which normally go for $289/night, are just $159 for F5 attendees. That’s nearly half off the regular rate, a steal for any hotel in the thumping heart of Manhattan.

NOTE: As of March 11th, all of our special discounted rooms at the Grace Hotel are booked up! Rooms at the regular rate are still available.

But Grace isn’t just any hotel. It’s pure New York. Situated in Times Square at 125 West 45th St, Grace is just a short walk to Roseland Ballroom (F5′s venue). You’ll be steps away from Bryant Park, Rockefeller Center, hundreds of unique eateries and a thousand other places to get your endorphins flowing.

In addition to its great location, Grace Hotel also features:

  • an indoor pool (with a swanky wet bar)
  • a multi-level lounge/bar
  • a sauna and steam room
  • complimentary continental breakfast
  • free wi-fi (a rarity in Manhattan hotels)

To book your room, make your reservations online using the following link:

Book your room at Grace Hotel

And since Grace is the official hotel for F5’s speakers, there’s a good chance you’ll bump into a familiar face or two in the bar.


Feb/17/09Rachel Maddow and Charlie White to Speak at F5


F5 is full of creative collisions—moments of lasting insight and inspiration that occur when you venture outside your comfort zone and smash into something unexpected.

With that in mind, we’re excited to announce the final two speakers in F5′s already eclectic lineup: Rachel Maddow and Charlie White.


If you’re at all politically inclined, you’ve at least heard of Rachel Maddow. You probably know that The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC has been a stellar success, dethroning Larry King at the same time slot and sending a much-needed thrill through the world of cable news.

But I think the best introduction to Rachel comes from her official site:

Rachel has a doctorate in political science (she was a Rhodes Scholar) and a background in HIV/AIDS activism and prison reform. She shakes a mean cocktail, drives a bright red pickup, hates Coldplay, loves arguing with conservatives, spends a lot of money on AMTRAK tickets, and dresses like a first-grader.

Rachel is a maverick of the highest caliber. And that makes her a friend of F5.



And now for something completely different. Over the last decade Charlie White has created some of the most arresting and trenchant images in contemporary photography.

Through an extensive process that entails casting actors, creating characters, and building sets to construct scenes both disturbing and familiar, Charlie dissects the violence, desires, and social anxieties that trouble the American collective unconscious.

In 2008 White exhibited Girl Studies, a series comprised of a 35mm short film titled American Minor, an experimental animation titled OMG BFF LOL, and a series of new photographs that move away from the use of the tableau and the fictional narrative.

Girl Studies is the culmination of three years of research and production that expands far beyond the works exhibited. The series marks the broadest range in White’s practice to date and further evolves his specifically American cultural critique.

Check out the full lineup of F5′s speakers on the Speakers page.

Feb/04/09Dvein to Create Opening Titles for F5


Barcelona studio DVEIN (a Motionographer favorite) will create the opening titles for F5. They will present the titles at a special session, during which they will share their process and creative vision for the project.

DVEIN’s original voice and openness to new projects—regardless of the medium in which they will be delivered—perfectly echoes the spirit of F5. Their intense passion for visual culture is evident in everything they do, and we are thrilled for them to participate in F5.

Read about DVEIN and all the other speakers on the F5 Speakers page.

Jan/23/09New Speakers: 1st Ave Machine and Elan Lee


We’ve added two new speakers to the F5 lineup: 1st Avenue Machine and Elan Lee.

You probably know 1st Ave. from their numerous postings on Motionographer. Ever since they busted onto the scene with their distinctive blend of storytelling and high-end CG, they’ve been on everyone’s radar. Lately, they’ve expanded their operations to include new directorial voices and an even broader scope of projects.

Elan Lee is considered by many to be one of the foremost Alternate Reality Gaming designers in the world. He has been featured in WIRED magazine, The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, and the Wall Street Journal for his ground-breaking ideas in entertainment and gaming.

Check out the full lineup of speakers on the Speakers page. We’ve done our best to present a mix of top talent from across a range of related disciplines. The best artists aren’t easily pigeonholed; the same should be true for the best events.


One of the driving ideals behind F5 is the celebration of creativity for creativity’s sake. Money might make the world go ’round, but it doesn’t necessarily help you jump out of bed every morning.

In that spirit, we created the F5 RE:PLAY film festival. We invited some of our favorite studios and independent directors to create short films ranging in length from 15 seconds to 2 minutes on the topics of rejuvenation, regrowth, rebirth and/or revival. There’s no real brief; we just want people to express themselves and stretch their wings a bit.

The films will be shown on the main stage at F5 between speakers, on plasmas around the F5 event space, on Motionographer (after the event) and on the F5 website.

The RE:PLAY lineup is as follows:

  • Blacklist (Pistachios and Holbrooks)
  • Buck
  • Hewitt & Cambourne
  • Crush
  • Digital Kitchen
  • Imaginary Forces
  • Luis Torres/La Flama
  • Not To Scale/Ubik
  • Ryan Rothermel/Sean Pecknold
  • Sehsucht
  • Shilo
  • Superfad

I’m really excited to see what everyone creates. Join us as we gather to revel in radness and restart our collective engine. Out with 2008, in with 2009!

Photo by escapehelicopter

Dec/03/08Early Bird Tickets SOLD OUT

F5′s Early Bird tickets have sold out! It seems people understand that this is the time to come together. And we are so happy to have everyone meet in one of the greatest cities in the world to share their creativity and passion.

Ticket prices will now go to the regular price of $280. (Student prices will remain at $150, but we’re nearing our limit on student discounts, too.)

Tickets include two full days of inspiration, learning and networking; drink tickets for F5 RE:LAX bar; and admission to the Media Temple After Party.

Give yourself a treat that just might change your life forever.

Nov/05/08Initial Speakers Announced

I’m very pleased to share our initial lineup of speakers for F5. This is not the complete list—there are some hidden surprises to come, but this gives you a good idea of just how special this event is going to be.

We’ve got artists, designers, filmmakers, advertisers, architects, photographers, writers, comedians, programmers and futurists (to name a few) coming together to share their creative vision with you—and to be exposed to your vision in turn.

Head over to the Speakers page to see what’s in store. And make sure to lock in your Early Bird Registration for a discounted rate of $200 (normally $280) while supplies last.

Oct/14/08F5 Early Bird Tickets

As those of you who signed up on the F5 mailing list before September 9th know, F5 started selling super-secret advance ticket sales at the early bird price of $200 ($150 for students). Now we’ve sold out of our advance tickets, and we’re opening up early bird tickets to the general public. Hooray!

Due to the economics of pulling off an event like F5, we only have a limited number of early bird tickets available. Based on how quickly the advance tickets sold, I can tell we’re going to sell out of the early bird tickets fast. Grab yours before they’re gone:

We’re really excited about how rapidly we’re selling tickets. It seems people are as hungry for F5 as we are. We can’t wait to meet you all here in New York for an event that we hope will change your life forever.

Aug/28/08Announcing F5

F5 is a new festival exploring the intersection of art, design and entertainment. Organized by passionate people who truly understand the value of community and creativity, F5 seeks to be a meeting place for the brightest minds in the world.

Founded on the belief that true insight and lasting inspiration come from unexpected places. The two-day festival gathers creative directors, motion designers, filmmakers, digital artists, photographers, producers, interactive designers, graphic artists, agency executives, visual effects experts, musicians and industry visionaries—to name only a few.

F5 is more than just the pulse of creativity; it is its heart.

Join us this April 16th and 17th in New York City for an event that will change the way you think about work, life and everything in between.