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‘Cow’ intros high-tech whiz-kids

Just as writer-director John Singleton (“Boyz N the Hood”) was a hot filmmaking prospect in Hollywood agency and studio circles before he had collected his sheepskin from the USC film-writing program, the world of interactive multimedia is creating its own new big buzz talents.

At Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, the student creators of the Art Center Digital Catalog already are being actively courted by several advertising agencies and design firms — and their clients, ranging from auto manufacturers and motion control ride firms to Las Vegas amusement park companies and international cruise lines.

Housed in an on-campus kiosk, the catalog also works as a mobile presentation center, and already has hit the road serving both as an introduction to the Art Center, and its creators: Bryan Dorsey and Matt Neri, creative directors; Kent Campbell, producer; Dina Temkin, director of photography and John Grotting, project architect. The kiosk was designed and built by Bobby Chang and Todd Bell.

When Art Center president David Brown spoke at the Design and Media Conference in Japan late last year, the catalog was on board as an example of the Center’s talents and forward-looking goals.

The project began as an idea for a “digital grad book,” but quickly became upgraded and financially supported by the Art Center. The result was an interface that uses a spatial metaphor, with two levels of information.

The first read is in the foreground, with the second level receded and blurred. When the user touches anywhere in the background, the blurred level moves forward, sending everything else into the background. The information covers different departments in the school, video interviews with faculty, students and alumni, and samples of work. There’s also a tour of the campus, information on the Center’s European campus and a history of the school.

Now ready for the real world of commerce, the creative/production team has formed their own company, named whimsically enough, “Cow,” which creative director Dorsey says reflects their philosophy of “hit me with simplicity. We want people looking for interactive multimedia to just say ‘Cow.’ We’re looking for clients with a big vision that can allow us to show what we can do.”

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