Jean-Marie Tassy is the man behind Uzik, a Paris-based advertising agency that has conceived some of the most jaw-dropping websites on the internet today. Even if you’re a teetotaler, you have to admit the site for Russian Standard Vodka is a work of art, with a free-flowing Flash interface that looks so classy you’ll want to put on a jacket and tie before you click “enter.”
But Jean-Marie isn’t just the head of one of the most cutting-edge new media companies out there. He’s also the head organizer for Calvi on the Rocks, an annual music festival that this year featured LCD Soundsystem, Hot Chip, and A-Trak, among others. Technologically sophisticated? Check. Inspired creatively? Check. Loves loud music and parties? We had to talk to this guy.
The Creators Project: What are you up to these days? What are you working on?
Jean-Marie Tassy: It’s been a crazy-busy month. I had the pleasure of working on the eighth edition of my festival Calvi on the Rocks. As well as this, I’m leading my digital agency Uzik through a weird economic period, and even if we finish with the same results as last year I have to expend a lot of energy to gain new online budgets for the coming year. Plus, the competition is harder than ever. We are fighting at the moment on proposals for new website budgets for Chanel, Hediard, the Louvre, and BNP Paribas. At the same time, we just put a bunch of fresh new websites online, such as visitprovence.com and andre.fr. I am also finishing the new website for my festival, calviontherocks.com/grille, with easy access to the best pictures and videos.
What do you call your job? There are so many different aspects to it.
I call it “Flash guru” in my dreams. "Multimedia artisan" is closer to the truth. I created and now run Uzik. We consist of more than 30 people, and we design information. We create brand experiences online, and we lead the international online strategies for clients like Perrier-Jouet Champagne, Russian Standard Vodka, and Nina Ricci. We also create innovative flash interfaces for Orange and France Télévisions.
In your work you combine technology, marketing, and creativity. Can you explain that process?
I love creating from technology! In another life I’ll be an artist. Marketing is the crap that comes along with that—to please the brands and bring money. And money is the fuel for really sincere projects like Calvi on the Rocks. Day to day, the main idea for us is that we mix technological experts with creatives and marketers at the very first step of reflection and conception. Together we formulate rich-media solutions, which try to be innovative and creative.
What’s your favorite piece of technology to use?
No doubt it is Flash from Adobe. Even if the trend is that HTML is not dead, Flash is the interactive rich media solution. I bet on this technology in 2000 (it was Flash 3 then), and I haven’t been disappointed by its evolution. I like the idea of being an expert in dynamic Flash—"dynamic" meaning that you can use the solution with unlimited content.
If we could invent something just for you, what would it be?
Teleportation. I miss Corsica and sunshine in general. Invent it quickly, please.
What’s coming up next for you? Are there any new technologies out there that you think will change the landscape further and revolutionize the way we work?
Flash still, I hope. Flash 11 and 12… and 99. And then I retire.