My transition from motion pictures to computer-something coincided with this invention. Overnight, my lack of focus and diversity of art skills became assets rather than embarrassments. I began to apply my knowledge and skills in the Arts to the creation of interactive multimedia projects that helped corporate America to sell products, attorneys to win cases, and educators to educate.

To assist an advertising agency land a drugstore chain account, I scanned bottles of Penzoil and Red Perfume into the computer and danced them through a music-accompanied animation that simulated buyer excitement. To aid a Texaco attorney who needed to convince a judge that a class action suit against all the oil companies would overwhelm the courts for centuries, I conceived a computer-generated 3D model (which I affectionately called the “Mother Cube”) that compressed a seemingly infinite amount of information into a computer generated, interactive animation. To help the historian of the oldest design firm in the United States, Schumacher Designs, tell the history of that company to a listless jury, I conceived  and designed a playful scrollable timeline with links to beautiful images and text – to replace the dull and old-fashioned black ink text on a big white graphic board typical of courtroom presentations. To teach junior high students about the science behind the space shuttle’s heat shield tiles, I built an interactive animated game with cool sound effects that allowed kids to calculate the number of tiles and amount of glue needed to protect that spacecraft. All of these multimedia projects enabled my clients to communicate with much greater effect than would have words and traditional graphics alone.

During my twenty year employment in commercial interactive multimedia, I continued to hone my Arts and writing skills, and I still dreamed of making my own movies with The Box. Movies that entertained and inspired rather than sold products. I remembered the words of my favorite teacher in undergraduate film school, Karen Holmes, who told me on the eve of my graduation: “Terry, don’t ever forget that you are an artist first.” I had not forgotten, but I had not yet found an artist’s path. continued page 10