Phillip Kerman

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Phillip Kerman

Attempting "the rock" pose in his 1999
overused press photo.
Born Phillip David Kerman
March 31, 1965 (age 45)
Mineola, New York, U.S.
Occupation Satirist/Teacher/Programmer
Years active 1989 - present
Spouse(s) Diana Kerman
Children Savannah Kerman

Phillip Kerman (March 31, 1965) is a software programmer, teacher, and writer. He fancies himself a comedian though this claim has been widely disputed. His long and tiresome career as self-appointed expert using Macromedia/Adobe tools (including Authorware, Director, and finally Flash) has been marked with a not-coincidental demise of whatever technology Phillip has exploited. In recent years, he's had a series of seeming break-downs first spending 1 year to produce over 100 anti-technolgy satire videos (including the cult-classic Why Adobe Updater) and then turning to street performing his Vaudeville inspired act Handbills Delivered for which he has been physically removed from only two venues despite requests to leave and never return to over 6 cities at which he was uninvited to perform during 2010 and 2011. To this day the public continues to debate exactly which of Mr. Kerman's skills most contributed to his global stardum.

Born Phillip David Kerman in Mineola, New York, he currently lives in West Linn, Oregon with his small family and surrounded by his precious bag collection which has an estimated ebay value of over $2.1 million [need citation].




[edit] Early Work

Having a strong interest in photography, Phillip became a photographer for the Sunset High School newspaper and yearbook. In 1980 he took an unauthorized photograph of the "school-executive-council" recommended lunchroom janitor strike which he later sold to The Oregonian Newspaper for an undisclosed sum of money (link).

His tumultuous experience as an undergraduated at Rochester Institute of Technology was nearly derailed after four years of goofing off. Witnesses report Phillip would regularlly make this 10 mile trip to The University of Rochester via skateboard to purchase Drum tobacco. He returned to attend Portland State University for 1 year before riding his bicycle over 3700 miles back to Rochester to finally graduate 1 year later from RIT with a Bachelor's of Science in Imaging and Photographic Technology (whatever that is). He pursuaded RIT's physical education department to waive the two-years' worth of P.E. requirements in lieu of his epic bicycle ride. Phillip's physical training had been enhanced by bicycle trips he and his long time friend Dave Shechtman would make to the Oregon Coast. On one such 3-day bicycle trip Phillip discovered that Mr. Shechtman covertely hid his share of repair tools on Phillip's bicycle. Determined to shed the ounces of additional weight from his cargo, Mr. Shechtman (once his bad deed was discovered and he was required to carry his share of the tools) later stashed the tent poles at the beach only to return with Phillip's mother's car later to search in vain for the polls that remain lost at the coast.

After college he worked for the Swiss camera importer Sinar-Bron as a technical sales representative. After 1 year of serving some of the world's greatest photographers in New York City (including Bruce Weber, Ryszard Horowitz, Albert Watson, and Hans Neleman) Phillip was deported to a territory which included Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Pittsburgh. Sensing it was the beginning of the end of his sales career, he began to investigate opportunities in the burgening CD-ROM and Computer Based Training industry. He worked for a small development company in Cincinnati Ohio called The Human Element, Inc. where he got his first experience using the now completely ignored software Macromedia Authorware. That valuable learning experience enabled Philip to move back to Portland Oregon where he launched his self-employed career in as programmer/consultant in 1995. That business is still in place to this day.

[edit] Programming Career


Phillip programmed this real-time cattle auction using Flash Media Server. With sales of $5-10 million per hour the nearly all male industry of cattle traders never judged the animations as being mysogynistic.

When Phillip moved back to Portland in 1995 to start a self-employed career as Authorware consultant he knew he had to develop skills with the state-of-the-art authoring tool at the time: Macromedia Director 4. With a combination of skills in sales, communication, programming, and just plain dumb-luck, Phillip found tons of work doing Director programming for many Portland area businesses. He became an expert producing multi-lingual Director projects including the multimedia tutorial that shipped with Intel's "Create & Share Camera Pack" which, to this day, remains one of the most widely distributed CDROMs (second only to AOL trial CDs).

By the late 1990s Phillip was a globally recognized expert in Director and Authorware, having been invited to speak in such exotic locations as Melbourne Australia, Reykjavik Iceland, Stuttgart Germany, and McAlester Oklahoma.

After experiencing the demise of Authorware, Phillip saw the writing on the wall for Director in 1999 when Macromedia Flash was beginning to annoy web surfers with gratuitous animations. By switching to Flash and declaring himself as an expert, Phillip was invited to speak at the first of the wildly popular FlashForward conferences in 2000. It was there where he met one of the many book publishers who were said to be offering book deals to anyone who knew how to spell "Flash".

Phillip's first book "Sam's Teach Yourself Macromedia Flash 5 in 24 Hours" became a best seller and has since sold well over 100,000 copies worldwide despite claims from competitor Flash authors that reviews on were probably written by his mother.

Phillip's uncanny good luck helped him land some pretty sweet Flash programming gigs including the following highlights:

  • snowboards [now defunct but archived here] which won countless (to someone who can't count over 5 or so) awards including Communication Arts Interactive Annual and "best consumer website" from British Design & Art Direction.
  • The real-time cattle auction which regularly sells $5-$10 million worth of cattle during a 90 minute auction. This site was featured on NPR's All Things Considered and won the FlashForward 2004 award in the best application category.
  • Several two-player games for MSN Messenger (Sudoku Too, Jigsaw Too, and Tic-a-Tac Poker). Combined with the one-player games (Spot the Differences and Jigsaw), the games Phillip has programmed have anywhere between 25,000 and 150,000 game plays per hour, every hour, every day! [estimate confirmed]
  • The Portland Trailblazer's team page ( )

Phillip was quoted as saying "my lack of experience is often the most valuable asset I can offer my clients". For unknown reasons clients continue to fall for this line, and Phillip's no-nonsense honest approach to programming allows him to command wages competititve with what real-live professional programmers charge. His approach to "take jobs that are just a little beyond your current capabilities" has enabled him to grow.

[edit] Teaching

In the unauthorized biography (Rise and Fall of a Flash Kingpin) Phillip is quoted as saying "Teaching is the best way to learn; try to teach something and you quickly find out what you don't know." It was later revealed that he actually started teaching Flash before he knew much about Flash. This aparent ineptitude has had little impact impact on his ability to teach because he's taught an estimated 40,000 - 80,000 students during a teaching career that spanned colleges, universities, and other learning institutions [need citation--not blatant exagerration].

His teaching career includes the following highlights:

  • Taught Macromedia Authorware at Miami University (1994), Portland State University (1996-2002 *see note below), Clackamas Community College, and various corporate institutions around the world.*NOTE: on his website Phillip posted the following message regarding Portland State University which has yet to be fully explained publicly: "No classes currently planned and PSU has no plans of hiring me in the future."
  • Taught Macromedia Director at Portland State University, Portland Community College, and several private organziations around the world.
  • Taught ActionScript and Macromedia Flash (and later Adobe Flash) versions 3 through 10 (the equivalent of Flash CS4) at countless colleges and universities including: Pacific Northwest College of Art, Northwest Academy, Portland State University, Portand Community College.
  • In 2009 he began to convert his highly successful "MM240" and "MM241" courses (from Portland Community College) to an online version scheduled to be offerred in Spring 2010 [need citation].

Phillip has been known for taking credit for any successes his students go on to acheive while downplaying the number of students who don't become ActionScript gurus. He's said to be a passionate teacher, sometimes jaded, but always honest and straight forward with his students. He controls his classroom like a drill sargent, for example forbidding his students from talking while he's talking. A rumor emergered from one high school where Phillip taught at that he placed a student's cell phone (on which the student was talking during class) into a toilet. Though this accussation was never proven, Phillip relishes the opportunity to remind students of this story.

[edit] Video Production

[warning: videos are not rated]

In what some people have described as a mid-life crisis, Phillip began producing anti-technology low-budget videos in 2008. At his peak, he was producing a new video every day. While many of the videos look unscripted,unrehearsed, and unitelligible, Phillip has revealed his process actually includes scripting, casting, acting, directing, and editing. The target of his angst appeared to be Adobe and their products, but after about 50 Adobe related videos Phillip branched out to make fun of anything from computer operating systems (You Will Be On Windows) to a street renaming in Portland (39 Reasons for and against Cesar Chavez Blvd). Despite the appearance Phillip sincerely hates Adobe, it was Adobe employees who originally encouraged Phillip to produce videos and they have continued to support him (morally and financially) throughout his video career--even when producing videos that embarass the company.

In 2009 Phillip began to take advantage of his popularity as a Flash presenter in order to proselytize others into making videos as a creative oulet to release tension:

Despite claims of unprofessionality, Phillip has landed a few professional video production contracts including:

  • April 2009: produced 20 bumper videos and hosted the FITC awards show in Toronto Canada.
  • May 2009: produced videos for and hosted the live gameshow "The Flash is Right" in Boston, Massachusetts including Lost ActionScript Weekend
  • October 2009: produced a mock legal announcement screened at the 2009 Adobe MAX Conference's Sneak Peeks Keynote.
    Phillip Kerman "singing" in the punk-classic Why Adobe Updater, March 5, 2008.

[edit] Video Listing

[warning: videos are not rated]

General Audiences:

Insider Jokes (partial list, chronological order. Complete list can be found on Phillip's youtube channel):

Full Length Features (actor only):

Book List

[edit]Personal Life

Phillip's reclusive lifestyle has provided the public very few clues what he is really like. We know Phillip is an accomplished Shoe Flip expert. After a dispute exploded between Phillip and some kids (who produced the mockumentary Peering into the Sole) Phillip went on to produce: Why Shoe Flip? which attempted to end the controversy, though many say the battle is not over.