Thanksgiving Film Trailer Project

For our final project in NMAC 3145, we had to make a Thanksgiving themed film trailer. Since my family doesn’t really do Thanksgiving (it’s only the 6 of us in my immediate family and then an aunt, uncle, and cousin in my extended family) so I picked a theme that’s universal for even those who don’t actually celebrate Thanksgiving during the Thanksgiving week: Traffic!

The requirements were to make it look like a trailer as much as you could, to have layered audio, and for it to be Thanksgiving themed. I managed to do those things! I did mine in the style of a drama but so that it’s a spoof comedy, of sorts. The contents are humorous but when styled like a drama, it’s even funnier. Hopefully you guys think so, too!

(We were also supposed to have a script to turn in, and I’m not sure where exactly, so I’m just gonna put a read-more below the video and post it there. You guys can ignore that part!)

Continue reading “Thanksgiving Film Trailer Project”

Logo Design Project

In NMAC 3145, over the break we were tasked with coming up with a logo for ourselves and our ‘Brand’ using the website Canva, which is a free to use design platform that I highly recommend. I confess, I struggled with this one because I really DO want a brand logo and I’ve never managed to come up with something that really fit, because I’m crazy picky and not a graphic designer.

My very first ‘brand name logo’ I tried to make for myself when I made my first short documentary was shot down by the professor for being too ‘silly’.

gay-pirates-logo

I wanted to make my production brand Gay Pirate Productions, and this was my very super basic logo. Why, you may ask, did I want to brand myself Gay Pirate Productions?

There are 3 reasons:

  • I love pirates
  • I love queer people (though I’m bisexual, not gay)
  • It fits the trend of your “Bad Robot” and your “Mutant Enemy”, which are very recognizable production brands (JJ Abrams and Joss Whedon, respectively), two-word, memorable, simple brand name theme . Also, Gay Pirate wasn’t already someone’s production brand which I find INSANE since it’s such a fun name.

Personally, I’m still pretty attached to that branding and tbh the Logo isn’t bad either for 20 minutes, google images, and photoshop.

However, that was for my film-making and, as I said, my professor at the time shot me down for being silly (not shocking, he was a boring guy who had no sense of fun). For this assignment in NMAC 3145, I need to make a brand for myself as a whole, because I am involved in more creative endeavors than just film-making, most notably my writing, and even beyond creative endeavors of that nature, I’m slowly but surely becoming more heard-of in the film and TV review communities online (obviously I’m still a nobody, but there are peers with far more well-known and established reputations who I talk with and who mention me and get my name out, so it’s slow but sure).

Basically, I need a brand and logo that makes me recognizable in multiple potential fields, not just my creative endeavors, but potentially professionally as well.

It took me forever to decide what I wanted the wording to be, because in the past I’ve gone with just ‘A JCW Production’ and used my initials, but I don’t really feel attached to that because JCW is a pretty common set of initials, I’ve found (I have a friend named John Casey Wells, for example). It took me a long time to decide on the one I did in just using J. Chelsea.

Since I was in middle school, I have been signing things J. Chelsea Williford. My signature on anything is not Janna Williford, but J. Chelsea Williford because I’ve never gone by Janna. I get sick of people calling me Janna, too. It’s normal, because when they read my name on anything official it says Williford, Janna C. It’s only natural for people to assume my name is Janna. However, once I’m done with school, I want to try and move away from that. I want people to recognize my name.

Yes, my twitter is @JannaWilliford but that’s because there is a girl in Texas named Chelsea Williford and I know this because every time she signs up for something, FOR SOME REASON, the emails come to my chelseawilliford@yahoo.com account. I was lucky enough to get an email address with just my name, only for a teenager in Texas to sign up for online accounts with my email address. (I also get emails from her school choir instructor on my chelseawilliford@gmail.com account. It’s hilarious.)

So I picked J. Chelsea, because it’s recognizable and it’s a name I would use on everything. Anything with my full name says J. Chelsea Williford. I had never seen someone who used their first name as an initial, but as an adult I’ve come across some authors, and some filmmakers, but it’s still pretty unique to me in everyday life.

My very first attempt is still my absolutely favorite of the bunch:

j-chelsea-1

It’s beautiful, isn’t it? The colors of the sky works so well with the background, that font is perfect because I write my J’s that way, so that instead of a line all the way across the top, I just go far enough before doing the downward hook, and it says everything I want it to. The color purple, beyond being my favorite color and beyond being both the pride color and the ‘blend’ color for the bisexual flag, is one that is used to symbolize wit and creativity, and when I’m writing or film-making, the creativity of those endeavors is symbolized by the color purple. Also, the person looking up at the galaxy symbolizes moving forward into the unknown, making unknown advancements, reaching out beyond the limits of the imagination, and simply taking a leap and breaking the mold to try and do something brand new. Also, it has to be noted, I’m a space nerd so SPACE!

However, as beautiful as that is, as much as I wanted to just go “There, done!”, there’s something really important…. it isn’t really a logo. It’s more of a banner. It’s beautiful, but that is not an effective logo.

The goals of an effective logo aren’t just originality and memorability, which this has in spades, but to be recognizable in multiple formats. I checked this in small format, and it works as a tiny logo, so I was hopeful. However, when you check it in black and white it’s utterly useless. The stars wash out into the name, which blends into a bloom of white with black speckles and lines around the outsides. It’s utterly useless in black and white. Also, as loathe as I am to admit it, it’s just too busy. It’s beautiful, but it isn’t a good logo.

So, I decided to nix my beautiful, wonderful, magical night sky motif and just go for a different color to go within that pattern:

j-chelsea-5

Better, right? It’s still got the cool, edgy look to it and, though the space symbolism is totally lost, the texture and colors still lends towards the idea of a creative brand and it’s just as versatile.

In the small-scale test it worked better than the first, but in the black and white it once again failed. Even without the space-scape messing it up, the lines of that pattern still just don’t work in black and white. I wanted it to so badly because it’s such a beautiful logo, but it’s just NOT a logo. It’s more of a banner, like I said. It would be great for an advertisement for J. Chelsea but it just isn’t a logo.

At this point, I was really stumped. I was back to square one, almost, and I was feeling pretty downtrodden. I didn’t really have any other ideas, and even with all of Canva’s versatility, it just wasn’t giving me options I wanted.

Then, it came to me.

When I was in high school, I have no idea why or how it started, but I would always draw this symbol on the margins of papers. It was a jagged heart with a line through it. It wasn’t like a broken heart or a heart with an arrow, it was just a scratchy heart (because I’m a terrible artist) with a line through it. I wrote it on EVERYTHING. I have no idea why, other than the fact I’m a doodler even though I can’t draw, but I did.

So, while Canva didn’t have the options to recreate that heart exactly, I designed something more modern but still similar. This is the result:

j-chelsea-6

It feels so incredibly basic, and I can’t love it the way I do the original, but to be perfectly honest, that’s a pretty good logo. I stuck with the font I liked and the color I liked for the heart, and I almost made the strike through a different color than black, but honestly, this works better as a logo.

The goal of a logo is to be simple, recognizable, memorable, and be all those things in small form, large form, or black and white. This logo does those things. It’s also still very versatile. Yes, I lose a lot of the symbolism I wanted, but it works. The color I was able to keep, and the cleanliness of the design is superior to that of logos, honestly. I would love to tweak it in a program with more options than Canva, I would like the heart to be shaped differently, I would like the strike through to be longer in either direction, but overall I’m happy with this logo.

My audience for the J. Chelsea brand is supposed to be very broad because J. Chelsea could be on a documentary film, a fiction film, in a book, on a critical review, a watermark on a photo, on some social commentary on global economics, the list just goes on and on. So I can’t aim at just one audience. I need something that’s recognizable and memorable for ALL the potential audiences I could have.

I think with some work, I could make this into a logo that I could love, and maybe one day I’ll have the program and the artistic ability to do just that. Logos change over time, so for now, as a starting point, this logo works just fine for me.

 

 

Photo Advertising Assignment

This week for NMAC 3145 we had an assignment in which we had to do an ad campaign for some product we use doing 6 photographs.

I decided to do my project on my favorite k-pods: Green Mountain Sumatran Roast.

The idea is to pretend that you’re an advertisement firm hired to promote the product, so I have to think about the goal in this photo advertisement. I’m selling coffee that’s single-serve, fast-brewing, convenient coffee that still tastes good. My target audience for this is the person that’s always on the go and doesn’t need a whole pot of coffee. A good idea would be young business people or students, someone that’s likely unmarried (no need for a whole pot of coffee for just yourself) and likely needs to get their coffee in the morning as they’re on their way out the door to class or work. Ads like this would be best in magazines, online ads, and in public spaces like bus stops and on subway platforms, because the person likely to be the type that commutes and those are the types of items a commuter likely runs into.

My theme for my photo shoot is ‘getting ready for work’. It’s early, still dark out, and the person using the product is making coffee in between showering, getting dressed, running around getting everything ready for the day, ect. The idea I’m trying to sell is that with the convenience of Green Mountain Sumatran Roast in a k-pod for the Keurig, she can make her coffee and have time to drink it while she’s getting ready because it’s that fast and convenient.

Because I’m one person living in a house with 6 other people, the only time I could make use of the kitchen as a photography studio without people in and out was the middle of the night, which is also why I’m the photographer and subject in my project, because everyone else is asleep in the middle of the night.

ad-1ad-2ad-3ad-4ad-5ad-6

Digital Media Marketing Analysis Assignment

This week in my NMAC 3145 class, we’ve been talking about effective advertising. We were tasked with choosing an ad campaign and analyzing why it is effective, what the audience it’s aiming for is, and what platforms they use for the campaign.

I decided to take a look at a reasonbly long-running campaign, the Dawn Saves Lives campaign. For the past decade, Dawn dish soap has sporadically highlighted that Dawn dish soap saves wildlife in the event of oil spills. Dawn dish soap is pretty much what we think about when we see people washing off oil-slicked ducks and seabirds, because Dawn is the only cleaning product that has long advertised their product as a savior of wildlife.

It’s harder to nail down what platforms are used by this ad campaign, because it has spanned from 2006 (only one year into the life of Youtube) until today with a highlight around the time of the BP oil spill. That year, there was an up-swing in the airing of the advertisements.

The commercial I’m sure we’re all familiar with is this one:

This commercial is effective because most everyone likes animals. Even if you don’t particularly care about the environment, most people see a little fuzzy baby duckling and goes ‘awwww’. A cute baby animal that is covered in oil being gently scrubbed with soft-looking bubbles is a great visual image to persuade people to pay attention to the ad and associate good things with this product because it’s not just a good thing, saving a baby animal, but it’s depicted in such a ‘warm and fuzzy’ manner. It seems more like the baby duck is getting a warm, bubbly bath to rid it of the icky, nasty oil than actually depicting the harm and suffering the duck was faced with before being cleaned off. It plays into the part of most people who naturally care about animals, babies, gentleness, and kindness to a soft baby duckling.

After that, it goes on to tell you that the company is going to donate a VERY LARGE sum of money to helping the wildlife and the environment (or so it’s implied) and it makes it so that, even if you weren’t already inspired to buy their product, you really want to buy it now that they are telling you YOUR money is going to help the baby animals.  It reinforces that idea by showing them releasing the rescued animals back into the wild.

Even now, I just caught myself thinking, ‘Wow, I should go buy some Dawn’ when I know it’s marketing manipulation.

Beyond that commercial, however, there is also the label on the bottle:

dawn2bhelps2bsave2bwildlife

The baby duck on the bottle is the same size as the logo, and the message “Dawn Helps Save Wildlife” is almost as big as the words on the logo. It is selling the idea of saving a baby duck more than it is washing your dishes, because what appeals more to people, doing dishes well or saving a baby duck?

Beyond the ad and the logo, you have coupon-looking ads online on websites in the sidebar and in pop-ups that look like this:

1penguin_6003seal_6002duck_600

The ad looks like a coupon and says “Save” but instead of having an actual coupon, it’s telling you that if you buy Dawn, you’re saving the baby animal. And once again, it’s fluffy baby animals because saving the sea urchins isn’t as appealing as saving a baby penguin, or a baby seal, or a baby duckling. These ads are the types that pop up on a blog article and you have to click the X to close them and continue reading, and while those ads mostly go ignored, some of us can’t help but pause and go ‘awww’ at the baby animal, and that’s when we see the “Dawn Saves Animals” advertisement.

Dawn’s social media accounts are all about the baby ducks!

Facebook (forgive the Pirate language, I just took a screenshot with my FB account logged in):

screenhunter_592-nov-10-17-10

Twitter:

Youtube:

screenhunter_593-nov-10-17-18

The Produce Website:

screenhunter_594-nov-10-17-19

It’s really hard to run a more useful campaign than one where you demonstrate a product saving very cute baby animals from death. It’s a harsh reality but a real one that many people don’t care nearly as much about other humans as they do about baby animals. Baby animals is one of the most universal ways to reach people’s emotional centers. It’s hard to face it, but even if they were cleaning the hospital rooms of orphan children with diseases with their product, it wouldn’t reach the same emotional appeal as fluffy, fuzzy, adorable baby animals.

And by showing their product cleaning the animals off, showing that their company gives back some of its profits to charities for the animals, and by showing actual animals that have been saved being released back into the wild, it proves to be what I would argue is one of the most effective advertising campaigns probably to ever exist.

3-Frame Story

This week in my NMAC 3145 class, we approached the idea of telling a story through photographs alone. The idea is that you don’t use any words to tell your story, but I’m going to address the restrictions that caused me to have such a haphazard sequence of shots.

Simply put, I was going for comedy, so I made a choice about a GREAT idea and didn’t think up any alternatives. My original idea was going to be my sister Dallas standing at the base of a tree, then beginning to climb the tree, and then splayed on the ground after falling from the tree. However, both Tuesday and today, I didn’t get home until after dark, so that wasn’t doable. I thought for a while that I was not going to be able to get anything lined up to fulfill the requirements. Last minute, I got this idea and I rushed to my sisters’ room where Dallas was nearly asleep (Graysie was still up, but she doesn’t own heels so she wasn’t an option), and begged her to get out of bed and let me take just THREE pictures of her for my assignment. She really did mean just three photos, so this is what I got and what I had to work with.
I’m sorry that they aren’t better, but I edited the color and lighting so that they matched and they are framed as well as I could get them in one try. Here we go!

20161026_21381720161026_21385220161026_213947