Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Final post for Fall

So fall semester is coming to a close, which means the work load is a little lighter until January rolls around. I have sincerely enjoyed my first semester in Visions. I endured some struggles, and learned a few things, and even made a few friends, daww. I am pleased with some of my improvement with adobe programs - still have a lot to learn though, especially with illustrator (that's for you Michelle). But now that I have them on my computer, I can mess around with them over break - if the size of the programs do not kill my computer first. I actually am helping my sister design a poster that she needs up at her school (JMU). It's to advertise some college courses to high schools in the area - I told her I'd help her out with it no problem.
Most importantly over the course of this semester, I've discovered that I really like graphic design. Some days I'm more creative than others, and put under time constraints I basically absolve all creativity, but when allotted the right amount of time, and a good subject, I really really like the freedom to create a new design, logo, title, whatever it may be. With the chance of sounding dumb, I really think I'm going to look into some graphic design work outside of university. I may be forever torn between two majors, but this is the first I can see myself working on something outside of school, rather than just studying it. So yea, I guess Im signing out for fall. Peace.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Random-ish blog

First order of business:
Cucalorus screenings: A Light Beneath Their Feet, The Invitation, Dough, Serrano Shorts

Second Order: The geofilters are coming along very nicely. I've put together 3 tentative designs and there are more to come - these require some drawing and scanning which takes more time than incorporating designs that are already completed. I've been looking at a lot of examples, the link below has some good ones to refer to.

I'm thinking that we use a couple of them - since they're not hard to make, and if there happens to be several designs everyone likes, because then people using these geofilters have options. It's just more advertisement for Visions (and it doesn't cost anything) so we might as well.

The other thing I'm noticing about example filters, is that many tend to be very simple, just the name of the town in a pretty font or something. We can do this, then make a more elaborate one. I think the most important thing to consider is the coloring. I know we should stick with our color pallet to maintain our theme but the colors must be bright enough to stand out from the photo that will be behind it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Indiegogo Video

Last friday at 2:00 we started set up for the Visions6 Indiegogo Campaign Video. Then at 3:00 we started filming. The shoot lasted about 7 hours, which seems long, but everything went pretty smoothly.

We discovered several things during our time on set:
1. Devin is a terrible actor
2. Michelle is also not a good actor (she will agree with me here)
3. Big Rob casts a big shadow
4. Papa John's uses food dollars
5. And always check all the switches on the lights before assuming they don't work

Everyone was prepared for their roles, mine on set consisted of sound and assistance to shot set ups. I had a large part in the original concept for the video, despite the script being altered several times, so I was able to help visualize the layout of specific shots. However, it was Michelle who really killed the directorial game. She set up every shot, and knew exactly how each person had to act in each. Zoë killed the producing game, keeping everyone on schedule, knowing exactly which shot was to be filmed next, and on top of that, serving as probably the best actor on set. Props to Zoë and Michelle, without whom the video would not be completed.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Thanksgiving and Space

Two very different things, a difficult task to combine both. Tyler is currently working on the Thanksgiving animation for Visions. He has remained consistent to the space background, layering images and text over top. However, the animation right now is only portraying the space elements, which is good for Visions, but not for the holiday. The animation does not distinguish itself from the others without verifying the time period in which it is created.

Before talking thanksgiving, a few things about the animations in general - and I find I have some authority to talk about this given I have worked on visuals for Visions myself, and also having experience with animation. The font needs to be changed, it does not match the fonts previously used for Visions designs, and it does not really follow the space theme anyway, and then movements need to be more fluid for Cosmo.

So, how to make Thanksgiving spacey, or Cosmo in a Thanksgiving setting?...whichever.
Tyler mentioned he was channeling a bit of Charlie Brown when making the design, if this is a piece of the inspiration we should just run with it. Have Cosmo kicking a football, or have him making the squiggly mouth of Charlie. Give Cosmo a fricken turkey leg. The class did vote on laser turkeys as the favorite design to use for the animation. I'm not exactly sure how this will turn out. Perhaps the laser turkey and Cosmo encounter one another and the turkey eradicates Cosmo with his laser eyes (if his eyes are lasers and that's how we're doing this)...but I think Zoë might have a problem with this since Cosmo represents Visions and we do not want Visions dying. The turkey could be cooking other foods with his laser eyes, rather than killing Cosmo, or other space beings. There could be a type of collaboration between Cosmo and the Turkey. If the turkey is more like a gun than an animal, Cosmo could find this laser turkey gun and be shooting space objects (rock looking things) that explode and become some type of text about Visions, or the logo, or the hashtag. I think there are several options for this laser turkey idea, we just need to start trying them out and see.

Cucalorus Response

Fortunately this year I was able to attend part of Cucalorus Film Festival. Walking around downtown it felt like a private event that only people cool enough were attending - which I guess is a good and bad thing. The theaters I found myself in, Jengo's playhouse, Thalian Hall, and the CFCC Union Station, were sizable enough to hold an audience, (Thalian and CFCC more so than Jengo's), yet all maintained a sense of intimacy that made the audience feel special, feel closer to the films they watched. Thalian Hall was my favorite. I realize it probably always looks historic but this design for the theater takes you back in time, to the days when films were rare gems, a spectacle to go see. This theme works for a film festival that is premiering new films, works of art. We use Lumina theater for Visions, but we should somehow design the theater to feel like space, like our audience is in another world while attending a Visions screening.

There were large projections of the Cucalorus logo displayed on buildings downtown - a very nice addition to the posters and signs already advertising the festival; (also adding to the feeling of a secret society, a simple logo displayed where all can see, some know exactly what it is, while others are intrigued). A large projection of the Visions logo is absolutely something we could do in Lumina, or perhaps along walkways on campus, (buildings might be harder to get permission for).

Cucalorus remained true to their theme of monsters. They also remained true to a single style of bumper that revealed the donors of the festival. To open a film, 2D animated monsters in muted oranges and reds quickly moved across the screen pulling a white banner that contained the logos and/names of sponsors and donors. The entire animation lasted approximately thirty seconds, not long at all. An old-school marching band-esque music played in the background, which concluded in an applause while an enlarged monster "swallowed" the screen, leaving it black. It was all very simple, yet beautifully composed. It followed the rule I know I have tried to live by this semester when it comes to designs, that less is more. Simple designs work well, and they especially work well following a time period's style, which is what Cucalorus did, as Visions is trying to do by channeling the 1940s space theme. Rather than place Cucalorus into a specific time period, its 2D designs and muted colors simply portray a time period in the past, serving as a reminiscence of older, simpler days.
In between films, a red screen with the Cucalorus logo pasted in the left corner would flip between the logos and names of sponsors and donors, names were revealed in a simple font, nothing flashy, and business/program logos were left to their original designs, revealed on a square, white backdrop.

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at Cucalorus, the films, the visuals, the setting, and the people. Yet, as a result of seeing another's design for a film festival, I know that we have an extremely creative group of individuals in Visions that can make the designs of our festival even more appealing.

Recent Work

The indiegogo campaign video has been revised - Zoë and Michelle are now on board with the direction the video will take. The script has been reworked a bit (just an additional few lines and such).
Some of the changes include:
- Opening the video acknowledging that Jack and myself are showing a video, rather than starting off watching the "bad indiegogo" video and assuming the Visions video is that bad...if that makes sense.
- Each Visions member shown on screen will be playing an exaggerated version of themselves - we ultimately want to represent Visions rather than random characters
- The location of filming will now take place in King 104 (a classroom versus theater) but this is okay we still have the projector and seats in which there will be some form of an audience
- Filming will be held Friday November 20th @ 3 pm, setup at 2

There have also been updates to the Visions logo:
- a gradient was thrown behind the image to create more depth
- the stars were revised to a simpler dot form
- The brightness was amped up to distinguish the colors of the logo

Monday, November 9, 2015

Indiegogo Campaign

These are some of the best indiegogo campaign videos I've seen. We are trying to channel this type of self-reflexive, humorous approach. The first and last videos are the ones that really appealed to me in particular. I enjoyed the spokesman of the first video, his demeanor and subtle humor drove the video's story. Aside from this, the settings were elaborate (which might not be a resource we have access to), however, the additional characters and their brief interactions with the spokesman is definitely something we can do.
We are thinking of using a single director to act as the main spokesman for the video, then the rest of the directors will serve as the means for presenting the information about Visions in a back and forth, quick-cut conversation with the main speaker.

The last video channels the type of self-reflexivity that we'd like. There is also a main spokesman (in this case the director), which I think works very well, it helps the audience identify with that person, and form that much of a stronger relationship being that it is the sole person they are forming a relationship with on screen. This speaker is not afraid to make fun of himself - how bad his films and effects would be without necessary funding.
What we intend to do here is make a mock indiegogo video that is very noticeably bad, and this will be presented to the audience of directors who show their very obvious disappointment. From here the main spokesman comes in and also acknowledges that the video is bad, then in a very exaggerated manner says this is what we need to do to fix this...this leads into the conversation with the other directors...the purpose of our very own indiegogo campaign video.

More details to come in class, along with a script and several storyboards.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Poster Research Revisited...

So it just occurred to me that the pictures I posted a while ago as part of my research for poster designs never showed up on my blog...

I guess I will just post links to some of the stuff I wanted to show - not sure how else to do it...

This image is actually great because it has made a collage of many of the posters I was looking at way back.

This one we might have shown in class...if we did not, we came back to these designs on several occasions.
--> But actually after having sat down with Andre last week, he liked our inspiration pieces but he noticed that our designs were lacking something these professional designs had, and he is absolutely right. I personally am enthralled by these 1940s designs, and want to incorporate that feel into Visions as best as I possibly can. Some of Andre's advice will really help with this:
1. He said to had dimension to our designs - this could be a light source, or an overlay of texture, or some sort of gradient. So that is definitely something we're going to work on.
2. The other thing is font...I've learned that the rule of thumb is 2-3 different fonts, and try to stick with 2. Also, the legible factor is super important. As these poster designs show, font is kept pretty standard, and where I went wrong was trying to match a font (to use for bodies of text) to the Visions logo font me and Tyler designed. I also kept thinking to match the font to a space theme - when the font does not necessarily have to be space-y because it will then blend into the background or design or whatever. A more standard font in fact stands out from the stylized design, as it does with these posters. So that is the other major critique I am going to try to work on, to ultimately give my designs the look I want them to have.

Here are more realistic images of space - a little bit of realism is nice, and so is light...which is something we have still yet to capture in our designs.

But nonetheless we are improving. I now stop to look at posters on buildings, some build my confidence because I know I am more creative than whoever designed that ugly piece, but others teach me about spacing and alignment. In fact, a lot of the posters I've seen mimic the simplistic design I've been trying to go for - so that is definitely a trend right now. I think my only complaint, and one of the bigger issues I've dealt with thus far is the amount of text I have to incorporate on the designs. I personally think the text takes away from the simplicity aspect. This might also be why the font has been an issue, perhaps because it is being used too much, that a stylized font is definitely not the way to go. This text issue is something I'll be working on with marketing and the other departments that are in need of designs. I think there is definitely a way we can say everything that needs to be said, while still holding true to the element of design.

Response to the Psychological Tips for Crowd-funding

Adrienne was not kidding this is actually a very good article. Being an economics major, I study the decision-making that takes place surrounding scare is only a part of this.  People tend to think economics is money, no, that is finance.

What is great about this article is that it has deciphered a donor's decision-making process, basically giving tips to manipulate your campaign to incentivize donations, it's genius.

One of my favorites was "the power of reciprocity"  - feeling compelled to give to those that give to you, or give to others. My roommates and I basically live by this. I cook dinner one night, so he buys the next night. It not only ultimately balances out financially (which is important, one person should not give more than another), but it creates a stronger relationship, or bond between the two people engaging in the 'reciprocity process'. Establishing a relationship between donor and acceptor (couldn't think of a better word) is basically the point this article is trying to make - that creating a sense of trust, whether that involves legitimacy of your project or your generosity, it will help better your campaign. But like I said, one person should not be giving more than another.

I think I mostly agree with the 'making people feel guilty' section, but the very skeptical voice in my head also knows that people are very selfish - I mean Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations was based on the idea that people are selfish, and tend to engage in activities that promote self interest. So part of me feels like the 'making people feel guilty' strategy is kind of a been there done that thing. Here is a strange video I remember seeing at some point - and I realize this video has a whole set of problems itself - but it kind of proves my point a little.

Now as a solution to my skepticisms, I feel like humor tends to draw people in (and yes, here self-interest is prevalent if you consider people like being entertained), but what humor also does, is let people know you do not take yourself so seriously. Now I realize set up in the wrong way this can have a negative effect, but tastefully structured, a bit of humor in a campaign video (i.e. making fun of yourself) can make you very likable, thus compelling people to donate. I don't know though, humor might just be my thing.

I absolutely agree with including the lowest donation possible as an option, because along with being selfish, people are competitive, and tend to even compete with themselves, perhaps how generous they might be today, along with the more common competition that exists with other donors. For instance, my mother always out does my father (they are divorced), when it comes to donating to sporting events or fundraisers...I guarantee she will give more to Visions than my Dad will...and yes, she does this on purpose. The only downside I see to this argument, pertaining to online donations, is that a donor is not physically in front of another donor, therefore they cannot actually see what size of a donation is being offered.

Everything else was very informative, but did not strike up too many other ideas in my mind.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Coming assignment: A Visions Geofilter

The link above contains the steps required for creating a snapchat geofilter, overlays for snaps that can be accessed in certain locations. It's a simple task, a no brainer really. It's ridiculously easy to access - anyone with a snapchat, geofilters are extremely popular right now, and it appeals to millennials. Boom.

It has not yet been decided how many designs to create, but however many are made, they should follow the space theme we have outlined thus far. A simple 1940s design, consisting of 2D drawings, muted colors (in our pallet), easily identifiable space images - stars, planets, spaceship, etc. Incorporating our logo is a given, perhaps use Cosmo the alien astronaut as well. A moon could be located in the bottom left corner, with a miniature Cosmo standing on top. It might also be cool to have "light" beams across the screen in a single color with several different shades.

Things to remember for this geofilter:
- Transparent PNG (can still add a color to the transparency, this just requires bringing down the opacity severely)
- Under 300KB
- 1080x1920 pixels
Addional Notes:
- Leave majority of space for snap photo to be taken, designs should go around border or in corners
- Can use images and/or text - try to incorporate #boldlygo (tying together our hashtag for all social media platforms)

Ideas for geofilters coming soon to blog.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Research for Poster Design

While researching a bunch of poster designs, I came across this website that exists to help you share your designs, and although I'm not looking to do just that, I do not mind looking at what others have shared. This guy Jeremiah Ragsdale has broken down his designs by theme, some are posters, some are photographs, but all are categorized in such as way that they all tie together in some manner. Specifically his poster designs and his typography are most helpful. His posters capture the simplistic, retro feel, that the Visions6 posters are aiming for.

A side note: minimalist design is definitely a trend right now - a good one. It allows the images that do exist, to draw the eye, and it gives a very clean look.

This site is about to save my life. Because obviously my own hand cannot create a clean enough font, this site is free to use and extremely easy to download; I can now have just about any font I could ever want.

Then, there's simply NASA's website that I visit almost every single time I am creating a design. They update images of the day, which is usually some beautiful galaxy, star, or planet, as well as have galleries of images we use as inspiration. A constant reminder why a space theme is the best theme.

A simple blog post...basically describes everything I want and need to do. The "getting attention" part is a big deal, the example they use, although odd, is impactful - I want that effect.

I found this site EXTREMELY helpful. I mean they give endless examples, all of which are music posters for bands. Very artistic, and abstract pieces. Again, most are minimalist and kind of retro. They use simple colors, literally one or two that pop and everything else is black, white, or neutral.

More inspirational pieces to come...

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Inspiration for Posters and Designs

The first standout design for the Visions 6 posters was a 1940's space look, muted colors, pastel-like, and simple images, no over-crowding. 

The second quality is emphasis on simplicity. Less is more. In the case of Space, this is always true.

The third quality is light. This was the harder concept to incorporate, and it's something we're still working on. These photographs helped visualize the layout of light desired. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Dirty Dozen: Art

1.     What is the project suppose to achieve?

The Visuals of Visions are what people will come to know the festival by. They are the distinct look and tone of the festival, unique to each year; that will ultimately strengthen the festival’s brand recognition over time.

2.     Who is the customer?

The customer is anyone in viewing distance of the Visions visuals. They are designed to appeal to the greatest number of people possible, enticing attendance or participation with the festival. Being that the festival is hosted by college students, and held on campus, the visuals tend to be tailored towards this younger demographic. However, through proper marketing the festival will reach far beyond this scope, to audiences of all ages.

3.     What are the deliverables of the project?

The purpose of the art department’s existence, and the final product of their numerous projects will be a highly visual and eye-pleasing theme for Visions, one that coordinates among all elements (i.e. logo, posters, badges, etc.), and attracts a large audience.

4.     What is the budget?

The budget for all designs is determined through coordination with the development and fundraising department. The costs include printing for posters and fliers – color specific, as well as costs for the design on badges, stickers, ads, t-shirts, etc. The previous year’s budget will serve as a reference for this year.

5.     How long will it take?

The process of creating multiple designs is a long one. However, it cannot be long enough that the due dates are superseded. With the logo approaching finalization, this will serve as the framework for all other designs. Each additional design will have to meet specifications for the purpose in which it is being requested. Each new design should take no more than a week, having already established a logo and theme.

6.     What specific skills are needed?

The skills needed for the at department consist of first and foremost, creativity/artistic ability, drawing or sketching, experience with online design/editing programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Aftereffects, Premiere (perhaps Maya). For Michelle, an understanding of web design. And an ability to sound mix and design, as well as scan, convert, and export online files.

7.     What special resources are needed?

These resources include the editing programs mentioned above, Adobe Photoshop, Premiere, Aftereffects, and these are on the University’s film lab mac computers. A scanner is used to import drawings into the programs. Non-technological resources include contacts such as Evonne who works with us to help print all our materials.

8.     Who is working the project? What is each person’s job?

I, Devin Brady, am designing the logo and font for Visions. I am also the sketch artist for themes and animations. Tyler Scheffler is the animator, and designer of the Visions icon, this year a robot. Tyler and I collaborate on all designs. Michelle Glahn is the art director, she oversees all designs and creative decisions made; she is also the website designer.

9.     What is the schedule?

The key due dates for the art department are the ones where the visuals are being distributed. The first major date is October 6th: the Call for entries design as well as party fliers must be ready (designs sent in for approval on the 5th) – prior to this, the logo and font will be finalized, and all designs as well as animations will be in progress. October 15th: posters will be printed. October 23rd: Bake Sale handout designs are due, and Facebook backsplash & icon are due. Meanwhile, animations will be coming together, as well as designs for instagram and snapchat.

10. What are the risks? (Small vs. large impact, likely vs. unlikely)

The logo and designs could not be easily identifiable, or they are not as pleasing as desired. à Unidentifiable is unlikely since the logo has been work-shopped for several weeks, it is ultimately decided on by the Visions class. The likability factor already exists in the class vote.  
The logo and designs do not reach the number of people desired à This is potentially likely; to prevent this, constant coordination with the marketing department is crucial.

11.  How will you communicate with your team?

Communication between the art department members is through face-to-face interaction such as administrative meetings, design sessions and lab time, but also through mobile communication. This consists of updates and explanations on assignments, coordinating meetings, as well as receptive feedback on designs. All feedback is welcomed; open communication crucial.

12. How will you determine if the project is successful?

The success of the many artistic projects will best be determined through the audience attendance – how many people the visuals reached and appealed to. On top of this, positive feedback from those outside of the art department, students, faculty, and hopefully audience members and guests at the festival – who either simply enjoyed the visuals, or perhaps shared them with others, or recommended the style to other designers. Positive feedback from other artists is probably the highest praise an artist can receive.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Interview with Andrew Rogers from RiverRun IFF

Interview with Mr. Andrew Rogers
The Interview with Exec Director Mr. Rogers was conducted over the phone Friday morning at 10:00.
1.     You are the Executive Director of RiverRun IFF, what position did you start out as, and how did you work your way up?
à Hired at RiverRun as director in 2005 (previous director leaving); began as a journalist for the Chicago Tribune, then became involved with publicity at Sundance Film Festival; worked among other film festivals before landing RiverRun – was in the right place at the right time.
2.     As Exec Director, what do your day-to-day activities consist of?
à No typical day; maintaining staff, coordinates meetings between other directors, makes larger marketing decisions
3.     I’ve read the mission of your festival, however, what are your personal goals for it?
à First, be a resource to the community, to find the best new films and filmmakers and bring them to light. Second, promote film generally, but specifically to kids because film is such an important medium and it resonates well with children, it is a great method for teaching. Third, to highlight uniqueness, and avoid the mainstream; we want to challenge audiences with films.
4.     Tell me more about your festival’s involvement with kids.
à Have a Saturday morning cartoon program with animated films from all over, sometimes accompanied by a band or comedian. Set aside blocks/screenings of kid-friendly films. Many of the films screened at the festival contain inappropriate themes for kids, and RiverRun recognized this, so they set up their own rating system (as far as Rogers knows they are the only festival that has their own rating system, no MPAA). Having two kids himself, Rogers recognized that his social life changed and he needed to refocus activities to include his kids. The festival had these kid-friendly activities set in place prior to director Rogers having kids but as of late, more emphasis has been put on this younger demographic.
5.     What are some of your favorite things about the festival?
à First, PitchFest: A single day event where students pitch their documentary films to Jurors (expert judges), whom evaluate and pronounce winners at the end. It’s about 3-4 years old, some celebrities attend; students selected by their schools (mostly in-state, expanding out of state, international desired). Second, the archival film screenings (35 mm), these films deserved to be seen the way they were intended; preserved. RiverRun works with different archivals such as UCLA and the Library of Congress.
6.     What are some of the challenges of running a festival?
à Such things as volunteers do not show up, or an audience member gets hurt – these are unplanned issues that could occur at any time during the festival. As for common constraints: mostly managing limited resources where creative solutions must be applied, some examples include, small, decentralized theaters, where tickets sell out quickly (rigid ticket system creates high fees), and transportation must be provided to move people to and from theater locations. 
7.     How many entries do you receive annually?
à Just set in place a new submission system, prior to this system about 800-850, as a result of this system, in 2014-15 about 1500 submissions, this 2015-16 year an estimated 1500+
8.     What do receive the most and least of?
à The largest category is narrative shorts, and students make a lot of these. The smallest category is animated and documentary shorts - funny, because these two categories are the ones we’ve received Academy Award nominations from.
9.     What is your pre-screeners process?
à Employ two full time programmers (just hired a third), to watch all the submissions, every film watched 2-3 times. Community volunteers will also watch films and give feedback. Mostly just want to make sure not too many similar films are screened.
10.  How do you score entries?
à Do not use a strict scoring system; do rate films on a 1-10 scale but it is hard to give films a single number, so this is just a tool, not the sole method.
11.  What kind of community outreach are you involved in?
à Show films in grade school, free screenings; ITBS (allied with PBS) produces documentary films that RiverRun will receive prior to their national broadcast, they will share them with schools in the area. Otherwise, throughout the year the festival keeps in touch with journalists, tends to not spend a lot of money on promoting the festival off-season.
12.  What “perks” do your filmmakers enjoy at the festival?
à Filmmakers, Jurors (25 or so), and additional honorees and panelists are given all access passes to films and events, transportation totally covered (volunteer drivers). Hotel accommodations (2-3 nights generally, but welcome for longer stays) for those the festival has invited. Feature length filmmakers/jurors/honorees offered round-trip flights – apparently an uncommon perk. Payment to some feature films has been offered, future cash awards has been discussed.
13.  Do you give out guest bags?

à Yes – this past year was a high end, leather messenger bag (each costing about $30-40), with a RiverRun hat, magazines from partners, locally made butter mints, copper shot glasses, CD from local band, energy beverage, bottle opener, wool socks…a total of 40ish items, most from shops local to the area or partners of the festival. About 100-130 of these bags given out to filmmakers, jurors, honorees, or approximated about two bags per film.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

More thorough Research Assignment

1. Interviewee, time and schedule: Andrew Rogers, still awaiting a response. Made the classic mistake of emailing instead of No answer of the phone over the Labor Day weekend.
2. Who started and runs the festival? Vincent and Gennaro D’Onofrio founded the festival in 1998. Mary Dossinger is the program manager, Christopher Holmes is the program coordinator, and Andrew Rogers is executive director. However, the festival operates under a number of board members, Chair Tonya Deem, and Vice Chair David Park, etc. And there is also quite a large creative advisory board that includes big names such as Bill Pullman and Paul Schneider.
 3. Mission: "To foster a greater appreciation of cinema and a deeper understanding of the many people, cultures, and perspectives of our world through regular interaction with great films and filmmakers."
4. Recent programming choices over the past two years: Could not find different creative choices over the past few years; the archives tab did not seem to pull up the previous festivals. It seems as though the festival tends maintain a pretty consistent theme of nature (its visuals and inspiration for the festival), as well as community. Tends to promote environmentally friendly behaviors, as well as other social movements – this seen more through the actual films shown, such as women’s rights and race.
 5. Where? The Event is held in downtown Winston-Salem
6. When? The Event is held annually in the Spring, this coming festival on April 7-17, 2016
7. How to submit? Online submissions via and, or also through RiverRun’s own application form on their site
8. Deadlines: (Postmarked by) Early: August 15, 2015; Regular: October 1, 2015; Late: November 16, 2015; Extended late: December 15, 2015
9. Costs to enter: Could not find the actual entry fee, however there is no submission fee for NC students that provide a valid form of ID
10. Who is eligible? Guidelines? Anyone is eligible who fully completes the film entry forms, including the fee. Guidelines include: films must be in English or with English subtitles, submitted via DVD with label indicating title and running time, list of materials used to send in films (attempt to be eco-friendly)
11. Student Category? → Yes
12. Formats for jurying: → DVD
13. Formats for exhibition and screening: (35mm, BetaSP, DigiBeta, DVCam, Mini DV, HDCam, DCP or File (MP4 or MOV (H.264))
14. How many films screened at last year’s festival? It seems as if the site does not like to directly reveal past festivals’ film lineups (despite having an archive tab – clicking this takes you to the site’s news section). The site does say that the festival showcases 150+ films each year
15. Length of typical shorts block or paper presentation: → unknown
16. How many films/papers do they program per block? → unknown
17. How to register to attend? A cost? → Just buy tickets in advance, online or at several venues located in Winston-Salem; $12 adults, $10 students
18. Business sponsors, grants, private sponsors: → Title sponsors include Reynolds American, UNCSA, Arts Council (Winston-Salem, Forsyth County)
19. Sponsorship levels and incentives for each level: There are ten different levels of sponsorship, to make life easier they are broken down into two categories: → Basic Membership Benefits: donate between $55-$550, incentives include buying tickets before they go on sale, discount on merchandise, and recognition in RRIFF Film Guide → Patron Circle Benefits: donate between $1000 and $10,000, incentives: basic membership benefits plus parking, concierge service, invitation for 2 to festival preview reception, night VIP party, and Spark Awards Party, gift bag, tax deductible donations, donating $1500+ a star in your name on RiverRun walk of fame
20. Kickstarter or indiegogo? Incentives? → unknown
21. Any non-tradtional film/video events? → Cineclub is a film screening that showcases films that missed out in April, held every second Monday of the month
22. How have they branched out over the years/ expanded their typical film screening event? They’ve incorporated more activities, family oriented; more opportunities to engage with the actors/directors/producers; as well as more social events
23. Difficult to navigate, why?
24. → The site is actually slightly complex; much of the information I was in search of was pretty far removed from the homepage. There is a tab for ‘News’ at the top of the site, and this page actually happens to be the one that pops up for several tabs on the site…which is kind of confusing.
25. Aesthetically pleasing, why? → The site is beautiful. Bright, clean photos and videos of water (most likely the French Broad River located near Brevard, NC where the festival was originally held). The ever-changing close ups are translucent with colors of pink and orange fading in and out over the images. Other than the visuals the design is positive simplistic style, black font on white background – a modern and clean look.
 26. What looks bad? → Nothing really looks bad
27. Should there be more info? → No, there is really plenty of info
28. What would you do differently in designing the website? The only thing I’d do differently is organize the information in a slightly easier to navigate manner; I would have actual lists and images of the past lineups to view and compare the current festival to.
29. What would you keep the same in redesigning the website? I would keep all the visuals the same, they are extremely pleasing to the eye.