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 However, it cannot be long enough that the due dates are superseded.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 Andrew@riverfunfilm.com instead of Andrew@riverrunfilm.com. 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 FilmFreeway.com and Withoutabox.com, 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.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Research Assignment Part 1: RiverRun International Film Festival

Founded in 1998 by Vincent and Gennaro D'Onofrio, the RiverRun IFF, a mere teenager in years, is one of the premiere film festivals on the East Coast. Located in downtown Winston-Salem, the festival was inspired by the French Broad River near Brevard, North Carolina, where it was originally held. Bright, crisp photos and videos of water (what I would believe to be the French Broad River), are set as beautiful background images on the festival's website, emitting a sense of naturalness and intimacy.
The RiverRun IFF places heavy emphasis on diversity as well as community as it pertains to film, their mission statement, "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." - I think the people behind this festival know what they're doing. And some of these very important people include Chair Tonya Deem, Vice Chair David Park, Secretary Barry Maine, and Treasurer Matthew Dyson, among many others, as well as a creative advisory board made up of dozens of talented individuals including huge names Bill Pullman and Paul Schneider.
RiverRun has consistently received critical acclaim for its fine work in film promotion of both independent and blockbuster films. Some of its recent successes include Mud, Win Win, Wuthering Heights, 500 Days of Summer, The Notebook, and documentaries, Chasing Ice, 20 Feet From Stardom, and Food Inc., and the list goes on. Showcasing 150+ films annually, and involving activities such as celebrity tributes, family programs, panel discussions, and numerous parties, RiverRun IFF has been sharing a truly unique film experience with the U.S. for the past seventeen years, with an obvious many more to come.