52 Weeks of Creative: Week 8

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This blog is not about me, which is good, because this week would’ve been the week of failure.

That being said, I did finish my creative project this week.  And it was challenging, but not in the way that I thought it would be.  I’ve wanted to explore comic book creation for a long time.  I have a lot of experience story-boarding for films, so I figured comicking (probably made up that word) would not be too different, right?

Hmmmmmmmmmmm.

Honestly, I had nothing until Thursday.  No creative ideas, no drive to do ANYTHING.  I was at the point where I was ready to admit defeat and move on with no real dignity left.

Until the weather.

Yeah,weather.

It’s been a killer this year.  And one of my best friends hates that.  He wants it to be summer almost as much as I do.  Maybe moreso.  Probably moreso.  Okay, he definitely wants it to be summer even more than I do.

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We had an EPIC text battle between Mother Nature and Jack Frost…as if they fought like Pokemon characters.

And that became my creative project for this week.  The weather + my good friend Cody = one of my favorite created projects.

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As if that wasn’t enough (haha, you thought you’d get to see it now, but I’ve still got things to say), another close friend of mine who draws…SO WELL…helped me finish the comic by adding the city in the second panel and by using his amazing calligraphic skills to finish the comic.  I’ll let ya read what Joshua wrote.

Once again, this is supposed to be 52 weeks of creative–me completing a creative project every week of 2014.  If you’d like to give me any ideas, suggestions, feedback, or let me know you’ve started your own 52 weeks, comment below!  Or visit my production page on Facebook.com/DefineFastProductions.

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52 Weeks of Creative: Week 7

Thought it was week 8.  Tried to skip ahead.  Ya’ll would’ve called me out on that, I’m sure.

If not, you’re fired.

I found out a week or so ago that I was going to the nerd extravaganza Planet Comicon.  Of course I’m going in costume.  Who wouldn’t?

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Here is my first costume sketch.  The idea has since changed…a lot.  But this was the basic thought.

Yeah, it’s Steampunk.  I’m a huge fan of Airships and top hats.

My character is a new Airship Pilot who wants to be an engineer.  She is traveling to her new post on the Airship Lunopolis.  This week I decided I needed a bit of a skirt to go with my outfit.

I started with this old skirt:

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I ironed it and pinned it where I wanted to cut out the front panel (technically it’s the back panel and I’m making it the front).

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I hemmed it.  BY HAND.  Then I cut out some fabric to be an accent over the hem.

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And sewed that BY HAND.

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So now I have a skirt.  That’s open in the front, with pants under it of course.

That’s all I’m prepared to tell ya about my costume at the moment.  I will post more on it as the pieces come together.

As I said before, feel free to jump in at any time with some creative projects of your own, send me an idea for a future project, or give me some feedback on any of the projects thus far.

52 Weeks of Creative: Week 6

The inevitable WEEK 6.  Once you’ve done something for 6 weeks it should be like routine, right?  Pounded into your brain so hard that you couldn’t possibly forget or fail?

Sure.

Since I’m six weeks in I’d like to remind ya’ll that you’re welcome to join in on my 52 weeks at any time.  Just start now and count into next year.  I only started at the beginning of the year since it seemed tidier.  I’d love to see your projects too.

This week I refused to do the creative thing I had had planned.  I got up the day I was supposed to work on it…And wanted to pound my head against the wall.

So I designed a website instead.

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This is how it started.  But that template turned out to be not my favorite.  So I changed it.

I know that using a template to design a website might not seem hard.  But it took me a couple hours.  I liked it.  It presented some new challenges; like making sure I put the information out there in an easy-to-read and pleasing way.

I’ve been meaning to make this website for a while.  I’ve been teaching acting to young adults for over 4 years.  I like it a lot, and this is my next step. I haven’t bought the upgrade yet, because I’m not sure I like the website enough.

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Check out the entire website here: JessieChipchase.wordpress.com

Give me some feedback!  Love to hear your comments.  This is only the second website I’ve designed–not counting blogs.  Anything that I can improve, let me know.

And if you or your kid is interested in learning On-Camera Acting, send me an email at jessie@cinematicvisions.com.

52 Weeks of Creative: Week 5

You thought that maybe I wasn’t posting this week.  That maybe I chickened out or got distracted or wiped out on my longboard.

Well I did wipeout on the longboard, (that’s not me though ^).  But I’m fine.  Like him, I know how to land dramatically.

This week I decided that the world, you actually, needed a bit of an introduction into the art of writing for the media.  I work for a company that creates commercials and web ads (also other things media related), and I’ve trained extensively in writing.  I guess you could call it a strength.

So I wrote a TV ad this week.

I’m really fascinated by the ads that are able to tell an entire story in such a short amount of time.  The ads that at the end you almost want to clap or cry because in those brief moments you were able to see into the human experience in a funny or touching way.  Yesterday the Superbowl brought us a Budweiser ad about a puppy who is best friends with a Clydesdale.

Some of the group around me found this ad very sweet.  I’m sure that the makers thought that this would cause sales to go up.  (I thought it had creepy subliminal messaging contrary to the song in the background.)  Why did they create this ad in the way that they did?  Well, let’s chat about that.

Fact #1:  Ads exist to cause people to spend money on the product.

Fact #2:  Ads are supposed to be geared toward the specific people who might want/need the product. Example: diaper ads are usually geared toward women between the ages of 18-35, who are pregnant, or just had a kid (or adopted).  I say usually, of course.

How do you get people to take notice of your particular product?  First you find out who wants/needs it.

If I’m a gourmet coffee company, who drinks gourmet coffee?  This isn’t the moment where you get judgy.  Generalities are just what they are–generalities.  It is accurate to say that most people under the age of 14 don’t drink coffee.  So I’m not likely to write a commercial to entice 6-year-olds to drink my company’s coffee.

I choose to market my coffee to adults between the ages of 17-35, who might be skaters, hipsters, artists, careerists and dreamers.*  Okay, now what?  What do those people like?  What do they value?  What do they relate to?  Who do they relate to?

These questions will help me as the writer determine how to craft my ad.  Because I know a lot about this “category” of people (I’m in it), it’s easier to imagine what they will or won’t like, and the images to which they will relate.  Of course, I also know that this group of people is EXTREMELY diverse.  I could write a funny story, like the Allstate commercials with Mayhem, or the Budweiser ad with the chainsaw man.  Or I could go for beauty and realism, like the Honda commercial about how today is pretty great.

There’s a lot of options.  But as long as I know my audience, I can move forward with my idea.

One of the harder parts of writing ads is the length.  There are different venues for ads now, which allows some companies to expand on the length.  Like Hulu.  Hulu ads can be 90 seconds long (or longer), which is on the long side of advertising.  I like them for that reason–they can tell more of a story.

I had trouble making my ad short enough and still conveying everything that I wanted to convey.  It’s about 90 seconds long, and I bet it could be edited shorter if it needed to be on TV or in front of a Youtube video.  If I make it this year, I’ll post the results.

Until then, here’s a mock ad that I made.

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*Just because an ad is geared toward a certain audience doesn’t mean that it won’t appeal to people outside that audience.  The special thing about the Superbowl Budweiser ad this year is that it seems to appeal to a much wider audience than they usually go for.  Keep this in mind when you write your own ad.