Browsing articles from "April, 2011"
Apr
29

Why Working In The Creative Industry Is Still A Great Gig!

Here’s a few reasons why working in the creative biz is still a great gig!

Odd Man Out. Toronto, Ontario 1995.

Image via Wikipedia

Wearing what I feel – It’s something we take for granted but as I wait for my morning coffee each day amongst the other worker bees I am typically surrounded by a sea of black sports coats and khaki pants…these small moments in life are still near and dear to me! Some people love the feeling a suit provides, and I get it…putting on that sport coat does give you a sense of confidence plus some much needed extra pockets! Let me be clear, there’s a difference between sloppy and casual and that line is blurred many times within the wardrobe choices of a creative team….but having the freedom to choose each day is something I still cherish…silly yes, but true!

Characters – Anyone in the creative industry can vouch that within your team of co-workers you have some amazing characters! I imagine this may be true to some degree in other industries, but I also imagine that those oddities are not celebrated the way they are in ours. Uniqueness in some cases is shunned and anyone who dances to their own drum is quickly handed the “approved” music sheet. If this held true for a creative team the results would be disastrous or at least vanilla which is just as bad. Ideas come from peoples experiences, imaginations and personal perspectives…it’s the fuel that fires a team and therefore the oddities are not only accepted but encouraged…. unless it’s pantomime, there’s no place for that.

We have our own brand of HR – it’s called common sense….if you don’t like what someone is saying you tell them to stop, it’s amazing how often that technique actually works without having to attend a training course. Sure us creative types can be sensitive, competitive or even odd at times…but in the end all those emotions are driven by a common theme…we have pride & passion in what we do and that’s a constant bond you can always circle back to.

Sketchy

Image by withassociates via Flickr

Passion – I can’t count how many times I hear the words “I’ll take it home with me and work on it this weekend”, that’s a powerful statement each and every time. When you hear that in other industries it’s typically not volunteered nor a happy gesture.  But with creative’s it’s in our DNA to keep tweaking or solving or searching for that idea. It’s not always inspirational and in some cases we’re a little obsessed but in a good way. This is one of the few industries that you never stop actually “working”. Our work is creativity…and at night or on weekends your still being creative. Folks are snapping photos, writing stories, viewing artwork, conceptualizing over a beer or playing music. One thing leads to another and before you know it your in front of your laptop jotting the idea down or trying to sketch it out on the back of an old parking ticket before the light turns green. That passion can’t be manufactured and it’s one more reason why I love what we do.

In these days of crazy RFP’s, timelines that require time machines and creative committees comprised of lawyers…it’s the simple things that remind me why I love all the craziness. Plus on Monday I get to come to work in a t-shirt with a tie drawn on it, can’t wait!

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Apr
15

Wow…I Never Knew!

[Banjo players.]

Image by New York Public Library via Flickr

In the creative industry we tend to move at 100-mph and can sometimes forget to stop and smell the roses. In this case the roses are the budding hidden talents that exist within our four walls. As a creative team grows in size so does the talent and skills of that team. Creative types are in constant motion and it’s inherent that most of us posses a thirst for additional ways of expression.

Our team here at Mindclay (Shameless Plug) is a perfect example of this. I wasn’t always aware of all the hidden talents that existed among our gang, from amazing painters, photographers all the way to stop-motion animation talents that graced last years Christmas Card (Bravo..Gary!). We even have an editor/designer who’s got rock-star talents on the banjo and in photography…(sorry Sarah I had to!)

Then there’s our in-house musician Alex who plays a mean piano along with Chance who’s an expert storyboard artist along with kickass animation skillz! Long story short, these hidden talents have come out over the years and in some cases have been instrumental in finding creative solutions for clients. The talents I listed above are just a few that the team possess and I am convinced more exist that they are not revealing! As a creative team, it’s crucial to take the time and get to know one another beyond what’s on the business card. This recommendation may seem simple but you’d be surprised how many creative teams truly are unaware of the hidden talents that surround the table.

My next challenge, trying to create a banjo/piano playing, stop motion animated band,….coming soon!

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Apr
12

Guerilla Marketing and the World Around Us

Have you been noticing a change in the world around you?

The building facades, the subway walls, the bathroom stalls, the park benches, the pavement, even the sky… they all have messages just for you on them.

Messages about what you should buy.

You may also have noticed that these messages are becoming more creative, more unusual, funnier and more clever, sometimes in ways you couldn’t have expected.

Well, this is no phenomenon. It’s a calculated and ingenious form of advertising called Guerilla Marketing. Taking any creative and previously unconsidered opportunity to advertise to you, the customer.

It’s brilliant.

No longer are companies limiting themselves to broadcast commercials, email offers, print ads in magazines. Businesses have evolved. They’ve had to, to catch up with the ever-changing technology, and the customers that technology has created.
We are impervious, now, to the annoyingly-loud commercials between our favorite shows. We fast forward through them. We skip the thirty pages in the front cover of our magazines to get to what we really want: content.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what it’s all about. Pure and simple. We want content, not overt advertising campaigns.
This is how online viral video campaigns, guerilla street art, interactive online components, you name it, have now become the only viable outlet for successful advertising. Telling a story while lacing in – ever so carefully and strategically – the company’s messaging.

Make them laugh, gross them out, make them think, and you’ve got them willingly and happily hooked.

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Take a look at this link, it’s 20 creative guerilla marketing campaigns, pretty inventive ideas!

Also, check this link out. Never before has a company so aptly grasped the pure desperation of being stuck in a dead-end job.

And here is the potential, a fusion of guerilla and media. Here is a hot online video that started off as a projected street art project. Think about the salivating businesses while watching this, and the potential this kind of street art could bring to advertising.

Apr
4

NERD DEBATE!!! Frame Rate vs Resolution

“Unfortunately, one of the tragedies of digital imaging is that now we’ve got these ridiculous numbers games. Because so few people understand the fundamentals of imaging technology, everybody wants a number to latch on to.” – John Galt, Creative Cow Magazine 2010

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So, arguably this is one of the nerdier posts on MindoMondo yet, but I think an interesting one with consideration to the multitude of camera options these days. Each claiming to be the best, the highest resolution, the clearest picture. Each backed by an army of loyal supporters, adorned in t-shirts featuring their favorite product, with an air of fierce superiority to those not on board with the newest, hottest camera.

So, what do a few cinematic experts say. Is it the almighty pixel that reigns supreme? Or is it the camera’s speed?

“It’s all about framerates, man. It’s very hard to get into a discussion about framerates because, first of all, it’s a very technical aspect of filmmaking.” – James Cameron, CinemaCon 2011

You may be surprised that many say it’s actually not the resolution but the speed that makes for a sharper image. James Cameron (world renowned director and an active supporter of faster frame rates) and John Galt (opinionated expert in imagery innovation for Panavision) give their opinions in the following articles, making reference to “Marketing Pixels”, or meaningless numbers designed to sell cameras to the masses.

On James Cameron’s vocal opinion on 60fps, John Galt has this to say: “I subscribe to Jim Cameron’s argument, which is that we would get much better image quality by doubling the frame rate than by adding more pixel resolution.”

If you are – like many – in love with the RED, if you feel that there’s “something special” about 24p, and most importantly, if you just mortgaged your home to finance whatever brand new, high resolution, million-pixel camera system just came out… these guys do not pull their punches.

John Galt on Marketing Pixels: “The great perpetrators of the mythology of what I call “marketing pixels” have been RED and Dalsa.”

Ouch.

James Cameron on 24p: “I want to get rid of the motion artifacting associates with 24 frame display. To many cinematographers, this is sacrilege… but there are problems with 24 fps. It’s the reason we watch such a dim picture on the movie screen: if you pump up the screen brightness, you would notice the flicker.”

These guys aren’t just Negative Nancies, either. James Cameron shares his attraction to the Phantom, the current Hercules of the high-speed cameras, easily able to shoot over 1000fps. Cameron talks about the excellent image quality, contrary to what one might think if just examining the resolution numbers: “They are actually quite low-resolution, but because they’re shooting at such a short shutter speed, they look much much sharper than cameras that have four times the resolution.”

If you’ve ever seen footage shot with a Phantom, I think that sums it up right there.

But this is a debate. What do you think?

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James Cameron at CinemaCon 2011:

http://www.firstshowing.net/2011/cinemacon-james-cameron-demos-the-future-of-cinema-at-60-fps/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+firstshowing+%28FirstShowing.net%29&utm_content=FaceBook

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John Galt and James Cameron – Creative Cow Magazine Dec 2010: CC Article: Pg#14, 16, 18

http://magazine.creativecow.net/issue/5th-anniversary