Campaign project – Video and Photos

I was set the task of completing a video campaign of my choice and undergoing means of pre-production, production and post-production and recording the process.

Stimulating concepts

To stimulate ideas, I decided to brainstorm my initial ideas onto a mind map, I was inspired by topics of things that are personally close to my heart and topics that I thought were of current relevance and importance (i.e. covid compliance etc). This mind map is pictured below and displays all of these ideas. I then further pushed these ideas into a mood board. I picked my four favourite concepts from the initial mind map and made three mood boards (all from google images) to display the overall idea of each concept as a campaign video. The mood board is also picture below as captioned and displays the general aesthetic and atmosphere of these concepts.

Mind Map of initial ideas.

From this brainstorming it was now time for me to pick which concept I was going to go ahead with and, after reviewing my mood board a number of times, I decided to go ahead with the topic of mental health. My reasoning for this is that this is a topic that is personally close to my heart and especially during the covid pandemic, it is something that has been of mainstream importance and acknowledged as an importance of wellbeing and those around you, and this mainstream importance has been initiated by social media campaigns. This mainstream emphasis on metal health is something that I want to be part of raising awareness for and is something that I believe is essential. And Although it is a delicate subject, it is a vital one, and one that I believe always needs to be spoken about and raised awareness for.

Researching

After considering the closeness of this topic to my heart I decided to make my campaign aimed at people mostly around my age (19). I wanted to get an idea of my target audience’s experience with their mental health with a focus on the pandemic in this last year. I also wanted to gain an understanding of the target audience in relation to mental health struggles and then use this as inspiration to create my video.

To research this I created a google docs anonymous survey (https://forms.gle/EkKk6TUYdafvc99x7) which included one question worded: “What are three words that best describe your mental health during the pandemic in the last year?”. This survey is pictured below.

My Google Forms survey

I decided to share this link on my social media explaining what the survey was for and explained that participation in my survey was anonymous to encourage people to share more honestly. I used Instagram and snapchat as this is the two platforms that I have found holds the majority of my target audience (young people, 12-25). This survey was up on my social media for two days and gained 61 responses, each with three words (overall 183 words). I plan to use these words, sourced from my target audience themselves, within my video either as unseen inspiration or as visual typography or voice overs included in the video to build that rapport with any viewers that are of a similar age and life experience and would relate to the words given and also to highlight the extent of how people of such age are struggling with their mental health. I am unsure yet of how I will utilise these words in my video, but the diverse range of ideas that I have for how I am going to implement these words are of the following:

  • Use word pop ups that build up over the screen, this creates the representation of the emotional overload and overwhelm that people are experiencing.
  • Using a voice-over that says these words, could use multiple actors’ voices to represent unity and more than one identity suffering rather than one voice which would show one person and less rapport.
  • Using voice overs along with on screen text that correlate and build up visually and through audio layering over each other, again, representing the overload and mess that’s caused from those words.
  • Using an actual screen capture of scrolling through these words superimposed over footage to create the rapport with multiple responses and real life people but also to highlight the digital world and how this has had an impact on mental health. This digital aspect is also heavily relatable to my target audience so this may help to grab their attention throughout the video.
  • Using voice overs over a narrative to highlight the characters feelings
  • Using a disclaimer at the start of the video which explains that the words used throughout the video are from real people in a survey, voice overs and visual words to emphasise these words, giving these real people a voice and encouraging those who feel the same to open up and feel okay to share their feelings.

Further Research into Mental Health Video Campaigns

I decided for more inspiration to help me stimulate a narrative I needed to watch made mental health campaign videos to get an idea of the specific semiotics and general themes used across all the videos on this topic of mental health.

I used YouTube to find some videos and simply searched for ‘Mental Health campaign‘ and a lot of videos came up. After watching various videos, below are a couple of my favourite and are the ones that I found the most inspiring:

#Wecanandwewill Mental Health Awareness Campaign Video

This video really stood out to me as it used the diverse range of people and displayed them within their own life circumstances which presented them as ‘everyday’ people. This fascinated me as by making these characters we see so real and generalised it becomes a much more relatable video. By seeing ‘everyday’ people performing everyday activities really puts the emphasis on how everyone has mental health. not only does it show this but it also shows big representations of unity and unifying everyone together. This creates a feeling of community and realism for the viewer which encourages them to build strong rapport with the characters for the short amount of screen time that they’re displayed. This rapport is then further manipulated in the second part of the video when it shows these personalities as happy and lively and enjoying themselves. By associating themselves with these characters, the viewer is installed with the concept that they too are able to seek help and reach the happiness they desire. This whole video and these representations displayed through these characters sends a message of hope to viewers and makes them feel part of a community.

This is something that I want to integrate within my video. Showing ‘normal’ people doing ‘normal’ things and creating a sense of realism, then contrasting it with something else to make the viewer contemplate their own circumstances in relation to the narrative. This method of representation is something that I believe is extremely affective and will work perfectly with my campaign video.

Mental Health Awareness 2018 – Depression Isn’t Obvious

This video, produced by Reading University Students’ union, was very enlightening as it displayed an effective way to use narrative in a juxtaposing way to really hit with the message. The video focuses on one main character who is presented in a depressive way, shown repeating daily actions (e.g. brushing teeth, walking to work, eating lunch etc) and whilst this happens he is greeted by the same man everyday in an enthusiastic and kind way, he’s shown washing his hands next to this same man everyday and then one day this man is nowhere to be seen and we find out that this man has tragically taken his own life. This shocks the main character and also shocked me as I expected the main character to be affected by something at the end. this juxtaposing twist to the story really made me think about how mental health can really affect anyone and anyone can be hiding behind a ‘mask’ and how mental health issues are not always visible but that they do still need to be talked about whether they are visible or not.

This is something that I, again, want to implement into my campaign video, a juxtaposing story, twist, analogy or underlying message that really integrates the message to my audience. I am inspired and hope that I can execute this in just as much of an affective way as this video did.

Researching campaign branding

I decided that before I create my call to action branding and logo for my campaign, I needed to gain inspiration and establish themes and conventions that I need to include to reach the branding and message that I wanted to communicate to my audience – to encourage those struggling to seek help.

Below are some examples of branding that I looked at:

(all sourced from Google Images)

Every Mind matters Campaign:

Epic minds Campaign:

Mind Campaign:

From exploring these branding designs, the one convention that seemed to be a theme throughout was the use of a a short word or phrase as the name of the branding. This is something that I want to incorporate into my logo design. Another thing was the use of colour palette, simple plain colours, a lot of blue used. I think this is because blue is proven to be a relaxing colour when interpreted by the human brain. This is something that I would also like to integrate in my work. This in depth research and exploration has really inspired me to generate a name of branding and some designs for my branding.

After thinking of phrases that are effective and sensitive enough for a mental health campaign, I chose to use the phrase ‘Be you.’ as my campaign name. The slogan I have chose to use is ‘You are enough’. This is because this not only gets across my intention and communicates this to my audience but it also is nice and short yet effective. I really think the campaign name and slogan that I have created really compliment each other and really correlate with the themes and conventions of already existing mental health campaigns.

The next step of this was to experiment with some logo designs which are displayed below:

I decided to go with the last logo displayed that includes the cartoon bee. This is because this is the one logo that best fit the aesthetic and conventions that I was going for. The cartoon bee represents young people as this would appeal more to younger people (my target audience) and the colour blue matches that colour linked to conventions of other mental health campaigns as mentioned before. This is the logo that I decided to go ahead with and use for my campaign.

Idea inspiration – Money Analogy

I was in a conversation with somebody and they told me an analogy which was really inspiring for me, they called it the ‘money/worth’ analogy. So many people struggle with the feeling of worthlessness or feel unvalued and unwanted. The idea is that, for example, if you have a ten pound note, no matter how much you screw it up, trample on it, make it dirty, throw it, kick it, throw it away etc. it still maintains its value of ten pounds. And the same concept applies to us humans, no matter how much we feel trampled on, thrown around, unwanted etc. we are still worth the same amount as we were before feeling those things and we still have value and have worth.

This analogy is what I want to implement as the main message of my video and I plan to use visual representation of actual money being absued within my video to communicate this to my audience. I want to communicate to my audience that no matter how much they are struggling they have value and have worth and encourage them to seek help too.

My Final Idea

My campaign video is going to be titled ‘Value.’ and I plan to use the money/worth analogy as explained above. I want to implement the inspiration of the two researched videos shown above too, the concept of showing ‘everyday’ people to build rapport with the audience and the use of juxtaposing narrative by integrating the analogy in between showing these people to represent that all these people feel like the money being abused but still have worth. by creating this community of people and representations of unity and community I will hopefully effectively communicate my intention to my audience, that, just like the personalities in the video and the money itself, they hold value and have worth no matter what they’re struggling with and its okay for them to seek help and support.

Storyboarding

With this final ideas I was able to put together and devise a rough storyboard which I drew from scratch and includes all the shots that I want to include and is pictured below:

Animatic

From my storyboard, I devised an animatic version of it. This animatic includes the sketches of my storyboard developed into a video format with edited transitions and music to show a rough visual concept how I envision it to play out and the atmosphere and mood I want to create.

Below is a link to my animatic:

Video Campaign Animatic – Aaron Bell

Shot list

I decided to develop this storyboard further in more description so that when it came to filming I had the exact description of my shots that I want and I don’t have to do it from memory. To do this I created a shot list using Microsoft Word which is displayed below.

Production planning

Now that my idea had been finalised and I had a very firm concept of how I want to shoot this video, it was time to plan the production of the video.

Team members

After considering what team members I would need, I established that I don’t need a filming crew as I am going to film it myself and can do that on my own. So all that I needed was actors and I wanted to use actors that are similar if not the same age as my target audience (around 19)to play the teenage characters. So I contacted someone my friends that I thought would be suitable for the roles and are of my age and many said that they would help and I got the following cast list established.

My cast consists of:

Joe.C: Main Teenage boy Character

Charley: Teenage Boy in garden and extra background character.

Lottie: Teenage Girl sat around table.

Molly and Jenna: Extra background character (friends of teenage girl).

Drew: Friend that main character opens up to

Anna: Teenage girl that discovers the crumpled note

Joe.B: Teenage boy on campus

Liam: VoiceOver 1

Stewart: VoiceOver 2

Naomi: VoiceOver 3

I hired out a film camera as I didn’t have access to one myself and ensured that my cast was free to film on the dates I scheduled the camera before booking the equipment, this was just to make sure I was keeping on top of organisation for my production to ensure it flows as well as it can. The camera I used was the Canon XA10 as displayed below:

Canon XA10 - Canon Ireland

When afoot with the production I was very at ease with what I wanted to do and knew exactly the shots I needed to take. The filming was very successful and I was extremely happy with ht shots that I took and how successfully they fit my planned shots in my storyboard and animatic.

I also used this camera to get the images that I needed alongside my campaign video.

I used Lightroom and Illustrator to edit my final five images that best represent my campaign. These final five images are shown below.

My final images:

I chose these five images to go alongside my video for my campaign as they really emphasise what I want to represent as a campaign. The wallet photos correlate to the video narrative which is a good tie-in for people who have watched the video or a good appeal for those who haven’t seen it and may now be interested. A wallet is associated with money which, semiotically, emphasises the symbolism of value and worth. The close up shot of the wheat field correlates with the bee as it almost appears as a bee’s perspective as if it were flying through wheat field. the bee of my branding represents that everyone has value, the idea that even though a bee seems harmful it actually plays a role necessary to keep the world alive. I am overall very satisfied with how successfully I have been able to communicate my intention and mental health awareness through these five final images.

Here is my final produced video:

I am overall extremely happy about how successfully I met the conventions and creative visions that I had for this video. I at first found it difficult to edit it to one minute and tell my narrative within such a short amount of time but I feel like I have very successfully met my goals and the conventions that u wanted to meet from the start of this project.

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