Digital Design Talks : Futurists — Plus, The 45 Hour SLAM Brief!

Digital Design Talks : Futurists Poster

On Wednesday March 22nd, 2013, Digital Design presented another in its series of guest speaker presentations: Digital Design Talks. The theme for this edition of Digital Design Talks was Futurists. The featured speakers were Erian Trotland and Bill Mainguy.

Storytelling Slide

First up was Digital Design Grad (19th graduating class) and VFX Artist at Gloo Studios Inc., Erian Trotland, who spoke about the central importance of Storytelling and about getting inspiration from unlikely places. As an example, he showed a sheet of his doodles done during a brainstorm, and pointed out that what may look like chaos to someone else is actually an idiosyncratic communication system for developing your own creative ideas. He recommends cultivating these idiosyncratic systems for stimulating your own creative ideas.

Erian's Doodle Sheet

Erian then shared some of the work from his portfolio and and some of the hilarious visual work he’s been doing with Gloo Studios for College Humor: Like, Dora the Explorer and Batman Chooses His Voice (both of which started out as spoof trailers and became a regular series due to their popularity) and My Elf Girlfriend.

Creativity Slide

The success of “shows” like College Humor is a testament to the viability of Youtube as a channel for distributing work outside of the strictures of the traditional medium of television and a sign of the future for entertainment. Have a look at this Gloo Studio Reel and check out more videos on their Youtube Channel.

Bill Mainguy Pitching Slide

Next up, Bill Mainguy, CEO & Co-Founder at Reelhouse gave a very concise presentation, which like Erian, emphasized the importance of story, and which offered some great tips on how to effectively pitch your creative ideas. He also toured us through the amazing video platform Reelhouse, which recently teamed up with the Sundance Festival.

Bill Mainguy Reelhouse Slide

Reelhouse is positioned as an enabling service for creative talent, and Bill likewise extended a generosity towards the students, offering his time and valuable feedback on their project ideas. As stated on the About Page: “[Reelhouse feels] strongly that the creators should be the ones controlling how their videos are showcased; that the experience ought to be unique to the story and shown in a way true to the creator’s vision. In that sense, it isn’t about us – we’re just here to help.” This is the kind of future that seems bright indeed.

One of the really innovative aspects of Reelhouse, and what shows it to be a leader in this regard for future like-minded production platforms, is it’s relationship to monetization. Bill described it as a “reverse kickstarter.” To put it plainly, “on Reelhouse anyone can directly support the creators and content they enjoy.” Reelhouse offers three ways for producers to make money:

  • Paywall: tease your viewers with a trailer, and charge to view the full film + extra features
  • Support: inspire your viewers with a free film, and give them the option to contribute to a cause or future film. Encourage higher contributions with swag or rewards.
  • Store: Sell DVDs, Skis, Shirts and Swag integrated into your project page.

Bill showed some great examples of work featured on the platform, including this favourite — if you have a love of cars, you’ll definitely find Urban Outlaw up your alley:

The theme of Futurists, which in the talks were applied to new distribution mediums, extended itself into the first 45hr SLAM brief, where Digital Design’s Head of Department Miles Nurse laid out a comprehensive guide for all the current students participating in the SLAM “to produce a conceptual prototype that showcases the vision, user experience, features and brand for a product you have designed.”

The future of wearable technology as a Future tool/aid/device is to be explored in one of the following four categories:

  1. Medical Monitoring
  2. Dating / Socializing
  3. Sports / Athletics
  4. Transportation

The goal is “to inspire and educate a potential investor or internal business stakeholder. The presentation would be the key product component of a pitch they would use to get funding.”

The Deliverables:

  1. An Identity for the product
  2. A 30 sec motion piece that showcases the vision, ux, features and brand for the desiged product (this can include ideas around information design, HUD’s or accessing menus / features)
  3. A mock up of a single scrollable web landing page to generate excitement and interest for the product.
  4. A PechaKucha style presentation using 15 slides /15 secs a piece, to total absolutely no more than 3:45

For the first time, the students have 45 hours instead of the usual 24 to develop their campaigns.

We’re looking forward to seeing what they come up with.

Be sure to check back on OOMPH! to hear about the great ideas that they are going to present, and of course to find out who wins the special Danny Chan designed awards.

The Awards:

  • Lit it Up (Best Presentation)
  • Visionary Rockstars (Best Concept)
  • People’s Choice (Audience Favorite)
  • Just Did’r (Nike’s Favourite – Awarded in Future – Best Concept)

The Judges:

Be sure to also join us for our next edition of Digital Design Talks!

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