PRODUCING MY FIRST MUSIC VIDEO

Earlier this year I got the honour of producing a music video in collaboration with Global Fire Creative and Zen Juddhism. 

Zen Juddhism is a collaboration band that includes a variation of musicians. The one who ties them all together is Jude Juan Nate. Jude and I got talking one evening about all things that we love, one thing in specific; music. He informed me that he wanted to do a live and animated mixed music video for one of his songs. I instantly wanted to get involved and had ideas flowing straight away. Jude had an initial idea for the video that I took into consideration with adjustments to make a better flow with the music and timing. 

I storyboarded the video, created the graphics along with assisting the live footage filming that took place at the railway inn in Winchester. The filming and animation was done in collaboration with Global Fire Creative and was completed in early May 2017. 

Zen Juddhism was over the moon (pun intended) with the results! 

Watch the entire video below: 

48 HOUR FILM COMPETITION

48 HOUR FILM COMPETITION

Parts of the Global Fire Creative team entered the 48 hour film competition DV Mission. This was a competition that went over one incredibly fun, yet busy weekend. We enjoyed every minute of the challenge and this will definetly not be our last entry! 

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DV Mission is a UK based 48-Hour Film Challenge now in its 11th year, in just 48 hours’ teams have to write, shoot, edit and deliver a short 2-minute film. If that wasn't hard enough they're also given three "obstructions" to make it that bit harder. A line of dialogue, a title, and a genre.

This year’s obstructions were:
Title: The Last Game
Line: Q. What’s it like? A. It’s like nothing at all
Genre: Lynchian Musical

Winner: Best Editing
Nominated: Best Actor
Nominated: Best Sound Design
Nominated: Best Film (Professional)

Credits:
Mark Rose - Director & Producer
Sam Aruwa - Writer
Sam Aruwa - Producer
Sascha Tucker - Producer
Charlotte Simonsen - Producer & Graphic Designer
Sascha Tucker - Cast
Sam Aruwa - Cast
Charlotte Simonsen - Cast

Judges’ comments:

“The advert approach was always going to take away from the musical/Lynch theme, but it worked in the time constraint. Good special effects for the bleeding eyes, funny actress, provided a little relief. Very slick, not very Lynchian.” 

“Virtual assistant on the sofa was very well done. The video game case was well made. Concept was fun, the guy playing the salesman was great.”

“Excellent editing and really good work with the dialogue too.”

HAVING A DESIGN COPIED AND WHY IT'S NOT A BIG DEAL (FOR ME)

HAVING A DESIGN COPIED AND WHY IT'S NOT A BIG DEAL (FOR ME)

 

In mid 2016 I got the honours to design the brand for the band Pioneers. They quickly started touring and have got a fast growing fan base. Having toured all over the UK and an upcoming tour in other continents to be announced, my designs have been spotted all around. 

Last week I was notified that the logo I did for Pioneers had been copied. At first I laughed and though it was a joke. But it wasn't. A local band had just published an image with a new logo that looked very similar to the one I designed only six months ago. One could always argue that they hadn't seen it before or that anyone could come up with that. That it is all a coincidence. And it might be.

Original design

Original design

Copied Design. I avoid mentioning the band as there is no point in raising any attention on this matter

Copied Design. I avoid mentioning the band as there is no point in raising any attention on this matter

The thing is, I know they have seen the design before because these two bands have performed together quite early on and my designs were printed fairly large on the band kit and as a backdrop. I know this because I was there. However, I am not upset about this cheeky incident at all. On the contrary, I'm actually very flattered. To me this means I have done something right. Another band wanted a similar look and took my designs as inspiration. To me this means the designs caught the eye of the audience and fellow band acquaintances. I was honoured and it gave me a nice confidence boost in my designs.

Since this is such a small local band I saw little value in making a fuss of the situation and there would be very little positive results in it for me as there was barely any money in this for me to begin with. Had this been a large company of sorts, then the situation would have been fairly different.

I let it slide and take the pride as payment instead. 

 

WHEN YOU HAVE FUN AT WORK, THIS HAPPENS

At Global Fire we are big fans of reaction videos so we decided to create some for ourselves.

Reaction videos are useful for all sorts of purposes. For example:

  • Show people trying a new product

  • Comparing competing products

  • Build a storyline (more on that in a moment)

  • Engagement. People love these things and they share them.

The purpose of these videos was to build a storyline about a product which makes easy work of something that’s more difficult than it should be. So we asked ourselves “what’s something difficult which really shouldn’t be such a pain?” While we were talking Elizabeth was rummaging through her bag trying to find a pen and she was like “well THIS definitely shouldn’t be so hard!” as a result, we came up with the idea to get men going through womens’ bags to complete a simple challenge and for a woman to go through a man drawer.

The particular project shifted after the filming so we decided to go ahead and publish them as test shoots because we’d like to think there’s a brand out there who would like to use this filming style soon – get in touch because we’d love to try this concept again!

CREDITS :

  • Concept Elizabeth Halford & Charlotte Simonsen

  • Producer Elizabeth Halford

  • Director/DOP Mark Rose

  • Sound Elkanah Groves

  • Editing Sascha Tucker

  • Illustration Charlotte Simonsen

  • Location Street Studios

SIMONSEN DESIGNS

SIMONSEN DESIGNS

 

I recently opened up my own Etsy shop to sell my poster designs. I wasn't too fussed about the social media part to begin with but eventually I decided that I just had to create a Facebook page for it. Mainly so that I could link up to my Instagram and see all the statistics for my posts. Which is fairly annoying that one can't see those without having a Facebook page, amirite?. Although I did find it to be worth it when I finally got it. I feel like I can get much more into detail on what I'm up to with the various prints. For those who haven't seen it, here it is! 

www.facebook.com/simonsendesigns 

 

You know what to do! 

 

MY TOP 6 PODCAST

 

I started listening to podcasts a few years ago, mainly to follow the YouTubers I subscribe to as several where emerging on to iTunes as well as the video platform. It took me a while until I realised how many actually have a genuine interest in podcasts, not just to follow their idols. I have since discovered several amazing podcasts that I now listen to religiously when I can and I thought I would share them with you here.

Ted Radio Hour

Genre: Informational

@TEDRadioHour

If you are a fan of Ted Talks, then Ted Radio Hour is definitely something you would be interested in. The most inspiring and smart people in the world have helt talks at Ted's stages all around the globe. Ted Radio hour takes these talks and collects them to one packed hour. The talks that are generally on the same topic in one place. It is not a podcast you can only semi listen to, to get the big picture of what they are talking about.

No Such Thing As A Fish

Genre: Informational humor

https://www.facebook.com/pages/No-Such-Thing-as-a-Fish/

QI has a team who finds all of the interesting facts that they discuss on the show. The exact same team has their own podcast where in between all the research and the TV show, they talk about the interesting and extremely funny facts that they find. Each member of the team has one fact they want to focus on and then they discuss out from that. This is a perfect podcast to listen to if you just want to relax and not focus too much on one thing. Warning: Listening to this podcast while going for a walk might make you look incredibly silly as you will be grinning for yourself most of the time walking down the street. People might be frightened. 

Smart Agency by Jason Swenk

Genre: Informational/Creative Industry

@jswenk

If you are in the creative industry this is the podcast for you. Either if you own your own agency or work for one and wish to improve business. Jason Swenk has so many amazing insights that are useful for anyone within the industry to know. He has different podcasts. Ask Swenk where you can send in questions and he will answer them. These are usually short so if you are a busy person and have limited time to listen to podcast, this is ideal. Other times he as longer podcasts where he interviews industry people. This is definitely on the top of my list (but not literally in this post). 

That's not Metal

Genre: Music 

@NotMetalPod 

If you are like me and you like to follow the alternative music industry (metal, punk, rock etc) this is a good way to keep up to date on the newest happenings. These two British guys sum up what has been in the news, review albums, gigs and talk about festival. Myself, I sometimes find it difficult to pay attention to all the bands I love (and there are plenty of them) and keep up with what they are all doing. Social media does help, but I don't follow all of them on every platform. Announcements do fall through the cracks with me. This is my solution to eliminate that problem and I can get updates on when some of my favourite bands are releasing new albums and singles! (Finally) 

Du Vil Ikke høre

Genre: Talk show 

www.facebook.com/duvilikkehore

This is a Norwegian podcast so if you don't speak the language this is unfortunately not for you. If you do speak Norwegian, yay! This is a podcast by one of my best friends where three girls sit down and just chat. Mainly they talk a lot about sex, dating and general topics with a feminist theme covering the talks most of the time. It is definitely a liberal, love is love, kind of podcast asking real questions in life. The amount of times they have talked about general life things for a girl in her 20's that I could relate to on a level I've never experienced, is incredible. I would definitely say that they are a liberal Norwegian version of Sex and the City, of our time. Because let's face it, SATC isn't that relevant anymore. No one get's a date simply by going grocery shopping unless it was already agreed on Tinder to meet up there. 

Ricky Richards Represent

@MrRickyRichards

Genre: Talk show/Creative Industry 

Ricky Richards is a creative director in London. I've been following his career for maybe a year or two and he is one talented go getter! He recently announced on Anchor that he is starting up he own podcast where he will be interviewing his friends and contacts within the creative industry simply to have interesting talks. Currently he has not uploaded any podcasts except for the introductory one. This is a podcast I am very excited to see how it will develop through time and what interesting talks it will entail. 

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If you have any podcasts you think would fit well with this list please let me know. I am always looking for new people to listen to. 

 

 

JUDGING PUBHACK #5

 

This blogpost was originally posted on Global Fire Creative's blog. 

The 5th annual PubHack was hosted by Coastguard Studios on the 16th of September. PubHack is a 10 hour hackathon which is always based in a pub and open for any creative who wishes to participate, although the main participants are usually web developers and designers. A theme is given (this year, it was ‘Heroes & Villains’) and and each team has 10 hours to create something that relates to the theme.

This year there were 10 teams consisting of 4 members per team, making this the biggest pub hack yet! Global Fire were pleased to send our art director, Charlotte, along to be one of the three judges. For Charlotte, the day consisted of overseeing the different teams from beginning to end while they developed their ideas. Judging the idea, process, design, presentation and any other relevant factors.

Charlotte says, “Being in a room full of creatives who are not being limited in their ideas and doing exactly what they want is my absolute favourite thing to do and see. Just feeling the excitement and seeing ideas flowing is exhilarating in itself."

Throughout the day you could very easily feel the tension rise as the deadline slowly approached. Up until this point the entire day had been lovely with breakfast and lunch provided in the sun and being able to chat with some new and interesting people. When the deadline was reached, the 10 teams’ shoulders dropped whilst the judges’ real challenge was just about to start. Finding the deserving winning team for each award was incredibly difficult as the ideas and work that were produced (and in such a short amount of time) was impressive, not to mention hilarious.

Being a part of the local creative community is a special thing. You get to see great ideas as they’re created and watch as they materialise into something real. I couldn’t recommend Pubhack more!”

Results from the day can be seen here

Al the presentations are available to watch here

Some coffee and a chat whilst preparing everything before people sowed up

Downtime between judging and going around to the teams lover looking their work I got to do some of my own work

10 hours over and we got to sit down and finally see the presentation!

 

Etsy Print shop finnally open!

Etsy Print shop finnally open!

 

If you haven’t heard already, this week I officially launched my Etsy print shop! A year ago I was suggested that this might be something I could do and at the time it seemed very unlikely. However, after a while this seemed more and more like something I should do. 

The idea is not to earn loads of money or to become wildly successful with selling my prints. The goal is simply to give my doodles a home away from my hard drive and to offer people customised illustrations for whatever they may desire, let that be themselves, a special someone, to celebrate a milestone in their life or simply a specific type of art. 

On the 5th of September I will be publishing a vintage video game poster series in the shop that I did for a wedding last year. There has been some interest in these pieces and they are the reason I decided to go ahead with all of this. These pieces have already been published on my blog and my personal Instagram. Along with these there will be other pieces that I’ve done over the past few years and others will be added as I go along. Stay tuned and feel free to checkout, stalk, judge, comment, share and follow my Etsy and Instagram account! Anything and everything is greatly appreciated! If you have any custom pieces you would like to do please feel free to contact me in my shop, instagram or at charlottemichellesimonsen@gmail.com

Instagram: simonsenprints

Etsy: www.simonsenprints.etsy.com 

 

UNSKIPPABLE ADS

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UNSKIPPABLE ADS

 

We have all seen the "Un-skippable ads" from Geico. Last year's awkward family meal where the ad had already finished was incredibly insightful. It's simplicity and new way of thinking is completely out of the ordinary and very admirable as it may seem to be ahead of it's time.

So, how does an agency top that?

The Martin Agency has come up with a new ad that I am sure you have already seen, the "Fast Forward ad". While watching these fairly out of this world videos you start off by seeing a reasonably regular scenery. The ad fast forward to something completely unexpected. It drives the questions "what happened in between?" and "what the ...?". It may seem that to increase PPC (Pay per click) they have given the option to "Click to see what happened" for the viewer to get the entire story. The ad is technically skipped but the option to see the entire ad is given, unlike the "Unskippable ad". The way they get the viewer engaged into this ad is a very unexpected way of having the consumer want to engage with the brand to see more. If anything, this is a very new way of advertising for an insurance company.

As admirable and as insightful these campaigns are, the question I was left with after seeing yet another "Un-skippable" or "Fast Forward" ad is where is this driving us? When is a campaign still a campaign? What sort of advertisement will we be seeing in the future?

For a while it seemed like advertising was unstoppable and would be everywhere with the Guerrilla campaigns popping up everywhere, alas these seem to have calmed down. Will this type of advertisement merely become a trend and die down and we all move on to a different type of advertisement? In many ways I see the marketing business to be rather similar to the fashion industry. Different styles go in and out of fashion, much like we have seen recently with the 90's fashion (that we all would like to disappear rather quickly, please). 

Now some months later I am surprised that other brands haven't jumped on this idea or done anything similar. Maybe it was just a one off.

 

*This post was originally posted on March 8th, 2016 but edited again in July*

 

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BOOK COVER DESIGN

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BOOK COVER DESIGN

 

I recently did a book cover design for the author Dale M. Chatwin. The book is a horror story in the spirit of Christmas. If you where interested in having a peek you can do so here!

The book is currently only £0.99 to download but will be available for free after 48 hours from now, for the next five days!

This was a fun project where I got to experiment with the mix use of both Photoshop and Illustrator with various new techniques I have not used too much. This was a great learning experience and experiment for me as a designer! I've always wanted to do book cover design and illustrations, so this was a great starting point for me. I hope to do loads more of these in the future!

If you have a read please feel free to share your thoughts on both the artwork and the authors work as well!

Happy reading and Merry Christmas!

 

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