It was definitely a little weird to see a t.v. spot for America. Most of us are used to seeing other countries advertise themselves for tourism and perception reasons. The plan is to run the campaign within the U.S., the U.K. and Japan first with Brazil and South Korea to follow. An interesting media buy, for sure. How do you feel about this new campaign?
This past Wednesday marked the first meeting of the “Thinkers and Doers” initiative at Seiden Advertising. With a goal to bring the NYC art & culture scene to and provide outside inspiration to members of the Seiden Team, Patrick Lupinski (Managing Director, Seiden & Friends) and Pharyl Weiner (Engagement Strategist, Seiden & Friends) drew a few of us into the conference room with the promise of free beer and deep conversation. This week’s guest: American playwright and novelist Chris Shinn.
With his back to a digital projection of a roaring fire, (what we consider to be the ambiance for the evening) Shinn humbly shed light into the life of a NYC playwright. He illustrated his creative process as one of deep meditation followed by a strict dedication of transcribing the thoughts onto paper, as if the script already existed on an abstract plane and he was simply the medium through which it got onto the paper. Though he paints a picture that plays or novels are simply waiting for us to pluck them out of thin air, if we only concentrate our imaginations, it was evident that there is also a great deal of skill and hard work behind a manuscript. Genius (or even great raw talent) alone will not suffice for success. To succeed as an artist, of course one needs the “it” factor, but that is only one piece of the puzzle. The life of a writer, just as the life of a banker, doctor, lawyer, and even—dare I say it—a Madison Avenue executive, is one of practice and patience.
In addition to his personal success as a writer, Shin also spends his time teaching and advising graduate students at The New School in Manhattan. We were curious, “How do you teach someone how to tell a story?” With the caveat that the art of writing is neither quantifiable nor are his methods provable, he outlined what (in his opinion) must be present for a compelling story: Internal conflict, a Clearly Defined Antagonist & Authenticity. These three elements (perhaps the “Tell Me Something I Don’t Knows” of the theatre world) seem evident. Placed side by side, it seems obvious that they would need to be there.
Internal Conflict: As human beings, and particularly as spectators, we are fascinated by the character who must choose between two conflicting desires—perhaps even two different lives. We are drawn to their struggle because conflict is present in all our lives, everyday. And while we crave the ultimate resolution, the journey to that end point compels us to remain engaged through the duration of the struggle.
A Villain: What’s life without a hero to root for or…more importantly, someone to Hate? The Villain offers us an “other”—someone who we can bond together against. We get a certain pleasure out of watching the hero struggle against this villain.
Authenticity: This might be the hardest element of the three to capture—one cannot affect authenticity. A writer must speak with a true, clear voice to express a human emotion, or range of emotions, that emanate from the manuscript with little effort. The real, essentially, will look effortless. We will feel the emotions of the characters because they speak to the primal, human instincts in each of us.
And so Chris Shinn concluded his crash course on the art of storytelling (15 weeks of teaching were reduced down to roughly 24 minutes of talking). The rest of the evening continued with a discussion about storytelling within the sphere of social media—particularly a brand’s ability to tell a story and involve the consumer. Like Shinn, we work to reach an audience through the means of storytelling, creating a narrative through copy, image & design.
The space shuttle Discovery flew for the last time today from Florida to Washington, D.C., where it will be retired and displayed at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum.
Tommy Edison, aka the Blind Film Critic, has amassed over a million views on YouTube with his movie reviews. Blind since birth, he started a second YouTube channel, the Tommy Edison Experience, to talk about his life and answer questions from fans. Here, he demonstrates how he navigates his iPhone 4S to surf YouTube, check Twitter, and send messages.
Source: The Atlantic