Adding Bursts of Color To Your Creative Diet

Doing something day in and day out changes your POV, altering the way you view your world in subtle ways.  If you make television ads for a living, you inevitably start thinking of stories in thirty second increments.

Dennis Ryan, Element 79, Chicago AdvertisingThat’s why it was such a gas and a giggle to join the jury for the 2010 Advertising Community Shorts Program of the Midwest Independent Film Festival (I know, that’s a mouthful–doubt it will fit on a t-shirt).  Optimus hosted the judging last night as we worked with the show’s Director of Programming Mike McNamara to whittle down three hours of shorts to a roughly ninety minute program.  It was all wildly uneven.  And it was pure joy.

Affordable technology makes filmmaking cheaper and more accessible than ever, but it’s still a major challenge.  Coordinating scripting, acting, lensing and perhaps most challenging of all–editing–requires weeks and weeks of concentration and attention to detail.

Reviewing all these entries really drove home the infinite breadth of human storytelling.  We saw stories of comedy and horror, ineffable sadness and inspired lunacy…often within a single piece.  For someone who works in advertising, it was like a mental palate cleanser.

If you can make it, try to see the final selections on OCTOBER 5th during the festival screening at Landmark’s Century Centre Theatre at 2828 North Clark.  You’ll enjoy it.

About the only bummer of the evening was losing this misunderstood gem from the program line-up.  Due to an abundance of music video entries, this video for Baby Teeth’s “Hustle Beach” didn’t make the final cut.  Still, its buoyant energy, irony laden 80’s synth sound and off-balance storytelling makes me smile with every viewing…even if that made me a lonely coalition of one among the judges…

I hope to see you at the show.


By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79


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