Over the Easter break, I have set myself the task of pushing myself to create more pieces for the Tenovus supported ‘Food Wellbeing during Chemotherapy’ campaign that I worked on in my Persuasion project during last term.
Since producing and presenting the video that I created for my clients, I have decided that I want to create them other pieces, including posters, social media elements and a new improved booklet that is capable of replacing their current one. I plan on creating these as a side project to the other three videos that I will be working with them to create by the end of this year outside of my university work.
I have been working firstly on a basic poster which will advertise the video that I have created. I have also made a banner to go with it which can be displayed on social media sites such as Facebook in order to help promote the video and ensure that more people see it – after all, the aim of the campaign is to raise the awareness of food safety for chemotherapy patients, to as many people, particularly caregivers, as possible. I have put the banner that I created onto the Tenovus Facebook page as an example of how and where it could be used.
Although the poster and banner are efficient in promoting the video that I have created for the campaign, I feel that I could create a more appealing series of posters, perhaps displaying a range of infographics. I would want to use more colour to make them eye-catching, so will look into using the Tenovus colours from their brand guidelines which have been supplied to me by my clients.
Today we gave presentations of our final outcomes of the Persuasion projects in front of our clients and tutors.
Before giving our presentations, we had previously created and rehearsed our presentation which we intended to give today. However, earlier in the day today, before our presentations at 2pm, we had some difficulty putting our animations into the PowerPoint as several of the team’s videos were not completed until very last minute which meant we were not left with much time to import the animations into the presentation. Personally, although my animation was complete, the way in which I had rendered and then exported it meant that the file size was much too big to go on the presentation. After adjusting the quality of the animation, hoping to reduce the file size, I exported it again and although the file size was much more appropriate, the quality had been so much decreased that the on-screen text during the animation was pixelated and barely readable. In the end, due to being rushed for time and the presentation deadline fast approaching, I decided to instead simply show my original final film, which was too large to actually be inserted into the presentation, as a separate file directly from the desktop. Other members of the group ended up doing the same.
Even after these initial obstacles, during the presentations, everything went smoothly. Our group made sure to introduce ourselves to our audience before beginning and then spoke about our project title and the organisation that we were working for, and the mission statement and key aim of the communication that we set out to achieve. Next we went on to each taking it in turns to give a short introduction on our own animation and showing it.
The presentations concluded with inviting our clients to view more of our work, such as the storyboards and other development pieces, and to discuss our animations further. Although our client was unable to stay for long due to her own circumstances, we were able to briefly talk about each of our outcomes with her. She spoke about what she really liked in our pieces, claiming that she really likes ‘Steve’ in my own stop-motion animation, and we were also able gain any more constructive critique and where we could go from here. I am really pleased that they still wish to continue working with me in creating the other three videos for their 4-part video series on the topic.
If I were to do the presentations again, I feel that if we had made sure all of our group member’s animations were completed fully in advance – we could have used the extra time to actually insert them into the presentation, rather than have to navigate off of the presentation to get to, open and play our animations. This would have created a more overall professional looking presentation.
Personally, I also feel that I spent too long looking at and speaking to the screen projection, rather than looking out at my audience and speaking directly to them. To improve, I would engage more efficiently with my audience, and client in particular, by having eye contact and by being a little animated, such as using hand gestures to make myself more inviting and to involve the audience.
I felt that I became slightly nervy during the presentation, partly because of the minor panic of getting the animations onto the presentation beforehand, and although the clients and audience had not witnessed this, I think that I ended up rambling and stuttering more than I would have liked to – next time I will consider using cue cards to keep me on track so that I remember exactly what it is I want to say and when to say it.
This afternoon we had our second client meeting in which we showed them our initial ideas and how we were developing them.
We opened our meeting by showing the small exhibition that we had set up on our given topic of ‘racism’. Our client seemed impressed by our setup and was interested in how we were using it to help us and relate back to our work on their own brief.
We explained how and why we had chosen to display our existing poster campaigns on racism, by theme. We wanted to focus on the more ‘lighthearted’ and ‘witty’ theme, rather than the aggressive, as we felt that this had more relevance to their own campaign. The ’emotive’ and ‘informative’ themes also had some use, but we do not want to make either of these themes too heavy in our own animations. We spoke about how we felt cancer was a very serious underlying topic, so we wanted to add a small amount of wit and humour to take some weight off. Our client agreed with this, and said that if our animations were able to get a smile, or a giggle, out of someone going through cancer treatment (or their families), it would be wonderful. Showing this exhibition has helped me confirm that by having a positive and upbeat vibe in my own animation, I am heading in the right direction.
When it came to showing our own individual ideas, I presented our clients with my storyboards that I have created so far – currently 3 out of 4. I also gave them copies of their own that they could take away with them to look over in their own time. It was great to get feedback from the clients, which overall was very positive. She seemed to really like how each of our ideas were slightly different but still all worked really well for what they needed.
Video 1: “Background information and the importance of ensuring food wellbeing during chemotherapy.”
Video 2: “Top 10 tips on food safety.”
Video 3: “Risk associated foods and the safer alternatives.”
When looking through one of my storyboards, Ellen (one of our clients) pointed some minor points that could possibly be changed. It was great to get the constructive critique from her as this is exactly what I need in order to be able to go away and develop my storyboards further. My next step is to make minor edits to my existing storyboards and possibly change some scenes that I am no longer happy with. For example, in video 2, one of the modifications that I need to make, suggested by Ellen, is that cans do not technically have ‘use by’ dates on, they have ‘best before end’ dates instead. The dated labels that they are more interested in are the ‘use by’ ones. Although I could use the cans as purely representative, I want to change them to a relevant product – Ellen suggested milk cartons as an example of a ‘use by’ labelled product.
Apart from these minor changes, I need to complete the fourth storyboard that I am working on and also, to finish the scripts for the voiceovers of each of the videos – I will need to record them in order to get the timings of the animations right.
In my previous blog post, I mentioned that earlier in the day before our client meeting, we spoke to Wendy who suggested that we did not actually have to create the animation. I relaid this suggestion onto our client during our meeting, and admitted honestly that personally, I felt that I would not be able to make it to the standard as, let’s say, somebody on the animation course, but would still happily make it for them if they still wished me to. I mentioned that there was the possibility of getting in touch with the animation course in University so that we could perhaps work together in order to achieve a better final outcome. The client put me more at ease when she said that they would not actually be launching the videos until the end of this year, so we had plenty of time to work on them. On saying this, I have decided that I will fully create both the script, voiceover and storyboards, and will aim to complete the actual animations too, but perhaps I will focus on just one within our time constraints and then continue to work with them outside of my other projects in order to complete the others. Our clients did not seem too fazed that I felt my animating skills were not as strong as others, and seemed pleased that I would be happy and willing to continue working with them – they were also open to the idea of getting in touch with the animation course to help further improve our creations. At the end of the day, it’s a great opportunity for me to be working on a live brief with real-life clients – it’s something that I can put on my CV too.
Today was our first tutorial during this project, to talk about our research so far.
Our group’s tutorial today was with Ian Weir. We showed the research that we had collected so far, including our creative briefs at the stage that they’re currently at. My research included what the food safety risks are for cancer patients and what some of the foods are that they should avoid. I also looked into who both, the Velindre Cancer Centre and ZERO2FIVE are, and what they do.
As a group, we made a list of questions that we had put together for the client – the questions covered what we found was missing from the brief that we believe would be useful to know. The questions included:
- Ask for the booklet.
- How long a video would you consider suitable?
- Where will the videos be shown? – on your website? on social media? etc.
- Is our target audience purely those who visit and are caregivers to patients at the Velindre Cancer Cancer, or is it a wider audience?
- When should we expect to receive the nutrition and food safety messages for the video from the researchers at ZERO2FIVE?
- How many videos do you want in the series?
- Is there a brand? – for example, Cardiff Met or Velindre Cancer Centre?
After showing Ian the questions that we intended to email through to our clients, Ian suggested, why not meet them? – after all, they are located literally on the university campus. Ian also made clear that he personally felt that, the clients were possibly asking for and expecting a bit too much by asking for a series of videos – he suggested that just one single video would be more realistic considering the time constraints that we have. The clients, not being designers themselves, would most likely have very little, if any, knowledge of how to make a video and how long the video-making process takes. We will need to see if we can come to a compromise with the clients to create a more doable outcome for them.
From here, we plan to contact the clients in order to ask if we can meet up to introduce ourselves and talk over the brief with them.
The brief that I have selected to work on is the Food Safety brief, which is to create a series of short videos on food well-being for chemotherapy patients, to be targeted at caregivers.
I have started by reading the brief several times over in order to really understand it, and as well as this, I have also done some background research into the food safety issues of chemotherapy myself so that I know what I am talking about when it comes to working on the project and talking to the clients.
Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy (also radiation therapy and stem/bone marrow transplantation), often weaken the immune system, leaving patients more at risk to illnesses, particularly those that are food-related. It is important for patients to know and understand how to safely handle, prepare and store food, and also for them to know which foods that they should avoid. There are a lot more foods that chemotherapy patients should avoid than I had originally thought – just a few of them include: unwashed fruit and vegetables; raw or undercooked meat; deli lunch meats; refrigerated pâté; smoked fish; sushi; unpasteurised beverages (e.g. fruit juices, milk, yogurt and cider); soft cheeses; undercooked eggs; and a range of other examples. Although some of these examples of foods to avoid seem pretty obvious, such as the raw meat or undercooked egg – sometimes it can be trickier to avoid. For example, raw egg can be less obvious when added to other things, such as homemade cookie dough or cake mixture, or homemade mayonnaise. On existing food safety websites, such as on cancer.net, patients are encouraged to undertake some simple steps, including: shopping smartly; preparing and cleaning up foods carefully; preventing cross-contamination; disposing of old food; and taking precautions when eating out. It can be hard to spot when a patient is actually suffering from a food-borne illness as some of the symptoms are vague and not always obvious that food is the cause. Symptoms include: diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, headache, muscle pains. These symptoms can escalate quickly into something more serious for cancer patients than for a person who was not a patient.
I also looked into who the Velindre Cancer Centre was and what they do, because this is who our clients have asked us to create the videos for. Velindre Cancer Centre provides specialist cancer services to over 1.5 million people in South East Wales and beyond. They are one of the largest cancer centres in the UK. Each year over 5,000 new referrals and around 50,000 new outpatient appointments are seen by us. They employ over 670 staff with an annual budget of over £49 million.
Another area that I looked into was ZERO2FIVE, as the brief informed us that this would be who was supplying us with the information for our campaign videos. I discovered that ZERO2FIVE are actually a team of food and drink technologists based at Cardiff Met. On the website, they claim that their mission is: “To support Welsh-based food businesses in both a technical and operational capacity, enabling them to compete more effectively in the global market place by providing the knowledge, facilities and resources to help companies push their boundaries, achieve their goals and drive their businesses forward.” We assume that our clients will be part of this team.