#EARTHDAYEVERYDAY was a short-turnaround project that went from "script-to-screen" in less than two weeks. The videos would be released on Earth Day. Their purpose? To remind our general audience that EPA employees are always working to protect human health and the environment. For this project, I served as Creative Director, Producer, Primary Writer and First Draft Editor.
Initially, my main duty was to ensure brainstorming ideas were kept simple and viewer-focused. Projects tend to get out of hand when working with "creativity by committee." In this case, I was working with six distinguished peers from the multimedia and public affairs teams to develop a solid core idea.
When we came up with the #EARTHDAYEVERYDAY concept, my duties transitioned to shepherding the creative process with our staff producers, graphic designer and freelance motion graphics artist.
In my opinion, the beauty in the pieces derives from how hard we worked to keep the experience simple for the audience. We wrote short, easy-to-understand scripts that were unique as stand-alone projects yet easily replicated for the entire series. Here is a sample script:
DDT, A DANGEROUS PESTICIDE, ONCE PUSHED THE BALD EAGLE TO THE BRINK OF EXTINCTION. WE HELPED CHANGE THAT. BECAUSE HERE AT EPA, EARTH DAY IS EVERY DAY. SHOW US WHAT YOU THINK IS WORTH PROTECTING. #EARTHDAYEVERYDAY
With minimal time and resources, this script format was easy to create but more importantly, easy for program offices to vet. By making the right choices, we didn't allow the creative process to grind to a halt due to bureaucracy.
I worked with our motion graphics designer to keep in the spirit of the script's simplicity. By using a single cinematic piece of b-roll, we created a feel for these pieces that resonated with the text. Our creative team was only able to do that because of the trust we had in our motion graphics designer's sense of composition and timing.
Before publishing, it was my responsibility to present the finished drafts to leadership and listen to their feedback. I needed to either defend our creative decisions in a way that made sense to non-multimedia professionals or communicate leadership's revisions to the creative team.
As a former social media curator, it was also my job to work with the web team and help frame the products to optimize shareability. I provided input on share text and delivery for social media; in this case, that was advocating native Facebook uploads versus YouTube embeds.
- In the end, despite the lack of time and resources, we successfully produced all five videos by deadline. The video series trended on Facebook during Earth Day and was picked up by a few popular media sites.