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Annalisa-Russell-Smith-Spirit-of-CaringBehind the Camera: The Filming of Annalisa Russell-Smith’s <i>Spirit of Caring</i>

Behind the Camera: The Filming of Annalisa Russell-Smith’s Spirit of Caring

Communicators often get the opportunity – some would say responsibility – to tell a story that can affect the lives of a number of people. Professionals either do the work pro bono or offer nonprofits a substantial discount. AMCP judges see numerous wonderful projects where it’s clear the entrants are entirely invested in the cause.

One such example was independent storyteller Annalisa Russell-Smith‘s videos for Community Mental Health Affiliates. We recently caught up with the owner of Local Planet Productions to discuss the project, which just received a Platinum Award in the Hermes Creative Awards.

CMHA – The Spirit of Caring from Annalisa Russell-Smith on Vimeo.

Where did these videos appear for CMHA?

The main feature piece, “The Spirit of Caring,” was first shown at CMHA’s annual meeting, a gathering of supporters, legislators, fundraisers and community members in October 2015. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as each of the clients who appeared in the film took a bow. All the films are available on the CMHA website and are used for educational purposes in the community, for training and recruiting new staff, and for fundraising and lobbying. The shorter profiles are used on social media, especially during the various rounds of state budget cuts.

How did you get involved with CMHA, and what was their objective for this project?

Mental health is a subject too scary for many to discuss and yet one in four people has a diagnosable mental health condition, so raising awareness is a big priority for CMHA to break down some of the barriers preventing people from seeking help.

I got involved because I saw the amazing work they are doing in the community, but I could see how difficult it is to even begin explaining the complexity of their programs and the many kinds of problems they help people deal with in order to live productive lives. So I pitched the idea of doing a series of short, shareable films with the personal stories of people whose lives have been affected in very positive ways by CMHA to their executive team.

Mental illness and addiction are complex and often misunderstood. Why did you choose the approach you did for your videos?

Tackling complex subjects is what I do best, because at the end of the day it’s all about breaking them down into parts that are more easily understood, and there’s no better way to do that than by talking to people with first-hand experience of the problem. It’s a very personal approach and relies upon building trust and the kind of rapport which allows the person being interviewed to simply be themselves.

Addiction from Annalisa Russell-Smith on Vimeo.

These topics are sobering. Did you need to prepare yourself mentally to work on this?

I agree, the topics are very sobering, but I’m not afraid to sit down and hear what someone has to say. Being able to simply listen to someone is often the most important part of the work I do.

The kind of preparation I do is much more about research to gain a better understanding of the subject so I can find ways to tell the story that needs to be told. For example, I learned all I could about paranoid schizophrenia by reading and talking with experts in the field in order to ask the kind of questions that would enable me to explain things through the eyes of someone living with paranoid schizophrenia. I researched addiction in the same way.

What was the most challenging aspect of this project?

As with anything filmed in documentary style, nothing is guaranteed because you’re filming real life as it happens rather than actors with a script! So the most challenging aspect of this project was ensuring I had enough material to truly give the viewer an understanding of not just of the company but of the people who shared their stories with me.

What do you hope viewers of your videos walk away with?

I hope viewers walk away with a little more understanding of why our mental health is just as important as our physical health. Once that starts to happen, perhaps the whole subject will be a little less scary to people.

View all of Annalisa’s videos on Vimeo.

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denison-university2016 Hermes Creative Awards Spotlight: Denison University

2016 Hermes Creative Awards Spotlight: Denison University

Before we release a list of all the winners for the 2016 Hermes Creative Awards on May 2, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted. Haven’t entered yet? There’s still time (until April 12!).

Hermes Creative Awards Organization: Denison University
Location: Granville, Ohio
Title of Entry: “Student Life at Denison”
Category: 158. Educational video

This incredible video shows a walk through Denison University campus telling the schools’ story, in one continuous shot. This is a great example of precision planning and execution. The reel is very well shot, edited and choreographed. You sense that everyone had a lot of fun doing this, and it leaves the viewer asking, how did they do that?

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CBG-Building-Company2016 Hermes Creative Awards Spotlight: CBG Building Company

2016 Hermes Creative Awards Spotlight: CBG Building Company

Before we release a list of all the winners for the 2016 Hermes Creative Awards on May 2, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted. Haven’t entered yet? There’s still time (until April 12!).

Hermes Creative Awards Organization: CBG Building Company
Location: Arlington, Virginia
Title of Entry: “Community Collaboration for CBG Building Company’s Walkway Signage”
Category: 82c. Community Collaboration Strategic PR Program

How do you turn an eyesore into a work of art? If you are CBG Building Company, you approach kids and give them the tools to do it.

CBG was constructing an apartment community in Arlington, Virginia. Because of the project, CBG needed to build one of those plywood covered walkways to protect pedestrians, which is not always a welcome addition to a neighborhood.

To make the best of the situation, the company collaborated with art teachers and students at two nearby elementary school to create a public arts project that would also increase CBG brand awareness. The result was an eye-catching collage of colors and paintings from the imaginations of children.

CBG Public Art Community Walkway

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digital-pulse-australia2016 Hermes Creative Awards Spotlight: The Pulse

2016 Hermes Creative Awards Spotlight: The Pulse

Before we release a list of all the winners for the 2016 Hermes Creative Awards on May 2, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted. Haven’t entered yet? There’s still time (until April 12!).

Hermes Creative Awards Organization: The Pulse
Location: Crows Nest, Australia
Title of Entry: “Westpac VR”
Category: 194c. Virtual Reality

Westpac commissioned The Pulse to created a virtual reality experience for staff as part of a presentation to showcase what the future of banking might hold and to demonstrate a range of technologies that may or may not have an impact on the industry.

The 360 video includes spectacular drone footage, a CG environment, live action and composited graphics. The VR story follows a family as they experience the technology that could become part of their future and focuses on the customer’s needs throughout the life-cycle from child to adult to retiree.

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gelia-marketing2016 Hermes Creative Awards Spotlight: Gelia

2016 Hermes Creative Awards Spotlight: Gelia

Before we release a list of all the winners for the 2016 Hermes Creative Awards on May 2, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted. Haven’t entered yet? There’s still time (until April 12)!

Hermes Creative Awards Organization: Gelia
Client: Independent Health Foundation
Location: Buffalo, New York
Title of Entry: “Talking Vending Machine Prank”
Category: 134c. Viral marketing social media campaign

How do you send a viral market through the stratosphere? You have to start with a great idea, but sometimes those can be hard to come by. Enter Gelia, an American marketing firm with international reach.

Gelia was recently approached by the Independent Health Foundation whose staff wanted to encourage young adults to eat right. One go-to food stop on a campus is a vending machine with not-so-healthy food, so Gelia placed five hidden cameras around one such machine at the University of Buffalo in New York for a day. They hired an improv actor to be the voice of the vending machine, and he challenged students on their food choices.

The effort resulted in three funny, informative viral videos that went national, garnering social and traditional media attention.

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DAINIK-BHASKAR-GROUP2016 Hermes Creative Awards Spotlight: Dainik Bhaskar Group

2016 Hermes Creative Awards Spotlight: Dainik Bhaskar Group

Before we release a list of all the winners for the 2016 Hermes Creative Awards on May 2, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted. Haven’t entered yet? There’s still time!

Hermes Creative Awards Organization: Dainik Bhaskar Group
Location: Bhopal, India
Title of Entry: “Annadaan – Dainik Bhaskar Group”
Category: 72c. Corporate Social Responsibility Program

Dainik Bhaskar, which means “rising sun” in Hindi, is India’s largest native language newspaper group. Dainik Bhaskar was founded in Bhopal in 1956 and has a readership of nearly 44 million people.

All newspapers, of course, cover major stories, but Dainik Bhaskar decided to go beyond the headlines.

During the summer of 2015, the Marathwada region of Maharashtra was reeling under a devastating drought. This resulted in massive crop failure, and the region was walloped by farmer suicides.

As much as 84% of Maharashtra’s agriculture is rain-fed, which includes Marathwada, and the region that faced the worst ever drought in past half a century. The area normally receives around 780 millimeters of rainfall during monsoons, but the number dwindled to 259 in the month of June. With incessant shortfall of rain in Maharashtra, water storage in the state’s dam also hit a three-year low.

Facing its third successive year of below-normal monsoon, farmers and their families who feed billions are the ones bearing the brunt, which led to a lack of consistent income necessary for their subsistence, including proper food and water for them.

Dainik Bhaskar decided to help by using its influence to collect and distribute food grain throughout the stricken area. After a month-long drive, Dainik Bhaskar delivered more than 300 tons of grain to 15,000 farm families in 36 cities.

Annadaan Dainik Bhaskar

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expedia-media-solutions2016 Hermes Creative Awards Spotlight: Expedia Media Solutions

2016 Hermes Creative Awards Spotlight: Expedia Media Solutions

Before we release a list of all the winners for the 2016 Hermes Creative Awards on May 2, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted. Haven’t entered yet? There’s still time!

Hermes Creative Awards Organization: Expedia Media Solutions
Location: Bellevue, Washington
Title of Entry: “#VanGogh2015″
Category :131c. Consumer Engagement

Twitter just celebrated its 10th anniversary this year. Despite the years, users are still finding clever ways to use the social media tool.

Recently, The Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions turned to Expedia Media Solutions, the advertising arm of Expedia, Inc., to raise awareness of Holland with travelers. Using Twitter, Expedia came up with a campaign tied to one of the country’s most famous painters and one of the world’s best impressionists.

The team challenged consumers to collaboratively tweet and retweet a #VanGogh2015 hashtag to earn brush strokes that would reveal one famous Van Gogh work of art each week, with the chance to win a trip for two to Holland.

The campaign generated more than two million impressions and drove double-digit growth in Holland’s visitor demand.

#VanGogh2015 by Expedia Media Solutions#VanGogh2015 by Expedia Media Solutions

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Hermes Awards Opens Feb. 3Fishing Season Extended for 2016 Hermes Creative Awards

Fishing Season Extended for 2016 Hermes Creative Awards

If you missed the first Hermes deadline, you now have until April 12 to enter your best creative work in the 2016 competition. All results will be posted by May 2.

Why Enter?

If you haven’t entered before, here are 4 reasons to submit your work today.

  • Quick and Easy. Enter online and fill in a URL or upload a file. In most cases, the work speaks for itself. No long, time-consuming essays.
  • Timely. Our judges have been reviewing entries for over a month. Winners will be announced in a couple of weeks.
  • Inexpensive. Per entry fees are $65 or $150 for campaigns and programs.
  • Encompassing. With 195 categories, there is a category that fits what you do.

Enter Now!

If you already entered by the first deadline, you will be hearing from us soon. Judges have been hard at work for over a month judging early entries. You will receive an email when your results are posted to your My Account.

Curious what winning entries look like. Check out this blog for examples of winning work.

Behind the Hermes Creative Awards

The competition is administered by Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP). Now in its 21st year of recognizing excellence in marketing and communications, AMCP has proven to be the industry’s preeminent organization in both size and scope. AMCP reviews more than 10,000 entries a year and during the past several years has given more than $150,000 to charitable causes.

Final Deadline Hermes Creative Awards

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artists-in-motion2016 Hermes Creative Awards Spotlight: Artists in Motion

2016 Hermes Creative Awards Spotlight: Artists in Motion

Before we release a list of all the winners for the 2016 Hermes Creative Awards on May 2, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted. Haven’t entered yet? There’s still time!

Hermes Creative Awards Organization: Artists in Motion
Location: Sydney, Australia
Title of Entry: “Hong Kong Pulse 3D Light Show, Winterfest 2015″
Category: 194c. Video Projection Mapping – Light Festival

In the world of advertising and marketing there are all types of events, from seminars to conventions to celebrations. Artists in Motion is a creative projects company that specializes in awe-inspiring events using cityscapes as a backdrop. The company dazzles worldwide clients and audiences alike with uniquely creative, immersive experiences designed to entertain and captivate. Last year it was Hong Kong’s turn. The Winterfest celebration blended elves, children, and a panda to create a magical experience for all ages.

Hong Kong Winterfest 2015 Pulse! 3D Light Show from Artists in Motion on Vimeo.

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Health Beat by Spectrum Health Systems2016 Hermes Creative Awards Spotlight: Health Beat by Spectrum Health Systems

2016 Hermes Creative Awards Spotlight: Health Beat by Spectrum Health Systems

Before we release a list of all the winners for the 2016 Hermes Creative Awards on May 2, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted. Haven’t entered yet? There’s still time!

Hermes Creative Awards Organization: Spectrum Health Systems
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Title of Entry: “Spectrum Health Beat ‘Life after death'”
Category: 64. Publication article

What makes a good story? If you need an answer to that question, read Marie Havenga’s story, “Life after Death.” Jill writes for Health Beat, a news website updated daily for the Spectrum Health Systems of Western Michigan. Spectrum services more than 700,000 patients with 12 hospitals.

One of those patients, who had a massive heart attack, should have died for all intents and purposes. But one doctor and a dedicated group of health professionals literally brought him back to life. It is a riveting tale of a life and death struggle that could have gone either way.

Read the enthralling story on Health Beat.

health-beat-life-after-death

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