Posted by on Jul 4, 2011 in Artist Interviews | 0 comments

Our final project assignment for my DC489 “The Big Picture” class was to interview a person in the field of entertainment. I organized my project by prospecting my LinkedIn connections list for potential interview candidates. I specifically researched some of the artists that I have reached out to via social media and found a couple of candidates with interesting profiles whose careers I wanted to know more about. Senior Art director Keisha Jordan of Common Ground Marketing was one of those who responded.

A couple of things stood out about Keisha. First, her artsy profile picture caught my attention. Instead of a head shot she uses a hand sketch of her face as her profile picture on LinkedIn. That instantly made her stand out from pretty much everyone else on my list (See why you should never leave your profile picture space blank?). It was proof enough to me that she was a serious artist so she was an immediate candidate. The other factor was that we could talk shop about the digital tools we use for our different artistic pursuits. Here’s the interview. Take a look and I’ll continue on the other side.



I mention the effectiveness of a good profile picture for a particular reason. In the case of scheduling Keisha for filming we agreed to meet at the Harold Washington Library. If you’ll take a close look at her sketch, it looks just like the lady in video. I knew exactly who she was as she stepped off the escalator and we headed to our meeting room. If you have any artistic leanings I recommend you use her idea as inspiration if you want to try something a little different for your profile.

As far as project logistics flowed, we rearranged chairs in the meeting room to stage her against one of the walls. I asked more questions than included in the final cut because I had a fifteen minute time limit for the class presentation so you’re hearing about 1/3 to 1/2 of them here. I used my SONY Handycam for filming and had Keisha reposition her chair so I could include a couple of different perspective views of her in the final cut of the film.

For post production I imported three clips of film into Adobe Premier Pro. I typically use After Effects just because I’m used to it but it’s not really a complete film editing program. It’s specifically designed for effects and animation and happens to have some good basic film making features. Premier Pro though is Adobe’s full fledged editing package (all the cutting, audio, color correction and other features of Final Cut Pro for you Mac people) so I made the choice to jump in and use it full tilt for the first time.

After filming, Keisha provide me a few PDF’s of some of her digital ad work and some personal paintings which I faded into the film at different points to demonstrate her skills. The white walls of the meeting room made for a lot of glare in the film so I was able to use color correction to ramp it down. In my first rough cut of the film I created a QuickTime and imported it into After Effects to create opening and closing credits on either end of it (again, because I was used to doing that in After Effects). Fortunately I got bumped to another class day on the presentation rotation and my copy of Adobe Premier Pro CS4, Classroom In a Book arrived in the mail so I learned how to use the title feature within the package to create the credits. So this is my first fully contained Premier Pro production.

I enjoyed this project because I was able to expand my technical skill which as always the objective but also I had the opportunity to network with another professional in the field which was our professor Dan Pal‘s objective. So what do you think of one of Chicago’s art directors on the rise?

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