Video Art Direction
I have co-produced and art directed on several video shoots for Refinery29's Snapchat Discover. Thinking about the Snapchat audience and R29’s brand voice, my co-producers and I created informative and engaging video content while working within the boundaries set by the platform.
Project Example: Period Myths Series
As a publisher on Snapchat Discover, R29 produces
female-focused daily content about health, beauty and lifestyle that reads editorially in “series,” or page groupings. This particular series was focused on period myths, and was written to be interactive (with the audience through true/false polls) as well as informative (with interesting factual information).
There are two constant challenges when designing for
the platform: engaging the viewer within 2 seconds, and achieving balance compositionally with text the editors have written. Having this series written out beforehand both helped and complicated ideating for this shoot. We needed the video to grab attention almost immediately while clearly relaying the information. Additional challenges included minimal budget, and working around Snapchat’s guidelines when talking about what can be seen as a sensitive topic.
Restraints on Imagery: Snap publishers are
not allowed to show anything too sexual (like underwear on a body) or resembling blood, so we decided to focus on the subject of menstruation with birth control, tampons, and metaphoric glitter.
Styling and Set Design: We set out to produce content that felt clean and playful, keeping in mind that our audience has a primary age range of 13 to 24. We chose a minimal palette of bright pinks and reds as a nod to the subject matter, made a short prop list, and had talent dressed simply.
1- “You Don’t Lose That Much Blood” Playing with slow motion glitter pouring
2- “It’s Not Dangerous to Skip a Period” (True/False Poll) Birth Control stop motion
3- “PMS Does Not Make You Crazy” Talent acting “crazy”
4- “Period Blood Should Not Have a Smell” (True/False Poll) Tampon close up
5- “Over 60% of Women Are Embarrassed to Talk About Periods” Talent hiding tampon
While shooting and reviewing footage for the third top chat, we realized that an outtake of talent laughing felt more authentic and relatable than the shot of her acting “crazy.” We ended up altering our plan and using that take instead!
We were happy with the end result; the series was cohesive, playful, and informative.
USER ENGAGEMENT AND ANALYTICS:
At the time of production, we had only recently begun experimenting with original video backgrounds. So we were excited to see that, compared to the last time we ran the same content without using video, our daily viewership increased by over a million users.
Furthermore, compared to the last video series we produced and published, the time viewed on each topsnap, subscribers added, and the number of topsnaps a user goes through all increased. But, our daily viewership for the series and shares decreased. We analyzed the differences between the last video series and this one, taking these learnings forward by applying them to future video production for our series.