Content Strategy, Creative Direction, Design
Years after the wildly successful publication of A Series of Unfortunate Events, Lemony Snicket returned with a prequel series, All the Wrong Questions.
His original fans were now in their 20s and a new generation required an introduction, so I developed content that would appeal to a certain psychographic, rather than demographic. Videos, social media graphics, infographics, and a website rich with content engaged the kind of kid that is smarter than you (and me!).
Lemony Snicket himself was the principal character of the new series, so I spearheaded several social initiatives to bring the author closer to readers, including a Twitter Fiction Festival that garnered large amounts of media, Tumblr Q&A that trended for two days, a cross-channel fan art contest, and an interactive mystery on Youtube.
// Other Contributors: Mess (Site Development, Design), Seth (Illustrator), Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) & Susan Rich (various copy)
Content Strategy, Creative Direction, Design, Producer
FINE ART OF FINISHING
Steampunk author and master of British wit, Gail Carriger, expanded her New York Times bestselling Parasol Protectorate universe to include a new series for teens, where proper young ladies of Victorian England attend an institution for the fine art of finishing... others.
To introduce Finishing School to a younger audience, I launched this Tumblr, where I knew even the most obscure fandoms had a hyper-engaged following and the word "steampunk" would never have to be defined.
Through original graphics, videos, songs, posters, repurposed Victorian cartoons, quotes, character bios, flowcharts and animated gifs, the Finishing School Tumblr offers humorous lessons in both etiquette and espionage for a young lady with slight evil inclinations.
Capturing an audience was almost instant, and resulted in several "trending" posts that brought users into the world, and made them hungry to read the novels.
This campaign contains some of the work of which I am most proud.
// Other Contributors: Pete Mattson (Video Direction, Animation), Josh Fix (Video Music/Lyrics), Mess (Tumblr Design, Development)
Concept, Creative Direction, Design, Editing, Animation, Strategy
BRAVE NOIR WORLD
Lemony Snicket's You Choose the Mystery is an interactive adventure that lets viewers decide what happens as they click their way through a series of hilarious videos, narrated by the author.
To create all 34 videos, I designed numerous interstitials, spliced together countless clips from public domain crime dramas of the 30s and 40s, and recorded the author's voice as he watched the edits and improvised a storyline. My idea was to develop an original and long-lasting piece of marketing content that would both capture the eyeballs of Youtube's young audience and familiarize them with Lemony Snicket's new noir world.
Some of the most fun I've ever had working on a project was recording Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) as he improvised the voice over (and voices). Editing was hard, because everything he said was genius. If there were any bad takes, it was because you could hear me laughing in the background.
// Other Contributors: Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket (Voice Talent), Josh Greenhut & Susan Rich (various ad copy), Seth (Illustrations), Matt Lee (Dancing Snacks Animation)
Strategy, Design, Producer, Copywriter
The social content for this new fantasy-thriller by the writer of The Spiderwick Chronicles was designed to boost anticipation among the legions of existing fans, but also court new ones by highlighting the story's dark and alluring Faerie world.
With the video in particular, I chose to only hint at the plot, and instead accentuate the foreboding setting, while creating a strong visual association with the packaging, which I achieved by using the cover's butterfly as a device. Some the graphics met a secondary goal of teasing the author’s elegant writing.
In the end there was both anecdotal evidence and strong conversion metrics that confirmed the content drove purchases.
+ New York Times Bestseller
+ Tor.com feature
// Other Contributors: Video - Nice Studios (Animation, Character Design), Holly Black (Lyrics), Peter Pope (Music)
Strategy, Creative Direction, Writer, Animation, Producer, Design
When I learned I’d be working on The Simpsons artist Liz Climo's latest endeavor I geeked out – flailed my arms about and squealed (In my head, of course. I am, after all, a business professional). She's amazing and has probably not posted anything on her Tumblr that I have not reblogged. Making the experience doubly exciting was again creating something for the hilarious and talented Ame Dyckman (see Horrible Bear! video).
To promote their new story, I wanted to make a piece of content that would appeal to kids and parents. The video would be shown at events chock-full of children, but also seen by legions of Liz’s fans on social and used online to help drive parents to purchase.
The story's lesson is “be careful what you wish for”, so I spoofed pharmaceutical commercials that always paint rosy pictures of problems floating effortlessly away, then quickly proceed to an unending list of terrifying side effects.
I wrote the script, led one of the most fun VO sessions ever, and animated and edited the video (using a J-pop soundtrack because that’s what accompanies unicorns everywhere, I assume). Additionally, I customized key moments into looping animations to be used as social content seen by Liz’s 2.5 million followers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr.
+ Combined 250,000 video views across all channels
+ Combined 500,000 GIF views across all channels
// You Don't Want a Unicorn! is written by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Liz Climo
Strategy, Creative Direction, Design, Animation
Award-winning illustrator Zacharia OHora creates art you want to hug! Illustrated with acrylic paint on printing paper, the biggest challenge on this project was transforming his gorgeous, flattened 1:1 scenes, into 132 animate-able layers on sixteen 16:9 scenes - and keep the acrylic-paint-on-paper look.
I spent a LOT of time in photoshop. When done with the scenes, I sent them off to a producer, but was disappointed with the results. The huggable characters weren’t living up to their huggabilty.
This video would not only promote this New York Times bestselling duo's book online, but would open for them on tour in front of crowds of children all over the country. Kids needed to feel excited about Ame Dyckman's hilarious story and characters.
Out of budget, I dove right in, outlined a script, added motion to the layers, edited the sound and video - and that’s how I learned I could be a one-man shop if I reeeeeally had to.
// Horrible Bear! is written by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Zachariah OHora
Creative Direction, Design, Strategy
BOOGIE MAN ON THE MOON
Set in the near future, this space thriller by acclaimed Scandinavian author Johan Harstad follows three teens who win a trip the moon, where an unexpected horror awaits them.
This digital campaign I created was designed to build awareness and interest in advance of the release. In the preceding months, a series of videos, photos and journal snippets chronicled the characters' journey from winning the trip to space training to their lunar landing and cutting off just as an inexplicable terror arrives.
// Other Contributors: Escape Goat (Video Production)
Producer, Creative Direction, Animation
I created this music video for former Commander of the International Space Station and viral internet sensation, Chris Hadfield, to promote his picture book about a boy who overcomes his fear of the dark by looking at the bright side (hint: In the dark can you see the stars!).
Featuring an original song by the astronaut, I used Adobe After Effects to bring the Fan Brothers' very fine art to life. The video was used as part of a digital media buy targeting parents and children, distributed across all relevant channels including his 3.5 million followers on social media, and shown to packed houses of kids at his live events around the world.
//Other contributors: Chris Hadfield (Music/Lyrics), The Fan Brothers (Illustrations)
Content Strategy, Creative Direction, Web Design/Development, Producer
If X-Men were dreamt up by F. Scott Fitzgerald, it might look something like Libba Bray’s The Diviners. This brilliant, epic story has everything - wit and humor, suspense and mystery, compelling characters and deep sense of history, so it needed a launch campaign worthy of its awesomeness.
I designed a website that drew attention to the paranormal aspect of the book since that had the most commercial appeal, but placed it in a clear context of the 1920s, since that is what makes the story unique. The content I created included videos, characters bios, previews, interactive quizzes, a slang dictionary, a web series hosted by Libba Bray and cheeky audio spots inspired by Jazz Age radio shows. I also created dozens of original pieces of content that were distributed across social media to highlight the fantastic quotes, fashion of the era and the powers and backstories of the characters.
+ #1 New York Times Bestseller
+ Entertainment Weekly
// Other Contributors: Escape Goat Pictures (Trailer), Libba Bray (Radio Scripts, Web Series Host)
Content Strategy, Creative Direction, Design, Development
Chris Colfer has no shortage of fans. Known to most as a Golden-Globe winning actor on Glee, he may now be best known to kids as the creator of The Land of Stories, an epic series about a magic book that is a portal to the fairy-tale world. His large and loyal fan base flocked to the first installment. Tasked with marketing the series in digital and social, I saw an opportunity to engage these fans, help turn them into evangelists, and expand the audience for the rest of the series.
In addition to building a website with videos, previews, character portraits and more, I curated and encouraged fan art, propelled by a contest hosted on social, judged by Chris, and included prizes and copies for participants and their friends. I worked with his team to produce a series of live-streamed Q&As, and spearheaded a Tumblr Answer Time that increased followers by 1000%. I partnered with my friends at Mess to develop an interactive map for fans to vote on his tour stops (who in turn amplified on social, begging friends to participate). A fairy-tale character generator allowed users to build a Land of Stories character in their likeness, use as their profile pic and post to social with their own unique story. And I created 30+ images and gifs to help spread the word on Twitter and Tumblr.
This is just the beginning for The Land of Stories, whose fans, known as #BookHuggers, seem to double every year.
+ #1 New York Times Bestselling Series
// Other Contributors: Brandon Dorman (Illustrations), Mess (Storify App Build)
Creative Direction, Concept, Producer
Other Contributors: Eric Litwin (Music/Lyrics), Nice Studios (Animation), Mess (Web Design)
Strategy, Creative Direction, Producer, Animation, Design, Web Development
For Emmy-nominated screenwriter Geoff Rodkey’s new series – laugh-out-loud accounts of rivalry between two twelve-year-old twins – I aimed to create experiences that would expand the Tapper Twins' world and build further connections between kids and the characters.
The website included activities, character bios, avatars, previews, and a photo blog (updated by Geoff and written from the twins’ point-of-view), and was designed (like the series) to look as if the twins had pieced it together themselves. I also created several videos based off scripts written by the Geoff: :30 spots used in digital ad campaigns on popular destinations for 7-12 year olds, and a video a series where the twins offer fun facts, tips and tales about growing up in New York City.
The Tapper Twins went on to be a New York Times bestselling series and earn much critical acclaim.
//Other Contributors: Liz Casal (illustrations), Geoff Rodkey (Video Scripts), Nice Studios (Animation for ad #1)
Producer, Creative Direction, Designer, Strategist
+ The Guardian Feature
// Other Contributors: Escape Goat (Video Direction), Mess (Website Design, Development)
Creative Direction, Producer, Design, Development, Writer
There is no doubt that I am a big book nerd. So when the opportunity to create a website, video and social content for Goosebumps author R.L. Stine’s latest endeavor came about, I had a reaction not unlike the Ermahgerd Girl. It got better when Jack Black (comedian, singer and actor of Kung Fu Panda fame), agreed to do the voice over for the video.
The video teased the premise of the story – a shop that sold monsters like pets – and was distributed across Youtube, Facebook and Twitter, the website and used as part of a significant ad campaign. To highlight the characters on social, I created a series of coupons, and authored and designed an interactive "Monster Finder" quiz that matched users with a monster that best suited their lifestyle.
+ Jack Black narrates the video (!!!)
+ Entertainment Weekly Feature
// Other Contributors: Pete Mattson (Video Animation), Jack Black (Video VO), Marc Brown (Illustrations)
ROLE: Content Strategy, Creative Direction, Design, Development
+ #1 New York Times Bestseller
// Other Contributors: Nice Studios (Dangerous Creatures Video Animation), Mess (Beautiful Creatures Video Animation, App Development, Design), Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures video Lyrics)