Wednesday, March 13

Artist Profile: Simone of Multimedia Maverick

From the moment that I met Simone of Multimedia Maverick, I could feel her passion and strong work ethic. I always appreciate and respect being around artists who are serious about their hustle and bring a strong level of professionalism.

I had the opportunity to connect with Simone and ask her a few questions about herself, her company and some advice for any of you who are trying to get into the same field. I also made sure to get tips on what to look for when selecting a company to help you with your own branding and multimedia needs! That's often a difficult task to navigate.
About Simone
My story is quite long and meandering but the short version of it is, I lived in various countries growing up and currently reside in Canada where I work in the interactive media and television industries. 

While doing my undergrad, I married my hobbies of dance, coding, and video production into an on-demand video streaming service where I would teach people how to dance online. 

Upon graduation, I founded my company and also had my first foray into television hosting and associate producing a dance instructional television show for a specialty broadcast network. I eventually ended up at the Canadian Film Centre which led to working on the interactive side of the television industry.

As time progressed and with the proliferation of video technology, I now work as a multimedia content producer. In other words, anything that has to do with content creation for online videos, television, websites, mobile apps, or video games, I produce it. 

For example if you're creating a mobile app, I ensure that all text, sounds, visuals (photos and videos) are created on brand, on budget, and on time. 

For larger scale projects, this involves corralling a team of writers for copy, co-ordinating and directing voice over sessions and composers four sound, and organizing photo and video shoots for image or visual assets. 

For smaller projects, this involves me writing the copy, scoring, or shooting the videos and/or photos myself.

As a result, my line of work ranges from roles such as coordinating activities like green-screen shoots for live action integration into a video game to being a one-person band shooting videos for online and television segments.

Motivation in starting Multimedia Maverick
Since I tether between the television and interactive worlds, I can see that there is a new frontier to explore and am excited by its possibilities as a producer. Now more than ever, out-of-the-box  and unconventional thinking is required to navigate this rapidly shifting landscape and this prerequisite constantly piques my interest. Having your own business in this particular space is the vessel that is needed to charter these waters.

Notable projects or clients
My work is varied in nature but some memorable projects include:
- Working as a writer for McHammer's social media start-up called Dance Jam. 
-Pioneering virtual dance instruction on the internet. 
-Working with companies such as Sundance and Disney on interactive projects. 
-Overseeing content on a variety of children's interactive properties that have gone on to either be nominated or win Gemini/Canadian Screen Awards.
-Interviewing familiar faces such as Maroon 5, Keisha Chanté, Maya Angelou, Rik Emmet, Orianthi

How do you stay motivated and passionate about your work?
To keep motivated, I tend to watch a lot of independent filmmaker videos online. I also read about anything related to technology, design, and music even if it has absolutely nothing to do with television and interactive media. I'm a huge fan of Michael Jackson, Wondaland Arts Society, and Janelle Monáe and it's safe to say that they are inspiring and motivating whenever I experience their work. 

It's difficult to respond to the second part of the question because I have a simple rule:  If I'm not passionate about the work, I simply don't engage with it.

 Advice / tips for aspiring talent trying to get into the multimedia industry
Since most of my work these days are video production and photography, my advice to anyone wanting to be a videographer or photographer is to get out there and shoot. It's easy to live vicariously looking at videos and pictures, daydreaming about the right moment for all of the stars to align to do that concept that keeps haunting your thoughts.  Just get out there and shoot the idea. I'm a big fan of a company called IDEO and there's a line by a guy named Phil Skillman that I love which is "Enlightened trial and error succeeds the trial of the lone genius". In other words, fail often to succeed sooner. Make that your mantra. You'll learn very quickly what works and what doesn't work for you that way.

Also cameras don't take the photos or videos… people do. It's better to do a lot with a little than a little with a lot. Don't' wait until you can afford that super expensive camera to take stunning visuals. Instead, pick up any camera that will allow you to tap into it's manual functions, learn the rules and then break them :-) 

Cameras depreciate fast these days because each year the manufacturers come out with something exponentially amazing. If you're starting out, I'm sure you can pick up something decent in the used pile for a great deal. If you're starting out and shooting with a DSLR, rent the lenses. I've seen amazing visuals done with cameras people wouldn't consider to be "professional" and at the same time I've seen some less-than-average work shot on pro-level equipment. If all you have is a smartphone with a camera, download an app that will allow you to tap into the manual functions of the camera and shoot. The best camera you have is the one with you…. a bit cliché but true.

The other piece of advice I would suggest applies to all paths. Love and respect everyone. It takes all kinds to make the world go round. Be courteous and polite with everyone, great, small, short, or tall and smile! People will always remember how you made them feel. Always. Also, show up early, remember people's names, follow up, and always, always, always, follow through. If for whatever reason you are unable to follow through, give advance notice. The sooner, the better.  Sometimes it's better to say no than to say yes. Don't be afraid to say no. You always have choices and don't let external circumstance determine your well being. Own and claim your happiness. Have some moxie and make your own breaks. Finally, always say thank you… even for the little things, they go a long way.

Best advice for someone who is looking to hire / collaborate with a design company to illustrate their brand through web design or other design work
I would suggest seeking someone who has done work in the style that you are looking to do. Research the companies that excel in the style that you want by looking at their portfolios. Their portfolios should have numerous examples of the style you are looking to have or be within the same family of work.  

Speak with their former clients (approximately 3 if you source them online). This is a surefire way to know what to expect of your working relationship with them.

Be as clear as possible about what you are looking to have made. A company that excels in the style you want, will be easier to communicate with and can help you fill in the gaps describing and illustrating the elements you would like to see for your brand. 

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