Creative Process: VZNARY Lookbook

One of the greatest things about my school, UNC-Chapel Hill, is the innovation and ambition amongst the students. I had originally approached Jalon Cooper, the CEO of VZNARY, during my internship at the admissions office to be featured in our Meet A Tar Heel video series. Sadly, the timing never worked out, so I was unable to start the project. However, I asked him if I could do a lookbook for VZNARY during the next school year since it’d be a win-win situation; I would get new pieces to add to my portfolio and practice on my video editing skills, and he would get a free video lookbook to be used for promotional purposes. Luckily, he agreed!

Because this project would basically be me working for him/the brand, I wanted it to be very collaborative between the two of us. I let him choose where we would film and what pieces to feature. Since he had just launched a line for women, he wanted the video to solely promote that line. Then I just filmed throughout the photoshoot to get a bunch of footage and behind-the-scenes shots.

Next, I came up with a few solutions for my scarcity of footage. First, I found a song on YouTube Audio Library that had a lot of strong and consecutive beats, so that I could base the cuts on the fast rhythm of the song. Then, I used some video-editing effects in Adobe Premiere Pro that sort of created an illusion of more footage (mirroring effects, close ups, etc.). I additionally decided to use some of the photos from the shoot in the video, extending their length so that they filled up more time.

From there we decided on the vibe of the video. He, being the creative person that he is, added a few ideas to the mix and sent me some other promotional lookbooks that he really enjoyed. Unfortunately, when I went back and actually watched the footage there wasn’t too much to work with. I think because we had used the filming camera as the “additional-angles” camera during the photoshoot, a lot of the lighting and focus-settings were not how I usually set them. I figured, however, the video needed to be short anyway since it was going on the Instagram. 

Finally, I decided to create an animated logo, which not only took up more time but also gave Jalon something to use in his future videos. I wanted to keep it simple, so I decided to have the eye in the logo blink and have the text simply pop into frame. I started by tracing the eye from the original logo in Adobe Illustrator, creating four different frames that would make a blinking stop-motion animation. I used Adobe After Effects to compile the animation, which took about an hour to finish. 

The entire video took about three days to complete. Although the lack of footage was annoying, it definitely taught me the “it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it” lesson for future filming sessions. Likewise, it challenged me to think outside of the box in order to work with what I had.