Tendril’s opening title sequence for the Style Frames New York conference
After a couple of weeks I’ve had some time to step back from SFNY and actually process everything that went on there. New York City is a complete and total reversal of Savannah, especially in pace. There is no getting stuck behind horse-drawn buggies in the Big Apple. My trip was bookended by a series of all-nighters: two before I left, and two upon my immediate return. Snow storm Nemo hit New England halfway into the conference, so I ended up staying in New York for a couple of extra days. Exhaustion has become less of a problem for me and more just a simple fact of life.
But I really did have fun! I was very proud of SCAD’s presence at the conference. All but one of the 21 volunteers in the conference were SCAD students, and I met a couple of SCAD alumni among the professionals in attendance. Several of the featured style frames that made it onto the slideshow that played in between panels and presentations were SCAD student work.
SFNY’s theme focused on the practice of pitching in the motion graphics, advertising and design industries, as well as the relationships between clients, studios, agencies, and the artists that work for them. Presentation titles included “Demystifying the Pitch,” “Non-Conforming Pitches for Non-Conforming Clients,” “How to Lose Like a Winner,” and “In Broadcast, Life’s a Pitch.”
Why is pitching an important enough topic to frame an entire conference around it? I didn’t know until I attended SFNY. In school we have no context for pitching. Even in our CLC classes, there is no competing against, say, RISD, for the actual job. There aren’t contracts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line.
Here are two very different opinions on pitching from speakers at the conference:
So there’s the negative. Their opinion is based on some of the realities that clients are asking for more complete work and ideas – in the pitch phase – at a lower cost than ever before. There are increasingly more conflicts over copyright legalities and secrecy regarding budgets and technical parameters. But not everyone is a pessimist:
The most valuable experience I gained from this conference was learning how to approach and interact with professionals in the design industry. It can be a little intimidating at times, especially as an inexperienced student. But as one person said, “we all were students at some point.” Everyone I talked to at the conference was very kind and quick to offer their advice on breaking into the industry.
Oh, and I got invited to tour BET Studios! That was awesome.