Jim Olen – 2018 demo reel

Donlen was in need of a holiday video card that got their existing clients into the spirit of the season and introduced potential clients to the great services they provide. The internal marketing team came up with a script that I used to create “A Fleet Carol”. I used GoAnimate to build individual scenes, then imported those scenes into Adobe Premiere to bring all of the magic together. VO casting and recording was done via an online provider (Voice Bunny), and I polished it up with some cool transitions and sound effects back in Premiere. A wonderful (informative and entertaining) project!

Sprint needed some to help launching their community outreach program. I worked with CMN/Events and the brand directly to develop Sprint4Change, and all-day music seminar for Chicago Public School kids.  Music professionals were brought in as speakers,  an original song was composed, a dozen :30 second video pieces were shot, edited, and released throughout the day as a part of a twitter campaign.

Executive producing a documentary short and editing its trailer is rewarding enough, but when the subject of the film is your son and his struggles with Aspergers, all the work is fueled by your passion to do the story justice. Here is the trailer for The Artistic Spectrum.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it… Produce the run of show for a live Sprint activation. Coordinate a 40 person flash mob, a 10 person film crew, a few city buses, and a Sprint branded vehicle to deliver the first IPhone to a waiting customer. The activation will be 4 minutes long. When it’s all over, you’ll have one hour to get the footage together and edit a piece of content that can be splashed all over social media. Mission accepted!

When asked by Nielsen for ideas to take a successful video series to another level at live events, I designed a high-tech confessional to complement the Confessions of the Conscious Consumer campaign. The confessional was outfitted with three go-pro cameras, and set up at the 2014 Essence Festival. I brought on a full crew (camera & edit team) to capture and post the content quickly. Individual questions as well as daily highlights from the festival were posted on Nielsen’s Facebook & YouTube pages.

Caris Life Science asked me to produce a tour of their Phoenix, AZ facility. The goal of the video was to make sense of a highly technical process and showcase lab equipment that is worth millions. I storyboarded a dynamic concept built around engaging interviews with dramatic b-roll footage, all tied together with 2D (blueprint type) animation of the facility.

Cedar Capital brought me on board with a three month mission to launch two new web sites, produce over 20 pieces of content, and build a programming slate for their new video hub. I started by creating brand strategy and writing a corporate narrative. This video “We Are Cedar” now serves as the both the main branding piece of content, and a foundation for tone and narrative that future videos will build on.

Perspectives Charter Schools wanted to produce a documentary to highlight their students’ passion to make a difference in their community. After meeting with the students, I quickly put together two storyboards. The first was a Kickstarter video to help the school with funding, and the second was a rough storyboard of the documentary itself. The documentary needed to be an honest representation of the violence in Chicago, while also highlighting the school and its innovative curriculum, that is designed to bring out the best in each of the students. Here is the Kickstarter video.

Though she’s a best-selling author frequently featured in national media, Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo needed innovative ideas to launch her new book Better Than Perfect. I suggested producing engaging videos to serve myriad of purposes.  Over the course of three days, we shot two different branding pieces for the book, and a dozen “quick hits” for her to use in her 2015 social-media campaign. Here is the general branding  piece that was produced to live on her website, the book’s Amazon page, and as an EPK for TV show appearances.

Donlen (a Hertz Corporation) was planning on hosting some clients over the course of a few days, and wanted to take advantage of that time by producing some customer testimonials. I was told I would only have 15 minutes with each customer. A location walk-thru gave me a setting for the interviews where I could incorporate motion graphics and better my chances for good b-roll. Pre-interviews were done to insure each interview was on point. With the 75 total minutes of footage, we were able to produce five individual testimonials, and one combined piece of content that exceeded the client’s expectations.

Nielsen was looking to take all the consumer information they’ve collected and turn that data into short pieces of video content for a social media strategy. We were to produce a total of 20 videos over the course of the year, 4 X African-American History Month, 4 X LGBT History Month, 4 X Women’s History Month, 4 X Hispanic Heritage Month, 4 X Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. We decided to take important stats, and interview consumers who represent that statistic but can also empower others with a wonderful story. The only scripted part of each video was at the end when the interview subject read my tagline “I am me, and I matter.” Subjects were to be interviewed in black and white, with b-roll in color. The campaign was a huge success.

Good Harbor Financial needed to produce a video quickly. The sales team was flying to a conference in a couple of weeks, and wondered if they can get a video that outlines the financial product’s strategy. The video was to be presented at conferences, and in individual pitch meetings. I thought it would be great to put a face on the product, and have a wide variety of staffers tell one scripted story. The details of the financial product are in the brochures, and specific questions could be answered by the sales member on site, so I thought the video should capture the essence of the firm and the dedication they have to the product and its customers. Here is “An Opportunity”.

My friends at Andre Walker Hair were looking to produce a very unique piece of content that could be used across several platforms. Working with Dianne Hudson (former Executive Producer of the Oprah Winfrey Show), I developed storyboards, designed the set, cast the models, directed the shoot, hired the crew, and even picked up the 350lb mirror myself in a rented UHaul van. It was a long but very fun shoot day.

Being on the board of SOS Children’s Villages of Illinois, I had the opportunity to help the organization in a variety of ways, including producing two :30 TV commercials, and a couple of radio spots. Here is “A Leg Up”.




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