Here’s a few pictures from behind the scenes on our set. More to be added soon.
Hey. What’s up? I’m writing you this letter, because well I guess it’s sort of my New Year's hopes. And if kids get to write to Santa I can write to a year. It’s currently 5PM on December 31st, so you are just about to get here.
I had high hopes for 2018. I expected a lot and maybe I was asking for too much. I had high hopes for myself and for the year. Some things were accomplished and of course many never came to life. If I were to get into every little detail this letter wouldn’t get written before the time I need to meet my friends, so I am going to keep it contained.
2019, here are my 3 hopes of you:
My first hope is that people start to listen more. Whether it’s politics, environmental issues, personal problems, or what’s going on in the rest of the world - my hope is that people listen more to each other. In 2018 there was too much talking. Everyone had a point of view and if you didn’t share that view then they didn’t want to hear from you. The only way to start moving in the right direction is if we can open the lines of communication and start understanding where people are coming from.
My second hope is that we continue to educate and better understand what is happening to our environment. I will be the first to say that I need to do this. I need to better understand the repercussions of my everyday lifestyle and how it is affecting the world around me. When someone has a heart attack - where do you go? To the doctors, because doctors have the training, understanding, and tools to help save someone. The Earth’s doctors are telling us that we are destroying the planet and if want to have any hopes of reviving it we need to take action now. I hope in 2019 we continue to educate the young, ourselves, and start taking more action to save this planet. Myself included.
My third hope is that people start to have more faith in themselves. Friends, family, and people of the world you are your own biggest fan. If you don’t start believing in yourself no one else is going to. 2018 was one my toughest years to date. I had a lot of unexpected personal and work battles, but I came out it stronger, more determined, and with a lot more faith in myself. In 2018, I heard too many people doubting themselves. Whether it be what they could accomplish or what type of person they are. There was too much doubt and not enough respect for themselves and what they are worthy of. In 2019, I hope that everyone understands their self worth more intimately and starts taking action in their lives to live a happier and healthier year.
2019, I appreciate you taking the time to read through my letter as I know you are about a very busy year. I am thankful to have made it another year and have so many incredible people in my corner. I look forward to what you will bring and truly believe this could be a great year. In addition I apologize that for about the first three months I will forget that we are in your year and keep writing 2018 as I date things.
P.S. Maybe in 2019 we can hold off on making any more post apocalyptic movies and tv shows. This shit is getting too real.
I am currently working on a Character Animator project with the illustration below. In the meantime I am also playing around with making some comics. #SundayScaries
These are some things around my apartment. That’s all.
Please note that this post has nothing to do with health. In fact it is about the complete opposite. This post is about comics.
You might not know this about Lunchables but inside the packaging of their products they include comics.
There was three month stint in 2017 when I ate Lunchables all the time. To be quite honest it was probably too often, but it happened and I think a lot of it had to do with the comics.
I started to save the comics from inside. They follow these two characters Jackie and Platy who also star in this Youtube video.
These pictures are of some of the comics I saved.
I vote more brands put comics on their packaging.
I love being creative. In fact I am always thinking of new ideas and concepts I want to explore. I am constantly writing down script ideas in my notebook, sketching characters I want to animate, and trying out new programs to see what I can create. I am starting a new blog series called: Side Project Hustle where I talk about some of the cool personal projects I am working on and what they are all about.
Most recently I have been working on two specific things that I am really excited about. Today I am going to talk about one that is really just a learning project where I am experimenting with different cameras. I’ve spent the majority of my career using a Canon C300, but I have also worked with a variety of DSLR, Sony, and RED cameras.
This past week I played with an older Panasonic camcorder and I had a blast. This camcorder is incredible and while it’s time consuming I really enjoyed having to go through the process of capturing the footage in Premiere since the camera records onto Mini DV tapes.
As soon as I held the camera in my hand I felt like I was a part of a news crew. Like I should be in a van waiting to jump out at any sign of action on the streets. That news was happening somewhere and I needed to be the one to capture it. The only thing was I wasn’t in a van I was in my studio apartment, so instead of jumping out of a moving vehicle I just walked outside onto the street. It was less exciting, but also safer.
So what do I do when I am just playing with a camera outside? Lots of things. I shot b-roll of the streets, peoples feet walking by, the train, and I even turned the camera on myself. My arms weren’t really long enough to shoot myself, so I quickly abandoned that strategy. My main goal was to get comfortable with the settings and know what to update on the fly if I needed to make adjustments quickly. If there is one thing that I have learned from working in production is that if you have a camera in your hand, you better be able to use it. AND you better be able to use it quickly.
It couldn’t have been better timing that my friend reached out and wanted to shoot some videos behind the scenes of a project they were working on. So after getting better acquainted with the camera I got to put my skills in action for a BTS shoot at a recording studio.
My friends project isn’t live yet, so when it is I will update this post to reflect the final output.
What you should know is that we captured a ton of good content. A sufficient amount of b-roll, sound bites about the project, and tons of incredibly awesome organic moments behind the scenes.
I loved working with this camera and I plan to use it again in the future. One of my favorite things about this model was the manual zoom. It was incredibly smooth and easy to work with.
My experience using this Panasonic Camcorder was awesome and it provided me with the look and feel I wanted to accomplish for my friends BTS shoot.
Well, that’s it for now. If you read this far, thank you. More to come on my Side Project Hustle soon.
After seeing Skate Kitchen, I am 100% certain buying a skateboard and learning to skate this summer. If you haven’t yet heard about the film, you will be hearing a lot about it soon - because after Skate Kitchen drops in theaters on August 10th there will be a movement.
Skate Kitchen will be playing in more theaters starting August 10th, but has already been premiering at select locations. I caught the film at BAM on July 1st. Some of the Skate Kitchen crew was in attendance, which made watching it there that much more legit.
So what is the film about?
The film is centered around a teen Camille played by skateboarder Rachelle Vinberg, who finds herself a group of friends. A group of rad girl skateboarders who truly accept her. It’s a film that makes you feel what you are seeing. It reminds you how important friendship is and coasts you through skating subculture. It also shines a light on how cool girl skate crews really are.
My favorite part about the film is how authentic it felt. Nothing felt forced or out of place. Crystal Moselle has a unique way of working with her talent to blend fiction with reality to create moments that feel completely genuine.
This film does contain skateboarding.
Scattered throughout the film is the perfect amount of skate shots. These shots make seamless transitions and create moments for the film to breathe. For me - these we're the best moments and got me amped to go outside and feel the fresh air on my face.
I also found it refreshing how Crystal approached some of the topics and themes she has the girls discuss during their the more private moments together. These felt very true to experience and relatable.
other peeps talking about skate kitchen:
Variety // Film Review: 'Skate Kitchen'
LADYGUNN // The Skate Kitchen
When I think Nike shoes, the first two shoes that come to mind are the iconic Air Force 1’s and the timeless Air Jordan 1. Since the 1980’s when both these shoes were first released there have been in-numerous versions created and yet still they remain a staple for shoe lovers everywhere. Now it’s 2018 and Nike decided it was time to reimagine both these styles through a female lens and who better to do it than a group of 14 creative females!
Nike’s goal was to take diverse talents and bring to life new versions of the Air Force 1’s and Air Jordan 1’s. After 4 days of collaboration, the final output was a total of 10 new original redesigned sneakers made specifically for female sneaker heads everywhere.
Personally, I love everything from the message Nike is trying to share to the shoes that came to life through this collaboration.
When I first heard Nike was doing this campaign the word “inclusivity” kept ringing in my ears. Why? Because while you may see many rad chicks wearing sick Nike’s around, you might not be aware of the lack of inclusivity there has been for women in sneaker culture. I’m not talking about appreciating women who wear cool sneakers, but I am talking about making more cool sneakers available in female sizes. Sitting at a shoe store trying on little boy shoes isn’t ideal, but is often a work around for many females trying to cop the latest sneaker drop. I believe Nike putting such a large emphasis on the ‘1 Reimagined’ campaign is showing that Nike is not only listening, but also reacting to this growing market of women in sneaker culture.
The In Store Experience
Not only was Nike’s purpose for the ‘1 Reimagined’ campaign strong, but they also elevated the campaign with their true in store experience. Here is how the Nike store in Soho killed it during the release of the 10 redesigned sneakers:
Incredible Sneaker Layout:
Whoever said brick and mortar is dead, is wrong. I have walked into the Nike store located in Soho many times, but the launch of the ‘1 reimagined’ is now my favorite experience in a retail store. Upon entering the store the shoes were all placed on acrylic iridescent boxes coupled by information on that specific shoe. You couldn’t walk past the in store exhibit without wanting to engage and touch the beautifully placed sneakers.
This is how you create intrigue and curiosity right at the front of your store.
In connection to the ‘1 Reimagined’ launch, Nike had a variety of mannequins lining the floor with extremely unique Nike clothing. So unique you couldn’t get it anywhere else, because the designers were on the scene at the store creating it right there. Talk about personalization. Not only did they provide customers with ideas for the custom clothing, but the cost to customize the clothing was free as long as you bought the pieces you needed for your own creation.
The icing on the cake was that the designers customizing the clothing were literally on the first floor working behind a glass wall and when asked a question about the clothing they would come right out and talk to you.
This is how you cultivate a sense of community.
Exceptional Customer Service:
I’ll admit there are stores you walk into and you would rather not be bothered by the staff asking if you need help, but that is not the case at Nike, Soho. The staff is extremely attentive and if you do need help they will assist you no problem, but that’s not what is special about them. It is how they can organically strike up an authentic conversation about like minded things, such as talking about the current shoes you are wearing or your shared love for Tinker Hatfield.
Ultimately by the end of your time in the store you will have felt like you were just shopping with a large group of your friends and find yourself saying goodbye to each of them as you exit the store.
This is how employees help elevate your brand in store.
This workshop was off the chain. Olivia walked us through her process of placing plants in basketballs and then we in turn were able to take home our creations.
This was extremely cool and brought the whole ‘1 Reimagined’ experience to another level. Allowing us the opportunity to have direct access to someone who is currently collaborating with Nike felt very special.
This is how you get people to come back.
Nike was able to create a campaign with various touch points that felt very authentic and natural to the audience they were marketing it to. The ‘1 Reimagined’ campaign is a great example of knowing your audience and creating a tailored purchase experience for them. Most importantly this campaign is really only the beginning of brands focusing more on women in sneaker culture.
When? Skin is feeling like it needs some hydration or overall brightness needs a boost.
How long am I committing? The mask only needs to sink in for 20 minutes and is extremely soothing to the skin while it is setting in.
Why I love it? Instantly after washing off my face, my skin feels extremely soft. My skin can get dry in the summer and after using this mask, my skin stays softer and hydrated longer.
Soothes, conditions, & hydrates.
If you are using any prescription face medication, you will find that your face can get dried out easily. If that is the case, then using this mask will give your skin the moisture it needs.
A review by 'glossierlover' reads:
& I have to say this is a pretty accurate description of how smooth your skin will be after using the Glossier - moisturizing moon mask.
I am moving out of my first and only Apt in NYC so far. In honor of the good times and the bad times, I decided to take some pics to remember my first creative space in NYC. This is my NYC bedroom picture tour.
This has been my favorite place in NYC. I am going to miss it. On to the next thing.
I was lucky enough to make it on a train with air conditioning, so I'm currently appreciating the cool breeze.
Train: Q Train, Commute: Evening commute home, Current Song: 8Teen by Khalid
Today I've been thinking a lot about success. Not personal success as much as brand success and the importance of setting goals. When working in Advertising as an Assistant Media Planner, I first understood the importance of goals.
Setting goals means your team knows what they are working towards. It gives the work you are doing purpose. It's the only way you can measure success. Without goals you cannot measure how your preforming, because you don't know what your meant to measure. Sure you got 10,000 views on your video, but do you know why? What were you trying to accomplish? Brand recognition? Were you showing off a new product? If so did you have it drive to a product page? And if you did, please tell me you had it tagged correctly - so you can understand if that video actually drove people to purchase. Without goals you will miss out on valuable data and insights that could uncover a problem with what your doing or even validate all your hard work.
While goals are so important I've found that on many of the projects I've worked on there isn't any clear defined goals. Why? I don't have a good answer. I believe it has to do with a variety of things.
1. I've worked on a lot of smaller projects where brands are just starting out and figuring out what it is they are exactly trying to accomplish. The thing is - those brands should still have a goal. May it be a goal for their first campaign or overall brand.
2. The person in charge has forgotten or doesn’t know that goals are important. They are clouded by other things and have lost sight of what they are actually hoping to accomplish.
3. The brand has never had a proper goal, so no one working on the brand has seen the value of testing, analyzing, and optimizing.
4. Someone in charge manages to convince everyone below them that the brand has goals, but there really isn't any.
So what's my approach to working with brands or companies that don't have a goal? Well I'll be the first to say, it's hard. It's hard to do mundane tasks when you don't understand how they fit into the overall goal your brand or company is trying to accomplish. If you don't have a goal you can't do your best. Knowledge is power. And knowing what your working towards allows you to better explore all the different avenues to get there.
So if you're ever working somewhere and you are wondering what is your trying to accomplish, don't just keep working. Don't just be. Do. Ask questions to better understand what your business does and how you fit into the equation. Once you can establish a goal or many goals, you will be able to find so much more satisfaction in what your doing. Or maybe you won't. Maybe you'll realize your doing the wrong things and working for the wrong company.
When I was working as an Assistant Media Planner and I discovered we didn't have a Creative Department anymore, I started to question. At the end of the day what is my company trying to accomplish? And do I want to do that? I didn't. So...what did I want to do? I wanted to write, direct, and produce content. So I quit that path and took a production internship. Less than three years later I am a Producer - I'm still hustling, but I am moving in the right direction. Question everything, so you can make educated decisions and kill it at life and business.
Well.. I guess this did end up being about personal goals. The point is you and your company should always have goals. It allows you to have direction, create purpose, increase understanding, and do the best job possible.
You can't play soccer without goals. That's all.
- This was written by Me: Cassie Lavo, a content creator and producer living in NYC. I am always writing on the train. Sometimes it is rapping over a beat and other times it is just about the random thoughts I have running around in my head.
Let me know if you have any questions. I would love to hear from you.
Other Reads on Goals:
I produced a series called Intern Confidential for mtvU. This series involved me interviewing interns about their previous and current internship experiences.
Previous to this series, I hadn't interviewed people younger than myself. In the past I had interviewed celebrities, musicians, athletes, or thought leaders in a specific subject. I can now say that my favorite interviews were these intimate sets with a college student and our small crew.
1. These young professionals rarely have the chance share their insights, ideas, and thoughts openly. They are often told to listen and learn, rather than share. My interviews were an open forum about them.
2. They haven't done a million interviews where they were asked similar questions over and over again. This was a new exciting experience for them and that energy was apparent.
3. I was really relaxed. I knew I didn’t know where the conversation was going to go, but I was excited to keep it casual and let it flow naturally.
4. We had so much in common. They were eager to learn, ask questions, and find their way. As a writer/producer my hustle hasn't slowed down. While I am now more experienced, I still have so much to learn, so many mistakes to make, so much time before I feel successful.
5. They had so much to teach me. I am now 26 years old. Most people would tell me I am young. I am. But the amount of things that have changed since I was in college is immense. I honestly don't think I would have had any idea to what extent, if it wasn't for these interns.
As a writer/producer, who relies heavily on research and data to help justify much of what I create - I felt it was important to better understand what and why these millennials watch what they do.
Data can tell you that many of these young professionals are on Youtube - spending countless hours learning new things, watching funny videos, and discovering their new favorite creator. But you can only begin to understand what is that they really watch and why they watch it, when you talk to them. Their motivations for what they watch can not be simply pulled from numbers. Data does not automatically transfer into making good content. Data should be used to influence your decisions, but if you are trying to reach an audience you need to truly understand them. Talk to them. Empathize with them. This young audience can feel the difference and they are seeking out the content that truly speaks to them.
With that in mind, I will continue to create work I think goes beyond a catchy title and eye grabbing visuals. I will continue to follow my gut, do my due diligence on the topic, and ultimately attempt to be an original voice in this overly statured world of content.
My interviews with these interns inspired me to keep following my own dreams. Thank you young professionals. You're all going to do great.
When I first moved to NYC, I slept on my brothers bedroom floor on an air mattress that well...deflated every night. It was only a few weeks before my brother, my best friend, and I snagged the apartment down the hall. The two bedroom apartment down the hall. That was in 2013 and I still currently live in the same upper east apartment now, almost 4 years later.
3 people in a 2 bedroom apartment isn't bad, but if you don't have a room to go into to get shit done - you forget the feeling of completely unwinding. The feeling of having a space that is all your own. YOU FORGET IT, because you don't have it.
During the couple years I shared a room, I rarely thought about how I needed my own room. Of course when asked I would respond saying "I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE MY OWN ROOM", but it wasn't constantly running through my mind. It wasn't because, life happens. You have work, you have fun, and you have other adult things you have to do.
Recently... I got my own room. My own space to think and be creative. I have never appreciated it more than I do now.
Sometimes you need to lose something in order to remember how important it is to you. I'm Cassie Lavo and right now, I am sitting at that desk writing this post. This is my space. My space to unwind. My space to create.