On a trip to Montreal in August 2014, I saw a truck similar to the one at the top. It had digital billboards on three sides. It brought to mind the video adds on the sides of buses in the sci-fi film Children of Men (2006). Director Alfonso Cuarón produced his bus ads with digital special effects.

Exercise 7: The screen

Part 1: Looking for screens

Take a mental inventory of the video screens you come upon during a typical day, then answer these questions:

  1. What was the primary type of content you saw on these screens (entertainment, news, advertising or other)? Give examples of where these screens were located.
  2. Where was the most unusual place you came upon a video screen? What type of content did it display? Try to get a picture of it and include it in your portfolio.
  3. We often do not notice video screens as we navigate the day. Did it surprise you with how many you saw, once you began to take note? Explain.
  4. How many video screens to you own? You can count those owned by roommates if they are in a common area. Which screen would be most hard to give up? What do you use it for?

Part 2: Create a happiness ad

Create an ad that is not actually selling anything but is instead answering truthfully the question of how we become happy. Be creative.

To begin, ask yourself, “How do I become happy?”

  1. Make a short list of your answers.
  2. Choose one answer, one thing that makes you happy, and base your ad on it.
  3. Remember to keep your objective in mind: to answer truthfully the question, “How do I become happy?”
  4. Download the storyboard form (PDF) if you do not have one and storyboard your ad through at least nine frames. Try to use the techniques of composition and moving images to make your storyboard as informative as possible. Write the script next to the frames.

You can hand in your responses in class or include them in your OneDrive folder.