As the first day of cuts looms at the One Show Greater China Festival, teams spent their final hours hammering out concepts and moving into production. It was time to transform storyboards and sketches into presentable ideas for the classroom.
There, mentors will evaluate each team’s concept and choose who will advance to the next and final round of the competition. Having no time to waste, Team SpongeBaoBao’s Benjy Joung started Monday early by shooting the first minutes of video during his morning walk. A few hours later, the team met up in a long concrete hallway at the venue to shoot additional scenes. Joung held an unusual calm as the deadline approached.
“Right now, excitement level is higher than stress,” Joung said. “But that’s just because I’m distracted from stress. It’s not that I shouldn’t be stressed.”
Elsewhere, Team Mosaic 6+1 overcame one obstacle that worried many teams: having access to a Chevy car for shooting. As is common with other Chinese students at the competition, nobody on Team Mosaic 6+1 had a license to rent a car. So, teammate Xu Shang flagged down a Chevy and offered to pay the driver to borrow his car for two hours.
After haggling a price, the driver dropped off his car at a side street and looked on, seemingly unconcerned. The team moved quickly and began shooting as the nearby clay Shajing Port water stood still.
After sundown, Team CC piled into two taxis and went to shoot at the Bund, a waterfront area lined with historic buildings to the west and the Huangpu River to the east. Across the water was the nighttime Pudong skyline, the perfect backdrop for the team’s shoot.
Trip videographer Tanner Evans doubled as an actor for Team CC but found fame in another form. Throughout the trip, Evans drew attention from locals because of his over six-foot height, so it was part of the usual routine when a young couple walked up and asked to take a picture. But as he got into position the couple didn’t stand next to him – they handed over their baby and pulled out a smartphone.
“That was the first baby I ever held,” Evans said. “I still can’t believe that happened.”
Earlier, Brimmer made a trip to the WPP School of Marketing and Communication for another speech on Michigan State University’s advertising program. Named and founded after the world’s largest marketing group, the WPP School is less like a traditional university and more like a training school to place young adults into the growing Chinese advertising market. They’ve also built a close relationship with Brimmer over the years.
Dean Harrison Dong and other school staff affectionately refer to him as “Uncle Henry” and reminisce over memories made at previous advertising competitions.
Brimmer’s admiration at the WPP School is also evident in its students. By the time he reached the room where he would deliver his speech, he already received two rounds of applause: Once by a group of students waiting at an elevator (they let him go first) and again by early birds in the event room. One student spilled her bag of candy as she raised her hands to clap.
The professor’s speech resembled the one given at the One Show just two days earlier, but with slight revisions to cater the WPP students’ interests. A speech highlight was a “break” Brimmer took to have all the students write down their name, email and the answers to a few questions on a piece of paper. Then, he asked them to fold it into a paper airplane and throw it at him on his signal.
A flurry of reds and whites and yellows flew around the room as laughter (and more applause) erupted. Minutes later, a similar rush of hands shot up during a closing questions and answers segment.
The dean commented, “They never react this well.”
Questions revolved around the creative process and what it takes to keep great ideas alive – and accepting that one is capable of thinking of one. Brimmer encouraged students to never throw away ideas, especially the bad ones. It’s also accepting that the first idea is not always perfect. Eventually, he said, one will soar above the rest.
“Any special reason for the airplanes?” a student asked.
“No,” Brimmer replied, having stuffed them into his backpack to read later. “It’s fun. It has no meaning. They’re very beautiful… and they fly.”
Tomorrow, each team will present their concepts in front of their classrooms. By the end of the day, teams will be cut before advancing to the final round of presentations.