Feathers were thrown across the board room, meeting table, there was a smell of powder and heat as the NMCO team and collaborators styled hair and makeup.
Studio manager, Dawn Franco, was sitting for a light test in the NMCO video studio while NMCO Lead Video Specialist, Ralph Diaz, set the lights and camera before the green screen.
NMCO Creative Director, Tina Ballew, was explaining the shot lists to models and leading the collaborating stylist, Anahy Nunez, for the shoot.
Playing Art Director, Dana Apodaca slowly attached a handcrafted, feathered headdress inspired by fashion of early North American civilizations to model Marco Jimenez.
These were the steps for production in NMCO’s creation of the event campaign for Dona Ana Arts Council’s 50th annual RenFaire, Bridging Cultures.
This year, Executive Director of the Dona Ana Arts Council, Greg Smith, decided for the special 50th anniversary of the RenFaire to return to historical colors of the event’s origins as well as have an extravagant and historically relevant aesthetic for the poster and promotion of the DAAC annual, November RenFaire.
Normally when attending a Renaissance fair it’s always a European focus, one thinks of Da Vinci and Michelangelo, but what most people don’t consider is that during the same time the indigenous cultures of North American civilizations were also making advancements in astronomy, medicine, agriculture, architecture and written language. Additionally, Smith and the Dona Ana Arts Council recognized this and wanted to create a twist on the annual renaissance arts fair by embracing the western side of the Atlantic. The 50th anniversary was a grand opportunity and the DAAC developed the theme “Bridging Cultures,” celebrating culture on both sides of the Atlantic.
That’s when NMCO stepped in, to deliver the creative insight, strategy and craft for bringing the imaginative and historically inclusive campaign to life. In collaboration with the Dona Ana Arts Council, in preparation for the event, NMCO revitalized the vision of the middle ages with a full campaign.
Like the Renaissance, in the spirit of innovation and art the NMCO team created props in-studio and hand-painted assets. A night of NMCO video and photography with models Emma Henderson and Jiminez became the foundation for the RenFaire poster to curate a branded media event kit with imagination and narrative.
Stylized like Raphael commissioned it himself…
The poster designed by NMCO appears to be straight from the middle ages. Inspired by Sandro Boticelli’s ‘Portrait of Simonetta Vespucci as Nymph’ and ‘Montezuma’s Throne’ the poster has texture reminiscent of a thick, oil painting as well as hues and shadows like a true renaissance piece.
The scroll of parchment with the event information
The scroll of parchment with the event information adds a tangible connection relevant to the time period and the stylized 50 brings a balance of hierarchy for both, the European and North American cultures, utilizing filigree and details sampled from an ancient calendar, the layout and combination of font give the impression one is indeed attending an experience of enlightenment.
To create further anticipation for the event, NMCO created promo motion and flat graphics with ticket information and event dates utilizing these assets as well as a teaser for the release of the animated RenFaire promotion video.
The animated promotion video directed and filmed by NMCO features our two inspired characters, portrayed by Emma Henderson and Marco Jimenez.
We find our North American warrior and Italian muse separated by a wide stretch of land and ocean, featuring waves and clouds reminiscent of middle age theatre, longing to connect before the same stars they are gazing at create a golden bridge, bringing them together.
“We wanted to keep a theatre aesthetic when creating this, as we felt this housed the mixed media approach the best. The waves and landscapes were hand painted in-house and modified in post. They worked well with the painterly approach. I have always admired what one can do with green screen footage and it was a pleasure to know that the client gave us so much flexibility with the look and concept,” said Diaz. “Depth and dimension are always key in making something dramatic looking and some of the shots that we composed in the video did just that. It was great when all these working components came together in a composite and I think it really fuels other ideas of what we can accomplish with such simple assets,” he said.
NMCO is thankful to participate in the revival of the 50th RenFaire event and have the opportunity to create a campaign with such a refined and artistic aesthetic.
The Dona Ana Arts Council 50th annual RenFaire is November 6-7 at Young’s Park in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Tickets are $10 or two for $15 and are available at Pic Quik locations and can be purchased on the DAAC website.
Creative Director/Art Director:
Dana Apodaca and Christina Ballew
To see more event coverage from NMCO, check out our Zozobra animation.