“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
Seven years ago, Joe Dean, Senior Creative Services Producer for Zolo in Bend, Ore., met Editor Bryan Johnson. That meeting and their subsequent friendship, he says, opened his eyes to making better commercials.
“Anything he (Bryan) taught me was gold,” said Joe. “Even though I had been in the business a while, he taught me how to do things differently.”
For Joe, Bryan was his mentor. Today, Joe is paying it forward and is now a mentor to young filmmakers in Bend, including Summit High Schooler Makenzie Hice.
Makenzie and Joe recently professionally developed a commercial together for the City of Bend’s Clean Waterworks campaign. Zolo’s Creative Services Department collaborates with the non-profit organization Bend Film and the City of Bend to help young filmmakers learn to take their idea, work in a studio, use professional equipment and lighting and produce an actual commercial message.
Makenzie’s 30-second commercial received an Excellence in Communications Award from the American Water Works Association’s Pacific Northwest Section for Best Video – Large Utility for a Clean Water Works.
Joe said Makenzie shot the original commercial at her home with a classmate from the high school drama club. “What Zolo offered was to reshoot the commercial in a studio with professional lighting, sound and video equipment,” Joe said. Makenzie was “driving the production and making all the decisions,” he said. “I simply helped her with editing the script, setting up shots and editing the video to a final product.”
What did enjoy about mentoring Makenzie?
“I was so blown away by how good her concept was at such a young age,” Joe said. Makenzie had a “fresh perspective” on everything. Joe said he was especially pleased with how Makenzie described her experience with Zolo in a news piece about the award.
“Everyone was really helpful,” Makenzie said. “We were a team. It didn’t feel intimidating. It felt very natural.”
When Joe mentors others, he said he learns so much about his industry. “When I teach someone else about making commercials, I always end up learning something for myself as well.”
This year, Joe will continuing mentoring others as he serves as a judge for all 15 entries of the Bend Film and Kid’s Film contest.
“True mentors, don’t make their mentees a clone of themselves.”
Bernard Kelvin Clive