I started off analyzing what the competition was in France and abroad, and imagining myself in the shoes of a potential student or parent. I asked myself the key questions: Why would I send my child here? Or why would I go here? What makes this place different? What is the advantage? What would I miss out on if I decided to study elsewhere?
Parsons itself had a different set of challenges.
Firstly, it was going through a transition period where it had split away from the Paris College of Art and was independently making a name for itself. It was also becoming a part of The New School, the New York-based University. Parsons needed to show its unique situation as a strength, a selling proposition that would grant something interesting to a potential student. Another challenge faced by the school was the local competition. Paris, as many can imagine, is a city full of art schools because of the plethora of museum, as well as of the rich cultural and artistic history of the city.
After a lot of research about the institution and learning more about what they wanted to achieve, I came up with a proposal to highlight the strengths and heritage of Parsons. The main idea was to show that Parsons Paris was influenced by an American liberal arts curriculum (The New School), while maintaining its Parisian values and customs. This superimposition of looking towards the future and basing itself on its legacy the point that drove the uniqueness of such an institution.
Now that the concept was formulated, the question remained about how this would play out practically. In order to do so, I wanted individuals to speak out, which would grant e feeling f validation from different source, rather than a voiceover or story from one single person’s experience. The sum of experiences and voices would lend a stronger, more cohesive story that would ultimately speak to a more varied target group. This would help engage the audience through first hand accounts from students, faculty and of course the Dean.
The pitch won. The nail had been hit on the head and the start of refining and planning the idea practically had begun. After several Skype sessions and tons of emails, as well as the composition of a script, the concept had been planned, accepted and ready to go.
Equipment-wise I had decided on a camera that I had experience with, was quick and easy to setup, had an EF mount (to fit the other lenses we already owned) and that would respect the budget. The Canon C300 as my first pick, but unfortunately all of them had been rented for the Paris fashion week.