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Burning Photos and Lost Memories: Todd Thompson wins a Silver ADDY Award

Back in February, Todd Thompson won a silver ADDY award at the American Advertising Federation’s 2016 ADDY Awards ceremony. Todd is our Videographer at IdeaBase and a Digital Media Production major at Kent State’s main campus.

Todd has been shooting video for four years. He enjoys shooting music videos, doing audio design and anything art-based. "Video is such a powerful, wonderful medium. I enjoy creating anything with a camera that is personal, controversial, and impactful," he said.

Todd has been playing guitar since the age of twelve and joined the band, CityCop, four years ago. He explained that CityCop has been an emotional outlet for him and his bandmates since they were teenagers. Todd said, “The band gave us opportunities to tour the country before we were even 18 years old, this untraditional way of life really made an impact on me and helped put a lot into perspective. Making music is a form of therapy, every song you hear is a direct representation of that time in our lives. It is very obvious when listening to the first album versus the later albums the changes we have gone through as individuals, the emotions and feel are totally different. You can hear us growing up, you can sense the changes in personality that our life experiences have forced upon us." 

"Making music is a form of therapy, every song you hear is a direct representation of that time in our lives."

He submitted his band's music video to the ADDY’s and then shortly received a response informing him he won an award. However, he went to the ceremony not knowing which award his video received. When Todd found out he won the silver award, he was ecstatic!

The music video Todd made was about the life of his grandmother and her lost memories. "My grandmother would tell me all these stories about her husband, their first date and we would go through old images. It was just really cool to relive those memories with her but her health was declining and she couldn't remember some of the people in the photos. I just realized that memories aren't forever and they do disappear, but they’re important for your time on earth," he said.

Todd wanted to capture the meaningful story of his grandmother and her memories in his music video. He illustrated the lost memories by going though the photos and burning the ones of people his grandmother didn’t recognize anymore.

Usually the ADDY awards focuses on advertisement entries, but in Todd’s case, the awards were different. "I wasn't really expecting to win anything when I entered my video, it's not an ad piece, it’s a creative piece. But I really liked that I was acknowledged, and there were a lot of other creative pieces that were also acknowledged. I think that’s really important because there's a lot of local talent but not much opportunity for awards. Its really cool that the ADDY’s are branching out of just advertisement and looking towards creativity," he said.

Todd explained that the experiences he has gained through Ideabase and the Digital Media Production courses at Kent are big contributors to his first silver ADDY. "Ideabase has challenged me to work with different people and different products. Clients come to me with a video they have been thinking of for years and its up to me to make it a reality. Also working side by side with designers at Ideabase has changed my entire thought process when it comes to videos. They're so precise with their work and they’ve taught me that I have to be meticulous in making videos. I'm really thankful for that," he said.

As an DMP student, Thompson found that meeting with his professors individually helped him the most. He advises DMP freshmen to to do everything they can within and outside of the program. He said, “Your professor can only teach you so much in the hour and fifteen minutes they have, but they have a lot to offer. Your professors want you to learn more then they’re teaching you and will give you extra individual projects to work on." 

After graduation, Todd plans to move to New York and work as a freelance video editor or do anything that includes a camera, besides broadcast. He said he's looking for a job and is interested in a few advertising firms, but is moving there with an open mind. 

CityCop - Glass Bones (Official Music Video)

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