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Scott Williams, Creative Director
FAQ - Process, Direction, & Vision

Can you describe your approach to developing a creative vision for a project?


Because each project is unique, I feel it’s important to listen and learn as much as possible before diving in. Understanding the client’s pain points and goals is essential in figuring out the first creative paths to go down.


I have found that traditional design principles of empathizing, defining, imagining, prototyping, and testing are excellent guidelines. However, I don’t necessarily believe in one specific approach to the creative process. Each project is unique in many ways. Sometimes, when budget and time constraints are challenging, I’ve had great results with spontaneous brainstorming sessions and rapid prototyping.



What tools and software do you prefer for designing and managing creative projects?


I'm hands-on with the Adobe Creative Suite and do my best to stay updated with each new version of Illustrator, Photoshop, Premiere, and After Effects. It allows me to spot what's trending and elevate design and animation ideas efficiently.


There are also many excellent services like Canva, Artlist, Envato, and Motion Array. I don't always advocate utilizing templates, but they can be instrumental as a jumpstart when exploring design directions or developing daily social media content.


I have used Slack, Agile, Google, SharePoint, Dropbox, Vimeo, and other software applications to manage creative projects. I'm a big advocate for keeping it simple. Any time I'm receiving an email about an email from a message on a different platform, I begin to wonder if there's a better way.



How do you handle tight deadlines and high-pressure situations in a creative environment?


My design career began in post-production for the entertainment industry. “Yesterday” was a popular answer when inquiring about a deadline. Television spots often needed to be turned around and shipped within 24-hours. I learned very quickly to “trust my gut,” knowing that the first impression is the one that counts.


 When working with other creatives – designers, editors, copywriters, and producers, it’s essential to recognize the incredible talent that goes into making something out of nothing. Making timely decisions is critical to moving forward. Elevating confidence within the team is crucial in high-pressure situations.



How do you manage and inspire a creative team to achieve their best work?


Respecting everyone’s unique talents and ensuring everyone feels heard are the first steps in managing and inspiring teams. Providing a safe environment where everyone can share concepts and concerns allows for superior ideation.


Encouraging work-life balance and discovering ideas in new environments keep the creative process fresh. My best ideas have come from walks in nature, museum visits, and early morning Peloton sessions.


Personal creative projects and learning new software further creative innovations.



Describe your experience with creating multimedia content, including videos, animations, and interactive elements.


I have enjoyed wearing many hats in my career, including Brand Strategist, Marketing Director, Content Producer, Art Director, Graphic Designer, Video Editor, Budget Wizard, and Shark Tamer. My experience has taught me that wearing one hat at a time is preferable. Be aware when you switch hats during a project. Wearing two hats is doable, but it’s hard to juggle three.


Serving in many capacities has allowed me to understand all aspects of the creative process and production. It also allows me to help provide efficient solutions for other team members.


I have many great stories to share, from overseeing Maya Angelou’s first Hallmark Channel to directing a Sylvester Stallone movie prologue. I have pitched movie main titles to a room full of Hollywood’s studio executives and have grabbed a camera to shoot, produce, and edit social media content for Startups and non-profits with tight budgets. Logo design is one of my favorite activities.


How do you approach collaborating with other departments, such as marketing and development?


Listening and learning are always great principles for getting started. Because I have experience in many design and marketing areas, I set aside assumptions and preconceived ideas about how established teams run. I am excited to learn new procedures and enjoy open dialogue about efficiencies to elevate the creative.


How do you balance creativity with practical considerations, such as budget and timeline constraints?


I'm very familiar with boundaries, including deadlines, budgets, challenging guidelines, and quirky requests. Having parameters makes the creative process much more manageable and oftentimes more fun.


Some recent solutions include utilizing stock photography for previsualization for an original shoot, writing After Effects scripts to animate multiple versions of in-show graphics, and repurposing behind-the-scenes footage for social media content.


In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges and opportunities facing the creative industry today?


The rapid advances in AI are exciting but challenging. Will AI help or hinder us? Will it make a lot of creative production obsolete? Much like many other technical advances, if used correctly and ethically, I am optimistic that it will make our productions more efficient.


Connecting with viewers and customers honestly and authentically with as much transparency as possible will become more critical.



What's your experience working remotely?


I have been working remotely for the past ten years. It has led to a much better work-life balance in many ways.


However, I like to meet clients and new team members in person when possible. I enjoy connecting and understanding how uniquely everyone processes ideas and information. I savor the moments when Clients and Team Members can share life events that lead to deeper relationships.



What is your process for gathering and incorporating feedback from team members and stakeholders?


Getting as much feedback as possible is essential, especially from members who are familiar with the creative process and can clearly articulate their ideas. For stakeholders and team members who may have trouble communicating their concerns, it's helpful to assist them in understanding the design process, interpreting their initial concerns, and providing solutions that are easily understandable.



How do you stay updated on current design trends and industry best practices?


Before starting any new project, I like to take a deep Google dive into specific areas that may inspire. I’m a big Pinterest user and usually do a mood board for each project to share with team members and clients when relevant.


A few resources I consult daily are Cynopsis, Design Taxi, Deadline Hollywood, AIGA Eye on Design, Brief by Promax, AD, and The Discoverer.



How do you measure the success of a creative campaign or project?


Hitting the desired analytics and specific marketing goals is a mark of success, but team pride and client satisfaction are also essential.


I’ve recently been working on a retrospective of my past work and have been proud of projects I have forgotten about. It has renewed my confidence and allowed me to remember the lessons I’ve learned from other great artists, storytellers, and clients.



Describe your daily routine as a creative director.


I’m an early riser.


A moment of gratitude, a peaceful meditation, and a cup of joe and everything is possible!


I’m not a procrastinator, so I like to dive in and start work early so that ideas can simmer during the day.


I’m not opposed to working late, but I like to schedule design tasks vs. copywriting during later hours.


If I’m sitting and staring at a computer without feeling productive, it’s time for a walk. I’m fortunate to be close to forests and oceans, which are incredibly inspiring.



Why should we choose you over other candidates?


My 25 years of communicating effectively with clients, building inspiring creative teams, and delivering award-winning designs have taught me a lot. 


I've been lucky to learn from the most incredible creatives and storytellers in the entertainment industry. My career began at New Wave Entertainment, a small movie marketing company of 40 people. There, I helped grow and diversify the company to over 400. I utilized my business administration and accounting acumen to oversee annual budgets of $7m while providing creative oversight for some of the biggest blockbuster movies and television shows. I continued looking for industry niches and was proud of the technical innovations we achieved in digital products and user interfaces. Three of my favorite accomplishments at New Wave were producing a Maya Angelou Mother's Day commercial for Hallmark, collaborating with SONY to design the first Blu-Ray menus, and overseeing the global rebrand of the Disney Channel three times.


After NWE, I started Pembrook Creative to be more hands-on in the creative process. I found new creative opportunities by keeping the company small and branching out into television development and new business opportunities.


Recently, Pembrook Creative has become more of a creative consulting business that can expand services, when necessary, by engaging my network of trusted collaborators. Each new collaboration has been a revelation. I've enjoyed assisting other ad agencies, small businesses, Startups, and non-profits, which has broadened my knowledge and inspired me to pass along new ideas. 


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