CAMP POODLE INTRO VIDEO
A PHOTO FROM CAMP POODLE
Synopsis: For one week, Be and I dog-sat a standard poodle named Brigid, and, as a creative means for her owner to get regular updates (along with copious amounts of entertainment value), a fictitious "Summer Camp for Poodles" was set up on an invite-only private Instagram account (#CampPoodle). As the week progressed, the Camp Poodle storyline began to evolve, including the introduction of a main antagonist in the form of a corporate entity called PvP Sports Entertainment, a competitive poodle wrestling federation bent on putting Camp Poodle out of business and recruiting Brigid into its noxious ranks!
From the beginning, Camp Poodle was always intended as a partially fictitious and over-the-top glamorization of the events surrounding Brigid's care over the week of August 10-17 of 2018. It was meant to provide both visual updates of Brigid's whereabouts and goings-ons to her out-of-town owner at regular intervals, as well as create a fantasy showcase with a developing plot narrative as the days progressed. There was an amorphous plot structure before the week began, but certain major plot points were ultimately excised due to time and budgetary constraints (Rival Camp PitBullMix on the other side of the lake, for instance, is referenced but never makes an appearance).
The Instagram account began on an invite-only basis, with any pairs of eyes outside of Brigid's owner being approved only by the owner herself. This changed midweek when the account was opened to public view, and hashtags were introduced.
PVP RECRUITMENT FLYER
CAMP POODLE DONATE BOARD
At the center of the story are essentially two different companies, with two, very diametrically-opposed ideologies Camp Poodle believes in a simple core strategy: Providing a fun, elegant and safe haven for poodles of all colors, as exemplified by its slogan "We Have Standards". PvP, on the other hand, cares nothing for the welfare of its poodles, and seeks only to recruit and exploit poodles into its no-holds-barred world of competitive poodle wrestling. Given the different nature of these two competing entities, the marketing approaches of both would, realistically, be radically different.
Camp Poodle presents itself as a fairly simple, streamlined operation burdened with a shoestring budget, as evidenced by its logo, as well as promotional and marketing materials. With the exception of Pawsh, Camp Poodle's premier night club, Camp Poodle's meager visual aesthetic remains consistent throughout the week, particularly evident as Camp Poodle begins to struggle financially, and is forced to resort to guerrilla marketing tactics to spread awareness and solicit donations on street corners via cheaply-printed handouts, posters and sandwich boards.
PvP, on the other hand, has no such worries, as it's vast marketing budget allows it to deluge the promotional landscape with highly polished flyers, brochures, commercials and wall coverings. Because of the nature of its business practice, the aesthetic of all PvP-related materials has a hardened, militaristic, MMA-style look-and-feel to them, as opposed to the soft and muted, often round-shaped graphic elements of Camp Poodle itself.
MOVIE NIGHT AT CAMP POODLE
Remember those 1980s films where there was a good summer camp and a rival summer camp and the antics that pin-balled between them? Remember those 1980s films about an urban dance/rec center that was always in danger of being bought out by the greedy land developer, robbing all those kids of "the only safe space these kids know"? Camp Poodle plants its flag firmly in those camps (no pun intended). PvP Sports Entertainment is a stand-in for the soulless corporate thug that uses its bottomless marketing budget to steamroll over a smaller mom-and-pop business that seeks only to give poodles an away-from-home continuation in "the luxury into which they've become accustomed". The plot is secondary to the main purpose of the Camp Poodle Instagram account, so there are no true stakes involved. Brigid is basically the fulcrum around which the stage revolves, as both Camp Poodle and PvP parry and dodge and seek to subvert the other. She's the MacGuffin. Even the worst-case scenario is somewhat softened with mention on PvP's flyers revealing poodle participants as being strictly "voluntary", rather than forced. Camp Poodle struggles, in addition, to maintain the purity of Brigid by shielding her from the horrors of the outside world, which PvP represents. Brigid is a young dog, even at one point succumbing to outside influences and peer-pressure by acquiring and attempting to hide a "strictly-forbidden" Dog Eat Dog Poodle Wrestling flyer in her toy stash.
Since Instagram is a visual medium, and since the story is told solely through the perspective of Camp Poodle's Instagram account, I needed a logical explanation as to how PvP's marketing would ever get in front of viewer's eyes. The solution came in the form of Camp Poodle feeling the need to address and shame the "unsolicited ads" finding their way onto camp grounds, either shoved under the door or found amongst Brigid's toys as contraband. Later, as the financial vices continue to tighten, Camp Poodle begins to reference PvP directly as a means of identifying the horrors that might impact poodles should Camp Poodle fall.
JUST AN INNOCENT NEWBORN FAWN
In a last-ditch effort to negate the mounting pressures of both PvP's infiltration and financial distress, Camp Poodle issues a Public Service Announcement to play upon the sympathies of poodle lovers everywhere. Entrenched deeply in the vein of those manipulative Sarah McLachlan dog commercials from the 90s, Camp Poodle's PSA goes for the heartstrings in order to open wallets and recognize the threat Competitive Poodle Wrestling presents to the well-being of poodles everywhere.
In order to work in its entirety on Instagram, this needed to fit neatly within the one minute max limitations of Instagram's video requirements, yet still pack a powerful emotional punch to be effective. The song, itself, is protected from copyright infringement, so enough alterations needed to be done before it was allowed online, including running at a faster speed and at a higher pitch than the original. While this certainly co-opts intellectual property, it does so with the purpose of infusing new meanings and expression - not for theft, and certainly not for profit! This puts the use of the song within this mock PSA in the "Parody" camp of Fair Use. Judges understand that, by its nature, parody demands some taking from the original work being parodied. Unlike other forms of fair use, a fairly extensive use of the original work is permitted in a parody in order to “conjure up” the original. I have a huge amount of respect for the artists behind the sounds and the imagery that, without which, this feature simply would not exist!
A WALK IN DOWNTOWN AUSTIN
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