Pictured: Scott Banks with his wife, Dr. Mahalia Way
We're incredibly proud that AJFF attracts some of the most talented, passionate people. From our staff, to our volunteers, or even to members of our audience, there's a huge group of people that make AJFF a world-class cultural event. This month, we're putting the spotlight on 2019 AJFF Campaign Concept Designer and Owner of Persuasion Bureau, Scott Banks.
A Little Bit About Scott
My love of art, film, and pop culture led me to a career in design. But the defining moment that put me on the path to what I do today was a presentation by a Hollywood movie poster designer while I was attending Michigan State University. That was the moment I knew what I wanted to do. After working at a few small ad agencies, I started a creative agency called BAD Studio in 1993. For 20 years my partner and I created international award-winning work for companies like Coca-Cola, DC Comics, Cartoon Network, Turner Classic Movies, Warner Bros., and CARE. We helped these amazing clients launch new products, rebrand themselves, and gain loyal followers.
After a family tragedy in 2013, I took several years off to spend more time raising my daughter, but still remained involved with Atlanta’s creative community doing small projects for friends and non-profit organizations. In 2016, I officially started Persuasion Bureau as a boutique design studio focusing on pop culture and entertainment industry clients. My current clients include Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner, CampFlix, several film production studios, and of course, AJFF.
Today I live where Chamblee, Brookhaven, and Tucker all meet, with my wife, daughter, and three above-average intelligence cats. Actually, maybe only two above-average intelligence cats. We’re still on the fence about the third one.
How did you come to be involved with AJFF?
I’ve had a long working relationship with former AJFF board member Tom Karsch, first during his tenure at Turner Classic Movies, and more recently teaching poster making workshops for kids at his movie-making summer camp, Camp Flix. In 2017 when AJFF was looking for someone to bring a fresh visual perspective to the 2018 Atlanta Jewish Film Festival creative marketing campaign, Tom recommended me to the organization. But the icing on the cake was sending AJFF my retro-inspired 3-D ViewMaster portfolio.
What is the most interesting challenge, in improving AJFF, that you get to help with?
The most interesting challenge is coming up with a new idea each year that improves upon the previous year’s creative marketing campaign. I think the trick to doing this is to be constantly listening to others' wishes and ideas all year long. I also maintain a sketchbook/notebook/scrapbook of ideas for AJFF. In a nutshell, it’s to never stop designing.
What is your fondest memory from being involved with AJFF?
Being a designer, my fondest memory was sharing last year's Cinebash with a group of friends and introducing them to the amazing events (and food) AJFF has year round. It was also a great opportunity to meet and have longer conversations with many AJFF members.
How has your experience outside of AJFF played into your work with the festival?
I am a huge classic, international, and independent film junkie. I’m also a retro pop culture and design history geek. Somehow all these things mix together and become the palette I use to develop the creative ideas for the film festival’s marketing campaign.
What is the most rewarding aspect of being involved with AJFF?
I find the most rewarding aspect of AJFF is being involved with a community that is as passionate about great film, story-telling, and building cultural bridges as I am. It is a rare gem.
How do you describe AJFF to those who've never experienced it?
I emphasize that AJFF is an international and independent film festival with extremely high standards. For both film-makers and the audience, it is a multi-cultural event that is open to everyone.
Who would you cast to play you in a film?
When I was younger, people always used to say I reminded them of Johnny Depp. I didn’t really see it. But now that I’m a little older and rougher around the edges, I’d say Jeff Bridges.
The 2019 AJFF Marketing Campaign Key Art
Thank you to Scott for his time this month and his creative brilliance for both this year’s and last year’s creative concepts. We look forward to seeing what else he has in store for AJFF!