Behind the Scenes: Designing the Scenarios USA Movie Premiere

Scenarios USA is a national nonprofit organization that "uses writing and film to foster youth leadership, advocacy, and self-expression in students across the country, with a focus on marginalized communities." DBC was proud to partner with Scenarios to brand their 2017 movie premiere using the theme of "Stories in Motion". This year's premiere celebrated the work of two talented young women's films titled Cut In Half (Leen Shumman) and Split Persona (Mayraleeh Nelson). 

To more fully understand what Scenarios does, we spoke with Director of Development, Cecilia Mejia about the history of the organization, the filmmaking process, and the educational goals of the program. Scenarios operates on a cycle, beginning in the classroom with a curriculum meant to foster better communication between teachers and students surrounding difficult subjects. Students are asked to write a story exploring social/emotional issues on a specified theme and given the opportunity to submit their piece to Scenarios' contest.

"Around 1,000 volunteers around the country review the students' work, rate it, and provide feedback, " Mejia explains. "Every student receives feedback. Volunteers select the top five from each region. Last year there were two: New York City and Cleveland. The final winners are chosen through an all-day process involving 16 community leaders anonymously reviewing the submissions."

The two winning students are paired with a professional director to help them develop their film script. They're given a copy of Final Draft and they really learn how to use it. Director of Media Production and Distribution, Rob York, works alongside students, who get to take part in everything from casting and location scouting to editing.

“The premiere is really the grand finale of the whole Scenarios cycle,” says Mejia.

We designed the movie posters for both films featured at the premiere, as well as the save the dates, invitations, event signage, print program, letterhead, and a presentation that was screened onstage at the event. For the e-mail save the dates, we highlighted the theme by animating spotlights in keeping with the theme of "Stories in Motion".

The DBC team enjoyed working on this project and seeing the difference Scenarios makes in young people's lives made this a truly rewarding collaboration. You can learn more about Scenarios at