Doing some work for Australian bodyboard magazine ‘Le Boogie’ I had been in some contact with professional bodyboarder Chad Jackson over emails. This provided me with a perfect opportunity to contact him regarding his beard in the hope to put together a feature for facial magazine. He’s gt a hell of a beard and what he does in bodyboarding is phenmoenal so he’s well worth a feature in Facial magazine. From the start, I wanted the main features to be about people doing amazing things who also have beards, in a form of celebration of facial hair but in a broader context, and this is exactly what this feature does.
I’m not quite sure how I’ve done it, but after organising my work load the week of my hand in, I realised I didn’t have a review ready no had I actually ever attempted to write one. Pretty stuck for ideas on what to review for facial magazine, I ended up paying for a professional shave from Clay’s Barber shop in Falmouth with the intent to write a review from the experience.
After having it done and beginning to piece the review together, the clearness of how used to feature writing I had become and the fact that I had never attempted a review was pretty blatant. I had no idea how to review something! especially an experience.
Having said that I powered through to make a review and hopefully it has enough opinion in it to make it a review not just a story about shaving.
When we started Facial Magazine, people told us that we would struggle to find enough content and we merely shrug them off, telling them they didn’t get what it was we were going for.
Now, after using up a lot of our content on our first issue, the struggle for content is well and truly present. I don’t think it’s purely because of the concept of the magazine, I still think it’s a good original concept with the possibility for lots of different articles. However, I think most of us are slowly coming to a halt with the magazine as a result of outside projects, and part of the original stance of the magazine is being lost as a result of articles that don’t quite fit into the house style making it onto the website, which could confuse the magazine for something very different than it was originally intended to be.
As a team we weren’t all that happy with the template that we had in place for facial online. It did the job but it didn’t capture the style or the sophistication that we had tried to create for the magazine.
Later we found one we liked that used the images that accompanied the features as a major part of the site. The only problem was, it wouldn’t let us upload new photos for the old features, and the images needed to be a specific size to fit. This meant that e had to keep swapping back to the old template to be able to do so.
Anyway, the new template fits really well with facials style and I think it does the features a lot more justice in comparison to how it looked previously.
Over the past months I have had some experience working for Australian bodyboard magazine, LeBoogie and a few weeks ago the editor set me the challenge of writing a feature for the website. The piece was about a new move that is appearing in the sport and I was provided with some email addresses of some of the athletes in the sport that are most famed for performing it.
The article was pretty easy to write and it was enjoyable to contact the riders as these guys are respected as some of the best water-men in the world. I’ve noticed that when affiliated with a successful publication, quote gathering becomes such an easy task. I gained so much confidence when approaching people, all be it online, and people are so quick to respond, and with such detailed answers, because they like the project.
The feature pretty much wrote itself, the quotes were amazing, all I had to do was piece them together and send it off to the editor. The piece appeared online a few days later along with a video clip and some amazing images. The article became the most viewed item on the site within a couple of days and it was getting people talking in the comments boxes below.
I’m still really proud of the article, however, it may not be suitable to chose as one of my pieces for assessment, as it is so niche. Because the whole LeBoogie website is about bodyboarding and the riders themselves, introducing each rider and their back story to go alongside their quotes would sound arkward and out of place, but without that information, someone not knowing about bodyboarding would soon be lost and probably pretty bored.
Lid magazine is a brand new British bodyboard magazine, and in 2012 I was able to contribute to their first issue with a write up of a trip I had taken to Ireland. After staying in contact with the editor I decided it would be worth my time to submit anymore content that I had written that I felt may be of use to them. So I put together a profile piece/ feature about my friend Kiril, who I met in Mexico back in 2010, which Sam, the editor was happy to run in the next issue.
Kiril is the top bodyboarder in Israel and is always keen to get his name and his picture out there, which made him a pretty easy person to write about as I knew he would be keen to answer as many questions that I threw at him and all in maximum detail.
He lived up to my expectations and sent me essays as answers to my questions which made for a very detailed and interesting piece, although some of what was written had to be altered slightly to account for English not being his first language, but the errors were very minor and easy to overcome.
He also sent me through a handful of images taken by some famous surf photographers during his various travels around the world over the past few years. Any feature about extreme sports relies so heavily on these kinds of images, so it was great that he was able to send so many through that I was able to use.
I spent roughly 5 weeks with Kiril in Mexico. He’s such a warm and interesting person to hang out with so it was important for me to try and portray that through the writing as much as possible.
I really wanted to get an insight to some of the troubles and stresses of living in a country experiencing a humanitarian crisis, so I tried to ask some pushing questions, maybe more so than you would see in the average surfing related feature. I hadn’t spoken to Kiril about this before so I was unsure on how he would respond to them and therefore very careful how I worded the questions. Luckily he responded amazingly well and offered so many experiences that were described so well. Having him as a friend on facebook meant that we were able to talk fairly frequently and he was able to ask as many questions as he wanted regarding where the writing would end up as well as how my progress of putting it together was coming along.
Here’s a screenshot of the his responses to the questions.
A few weeks ago I saw a news story pop up on my Facebook ‘news feed’, courtesy of some Australian friends. The story was about a new study that had been done in Australia about how beards can protect against UV rays from the sun and therefore help to prevent skin cancer. This seemed like the perfect news story for Facial magazine, so I went on my way to create my own version.
A couple of different news outlets had run the story but they all had the same quotes, presumably from a news conference, so I thought it would be great to able to get some fresh quotes from the professor that ran the study and create my own story.
Professor Alfio Parisi was easy enough to track down, and straight away I found his email address on the University of Southern Queensland’s website. I sent him an email with a small handful of questions regarding the study, in the hope of grabbing some of my own original content, but unfortunately, his responses offered little in the way of new information, but at least he had worded the responses slightly differently to how they had appeared on some of the other news outlets.
Here’s the email which includes his responses to some of the questions I asked.
I later contacted him again in regards to sending over an image that we would be able to use on the site. He sent over an image I had seen else where of one of the mannequins used for the study, but it was a way too small file size, similar to that of a thumbnail so it probably wouldn’t be suitable to use on the website.
Just a week before Facial magazine gets printed out in all its fabulous glory, and as editor, I’ve got to say I’m really proud of what we have produced as a team. From day one we have all been pretty clear on the angle of the magazine, and the form that it would take. Our design director, Sam Bellis, has put in a heroic effort, and seems to have been working on ‘InDesgin’ layouts even in his sleep. He has managed to put together an extremely stylish and clean looking magazine.
Four months have passed, and the editorial team have become more than just that an editorial team, we have become the best of friends, and we’ve learnt a couple of lessons along the way. It seems that you can’t always rely upon kindly worded emails and polite to get the interview you’ve always wanted, and you have to prepare for rejection and always have that back-up plan ready.
Over the past few sessions we’ve looked into a number of advertisements that would fit into the magazines style. The adverts still need to represent men, they have to be classy and any models cannot be clean shaven at any cost. The adverts we eventually settled on were, Old Spice, Tag Heuer watches, Coca-cola, Givenchy and Quentin Tarantino’s new movie Django.
Looking back through the magazine pdf now, I think it’s fair to say that we have accomplished what we set out to achieve. A sharp and classy magazine aimed at bearded men. With the help of a smart typeface and front cover, including a recognisable font used for the word Facial, I’d say we have created a brand and with that a brand identity. Thank you Mr Bellis.
The team have done a good job (despite the critics) in creating varied features, accounting for all that is bearded, and it represents the magazines ethos to perfection.
It’s been a pleasure Gentlemen.
We’re getting festive, so let’s not worry about the magazine just yet. We are ahead of schedule with everybody still amped on the project so lets enjoy the festive season while it lasts. This does however feel an awful lot like the calm before the storm.
During the last couple of weeks of term, unfortunately I became very ill with Tonsilitis, which meant that thoughts and contributions directed towards Facial were at an all time low. The team trooped on neatening up their Features and Sam continued to hone his InDesign and Photoshop skills. The whole magazine has developed its own style now and Sam has created a distinct style for all of the features, which allows each page of the magazine to flow with each other nicely. A couple of photographs have emerged on the scene courtesy of Jacks friend which will be used for a center spread, however, I am still awaiting the photographs from Jack Johns to appear in my Inbox.
As a University project, the magazine has several elements which need to be written to tick boxes for asessment – for example, news stories and a set number of features and reviews. For a magazine generally based around facial hair, I think we have done well to include all elements necessary despite claims from members of other magazine teams that we wouldn’t be able to generate enough content.
After being completely ignored by, our magazines inspiration, Tom Selleck, we decided it was best to focus our time on getting another main interview which could accomodate for our cover shot too.
Sam started to Tweet all bearded celebrities he could think of to try and get an interview that would be suitable, but again we had no response.
Fortunately for us Frank Turner was playing a gig in Truro and is currently sporting a nice little beard. It just so happens that our very own Sam Bellis is a big fan of Franks so he got in contact.
After an exchange of five or six emails the press department of Xtra Mile Recordings, the replies stopped. It seems that history DOES repeat itself, this all started to sound very familiar.
Luckily for us, another student from our journalism course had been successful in setting up an interview with Frank. So naturally Mr Bellis wormed his way in and got onboard with the interview, leaving us with a tidy little feature ready for the magazine.
The interview went really well, Frank had a lot to say which made for a very interesting and long feature, offering some interesting takes on the music industry and what it was like to play at the London Olympics opening ceremony. The interview takes up more than enough space in the magazine to create a new Frank Turner based front cover for the first issue of Facial magazine.
A quick shuffle around using Adobe photoshop, and Sam was able to create a new cover for the first issue.
Asides from that, the magazine is all going as planned. However, I am still awaiting some photographs from British Bodyboarder Jack Johns to go alongside his interview spread.