Creative communicators: an interview with Mélanie Bérubé and David Velasco

By Christine Jean-Baptiste

Mélanie Bérubé, a visual communication advisor, says working in multimedia is the most creative job that you will find in the Government of Canada.

Headshot of Mélanie Bérubé
Mélanie Bérubé

The first thing I learned in my photography course is that an image is worth 1,000 words. When you're using video or motion graphics, you typically have 24 to 30 images per second. So you can say 24,000 words in a one-second video,” she explains. “Multimedia brings emotion, and it gives life to words and messages.

Before entering the public service, Mélanie pursued a career in video production, including working on a few documentaries, a Netflix movie, and a CBC show, among others. However, she says, now, working in the public service allowed her to be involved in video projects from pre to post-production.

Headshot of David Velasco
David Velasco

For David Velasco, working as a graphic designer in the PM and Visual communications team allowed him to see the products he has made published on social networks nation-wide. Especially while working on COVID-19 products for the department. He was fulfilled knowing “our work helps Canadians,” he said.

Both of these multimedia creatives agreed that working in this field is a lot of work. From meeting tight deadlines, to last-minute demands, to consulting, and finding solutions for clients.

People often have the misconception that it's not that important. That it’s often just a "paint job". But a good design can make a document more attractive, more readable, and more interesting for the target audience,” said David.

Even during a pandemic period where multimedia work is limited for onsite locations, Melanie found a silver lining in developing more digital skills.

I spend a lot more time on a computer than I would normally, where I would usually be out in person filming, “she explained. “But, it’s made me learn a lot more techniques on motion graphics and graphic design.

COVID-19 has not stopped these multimedia creatives from working on multiple successful campaigns and bringing visions to life.

For example, David was the team lead in creating the visual identity of CCO’s Learning Days 2020.

I had the chance to show what I could do and I really enjoyed the experience. Everything went well and seeing the actual products at the NAC was really cool,” he said.

For Mélanie, she said she was proud of working on the COVID-19 Alert App promotion because it is something that was created completely out of stock footage and animation.

As for any advice on how to enter and thrive in the multimedia field, David and Mélanie recommend thinking outside the box, continue learning and practicing your skills, and put yourself out there!

It's a competitive sector, so you need to stay ahead. It's really important to research new techniques and approaches to be up to date with the latest software and updates,” said Mélanie.

There is a number of resources for multimedia creatives out there, especially during COVID-19. Start with reading these helpful tools:

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