Illustrate the cannabis industry, but don't ILLUSTRATE it...
September 3, 2019 11:15 AM   Subscribe

I have to create a little scene with an animation tool in which I say my organization cannot partner with the cannabis industry, in a 15-ish second portion of a longer video. I do not want to get fired.

It is OK to be funny, but not, say, depict someone smoking a blunt.

How would you show, not tell? A voiceover will do the telling. It does need to be reasonably simple due to limitations of the tool.
posted by wellred to Media & Arts (28 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What about using the NORML logo as a placeholder? (More recognizeable) or maybe the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) logo?
posted by jzb at 11:20 AM on September 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Just take a green cannabis leaf and turn it brown. That's perfect for 15 seconds.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:25 AM on September 3, 2019 [15 favorites]

A green cross (equal-armed, like the Swiss flag or the Red Cross logo) is sometimes used as a symbol for medical marijuana. It's more subtle than showing a leaf or bud or some paraphernalia, though also less widely recognized.
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:25 AM on September 3, 2019 [3 favorites]

Why not just show a picture of a dispensary? There are many more modern-looking ones with contemporary logos and graphic design that make them largely indistinguishable from a wellness center or medical clinic.
posted by caveatz at 11:28 AM on September 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Caveat: not in the US. Do you all think a dispensary would be recognizable if sort of glorped from an animated clinic, which I think I have, using the green cross?
posted by wellred at 11:30 AM on September 3, 2019

In Europe, a green cross is a generic symbol for a pharmacy. Not sure how worldwide that iconography is.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:34 AM on September 3, 2019 [17 favorites]

Use the chemical structure of THC. (for example)
posted by Comrade_robot at 11:40 AM on September 3, 2019 [3 favorites]

I'm not sure how well known they are outside of the US, but perhaps a picture of Cheech & Chong?
posted by sacrifix at 11:52 AM on September 3, 2019

I definitely think that the green plant turning brown/withering is the way to go. It's a tiny bit funny in a "whomp-whomp" kind of way but depicts the industry very neutrally instead of making a joke of it. Plus then there isn't anything complex to visually decode during the narration.
posted by teremala at 12:02 PM on September 3, 2019 [7 favorites]

Naw, just use a couple of people who look hilariously hopeful, or kind of disappointed and a little hurt.
posted by amtho at 12:08 PM on September 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

Is it important to distinguish between the different cannabis/hemp uses (fiber, oil, seeds, CBD, THC) or are they all out of bounds? That's the only issue I can see with using a leaf.
posted by momus_window at 12:21 PM on September 3, 2019

Response by poster: Hm, if it were fiber and only fiber it might be OK but otherwise nada.

[sacrifix lolllll you are the second person to suggest this but I think it's too close to the line.]

15 seconds is actually really long, but I think the green to brown plant is on the right track and could be part of it...
posted by wellred at 12:24 PM on September 3, 2019

The first image that came to mind was a cartoon person holding a potted plant* as if to offer it to the viewer. Followed by the addition of a red circle with a slash through it over the picture, or a cartoon recipient shaking their head no, or the happy green plant turning brown.

*=potted plant, pot plant, potted pot plant, however explicit or veiled you need to make it.
posted by Ann Telope at 12:26 PM on September 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

I definitely think doing some kind of animation involving a cannabis leaf (withering and dying or blowing away in the wind or a big crossed-out circle slowly fades in over it or whatever) would be the way to go here.
posted by tobascodagama at 12:38 PM on September 3, 2019 [3 favorites]

Something with a bloodhound?
posted by BoscosMom at 12:46 PM on September 3, 2019

Show a cartoon guy shaking hands with a cartoon potleaf and put an X over it?
posted by notjustthefish at 12:51 PM on September 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

The green cross is likely not widely known outside states where cannabis is legal (plus it relies on color to make sense, so not accessible to color-impaired viewers).

I would do a cannabis leaf with a red NO circle-with-a-slash appearing over it.
posted by ottereroticist at 1:26 PM on September 3, 2019 [4 favorites]

My quick-and-dirty go-to suggestion for stuff like this would be using something from iconmonstr, which has a bunch of generic royalty-free stop/prohibited symbols (the .png download option lets you change the colour) that could be paired with a cannabis leaf icon from the noun project, with some kind of fade-in transition where the stop/no/prohibited icon fades in.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:28 PM on September 3, 2019 [3 favorites]

I think instead of turning brown, the green pot plant or leaf should just sadly wilt.
posted by bink at 1:44 PM on September 3, 2019 [3 favorites]

Maybe with a sad slide whistle or violin making a descending eeeeeoooo sound.
posted by bink at 1:46 PM on September 3, 2019

Best answer: Someone offering a cartoon character a potted plant in outstretched hands and him shaking his head and walking away or putting it down and walking away. This will take up more of your allotted time, as much as I prefer the leaf turning brown idea, that’s five seconds max.
posted by Jubey at 2:05 PM on September 3, 2019 [3 favorites]

I was thinking about the circle-slash, but depending on the details of the video, that might be seen more as a "weed is bad" message, rather than a "we are unfortunately not able to partner with dispensaries".

I'd suggest your org's logo on the left and a marijuana leaf on the right. As the voiceover explains the situation, a line appears dividing the logos (and maybe logos of orgs you can partner with appear on the left). As the message finishes, everything shifts to the right, leaving the leaf and the line offscreen and your org's logo centered, and ready to transition to the next bit of video.
posted by Rock Steady at 3:38 PM on September 3, 2019 [3 favorites]

Here is my idea that comes to mind: A closeup video of someone's hand repeatedly trying to work a lighter, or a match, and there's maybe just a tiny spark, but no fire. It also has a bonus meaning—you don't want to be fired.
posted by oxisos at 3:59 PM on September 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

A happy farmer driving a tractor pulling a trailer filled with indeterminate greens, coming up to stop sign or "wrong way" sign, looks sad, drives away.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 6:53 PM on September 3, 2019

You don't say what message you're trying to convey with this imagery.
posted by humboldt32 at 12:49 AM on September 4, 2019

Response by poster: I'm going to finish the video today, but I think Jubey's plan with the plant also wilting/turning brown if I can manage that is going to do it. This was a lot of fun, thanks for all your ideas! Many lols.

[To explain a bit - I use Vyond and it has its own image assets - I can add more if I wish but it's hard to find items that kind of match the look. The larger video is about our partnership policy in general.]
posted by wellred at 4:59 AM on September 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: OK, roughed it in, and my boss digs it. Woot!
posted by wellred at 5:53 AM on September 4, 2019 [5 favorites]

Response by poster: Showed it to a group for whom I provide training this week. I think the cannabis bit was their favourite part :D
posted by wellred at 8:15 AM on September 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

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