jason scrivner


multimedia designer & content strategist

From Bayside to Beijing: Transforming Elegance

April 16, 2024

Crafting Elegance for the CAALA Gala

For the annual CAALA Gala, I was tasked with creating a memorable visual experience to match the event’s Chinese dragon theme. Given the tight deadlines typical in event planning, starting from scratch wasn’t an option, so I turned to pre-made templates. Finding the right one was tough—they just didn’t fit the vibe we were going for.

I eventually chose a template that most would overlook, one that screamed 1980s pop culture and ‘Saved by the Bell!’ It wasn’t perfect, but that’s where my knack for seeing the hidden possibilities came into play. I took that vibrant, seemingly out-of-place template and transformed it into something that not only fit but enhanced the gala’s theme.

By customizing it deeply, I was able to bring out the elegance and sophistication needed, turning an unlikely choice into a perfect match for our sophisticated Chinese dragon theme. This project really highlighted my ability to spot potential and make the most of what’s available, crafting something unique and right for the occasion.

The Transformation Process

The initial template was a lively throwback to the ’80s, full of neon colors and geometric shapes. Starting with this, I began the transformation by adjusting color schemes, incorporating dragon motifs, and reworking the layout to give it a more regal and culturally appropriate feel.

I used Adobe After Effects to meticulously blend traditional elements with the modern flair of the original template. This involved adding subtle animations that suggested the majestic movement of dragons, which symbolized power and good fortune in Chinese culture.

The Final Presentation

The finished product was a blend of past and present, a visual celebration that resonated well with the gala attendees. It was displayed as a backdrop during the event, adding a layer of immersive thematic decor that complemented the evening’s atmosphere.


“From Bayside to Beijing” was not just about adapting a template; it was about reimagining it to create a narrative that connected deeply with the event’s theme and purpose. This project showcases the value of creative vision and adaptability, proving that even under tight deadlines, great results are achievable with a bit of ingenuity and a keen eye for potential.

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