Can you develop a video that highlights the Foundation, who we are, why we exist and who is impacted by clearly demonstrating our mission?
Yes. This is precisely what we do! And to be able to partner with the world’s leading private funder of retinal disease research would be an amazing and rewarding experience.
After pitching four distinct concepts, the Foundation decided to move forward on the one most focused on empowerment as they are a major source of information and guidance for patients, partners, friends and family members alike who feel desperate, helpless and scared. We immediately began scripting and pre production against the four identified ambassadors chosen by the foundation: Carolyn, Henry, Eric and Marina.
Creatively, we decided to focus on the activities each person continues to pursue despite their diagnosis through four distinct scenes. Marina, a college student and tennis player continues to play piano despite her Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy. Eric, the Chapter President for Montgomery County and former chair of the Vision Walk can still clean up on poker night despite Retinitis Pigmentosa. Carolyn, a beauty industry leader and creator of Insightful Visionaries, Inc., a 501(c)3 non profit supporting the ability of persons with disabilities through career development doesn’t allow her diagnosis to define her. And Henry, a 7 year old with LCA could tell you everything you ever wanted to know about elevators and enjoys baking homemade muffins with his mother, Heather.
Locking the location came next, and finding one with a grand piano was the priority. After scouting a few theaters, music venues, churches, recording studios and schools, we settled on the Strathmore, a historical mansion and art museum not far from the Foundation. The rich tones of the wood, antique fixtures and dual set of french doors set a classic mood that could only be complemented by a rich earthy color palette of greens, browns and gray. We got straight to work with our favorite Art Director, Michaela Sulka, on mapping out each scene and finding the precise set dressing and props to bring all four stories to life in a 12-hour production day.
And it was going to be an ambitious 12-hours. We had a wall of windows 14 feet up to duv, haze, four distinct scenes to dress and create with non-actor talent all with varying degrees of blindness. We also would be shooting in tandem with a stills photographer with a separate shot list of his own. This is when pre-production and planning are CRUCIAL. Starting with the storyboarding and animatic phase, we were able to time out exactly what we would need with each talent on the day. We knew there would be no time to add pick-up shots and we would be chasing the light towards the end of the day (and no time or money for additional G&E) so regular and clear communication with the client was imperative to our joint success. And lucky for us, we had it in the Foundation. They were incredibly proactive and trusted our mission from concept to color grade. Liaising with each on camera talent to be sure they knew exactly what they could expect on shoot day all the way down to the color palette. It was a dream collaboration and that level of trust is the only type that yields uncompromised creative and no overages.
One of the most unique aspects of this project was that we were hired directly by the foundation to be the creative production partner working alongside their Memphis based agency, Red Deluxe who had been handling their “Stronger Together” campaign. We were able to provide creative direction, scripts and assets for them to sync up their out of home, digital and print campaigns against what we had established for the broadcast component.