Safer Internet Day | From ideation to creation !
Working in media production is risky, you don’t know what’s coming, you actually have to do it all not sure if your efforts will lead to a final product. Nothing is certain, from presenting to a client who might not buy the creative that took a huge amount of work, to the final editing touches that are never actually final. Every project is a journey on its own that’s full of downs after downs, but once the final product is there, it pays off with an indescribable feeling that makes us grateful for every turn we have had.
This idea is good, oh we can’t do it
We have a great relationship with UNICEF, a partnership that has been there for years. They trust us, and we love working with them, but when it comes to pitching creative campaigns, the only way to seal the deal is to impress and propose ideas better than everyone else’s.
In January, UNICEF Egypt sent us the brief among multiple production houses and film companies, and instantly our creative director Omar Rashed teamed-up with Ahmad Farghaly (the creative copywriter and scriptwriter) to brainstorm. As part of the process, the team found themselves bringing the internet life to reality, removing all distances and barriers that a screen puts, in an attempt to prove that harming people through a touch screen isn’t less painful than harming them in real life. We thought about being inside the internet world, or taking what’s on social media out to the physical world; until we reached an idea that made us say “that's it”.
We were confident that this is the one that’s going to get us the pitch, but while we were looking for video references, we found the exact same idea is executed for another campaign for the same purpose! Just with some minor differences. That was one day before UNICEF was expecting us to present, and we had to come up with something totally new.. We had to start over.
We took it back to our very first idea, and we kept on building on it, until we had a solid imagination and just before very few hours, we were ready to present our new creative concept, the one that actually made it to the screen a couple of weeks later.
Hearing from the younger generations, and talking to them
We won the pitch, but the script’s language wasn’t really showing how teenagers who suffer unsafe internet actually talk. We were invited by UNICEF to attend a focus group with two teenage girls, the intention was to get more insights and to use their actual words, as the campaign mainly targets young teens. The meeting that lasted for three hours left us nothing but surprised. The stories we heard had a great impact on our concept, we wanted it as creative as possible, but it also had to be real and relatable. The great input they provided us with had it’s instant impact on the script that became exactly tailored to suit their language and identities.
The moments before the ACTION
Our concept is based on the idea of being inside the head of an unsafe internet victim. We had it completely built around being in a set that allows us to go around the protagonist in 360 motion. Omar Rashed, who’s also the project’s director, and the production team lead by Amr Medhat started their scouting mission, he had a deadline that we had to meet, and we had only a few days to find the suitable location that had to have very very specific requirements. We visited a location after the other and nothing was fit to serve the idea, we were close to start considering changing the execution plan that was going to be a slippery slope, and changing the plan is not an option we are fans of. The schedule was tight, and we had to find the perfect location, we couldn’t compromise anything of the idea. Luckily, in the very final moments, we found the place that exactly has it all, indoor, vast, looks like a Egyptian home which is not fancy, nor poor, great natural lighting, the location is divided in partitions that can have the buffet, the crew, the client, all in their private and separated areas. It was just perfect.
In parallel to the quest of finding the perfect location, our team had another goal to pursue, which is finding the suitable cast. The concept revolves around protagonists in their early teenage phase; we had to find talented actors who fit the age criteria, which is not an easy mission. After testing tens of candidates we could finally find Jana and Seif, the two who fit perfectly to what we have been looking for.
We found the place, hired the cast, had our PPM, all is set and we are ready to go, but we faced a new challenge that made us change almost everything. UNICEF had an internal meeting, and based on it, the storyline of one of the copies had to change, there was no time to set a new meeting as the next day was the shooting day. Our creative team made a conference call and after a long one, we reached a new storyline that we had to transfer to our production team to get what's necessary done with not much time to do so. But we found our way, we changed the story, Basil Ayman the art director, created new props and accessories from scratch, Rehamd Assem the stylist had to start over, and after endless hours of rushing to prepare everything, we were finally ready to shoot.
At 12 pm we started setting up the lights, the art direction, the decorations, the actors started to come all are ready to face the camera, the client had their own private are ready, and everything else was perfectly set and following the timeline perfectly.
To set up the lights, It took Mohamed Refaat, the DOP a huge amount of effort that he was totally ready for, as things had to be specially tailored to fit our 360 concept; everything had to be there, without appearing in front of our rotating camera. In total we spent 24 hours with just a 30-minute break as we did face many challenges we had to overcome, and we did thanks to Ahmad Abdallah our line producer and Mohamed Elwy the account manager. The day took a little longer than expected, but we were on it and we made our way with the material that we expected. That was the time for some people to rest, but not for us!
After the shooting, we had to get back to our office to work on the first cut, we had to deliver it the same day, expecting the usual rounds of edits as the campaign’s kick off date was just five days after. We only had from Sunday until Thursday to deliver the final cut with all the amendments and post production applications, colouring, editing, sound mixing, graphics...all had to happen for two copies in just four days. Our editor Ali Dahawy, together with Khaled Al Kammar the music composer, along with the rest of our main team members, suffered sleepless nights to get the copies done, and they did make it perfectly! They literally traded their entire hours of sleep and rest for the sake of having an outcome that makes everyone proud.
The campaign launched at time, not a single moment of delay happened. In a matter of hours, the first copy reached hundreds of thousands of views, shares and comments. Celebrities interacted, influencers were actually influenced and they posted our videos on their social media pages calling for the same cause the copies called for. It was just big, it went viral and the audience perceived it positively. The campaign even attracted the government officials who decided to air it on TV to reach more and more audience. In total, the two copies reached almost 2 million views only on UNICEF’s Facebook page, and with the TV agreement, it’s expected to reach the multiples of that number.
The project had every member of Flink work extremely hard, for the cause it serves, for the impact we want to apply, and for the love we have for this job. We made it through a lot of challenges, and we are certainly proud to have created this and to have reached that success.
Safer Internet Day | Girl Copy :
Safer Internet Day | Boy Copy
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