Do brands do it better? This is a beautifully shot film about about young women and sport. Strip away away the logo and this spot from Always could be a charity video to promote young women’s self-esteem and confidence. It’s a great combination of branded content and case studies.
One of the toughest decisions that charities have to make when they’re commissioning video is to decide on the balance between information – who they are and what they do – and emotion – the story telling and characters.
And although this is a brand film, this video concentrates totally on the voices and stories of the young women themselves: the brand is confident enough to allow us to make our own – hopefully positive – associations with them. It’s a series of wonderfully shot clips of girls playing sport – rugby, basketball, weightlifting or running – combined with short interviews with the girls themselves.
Technically it’s very simple but skilfully made. Director Nanette Burstein focuses on 4 girls who talk about how sport makes them feel, the sometimes negative comments they’ve received – ‘they tell me you can’t play rugby because you’re a girl’ and how they’ve overcome those stereotypes – ‘I think a girl can play anything they want to play’.
The joy of this film for me, is the clarity of the girls’ voices and thoughts – they’re allowed to speak naturally about their feelings and they talk directly and confidently to camera. That means that the message of the film – sport gives girls confidence – is demonstrated or proved by the film itself.
When I watched the ‘making of’ video that goes with this spot I was pleased to see that not only was it directed by a woman, it was shot by one too.
Use real voices: although this is a brand film, the voices and messages feel natural and authentic. Nothing feels scripted or forced and this helps create a real sense of connection.
Casting: it’s a well keep secret of the TV and commercials industry – ‘real’ people are chosen just like actors. We spend a lot of time on the phone, tracking down contributors, getting to know them and helping choose the best people for our videos.
Keep it simple: there’s nothing tricky about the way this was filmed, just straightforward shots of girls playing sport. But it’s beautiful nonetheless and that’s because the visuals have been planned to match the interviews.
Jeremy Jeffs is a documentary film maker with 15 years experience of directing films for BBC, Channel 4, National Geographic and PBS. He’s recently finished work on a history of China, with broadcaster Michael Wood and his recent feature documentary, Bette Bourne, was shown at the London Film Festival, Sheffield International Documentary Festival and the V&A. More about Jeremy
Magneto Films is an award winning production company that specialises in working with the charity sector, not-for-profits and the public sector. We specialise in telling real stories, working with casestudies and real people to make films that move people to action. More about Magneto Films