Giant Films in collaboration with an international team of creatives recently completed an anti-poaching, 90-second film for Over and Above Africa.
The LA-based charity raises funds to support people and organisations in Africa actively preventing extinction and supply drones to game reserves to help them win the war against poaching.
The creative team was led by former Wieden+Kennedy, 180 Amsterdam and DDB veteran Andy Fackrell and directed by Sam Coleman at Giant Films who had worked with Fackrell when hired by 180 Amsterdam to work on the Adidas Originals account shortly after exhibiting in an Adidas street art show in Cape Town.
Here, Coleman tells us more about how his involvement in this international campaign came about and what he loves most about his now ‘full circle’ career in film and bringing ideas to life through the powerful medium it is today.
What was the idea / inspiration?
My old boss and ECD of 180 Amsterdam [Fackrell] called me up about the opportunity to direct the film, with the idea about the collective nouns of Africa running out, already fully formed.
He had actually written a children's book with a similar concept. I jumped at the chance to bring it to life in live action and to work with Andy again, a famously exacting and fastidious creative who has made some equally famous work for the likes of Nike and Adidas in his career.
Briefly tell us what you enjoyed most about directing this piece – what aspect(s) of your direction do you think makes it special?
I just love the tone which was something Andy and I worked hard to capture and craft.
It seems epic without being overblown and is poignant without being sentimental, it also has a certain urgency which hits the nail on the head and hopefully results in it being effective.
Tell us about your experience working on this film with an international team of creatives and coming together for a cause so close to home.
Personally, it was enormously gratifying to have my old ECD and colleague call me up from halfway across the world to handle a project which was so personal to him, kind of full circle for me, from being a creative in an agency to directing at Giant.
What has the response been and how do you feel about it?
The response has been overwhelmingly positive on a global level. We have been made a finalist for a Ciclope, announced in Berlin last Friday, as well as been AdAge’s Editors Pick, Shots’ Best of the Month and Best Ads on TV’s runner-up, resonating with audiences from Lonely Planet, Design Boom and Campaign Brief.
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What is your opinion on the power of film in 2018/2019?
Film is as powerful as it's ever been! You hear a lot of complaints about budgets and clients, etc., but I continue to see phenomenal work coming out from all over. It's never been a more inspiring time or a time with more stories to tell, especially from Africa.
What do you love most about your career in film?
Every job is a different challenge and you learn on each one. I still have to pinch myself on set where you see what you've dreamed up coming to life. I hope that never goes away.
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What did it take to get to where you are today?
Determination and belief, and a lot of patience, especially on behalf of my wife.
What are you currently reading, watching and/or listening to for work?
I'm pretty democratic with musical taste and general inspiration – from Philip Glass to Drake – I love it all.
Tell us something about yourself not generally known.
I was born on a farm in the Eastern Cape in the middle of nowhere.
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