Strategy Insight Creative

// RAW produce two #Firsts films for Vodafone/AKQA

We’ve started 2015 on a high with the release of two fantastic branded documentary films we produced for Vodafone’s #Firsts series, in partnership with their advertising agency AKQA.

You can watch them here:

1. Francisco’s #First Symphony Orchestra

2. Sue’s #First Laughter Mob

The #Firsts campaign is an ongoing online series of extraordinary stories of empowerment; people being encouraged to and given the ability to realise their dreams – be it travelling on a plane for the first time, or setting up an all-female fight club in India.Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 11.37.12

Our journey began back in June 2014 when, for the first time, Vodafone announced that they would be launching a global #Firsts competition in ten regions around the world. The public were encouraged to submit their dreams, with the final regional shortlists going to an online vote.

Our lovely client, AKQA, assigned us two global regions – Spain and South Africa – for whom we produced films for the winning #Firsts submissions in each region.

Before the shortlists were voted on and a winner crowned, our first involvement in the projects was to sift through the top-50 submissions in each region and to carry out a brief feasibility study as to their suitability for realisation in both event and film. Following this, a list of 5-6 finalists were put forward to the vote.

We watched with anticipation as the votes came in and the leader-board changed on a daily basis. Finally, the winners were announced in early October and we immediately entered an intense pre-production stage.

In Spain, we were to be working with music teacher Francisco and his dream of his #First Symphony Orchestra, and in South Africa, Joy activist Sue Jameson who won the competition with her dream of holding Johannesburg’s #First Laughter Mob through the city.


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Both were highly ambitious film projects, involving not only story-telling and the technical aspects of the filmmaking, but also the planning and organising of two extraordinary events in public spaces half way across the world.

By November 2014 both projects were taking shape and we sent film units to both Madrid and Johannesburg to capture the back story of both projects. This involved spending a number of days filming with the winners, meeting their families and friends and documenting the preparations and rehearsals for the big events.

On the day, both events were huge successes, better than we could ever have imagined. The sun shone, the crowds came and interacted – they smiled, laughed and cried and we were able to capture some beautiful moments in both countries. For the winners, these were truly life-changing moments.

Back in the UK we began the post-production process, with over 1 terabyte of footage and audio being offloaded on to our RAID server. The delicate art of editing and piecing together the stories took just over two weeks and we’re immensely proud of the final films.


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On Twitter @rawprouk

We're on the list - in our first year of applying too! #video #top50 #televisual
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Take a few minutes to check out some brilliant video content this week
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On Instagram @rawproductions

"We asked RAW to produce a video for our #passonthebaton campaign and we were impressed throughout the whole process. On the night of the filming they were calm and professional and the final edit showed real thought and care. We would definitely recommend them."

Jen Smith
Charities Aid Foundation