Early on a late December morning, the phone rang at the Resolution Studios in Qatar. A global campaign was being planned by Blue Rubicon Qatar, to highlight the 1 in 11 children who do not have access to proper education. Resolution was chosen to create the launch film and everything had to take place under conditions of absolute secrecy, so as not to detract from the impact of the January launch.
After creating a storyboard which was shared amongst the partners including UNICEF and Reach out to Asia, we began planning filming with two of world’s biggest sports stars, Lionel Messi and Serena Williams. Director Marlon Griffin flew to Barcelona, script in hand, ready to film with a living football legend. “Messi was excellent to work with” observed Marlon, “but being so much in demand, he was only able to promise us 15 minutes of his precious time. But we worked like clockwork, and after 17 minutes in studio, Messi was in the can.”
Next it was to Miami, Florida for a similar session with tennis star Serena Williams. She could not have been more helpful, and her commitment to the 1 in 11 cause is clear to see on screen.
Back in Qatar, Executive Producer David Malone cast a boy and a girl to appear in the football sequences of the film. They both had to be brilliant young footballers, capable of mastering 11 ‘keep-ups’ with ease. David’s attempt to demonstrate the technique was less impressive; he tripped over the ball, a one off especially designed by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami and broke two ribs.
The clock was ticking, in the edit multiple language versions needed to be created, the graphic design were proving to be highly complex, but still the potential for a great film was there. Finally with 48 hours to spare, Head of Post Sergio Palermo and his team delivered the film and all its sister versions, ready to be premiered before 99,000 football fans at Barcelona’s Camp Nou and a global TV audience of tens of millions.
For the team at Resolution, it was a double opportunity. A chance to create a film that would be seen by a huge worldwide audience, but also to highlight a cause – the 1 in 11 campaign – that has the potential to change the lives of millions of young people across the globe.