Those who tell the best stories win.
We are storytellers.
Story can shape lives, it can shape communities, and it can shape outlooks. Such was the story of Much Love. We entered into this project through a charge to "tell the story of United Way's work in Detroit's public schools" and came out of it shining the light of two incredible young men. An intense, touching, and reflective three months led us to a mini-documentary that has been viewed all over the world, created more impact than any other United Way campaign piece, and forever altered the way we view fortunes in the city of Detroit.
The story of the Detroit renaissance has long been in the works, but for many in our community there is still a tremendous amount of struggle to overcome. This year we faced the largest tax foreclosure crisis in U.S. history - with up to 100,000 residents living in homes that were at risk of foreclosure. Final 5 - along with the United Way and a handful of others - felt it critical to be on hand to lift up the voices of residents so that stories could help heal a community. As seen in the Facebook campaign that shared those stories, thousands of community members ended up rallying around the families impacted by the crisis. We observed story really work magic when we brought it to the entire room - taking over the stage and inviting Detroiters up to share. We watched that room change from one of guilt and shame to one of community and togetherness. We have never so strongly felt the power of story.
Imagine you've been at a national utility company for 25 years and someone wants to interview you about your company's values. They put a camera in your face, ask you questions, and prompt you to come up with canned responses. Now, imagine that your coworkers are standing around and listening to your every word, prepared to make fun of you when you finish. Oh, and don't forget that your manager will see this video as well - better not say anything that will get him in trouble. This is the situation faced by the linemen every time they're asked to share the stories of the work they do. Determined to get beneath the surface, we approached it differently - spending time with the employees we interviewed and building a relationship with them. At the end of the project, one of the linemen said to us "I like having you guys out here. We've had other guys with cameras and they railroad us. They spend 20 minutes telling us what to say and then they take off. You guys listen and let us actually share our stories."
Working with us will be the most fun part of your week.
Discovery is the foundation for storytelling. We work to truly know who you are, why you do what you do, and find the stories that best communicate your truth.
The crafting phase is where we get down and dirty with your stories. We seek out the emotional moments and begin building a narrative around them that compels people to join your journey.
Broadcasting, by definition, is "to cast or scatter in all directions." Sharing is the opposite - it is active, it is engaging, it is about talking with, and in relationship to, your audience. Plus, it usually comes with popcorn.