AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL’S 50th ANNIVERSARY

STANDING UP FOR FREEDOM

DEFINING THE CONCEPT AND THE SCRIPT


The main idea came after days of brainstorming, and a couple of failed scripts. The concept had to be strong, clear, and effective, while giving the viewer an idea of what Amnesty International has been standing up for for the last fifty years.


While looking for a metaphor, we ended up coming up with the idea of a wall as a very clear example of a barrier placed in the way of freedom and, ironically, also as a canvas in which the different episodes of the story would take place.


Behind the wall, a world of light and freedom. On the other side: death, injustice and despair.

Choosing the episodes took a lot of research into the world history of the last 50 years: we were trying to find episodes that would be internationally recognizable and, at the same time, metaphorical enough for people to understand them even without knowing about them.

We found the Carnation Revolution (the civil resistance process that changed Portugal’s dictatorship to democracy back in the seventies) a good example of how non-violence and perseverance can achieve even the most difficult goals, and that was the message (or the metaphor) we wanted to pass on.

That is why we chose a red flower to symbolize freedom: a flower can wither and die, but its seeds will bring life to a new one. No matter how hard you try to censor, attack or extinguish freedom, its seeds are already way too spread and a new liberty will always arise.

BUILDING THE WALL


When the idea of the wall came up, I had two choices: either model the wall in 3D, or build it as a scale model.

I love working with real elements, and usually use the computer only at the end, at the moment of putting it all together. So we built a wall in wood, cardboard and wire. To give a sense of depth, we deformed the perspectives in the real model. The dirt in the ground and the plants that grow in the wall are real, and were very carefully hand-placed. 

The wall was built in wood and cardboard, and carefully hand painted. All the plants and details were added manually.

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February, 2011: once more in Prague, about to start working on a project with my friend Lukas Skalnik and his team at Eallin Motion Art.

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Take a look at the Making of Video