With over a thousand shares on Facebook within a few hours of its launch, a new animated film for AIME appears to have already struck a chord. The overwhelmingly positive reviews—“So beautiful and inspiring”, “profound and beautifully created”—will be a boon for the charity’s founder, 31-year-old Australian Jack Manning Bancroft, as he prepares to take his education charity international for the first time.
Creative partners M&C Saatchi Sydney and director Laurent Witz (winner of a 2013 Academy Award for the animated short film Mr Hublot) and his team at Zeilt Productions will also be celebrating the release of a project that has been over a year in development.
‘Cogs’ tells the story of two boys who find themselves, quite literally, on separate, pre-determined tracks in their lives, and the drama hinges on their effort to break free from those imposed limitations.
The tagline, “If we want to change the world, we need to change the way it works”, reflects the goal Manning Bancroft has aimed for since establishing AIME 12 years ago to end education inequality in Australia. On average, 61.5 percent of indigenous children in Australia finish school, with only 42 percent going onto further education. AIME’s programme pairs university student volunteers with underprivileged school children, and the numbers of those completing school and going on to university leap to 87.9 percent and 74 percent as a result.
With the launch of Cogs, says Manning Bancroft, AIME's battle against "the broken system" that breeds inequality is heading overseas. “We are calling out to find 10 young people around the world who want to take our model of mentoring to their country to fight inequality and create a fairer world.” AIME has already had enquiries from Nigeria, France, the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Uganda and more, he says: 33 young people have started their applications in the last 24 hours since the film’s release.
“AIME is addictively positive,” says Andy Flemming, group creative director, M&C Saatchi, Sydney, who describes his work on the film as a “dream job”. “They're run by an incredible dreamer / thinker / storyteller who has an unwavering mission to change the world for the better. It's impossible not to be swept away by their boundless enthusiasm, which is backed up by results that show that their system works. We live in a particularly shitty world, so you just can't pass up the chance to maybe, just maybe help them do something about it."
The specific theme for the film came from the need, says Flemming, to find “a wonderfully simple idea to introduce AIME to the world.”
“The team was playing with the idea of a system that's fractured and broken. That evolved into people not realising that their lives are on set tracks, and this is precisely how society works—it needs that separation. We then imagined a machine-like city that's incredibly old and the whole thing just clicked together. It was emotional.”
Once the agency engaged with Zeilt Productions, Witz had between 20 and 30 people working on the film for many months, with a continuous team engaged from the agency side too. “All of us had a singular vision and every month the work just got better and better,” says Flemming. “Obviously the time helped. We crafted the hell out of this, and it's not often we get to pour so much love into advertising projects these days.”
As the message in Cogs takes flight and online shares start to gather speed, Manning Bancroft says he hopes the film will mark the incremental rise of mentors around the world, with all the subsequent benefits this could have for improving lives. “Success will be when we see every university student in the world being mentors for their most disadvantaged high school kids,” he says.
CEO: Jack-Manning Bancroft
Worldwide Chairman: Tom Dery
Executive Creative Director: Michael Canning
Creative Director: Andy Flemming
Copywriter / Art Director: Curt McDonald
Copywriter / Art Director: Chris Brailey
Lyrics: Andy Flemming
Executive Producer: Loren August
Chief Strategy Officer: Justin Graham
Strategy Director: Rachel Kimber
Senior Account Director: Laura Stevenson
Account Manager: Stephen Mesa
Designer/Illustrator: John-Henry Pajak
Integrated Designer: Chi Yusef
PR: Naomi Rheinberger and Jonathan Seidler
Former CCO: Andy DiLallo
Agency: Zeilt Productions
Director / Head of Animation: Laurent Witz
Animation Director: Mickael Coëdel
Producer: Joane Degive
Creative Assistant: Ghayth Chegaar
Composer: Olivier Defradat
Singer: Marion Pejon
Sound Design: Adrien Navez
Sound Mixer: Olivier Defradat
Background Modelling: Laurent Beghin, Thierry Claude, Mickaël Coëdel,
Pierre Gilles, Aurélien Pira, Théo Rambur, Yann Vlamynck
Compositing: Aurélien Pira
Background Texturing: Pierre Gilles, Yann Vlamynck
Paint Over: Pierre Gilles
Character Modelling: Laurent Beghin, Quentin Peyssonneaux
Character Texturing: Quentin Peyssonneaux
Matte Painting: Guy Gérard Blanc, Jean-Loup Comby, Pascal Thiebaux
Layout: Jean-Loup Comby, Frédéric Wedeux
Colour Research: Cyril Bossmann, Ghayth Chegaar
Design: Cyril Bossmann, Ghayth Chegaar, Jérôme Gillet, Pascal Thiebaux
Colour Research: Jérôme Gillet, Nicolas Leroy
Storyboard: Jérôme Gillet, Pascal Thiebaux
Texturing: Cyril Bossmann
Lighting: Cyril Bossmann
Rendering: Cyril Bossmann, Camille Haumont
Character Creation Supervision: Ghayth Chegaar
Animation: Ghayth Chegaar, Mathieu Cox, Louis Renard, Sarah Sutter
Animation Supervision: Kevin Cole-Zagradsky
Technical Supervision: Rémi Bruschini
Rigging: Théo Rambur