In November 2019, LeftCoast were approached by ITV to develop a concept for their ITV Creates series of idents. As ITV’s mission is to use the power of broadcasting to shape entertainment and culture for social good, all creative ideas for an ident had to come with a social purpose.
LeftCoast wanted to create a way of visualising how people along the Fylde Coast might find better ways in society to live together. From our experience, we know that volunteering provides a platform for this and, whatever LeftCoast proposed to ITV, we knew we wanted to include our volunteers – our ‘Makers‘.
LeftCoast submitted a handful of ideas. The concept that was selected was one of the engagement activities that Sarah Harris, LeftCoast’s Creative Community Activist, (originally) developed to promote RUSH our spectacular dance and projection show presented in Bonny St Car Park, Blackpool as part of the LightPool Festival 2018.
The LeftCoast Makers that created the ident for ITV were all participants in RUSH and they have continued to volunteer with us on subsequent projects. To make things fair, we had to select these volunteers at random.
In the original RUSH promotional activity, we toured four x 5ft letters around Blackpool and Wyre for the public to throw paint balloons at. People wrote whatever annoyed them on the balloons. The throwing of the negative words acted as a form of release and the colour explosion on the RUSH letters represented the rejection of these ideas.
For the ITV ident this concept was reverse-engineered with the use of positive words (the benefits of volunteering) thrown at a 3m x 6m canvas, with the colour explosion representing the impact of these acts of altruism. The Ident emerges from the canvas as the big reveal at the end of creating the artwork.
The ITV palette colours were carefully selected to help tell the volunteers’ story and the piece was made collaboratively (much like reality TV) between public and broadcaster. The creation of the ident was meant to be joyful in itself; it is messy and playful and celebratory, to bring a heightened sense of belonging and well-being to the group that make it together
Sarah Harris created the vibrant palette: “I developed the colour palette over a few months, experimenting with various colour schemes to find the right blend. I played around a lot with complimentary colours to ensure we’d get the right ‘pop’ on screen. I picked colours that have a luminous quality, which for me expresses joy. This project is a celebration of people coming together and having and expressing positive experiences so we wanted colours that worked well together as well as making a statement on their own”
These paint colours look good when you wear them too…
On Tuesday, 11th February, the Makers travelled down to London with the LeftCoast team and filmed for a full day at the ITV studio. During the shoot, we filled up to 200 balloons and used 70 litres of Johnstones paint. The TV studio operated with a team of 30 people and, on the set, the Makers were treated like one of the crew.
During the shoot, the Makers were encouraged to talk to camera about the impact that volunteering has had on their lives. Once these testimonies were on film and positive affirmations were written on the paint balloons (advocating friendship, connections and talking, working together etc), everyone was ready to throw them…
The canvas and the studio were soon covered in paint. Once it was dry, It took all the Makers to remove the top layer of vinyl (essentially a 6m x 3m sticker) and reveal the finished ITV logo.
“Everyone was really pleased with how the ident turned out. Once ITV had shot all the footage they needed, everyone in the studio had a go at throwing paint, including the production crew. It turns out they’d been itching to have a go all day!”
LeftCoast feel privileged to have been given such a unique opportunity to say thank you to only a small number of our volunteers. We had hoped to use this experience to recruit more people to come and join the Makers… and then Covid happened. However, the screening has come at a good time – we could all benefit from some colour in our lives, and the final word comes from our volunteers, albeit whilst they are in isolation.