Fairbanks is a nonprofit alcohol and drug treatment center with an incredible mission: to inspire hope and resilience in those seeking recovery from addiction.
Every year, Fairbanks hosts their Circle of Hope Dinner to help raise awareness and recognize individuals and organizations for their contributions to addiction treatment and recovery. It is also an opportunity to celebrate inspiring stories of hope, transformation and recovery.
Fairbanks came to SmallBox looking to try something different for the event. They wanted an inspiring video to celebrate and communicate the impact of their work – one that reflected the hope and optimism of the recovery community at Fairbanks and connected with the audience at the event in a meaningful, emotional way.
We were excited to work with Fairbanks on this video for many reasons (great values and storytelling potential).
We were particularly impressed by the passion, diversity and strength of the recovery community around Fairbanks. Everyone there – from volunteers, to doctors, to staff – was invested in their mission to inspire hope.
We set out to create a video that would not only communicate the impact of Fairbank’s work, but also celebrate and engage the recovery community.
We have to give props to Candy Chang for a simple and brilliant concept — using chalkboard paint to turn the side of a vacant building into a blank canvas for passers-by to interact with. They are asked to complete the thought: "Before I die..." The mural transforms over time as people fill in the blanks, and was a big source of inspiration for our work with Fairbanks.
This idea wouldn't have been possible without the help of Fairbanks — who let us take over their lobby for three weeks, lent us staff and art students to execute the idea and trusted us to do something a little bit different.
Many props also go to BrainTwins, the Indianapolis Rubber Stamp Company and the 3M Corporation's Super Sticky Post-It™ Notes. If not for them, this idea would have never made it off the drawing board.
We initially thought about working with Fairbanks to develop a mosaic of the faces of the recovery community at Fairbanks, creating a time-lapse journey of their history of hope, but that became seriously complicated.
So, borrowing from Candy, we narrowed in on a much simpler concept, though we still had our work cut out for us. Our idea required the input of 70+ participants, approximately 400 - 500 custom-printed sticky notes and more than three weeks to film.
We asked people to share the impact that Fairbanks has had on their lives, by completing the statement: "Because of Fairbanks _________" on individual sticky notes covering a huge whiteboard. We then filmed the evolution of the board, as volunteers, staff and people involved in the recovery community brought the story to life before our eyes.