Discover the women behind the stories of “Wonder” and “Togetherness”
By Michelle Martin — December 15, 2017
Adam Groves, Park Pictures creative director, recalls “When we were making the film, everyone in the cast and on the crew kept telling us how much they could relate to the story. That's how we knew we had something special. It's honest and real, which makes it stand out amongst a lot of the films you see from brands this time of year.”
“Togetherness” builds on momentum from “Wonder” which launched in November. It tugs on heartstrings as a creative young woman treats a lonely little neighbor to a special surprise (powered, in part, by a new HP laptop). It was created by BBDO San Francisco and directed by Sara Dunlop (whose work includes the award-winning short film, "Dreamlands"). Dunlop was selected through the Free the Bid initiative, the industry-wide effort, launched in September 2016, that aims to level the playing field for female directors. BBDO and HP are among those who have given the Free to Bid "pledge" to include a female director on every triple-bid project, among other things.
“The film centers on the universal appeal and impact of wonder,” says Dunlop. “We wanted to tell an emotional story of people using HP technology to give and share the gift of wonder with each other.”
Amanda Moody, Executive Producer/BBDO-SF, says, “I met Sara Dunlop and her production partners, Producer Polly Ruskin and Production Coordinator Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Lodder, for a quick dinner in Budapest just before filming began. I realized that every key professional at the table was a woman, save one. And it struck me, wow! How things have changed in the last decade or so. I have long been accustomed to working with and around women-in-charge on the agency side. However, over the course of a substantial career, I have observed that production company principals tend to be men. Particularly directors.
“Observing director Sara Dunlop at work, her tremendous confidence, insightfulness, warmth, sophistication and grace, filled me with a surprising thrill of pride,” she adds.
Pushing forward in 2018
HP’s effort to diversify the creative talent pool made significant progress in 2017: Today, 61 percent of people working on the company’s accounts and 51 percent of people in senior leadership roles are female. Work remains in increasing representation among U.S. minorities. For 2018, HP is asking agency partners to define specific underrepresented groups by country and set clear objectives, measurements and plans to increase diverse talent on HP business.
HP CMO Antonio Lucio says, “The power of diversity is a fundamental human truth. Humanity is more powerful, more creative and more innovative with it than it can ever be without. As an advocate for diversity, including increasing the number of women sitting in the director’s chair, it’s exciting to see these remarkable films directed by women with predominantly female casts and crews. As one of the world’s iconic brands, we have enormous catalytic power to drive change and lead by example.”