Leyla Hussien, a well-known psychotherapist, consultant and social activist against FGM (female genital mutilation), approached us to help her create a campaign to raise awareness around the ‘holes’ in the current British FGM Act. The impact of the message and its delivery needed to be proportional to the damage and stigma it had caused to millions of women over the years.
The result was a 60-second film that starts off with model & presenter Oreke Mosheshe absently looking through a camera lens. She is helping us channel an appalling message on the long-lasting effects of trauma that survivors go on to face.
There are eight statements that briefly, yet graphically explain what FGM is and how it affects survivors of this heinous act. As they appear on screen, parts of our model digitally disappear to form holes in her physical appearance which metaphorically reflect the ‘holes’ in the current FGM laws.
There are eight statements that briefly, yet graphically explain what FGM is and how it affects survivors of this heinous act.
How did we make it? Well… First we filmed a mannequin and shot it with a paintball gun to create our ‘holes’. We then filmed our model in 4K looking directly at the camera lens for a few minutes to get our foundation shot for the film.
As we were unable to shoot our model with a paintball gun for obvious reasons, we took the footage from the mannequin shoot and overlayed it on her footage. We then motion tracked Oreke to attach the paint to her movements, before enhancing the colour of the paint to create a bright green that we could then ‘key out’ of our image, thus creating a hole in our model.
To create the illusion of depth in the footage, we multiplied it adding multiple layers on top of each other to then spread them out in 3D space. With this applied, when an internal virtual camera is used, the hole suddenly has depth and after randomising the position of each layer behind the hole, it creates a rather interesting look and feel.
Leyla is campaigning to end The UK FGM act which is yet to secure a conviction in its 30+ years of existence, despite NSPCC estimating 137,000 women and girls are affected by FGM in England and Wales alone. The film will be launched on November 25th – designated as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
As Pro Bono projects go, this has been the most challenging to date from both a technical and a content perspective.
by: Leyla Hussein