Case Study

International Rescue Committee

Turning headlines to hope.


We were hired to produce a flagship video to be premiered at the International Rescue Committee’s annual gala that showcases the impact of their work in the U.S. and around the globe. While we were tasked with driving the creative direction of the video, our job was to align our vision with the 2020 gala theme: Behind the Headlines.


In developing concepts around “Behind the Headlines,” other unifying themes emerged that would impact the direction of our creative:

  • Breaking through the 24-Hour News Cycle: Fighting to keep the stories of the IRC’s clients at the forefront at a time when the headline of the day has become the headline of the hour.
  • The Role of Social Media and Constant Connectivity: The numbness brought on by the never-ending feed of content and commentary that we hold in our hands daily.
  • Who Tells Your Story?: Words have power, and it matters who wields them. The IRC supports clients as they regain power over their lives and their futures.

We presented the client with two concepts that encapsulated all of these ideas, and the one they decided to move forward with was Rewriting The Story.

The concept:

Spoken word artists, poets, and rappers from around the world rip words directly from headlines related to the IRC’s work and use them as inspiration as they piece together a narrative verse, one that describes how the IRC is helping their clients rewrite their stories. Breaking through a wall of text and sound, these artists—as surrogates for IRC clients—reclaim words of devastation and loss and use them to create a new message of perseverance and hope.

Once talent was in place, we oversaw the scripting of the spoken word that formed the narrative of the video in pre-production and then flew our team to LA to execute the video shoot itself. In post-production, our team incorporated self-taped performances that we sourced from the international talent, curated the selection of IRC archival footage that appears throughout, and created the graphics as well as the overall visual and auditory direction that give the final video its distinctive look and feel.


Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the gala didn’t occur as originally planned. Despite those obstacles, the video is able to serve multiple departments within the organization as a compelling piece of content that captures the incredible impact of the IRC.

Learn more about the 2020 Rescue Dinner and the video’s role in the event in the IRC’s own words.