Behind The Curtain is a workshop concept launched by the Theodora Foundation in partnership with Havas Geneva, which provides children in hospitals creative means to channel their energy and help them forget about their stressful realities. Hear about the activation from Solenn Laurent, Account Director, and Gabriel Mauron, Co-Manager and Executive Creative Director, at Havas Geneva.
Can you talk about how you concepted the idea for this activation?
Through deep immersion in the Foundation’s activity, and by understanding the expectations and needs of everyone involved – from sick children, parents, and hospital staff to people working for the Foundation.
Thanks to this approach, we understood that performing arts played a central role in supporting hospitalized children. Based on this insight, we proposed a new type of workshop, called “Behind the Curtain,” to the Foundation & their Dream Doctors – a workshop that turns a children’s ward into a wonderland. The story, created by children with the guidance of the Dream Doctors gave life to a new film called: “Rosie and the Rainbow”.
Why is a project like this so important?
It’s not very often that you see advertising take the form of a 10 min documentary as well as a film. I love how this format helps viewers truly understand the beautiful work the Foundation is doing and the unique relationship the Dream Doctors have with the young patients. Closing the experience with “Rosie and the Rainbow”, an ode to optimism, highlights how art and creativity can be used as a form of therapy and help kids regain their carefree spirit even within the confines of a hospital ward.
How did you bring this project to life?
Being meticulous and patient – it has been a long-term process, as the pandemic challenged our timing and production planning a lot. Having the right production partner (UNIT9) with us in this adventure was really appreciated and helpful.
Every single little detail was important as children’s imagination has no limits. It was so inspiring to see how easily they could transform their hospital room into a stage of a magical adventure – from their beds to oxygen masks!
Were there any challenges you faced while creating this?
Yes, of course. Working with children that are hospitalized demands a lot of understanding and has an impact at different levels during conception and production. Yet at the same time, their only demand was to be treated like regular kids.
We needed to be sure that our presence was not disturbing the environment, and to foster a spirit of magic to harness unique moments during which kids felt free to imagine and escape from their daily life in hospital.
Do you intend for this project to continue in the long term?
We hope so. “Rosie and the Rainbow” is only the first result of the “Behind the Curtain” workshop, and today the Foundation has a creative platform that can lead to a lot of new and different stories.
What’s the reception of the work been like so far?
Good – really good! Traffic and volume of donations on the landing page www.behindthecurtain.ch are quite high! The innovative mechanic, which invites people to use their tickets online to watch the film and discover the full story is a natural way to integrate the fundraising part of the campaign.