They are few who would dispute that the words of Nelson Mandela hold a power of their own. They have changed minds, inspired hearts and shaped a nation. Now, thanks to a Sydney-based film and design collective, they have also brought stillness to the city that never sleeps, right to the heart of its frenetic neon nucleus, Times Square.
Sydney collective Collider are behind a thought-provoking short film compilation entitled 'The Power of Words', a the three-minute piece of animated typography titled featuring the powerful words of wisdom of Mandela. Part of a joint initiative between the Nelson Mandela Foundation and Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Film Institute to commemorate the 95th birthday of Nelson Mandela, 'The Power of Words' is currently blanketing New York City’s iconic Times Square with Mandela's timeless message beamed electronic billboards each night throughout April.
'The Power of Words' was developed as a collaboration between Nabil Elderkin, Andrew van der Westhuyzen and Gregory Stern with post production by Collider and Method Studios Australia. The short film will screen nightly at 11.57pm until midnight as part of the prestigious ‘Midnight Moment: A Digital Gallery’ event. The event is the largest co-ordinated effort in history by the sign operators in Times Square to display synchronised, cutting-edge creative content on electronic billboards and newspaper kiosks at the same time every day, across this iconic public space.
Andrew van der Westhuyzen says the team thought carefully about the best use of the unique opportunity to utilise the vast number of electronic billboards in harmonious synchronicity. “Rather than compete with the frenzy of visual noise in Times Square, we wanted to use typography to tone down the volume and create an engaging moment of breath and meaning," he says. "We felt it was very important here to be spare and focussed, to create a quieting effect on one of the most bustling environments on Earth.”
Edited from the numerous writings of Nelson Mandela, 'The Power of Words' aims to share the wisdoms of Mandela with his words realised in pared-back, black and white typography and brought to life through organic, fluid animation.
As well as screening during Midnight Moment all throughout April, the work will also feature at a special event to honour Nelson Mandela at the Tribeca Film Festival later this month.
Client: Nelson Mandela Foundation / Tribeca Film Institute / Times Square Alliance
Co-Directors: Nabil Elderkin / Andrew van der Westhuyzen
Writer/Producer: Greg Stern
Post production: Collider / Method Studios Australia
Sally Brownbill is ending the first year of her freelance creative placement biz, The Brownbill Effect, by expanding it to include full timers. Let's plunder what she has learned.