NewFest, New York’s LGBT Film Festival is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing together filmmakers and audiences to give voice and visibility to the LGBTQ experience. As their 2016 festival approached, it became clear it was going to be a benchmark year. In turn, we contributed a 360 media campaign – our biggest contribution for their biggest year.
We landed on a visual concept that would differentiate itself while staying true to NewFest’s core values to inspire dialogue, shift cultural bias, and empower the diverse LGBTQ community. Using direct light through prisms we created a series of portraits that cast a cinematic rainbow across the faces of people from the community. In essence, taking the rainbow – the symbol of pride traditionally found in Gilbert Baker’s iconic flag – and moving it into the real world.
The presence of the rainbow tied in to NewFest’s mission to be a beacon of culture for New York’s LGBTQ community.
Prisms were used to redirect light onto the portrait subjects' face. After tests, a rig was designed using a focused-ellipsoidal white beam light into a big soft source as a key light. A stick of three prisms was placed in the beam, redirecting light into a “sweet spot” for subjects to stand in.
The portrait session was held during a summer day at New York's LGBT Community Centre – a cultural hub for the community. We asked members to come by to have their picture taken. The diversity of the people and personalities created a dynamic range of authentic portraiture.
The portfolio of photographs were used to create thirteen images, reproduced dozens of times for the different placements. In addition to photography, video was produced for social assets. The video highlighted commonplace scenes, kissed with the prismatic hues.
We strategically secured media giving us an omnipresence throughout the city, including metrolights, bus shelters, and three major Times Square billboards.