On November 15, San Francisco turned into Gotham City. Make-A-Wish foundation along with the city of San Francisco went above and beyond to fulfill the wish of 5-year-old Miles Scott.
What no one could have anticipated is the global reaction to such a wish. Make a Wish SF Director Patricia Wilson is quoted in saying " I think this wish just struck a cord with people." She went on to say "A lot of people remember from their childhood wanting to be a super hero, and here he is, battling leukemia."
About a week before the event, Mike and I sat down to make a plan.
We knew we wanted it to be more than just a documentation of what was happening in SF, we wanted it to be about who Miles is.
After a few dead-end leads we finally were able to connect with Particia at Make-A-Wish. After setting up a make-shift studio in the hotel, we had a few minutes to hang out with Miles and his family the night the landed in SF.
Putting together a video with depth beyond the "this is what happened" on such a short timeline is always a challenge. We decided to approach this story with some smarts. Tuesday we did the interview, Wednesday we spent time with Miles, Thursday we locked story and knew exactly what we needed for Friday.
Friday morning, Mike and I split up around the city. Mike started at the Bat Cave, I caught up with Miles at his first rescue and then Mike and I meet for Union Square. From there I grabbed all our cards and went back to the office to start editing. Mike continued to shoot the final ceremony with the Mayor at City Hall. By the time mike got back with the final cards, I was close to done. Mike worked on pulling music while I laid in the final b-roll, we swapped roles and he took over for some final massaging of the footage. After some final touches it was out the door.
It hit the internet at 9:30pm. Before I could even get out of the office we were over 3,000 views. In the first 24 hours we had 118K views. It was named a Vimeo Staff Pick, where it would stay at the top of the site for the next three days. Jezebel and Digg.com also featured the video along with the L.A. Times photo department sending it out via twitter. People and Publications from all over the world were seeing it, and sharing it. By Monday morning it had been seen in 146 countries. Currently it tops off at 741K views. It is currently the top search for BatKid on Google.
This entire process has been a bit surreal to witness. As a storyteller the dream is always that an idea becomes reality, and then is seen or heard by the world. Watching these numbers grow and receiving comments and e-mails from viewers really has encouraged us to look at our audience and the way people are consuming and sharing stories. It's all about powerful stories captured in a way that allows the audience to relate and feel.
I think a friend of mine summed it up pretty nicely when she posted: "ALLLLLLLLLLLLL THE FEELINGS. ALL OF THEM."
I'm so thankful to have been given the opportunity to tell Mile's story, and bring a little bit more depth to who he is, then what everyone was seeing on the nightly news.
Click here to see the video: http://vimeo.com/79541124