[ Updated 11.19.14 – please see note at the end. ]
Click on the image above to watch –and listen to– a remarkable animation. It's called Past, Present, and Future and was first shown by the GAVI Alliance on June 13, 2011 at its Pledging Conference in London. While the animation itself is too quick for a viewer to absorb all of the information (–I count about 40+ message points and at least 8 key statistics–), the overall impression is one of truly amazing and increasing progress. It's an exuberant piece of film-making, made all the more so by the sound track.
For a presentation where the music and visuals are so closely and powerfully aligned, you have to wonder whether the pieces were created simultaneously to achieve such tight integration.
In fact, Bliink Ltd of East Sussex, England, who created the piece, told me they did the animation first and then added the music. The composer was Paul Pritchard, also from the UK, who told me the track was a piece of production music for EMI, meaning, essentially, that he'd written it on spec and that the now-extinct publishing house brokered its licensing. By the way, Pritchard's title for the piece was, somewhat prophetically, Steps to Success.
So it turns out that what's most remarkable about Past, Present, and Future is not it's emotional resonance (though, seriously it gets me every time I watch it), but the way these separately-created parts have been seamlessly and powerfully woven together. All you have to do is watch it a second time with the sound off to appreciate how much the music adds to the whole. Or simply watch the videos of other NGOs and notice how often the music feels like an obligatory decoration or just an afterthought.
When sound is given equal attention to visuals, messages become more potent, more memorable, and more effective.
And the Pledging Conference... GAVI raised $4.3 billion.
Update: Past, Present, and Future has now been replaced by a new Gavi animation, which can be viewed here.