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One Percent Collective’s philanthropic gospel deters dreams of superherodom

The One Percent Collective is on a mission to inspire more generosity and convince Kiwis to give away a small chunk of their total income. And to raise awareness of its mission, it’s called on the generosity of many others to create an ad that co-founder Pat Shepherd believes is “a bit different to your average charity campaign”. 

The charity, which is run part-time by Shepherd and another part-timer but involves a wide range of supporters, was founded just over a year ago and the creation of the clip was a labour of love – and a prime example of a charity without too many resources doing everything in its power to get things done for free. 

It worked with The Sweet Shop’s Mark Albiston, one half of the directorial duo who made the film Shopping, and, presumably unlike a lot of his regular work with ad agencies or corporates, he was given plenty of rope to tell the charity’s story in his own unique way. 

“When we approached Mark, we gave him the ethos of what the One Percent Collective is, why we exist and what we’re trying to achieve. And then we left it to Mark’s awesome crazy brain to bring it all together … There’s no point making a video if it’s going to be average. We need people to look at it.” 

The moral of the story is that you don’t have to be a superhero to change the world. Little gestures can change it too. And he says the inclusion of the adult hands on the children (one pair belongs to Ladi 6 and another to Loren Horsley/Taylor, who starred in Eagle vs. Shark) is meant to represent the fact that the kids are the future—and that adults have to instill these philanthropic beliefs in the younger generation if they want that future to be better. 

Albiston did the work pro-bono and Shepherd says the shoot involved 40-50 people, with generous supporters providing most of the equipment, food and beverage and post production work for free (The Sweet Shop even donated $4,000 for costs that couldn’t be avoided and Auckland-based VFX house Studio Local worked on the CGI for about a month). 

It launched the ad this week in Wellington with the Sustainability Trust and around 200 people were in attendance, with Samsung donating a couple of 75 inch screens for the occasion and the Wellington Orchestra performing. 

The clip is only online at the moment, mostly because the charity doesn’t have any cash to run it anywhere else, Shepherd says. But with a child getting hit by a car and some potentially dangerous high-diving on display, he admits it might be hard to find a broadcaster willing to play it. 

Since it’s been up he says it’s had some amazing feedback and plenty of social media activity. And he’s hoping for more next week, because it’s set to launch another two-minute clip on Wednesday that’s just as mad as the first and involves Siberian tigers and spaceships. 

Overall, he says it’s been a slow burn getting the message of the charity out there and so far around 80 people have signed up, with a few additions last night after the ad was released. 

“The reality is we’re still in start-up mode. We’re finding our feet, we’ve learnt a lot in the past year and we’ve built up a huge amount of contacts … In an ideal world we would have 1,000 people signed up, but we’ve got to start somewhere. We’re getting the the idea and the ethos out there. And part of what we do is inspire generosity. If they sign up with us that’s awesome, but we’re just as happy for them to do it through Oxfam or another charity.”  

This post originally appeared on StopPress

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