Role: Creative, presenter, photography and motion graphics.
Deliverables: A feature documentary on COPA90 YouTube, with distinct cross-platform storytelling on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Moreover, the project helped inform our entire business approach to Russia 2018.
In January 2017, the BBC released the documentary Russia's Hooligan Army. It depicted a nightmare-ish vision of future World Cup host Russia as a training ground for radicalised hooligans.
We had every reason to give way to fear and believe this after being inadvertently caught up in the Marseille riots of Euro 2016 whilst we were shooting there, but my co-creators and I knew there was more to this story than was being presented.
In many ways, we discovered what we expected we would - Russia is a vast and unknowable country of extremes and paradoxes, of anti-Western paranoia yet uniquely warm hospitality.
Alongside our director I helped to make sense of the story on every platform. From secretly filming inside a terrifying hooligan headquarters on Snapchat specs, like Nathan Barley with a death wish, to contributing photography, VFX and eventually the voice-over to the final edit, we approached the communication of our complicated experience as completely nuanced by platform.
We spoke to many of the same people as the BBC had a few months previously, from hooligans to journalists, offering them a chance to tell their full story. Once off that beaten track, we spoke to the likes of cult fashion designer Gosha Rubchinksky and more of Russia's new wave of creatives, hearing a completely different take on their contemporary culture.
The way the YouTube film was presented was deconstructed, stripped back and post-modern - we demonstrated there was no universal truth and we, just like the BBC, had an agenda by the simple fact of being there to tell the story.
Our intention was not to reclaim a monopoly on truth, nor to single out the BBC - just to invite questioning of the accepted truth. And that's absolutely what happened - no single comment of the 1,600+ on the video is like the other, and it still racks up 1000's of views each week as we head towards Russia World Cup 2018.