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Escape into: the evolution of worldbuilding
A new documentary film from global creative agency Amplify investigates the creative practice of worldbuilding, exploring how the people behind the world’s biggest brands, including Lego and Dune producer Legendary Entertainment, tug at the fabric of reality to immerse audiences into radically different worlds.
The film, called ‘escape into: the evolution of worldbuilding’, is directed by filmmaker, author and activist Bexy Cameron. It premiered in London at the Curzon Bloomsbury and via a global online premiere on April 19th.
Cameron interviews renowned creators and worldbuilders including Ali Mendes, Senior Vice President, Creative Affairs at Legendary Entertainment, known for Dune, Detective Pikachu and Enola Holmes; Kris Crockett, Global Brand Director at LEGO Group; Judy Lee, Head of Global Brand Experiences at Pinterest; Liv Little, author and founder of gal-dem; and Jay-Ann Lopez, CEO and Founder of Black Girl Gamers.
The film, which features insights from 24 creators, brand leaders and cultural influencers from New York, London, Los Angeles, Paris and Melbourne, explores the key attributes of renowned artists, creators and entertainment giants that impact modern culture, from Margaret Atwood predicting America’s future in The Handmaid’s Tale to the impact of Disney’s soon-to-be released remake of The Little Mermaid on the next generation.
The film, which will also be aired on Amplify’s dedicated digital worldbuilding hub, will be followed by an eight-part series of short films deep diving into how worldbuilding operates in different spaces including film, music and fashion. For the series, over 70 pioneering worldbuilders and cultural visionaries have been interviewed and profiled to explore how they place audiences at the centre of their worlds. The series, which will run on the worldbuilding hub, will be released periodically over the next few months.
Amplify is also launching a new book which gets to the root of the core principles of worldbuilding. The book, titled ‘worldbuilding, the evolution of brand building’, explores the creation of narratives to help brands, from Monocle to McDonald’s, connect with audiences in culture, and includes interviews with pioneering worldbuilders on the storytelling tools they use that put the audience the heart of the action. The book is available digitally and upon request.
Jonathan Emmins, Founder and Global CEO at Amplify, said: “From Marvel to Disney World and from Netflix to Fortnite, worldbuilding is a tool that writers, filmmakers, and entertainers have long used to create compelling and engaging narratives and environments for ideas, characters and stories to live in - and an approach that has never been more relevant for brand building now and in future. As with much of Amplify's work, with worldbuilding we draw as much inspiration from the culture and creative communities as we do from pioneering brands. Whether they are local or global, to be discovered or already iconic, we believe these pioneers lead the charge and provide valuable lessons for brands embarking on their own worldbuilding journeys.”
Ali Mendes, Senior Vice President, Creative Affairs at Legendary Entertainment, said: “Something I found with all material, whether it’s a giant piece of pre-existing IP, the most popular video game in the world or an original idea from a creator, it always leads back to a strong concept. You cannot build a world without a strong concept at the centre.”
Bexy Cameron, Director said: “What started out as an exploration into creativity became so much more than that, we started to see the links between creative worldbuilding and themes with real world value and meaning, between writers and political movements, between fashion and shifts in culture, between filmmakers and family values. It's when creativity meets purpose and emotional resonance that worldbuilding becomes alive.”