In 2012, the GreyHawk team followed the students of the Northwest School of the Arts, an urban arts magnet school in Charlotte, North Carolina, as they prepared for the first-ever full-length high school performance of “The Color Purple.” The students, no strangers to violence, prisons, absent family members, poverty and homelessness, pushed through the reality of their circumstances to meet the demands of a difficult script and grueling production schedule. As filmmakers, GreyHawk was hooked. As humans, they were mesmerized. And so, they kept filming. What was meant to be a quick project soon became a multi-year labor of love.
Over 180 hours of footage was shot over 3-1/2 years. Music clearance, an original score, legal issues, an original music video, editing and marketing, a search for funding, an impact campaign, plus film festival applications brought this project to a 5 year labor of love that could only have been done by a team committed to the film’s cause.
Early on, GreyHawk pitched the story as a TV series. But distributors wanted bad behavior and manufactured drama. Reality — that these talented students were positive role models, not rebels — was far more compelling. GreyHawk chose to honor the truth, funding the majority of the documentary ourselves. The result is a breathtaking feature-length film that honors the school’s history-making production and highlights the necessity of arts education. Today, Purple Dreams is at the heart of a GreyHawk-led impact campaign to spark dialogue surrounding the transformational power of an arts education, especially for at-risk youth. The film will make its debut on the festival circuit this year, having recently been accepted to the prestigious Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, the RiverRun International Film Festival and the New Hope Film Festival.
A celebration of survivors. A testament to early detection. When the American Cancer Society changed its breast health guidelines to recommend women schedule mammograms less frequently (from every year to every other year) and later in life (from 40 to 50 years old), the physicians at Charlotte Radiology thought better than to fall in line. Because they knew the value of early detection to save women’s lives, they came to GreyHawk to make their stance known. We conceptualized, wrote and executed a 5-minute public service announcement that featured the stories of 14 women whose breast cancer had been detected when they were in their 40s — women whose stories would have had far different endings had they adhered to the new guidelines.
The PSA, shared via social media and on Charlotte Radiology’s website, quickly gained traction through comments and reposts. Soon, other radiology groups were clamoring to license the video in their own markets. Even better, GreyHawk was able to edit the existing library of footage to create a condensed 3-minute video, :30 and :60 second TV spots, and radio commercials that helped Charlotte Radiology continue to spread its message. The result? Thousands of views across 15 U.S. markets, more mammograms, and an infinite impact on women’s breast care knowledge.
Freightliner’s tagline? Work Smart. And boy did we ever. GreyHawk braved the elements and crisscrossed the frigid backwoods of Canada to create a sales-driven trade show film that featured four of the company’s satisfied customers navigating a world of snow and ice. As a member of the International Quorum of Motion Picture Producers, we tapped into a vast network of international resources to help clear our presence with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, hire production crew, and prepare for the harsh conditions ahead. Then, we put our boots to the ground. We shipped equipment from Charlotte to British Columbia and Alberta; juggled location permits and work visas; and managed a tight timeline to produce a video that ultimately speaks to Freightliner’s rich history and wide variety of all-terrain products. Through striking visuals and footage that highlights the durability of the Freightliner 122SD model amid rough terrain and relentless cold, it’s evident why these heavy-duty vehicles outdrive their competition.