The Webby for Good, produced in partnership with WP Engine, is a showcase of Webby-honored projects and campaigns that are promoting social good in the world.
Here’s to Firsts, a cross-platform social campaign, celebrates firsts of all kinds. One way we did that was through documentary-style videos, including Ira’s inspiring story. Because he was born with muscular dystrophy and wheelchair-bound, he couldn’t drive when he turned 16, but he never let anyone write the script of his own life. After a lot of waiting and training, he was finally given the freedom to explore the city he loves with his custom-made car.
Logistically, we came up against several challenges during the shoot. We wanted to film Ira at home, but the lighting in his basement wasn’t ideal, and an unseasonable cold front came through the night before (cold weather is particularly challenging for someone with muscular dystrophy). So we took care of our lighting issues in post production, and made sure to shoot the outdoor scenes quickly.
Everyone who worked on this project was deeply touched by Ira’s determination and positivity. One of the first things he said in the interview was, “Having muscular dystrophy has been a gift in my life.” The crew was floored, and we were also touched by Ira’s close friendship with Kyle, who he met many years ago at a muscular dystrophy camp. They hold a deep respect for each other, and introducing Kyle into the story allowed someone else to brag about Ira, which was heartwarming to see.
We wanted to highlight an extraordinary first car experience from someone whose story might not otherwise be told. With Ira, we were able to share both his unique situation (learning to drive with MD) and his relatable experience (the freedom that comes with a first car). We celebrate differences, similarities and firsts—all at the same time.
We first of all wanted to make sure we did Ira's story justice by staying authentic and creating something he would be proud of. We also discussed making sure we weren’t exploitative of Ira or the viewers. Ira has faced many more challenges than most people, but he’s not feeling sorry for himself, and we shouldn’t make our viewers feel that way either. Instead we focused on Ira’s positivity and his triumphs.
We knew Ira was a cheerful guy, but didn’t know quite how much so until we spent hours with him in person. He is a light whose outlook on life can change the way you think about your own. His incredible hospitality and gracious attitude during our time together is something we won’t soon forget.
See More Webby for Good Projects
- Creative Director Carolyn Connolly T3
- Associate Creative Director Ashley Lapin T3
- Associate Creative Director Chrissy Loehman T3
- Senior Art Director Miles Gilbert T3
- Senior Art Director Nathan Trafford T3
- Senior Art Director Nicole Chavez T3
- Copywriter Traci Clayton T3
- Copywriter Laci Mosier T3
- Associate Connections Director Andrew Sharetts T3
- Connections Strategist Katie Kahler T3
- Video Director/Editor Chris McInroy T3
- Director of Photography Nathan Smith T3
- Sound Recordist Austin Tolin T3
- Motion Designer/Video John LaPrime T3
- Producer Katie Webb T3
About the Social Video category
Video-based content made on behalf of a brand specifically to be displayed on social media platforms.