Our firm is associated with several City-based charities and we are of course proud to support them all through the year. But 2014 is a special year, the centenary of the start of the war that was supposed to end all wars. The Great War. In common, I'm sure, with many we wanted to help commemorate this epochal event without any suggestion that we were seeking to exploit it for commercial benefit.
Kingston Smith was fortunate, then, to be given the chance to back what I think is a remarkable film that celebrates the stories of some of those who gave their lives for Britain in World War One. The 90-second film, "Flight of the Stories", gives graphic expression to the personal stories of those who never left Flanders' fields.
In the film, animated 'quotation mark' characters symbolising those stories spring from the screen as poignant lines are read from the letters and diaries sent to loved ones during the War. As the voices gather, the bird-like characters join to form a flock, and then take flight over Northern France and across the English Channel, before finally coming to rest in London.
When we were approached by creative advertising agency Jonny Fearless about a special project that they were working on with Aardman Animations, we were keen to explore the opportunity to get involved and support it. Their idea was to create a short film that used the extraordinary techniques of animation to mark the lives of extraordinary men and women. The film required significant funding in order to get off the ground and we were delighted to be able to help bring this moving and beautiful film to life.
As a professional services firm, people are at the heart of who we are and what we do. With a significant not-for-profit division and an established media and creative services practice, the opportunity to put something back into these sectors was one that we did not hesitate to take.
Now that the film is finished and on public view the firm feels privileged to have been involved in the commemoration of this historic centenary. This was a very special project and it has been an honour to help bring these powerful stories to life alongside two talented creative agencies.