“Your Guide to Creating a Harasser”
9 out of 10 women in Egypt are victims of sexual harassment, that’s a fact.
Powerful art can reshape societies, also a fact.
Flink Studios firmly believes in the power of art as a tool for positive social impact, this belief was our constant push to fulfill our latest self-funded native production; Your Guide to Creating a Harasser – دليل صناعة المتحرش. With the recent massive wave of online activism against sexual harassment, it became widely acknowledged that there’s a deadly plague within the Egyptian society. People started to raise questions, debate, shout, and sometimes fight for the sake of raising awareness. Luckily, it’s no longer hard to discuss sexual harassment with anyone, no matter how controversial the conversation may get, but talking openly is a huge societal progress.
As strong believers in change, our creative team spent months of constant research, writing, and editing in order to reflect the magnitude of the issue through a social media campaign. Each one of them reflected on every related situation they’ve encountered, in order to make the writing as relevant as possible. With the supervision of our Creative Director Omar A Rashed, the creative team decided to divide the campaign into three videos, each targeting a different aspect of sexual harassment. All three videos tackle the faulty societal norms that lead to the increase of sexual harassment incidents, they are so normalized that most people are not aware of their consequences or correlation to the issue. The first video, “Boys Will Be Boys”, tackles the misconceptions that face most of the Egyptian boys through their upbringing, which eventually lead to normalizing and enriching rape culture. The second video, “Be a Good Girl”, showcases how Egyptian society sets a very specific portrayal of a good girl’s behaviors while ignoring all the struggles and dangers she goes through daily. Lastly, “It’s Okay, Live With It”, sheds the light on the true colors of the victim and the harasser’s peers through their reactions towards a sexual harassment incident. Each sentence from the dialogue is inspired by real events that highlights the major misconceptions in our society.
The treatment & direction
Our creative director Omar A Rashed wanted the viewer to feel like they were the one these sentences were directed towards as this is the reality the culture exposes you to so that inspired us to shoot using the POV (Point of view) technique. This technique makes the camera the hero of our campaign, every movement or positioning is motivated by the actions or the dialogue in every scene. This technique makes the viewer in every scene feel as if their own parents were telling them this, or their school peers, their coaches, etc.. as it is said directly to the camera, and every action takes the full attention of the viewer.
At Flink, we believe in being authentic as well as having the culture of exposing our talents, accordingly we agreed on having more than one director on the campaign for the authenticity of having both a male/female perspective on our campaign. Having more than one director was no easy challenge as we had to make sure the campaign remained unified in its theme and feel throughout the three copies. As our creative director was also one of the campaign’s directors, he set a detailed director’s treatment that served as a blueprint for our four directors to follow. The three videos were delivered by our own talented directors Omar A Rashed, Mohamed Elwy, Farah ElHefny, and Sara Adel. They put their heart and soul into the preparations and planning and their enthusiasm was pretty clear on set as well.
Our Superheroes - The Crew
The pre-production phase was hectic yet fruitful. It was a challenge to gather a talented crew to work on a controversial project voluntarily, but we successfully managed to collaborate with the best out there. With a huge faith in positive impact, the crew exerted tremendous efforts in this project to give out the best visual identity.
Executed by our talented DOP Amr Nazeer and the art director Sheiwy Farouk, they both gave a very realistic image of Egyptian houses, schools, companies, and outdoors. Through mastering the camera technique and positioning every element in its right place. Plus, the usage of color psychology gave every copy a style of its own, through using green tones with the first copy and warm tones with the second. Also, the stylist Maram ElBanna used these colors subtly in the cast’s wardrobe to show what each character stands for, the green tones show the characters with destructive thoughts and the warm tones show the characters with supportive thoughts.
Picking the cast was one big challenge, especially for a campaign without a hero or heroine. Convincing the cast to join a campaign to volunteer and recite simple lines on camera wasn’t an easy task. Also, in order to make the campaign as realistic as possible, we managed to pick a cast with minimal or nonexistent acting experience, but they all surprised us with superb performances.
The experience itself on set was pretty challenging. Shooting the three videos simultaneously was hard as each one has its own mood and style, but the whole crew made tremendous efforts to ease the shooting days and fulfill all the tasks smoothly.
The post production phase was masterfully handled by our talented Aly Dahawy who gave the project its final picture through unique editing and coloring. Also, the sound design was brilliantly done by Waleed Soliman. Last but definitely not least, the videos would have been soulless without the intriguing music composing of the artist Orion Melok.
Societal change doesn’t happen overnight, it takes awareness, faith, and courage. The Egyptian society is accepting the change gradually, and the government has given support to the cause through the latest penal code adjustments which intensify the punishment for harassers. This country will remain strong, as long as we all fight the faulty beliefs within our culture.
Blog-post written by: Sara Adel
We would like to sincerely thank everyone who believed in this campaign enough and volunteered to help us make it happen.
Creative House: Flink Studios
Directors: Omar A Rashed, Mohamed Elwy, Farah Elhefny, Sara Adel
Creative/Executive Producer: Omar A Rashed
DOP: Amr Nazeer
Producer: Kareem Agwa
Art Director: Shaimaa Farouk
Copywriter: Ahmed Farghaly
Creative Team/Assistant Directors: Sara Adel, Farah Elhefny
Production Manager: Ibrahim Elgharably
Production Team: Mahmoud Hamed, Mohab Mahdy
Assistant Producer: Shahd Tarek, Bassam Agwa
1st Assistant Art Director: Marwa Nasr
2nd Assistant Art Director: Nermeen Hammad
Prop Master: Aly Elzahar
Make-up artist: Mariam Elhabashy
Stylist: Maram Elbanna
Assistant Stylist: Yasmine Elbadry
Focus Puller: Malak Tarek
Gaffer: Mohamed Eissa
Clack: Mahmoud Ashraf
Casting Director: Samer Mohamed
Editor/Colorist: Aly Dahawy
Music Composer: Orion
Sound Design: Waleed Safwat
Voiceover: Lotfy Abdelaziz
Voice recording: Ahmed Ihab Live Studio
Title Calligraphy: Omar Gamal Eldin
Graphic Designer: Yomna Aly
Translation: Randa Elsafty
Behind the Scenes: Ali Sabbour, Nada Rabei, Omar Selim
In-house Producers: Laila Kamal, Hagar Hamza
Business Development Manager: Wael Roshdi
British International Modern School
Moustafa ElHawary (Aliens Casting Agency)