Directing a gaggle of teenagers for an ad shoot is no small feat. Sid Lee creatives Aurélien Liguori and Alexandre Burt-Riley were up to the challenge—and had a great time! The project may have been ambitious, but you wouldn’t have guessed by watching the young actors perform their hearts out for two and a half days in April.

With very little experience directing teenagers, the Sid Lee team, which was headed by director Sébastien Duguay, told the actors (many of whom were first-timers) to go with their gut and pretend the camera wasn’t there—not to overplay or “lay it on thick.” While that may seem easier said than done, the results far exceeded the crew’s expectations. The diverse group of young actors had great chemistry from the very first take, coming alive with an energy and enthusiasm that carried the project through from beginning to end. The young people performed with a depth and accuracy well beyond their years, demonstrating exceptional sincerity and confidence. Technicians on set were, at times, simple onlookers as the actors strayed from the script, giving in to the moment; all the camera had to do was capture these perfect scenes playing out in real time.

The young actors also demonstrated impressive range and flexibility through endless set changes. A gym, for instance, may suddenly transform into an outdoor location, but these authentic, convincing young professionals always managed to find their footing.

The journey didn’t end there. Actors on set developed meaningful bonds during the experience (as teenagers do.) The ambitious project created more than a moving ad campaign—it forged close friendships that were kept up over Facebook.

The shoot may be over, but Sid Lee continues to lend its full support to FitSpirit initiatives, seeing the organization not as a client, but as a partner. Bringing the issues young people face to life, Sid Lee focused on the individual, staying far away from personal or political interests. Images captured of very real problems—as seen the eyes of Sid Lee—are sure to serve as a powerful tool to raise awareness and give FitSpirit a voice.

Fillactive - Behind the camera