Filmmakers Making A Social Impact: Why & How Filmmaker Neymarc Brothers Is Helping To Change Our…

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Filmmakers Making A Social Impact: Why & How Filmmaker Neymarc Brothers Is Helping To Change Our World

Find your passion and the see how your passion can overlap with something the world needs more of. That sweet spot is where you can not only grow yourself but where your growth can directly impact the world in a positive and sustainable way.

As a part of our series about “Filmmakers Making A Social Impact” I had the pleasure of interviewing the Neymarc Brothers.

The Neymarc Brothers are filmmakers behind a Super Bowl commercial, Times Square billboards, Webby award and Clio award winning viral short films, and the immersive theatrical experiences at Summit One Vanderbilt in NYC and View Boston at the Prudential tower in Boston. Their recent ‘From Struggle to Strength’ brand film campaign for the Boulder Crest Foundation and their creative discussions with the United Nations marks their launch into helping raise awareness on non-profits and humanitarian causes.

Thank you so much for doing this interview with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to get to know you a bit. Can you share your “backstory” that brought you to this career?

My brother and I started making commercials for fun until we were contacted by Don Hahn, who, to our surprise, was an Executive Producer for Disney at the time. He invited us to the Walt Disney studios in Los Angeles and planted the idea that we could actually make films for a living. A few years later we were creating Dannon’s first Super Bowl commercial and working on a short film that would end up winning two Webby awards, a Vimeo Staff Pick and getting selected for a Cannes Lion. Sometimes a small act of kindness can go a long way. If you’re reading this, thank you Don!

It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

We’ve made all the mistakes possible. From asking a film crew what an apple box was to asking a celebrity to ‘cry’ on screen…we’ve experienced all the most embarrassing moments you can imagine. Since we never went to film school and are entirely self-taught, we had to go through steep learning curves. The biggest early lesson we learned was how to keep track of our equipment. We’ve lost more cameras, lights and hard drives than we care to admit. Thankfully now we have qualified department heads and crew members to help us manage that. The truth is that the learning process has always been enjoyable for us. We’re explorers at heart. Our philosophy is that we haven’t ever really failed, we’ve only discovered ways that don’t work yet.

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

Through the course of our adventures we’ve met many memorable talents, from John Stamos, Denise Richards, Kristin Davis, to Mookie Betts and Jon Landau it’s hard to pick. I remember pitching our short film idea to Brad Fuller (A Quiet Place, The Purge, Ninja Turtles) who is a well respected production executive in Hollywood and who works closely with Michael Bay. My brother and I were pretty fearless (or naive?) in our approach and just showed up with an animatic we’d prepared but it became clear that we were out of our league. With some encouraging words, Brad very politely showed us the door expecting to never see us again. A year later we had made the thing and sent it to him. He was actually impressed and set some meetings up for us at talent agencies in L.A so we could get representation. We eventually ended up signing with WME as a result. He’s a great filmmaker and business man and has always left us feeling inspired or motivated.

Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?

Robin Hood. Not for his archery skills nor swordsmanship but for the symbol of social rebellion and wealth redistribution that he represents.

Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview, how are you using your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share with us the meaningful or exciting social impact causes you are working on right now?

It’s slightly less about using our success and more about using our skillset and knowledge as filmmakers to help non-profit organizations, foundations and charities elevate their visual storytelling to expand the breadth and depth of their reach.

We’re working closely with the Boulder Crest Foundation on a series of brand films to raise awareness on their programs which support veterans and first responders in overcoming traumatic experiences they may have had in the line of duty. We are helping them reshape the narrative around ‘PTSD’ by turning it into ‘PTG’, Post Traumatic Growth. Our first brand film for them ‘On Duty’ received a Clio Award in Health Awareness and Advocacy. And our second short film ‘Reborn’ was released last week and is receiving a lot of attention in the first responder, veteran and law enforcement communities.

We’re also in early talks with the United Nations to potentially help the Human Rights component of Peacekeeping operations and we’re eager to find more reasons to get involved with other good causes: humanitarian efforts, animal rights, prison reform, refugee assistance and climate/environmental protection organizations.

Many of us have ideas, dreams, and passions, but never manifest it. But you did. Was there an “Aha Moment” that made you decide that you were actually going to step up and take action for this cause? What was that final trigger?

We were lucky in that the Founder of the Boulder Crest Foundation, Ken Falke, actually found us after he’d visited our theatrical experience at the Summit One Vanderbilt. The real ‘Aha’ moment for my brother & I was when we started seeing the real impact his foundation had on past participants and how much value he placed on quality storytelling. The high standards that Ken Falke and Josh Goldberg (the CEO) envisioned and manifested for the communications and marketing of their foundation’s programs has set the tone for our high caliber storytelling to match and reflect the quality of their organization. Having and allocating the necessary resources to achieve that vision is a feat in itself and it’s what allows us as writers and directors to push the boundaries of nonprofit marketing and brand storytelling.

Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

Just last week, we received a message from the program (redacted and edited for confidentiality): “A veteran shared with us that he was planning to kill himself when he happened to see the On Duty commercial on social media. He stopped his plans and decided to contact Boulder Crest instead.

One of the counselors said of our film “That piece is not just award-winning, it’s life-saving.”

This message is framed in our office today and a reminder of the power of filmmaking.

Are there three things that individuals, society or the government can do to support you in this effort?

– watch and share the films we’ve made for this nonprofit, which promote post-traumatic growth for veterans and first responders: On Duty and Reborn. You never know who may need to see or hear this message of hope, so sharing the films and helping spread the word on these programs is a small step yet extremely helpful for the cause.

If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?

Find your passion and the see how your passion can overlap with something the world needs more of. That sweet spot is where you can not only grow yourself but where your growth can directly impact the world in a positive and sustainable way.

We are very blessed that many other Social Impact Heroes read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would like to collaborate with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

Damian Mander of the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF) and the Akashingas. Africa’s first armed, plant-based, all-women anti-poaching unit, which is revolutionizing the way animals are protected.

It’s an amazing cause and so rich with storytelling potential. I hope Damian Mander reads this and remembers meeting us in NYC a few ago and reaches out!

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Actions speak louder than words.

How can our readers follow you online?

Instagram: @neymarcvisuals

This was great, thank you so much for sharing your story and doing this with us. We wish you continued success!

Filmmakers Making A Social Impact: Why & How Filmmaker Neymarc Brothers Is Helping To Change Our… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.