Beast Edits and Directs a Six-Week Viral Campaign for Western Union

Beast, one of the nation's top editorial houses and a subsidiary of Deluxe Entertainment Services Group Inc., has completed directing and editorial work for Western Union, via agency 180 Amsterdam, to promote World of Betters, a six-week viral campaign that asks the question "what would you do with $1,000 to make someone's day better?" Western Union partnered with global mega stars and music icons such as Alicia Keys, John Legend, K'naan, Sunidhi Chauhan and Pitbull to host live 'better' events around the world to spread a little happiness across the world and show how Western Union moves money for better.

A massive undertaking, the six-week campaign visited New York, Mumbai, Paris, Johannesburg and Miami. Each celebrity hosted a livestream in a different city.

Talented Beast Los Angeles editor Igor Kovalik traveled with the production and not only edited all of the video packages for the livestreams, but also directed all of the 60-minute livestreams, which were fraught with technical and logistical hurdles.

World of Betters 2In addition to the ever-present time constraints of the production, Kovalik took on a number of challenges. "Every location presented its own set of obstacles," said Kovalik. "Depending on where we were, we had varying lengths of time to scout locations, shoot b-roll and prep for the livestream. To accomplish all of this, I shot and/or directed the b-roll, which allowed me to go back to the hotel room after the shoot and hit the ground running; I could go right to the best pieces immediately and not waste time getting to know the footage first. I can definitely see editors being more engaged and taking on more of this kind of creative role as these types of viral campaigns become more common."

The campaign has generated many touching moments. One of the most poignant took place during the New York livestream. Singer Alicia Keys surprised students onstage at her old high school, the Professional Performing Arts School during their beautiful rendition of her hit "Empire State of Mind." Her appearance electrified the students in attendance as she encouraged them to "continue to learn as much as you can learn and give back."

Highlights from all of the livestreams can be viewed here.