Tim Minchin leads 'The Fading Symphony' for MND Australia in latest campaign via The Works

FadingSymphony_KV.jpgAustralian musician, actor and comedian Tim Minchin and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (SSO) have performed a moving rendition of Crowded House hit 'Don't Dream It's Over' to raise awareness of the debilitating symptoms of motor neurone disease (MND).
'The Fading Symphony' was created by independent Sydney agency The Works for MND Australia and features Minchin and the SSO in an innovative re-recording and video of the track, highlighting the physical impacts of the disease metaphorically through the deteriorating performances of the artists.

FadingSymphony 3.jpgMND is a progressive terminal neurological disease with no known cure or effective treatment. Each day in Australia two people die from and two people are diagnosed with MND. People living with the disease progressively lose the use of their limbs and the ability to speak, swallow and breathe whilst their mind and senses usually remain FadingSymphony2.jpgintact.
Once Minchin and the orchestra fall abruptly silent as if they were affected by MND, viewers are asked to donate and are rewarded with the orchestra coming back to life and performing the rest of the iconic song.
Minchin, who currently lives in Los Angeles, has performed with symphony orchestras around the world and wrote the music and lyrics for stage show 'Matilda the Musical', which has gone on to be a worldwide smash. He has also appeared on stage and screen including US hit TV show 'Californication' and is currently directing and writing the music and lyrics for Dreamworks' animated feature 'Larrikins'.
Says Minchin on his involvement in 'The Fading Symphony': "I love playing with the SSO, I have always loved this song and I loved this idea the minute it was presented to me. Music has the capacity to make us emotionally connect to stories like nothing else. Except, perhaps, silence."

Says Carol Birks, national executive director of MND Australia: "MND can be difficult to talk about because it is such a brutal and confronting disease. The amazing team behind 'The Fading Symphony' have opened up the conversation through this sensitive and empathetic analogy.
"No matter how many times I watch it, I am still moved. It's a beautiful campaign that will bring great hope to people touched by MND."
FadingSymphony4.jpgFilmed at the City Recital Hall in Sydney, Minchin, the SSO and all creative and production partners gave their time free of charge, while Crowded House frontman Neil Finn gave special permission to use 'Don't Dream It's Over', the song he wrote which was first released in 1986 and became the Australian band's biggest international hit.
Says Paul Swann, creative partner, The Works: "As a business every year we like to get behind a great cause and really help them surpass their goals. MND Australia came to us with a simple creative challenge; help people better understand what it's like living with MND and 'The Fading Symphony' was born."
Says Guy Patrick, creative lead at The Works: "What has stayed with me is meeting Dr Kirsten Harley who lives with MND and is a board member for MND New South Wales. Her brain works perfectly, but her body is degenerating bit by bit. She is currently bound to a wheelchair with limited use of her arms and, tragically, her condition will continue to get worse. Tim Minchin also met Kirsten and was inspired and moved by her attitude on life.
"In a way this is a direct response spot, but it's big, beautiful and full of seriously talented people. The other difference is that viewers get more than just a good feeling after donating - they get access to Tim and the orchestra performing in a second video."
In addition to developing the creative idea and securing the participation of Minchin and the SSO, a microsite that includes behind the scene videos of the making of 'The Fading Symphony' has been produced. The Works also collaborated with all partners to develop a cohesive digital and social strategy to amplify the content which is also being supported by Twitter Australia.
Client: MND Australia
Creative Agency: The Works
Founder and Creative Partner: Damian Pincus
Creative Partner: Paul Swann
Creative Leads: Guy Patrick and Nathan Bilton
Creative Project Manager: Erica Wong
Digital & Social Strategist: Vanessa Hartley
Content Producer: Patrick Mazzolo
Head of Digital Production: Dave Flanagan
Creative Technologist: Dave Ganley
PR: Poem
Production: Photoplay Films
Director: Husein Alicajic
Director of Photography: Simon Chapman
Editor: Joe Morris
Executive Producer: Oliver Lawrance
Producer: Suzanne Kim
Post Production: Cutting Edge
'Don't Dream It's Over': Arranged and conducted by Benjamin Northey


Mrs Silence Dogood said:

Great stuff guys!

JJ said:

Nice work guys!

Awards said:

Very powerful

Dk said:

Smart idea & really well executed, well done to all

New AD guy said:

Very powerful idea. nicely executed. I love Tim, good to see his skills used for good here.
Great stuff guys

Jon Holloway said:

Great Work guys, proud of you.

Greidy said:


Yup said:

Love it,

But I missed the 'donate to hear the rest of the song' bit and only picked it up watching the 'making of' vid.

Which I did watch I guess, so I didn't miss it.

love and some thoughts said:

This is lovely work and well done to all concerned.

But I want to make a point - not against the work, because it's lovely, but against a prevailing mindset in the industry at the moment.

There's so much talk about reinvention and media neutral ideas and so on, and some are anti-TV and some are anti digital and blah blah blah, but the fact is... this is a video.

And there's nothing wrong with that.

It's a powerful medium. Always has been, always will.

Yes, it uses a well-known celebrity and the SSO, all of which gives it scale, but so have TV ads since the dawn of time. It's just smart.

Is it 'digital'? Is it 'TV'? Is it on Facebook? Does it matter? It's a strong idea, beautifully executed. It can run anywhere - YouTube, TV, Facebook, cinema, wherever.

Where it lives is frankly irrelevant, and I wish as an industry we'd stop debating this bullshit about the medium. Ideas like this, or Ship Song, or Touch Myself or Ricky Gervais reward me for one or two minutes of my time, make me feel something, make me want to go, or give, or buy, or participate... and you know what? That's it. That's our job.

If I want to share it, I'll share it - because that's how the internet works, and has done for quite some time now. I don't need to have it shoved down my throat.

Is it 'storytelling'? I don't know, but I do know I'd talk about it. If that counts as a 'story', then yeah, I guess so.

I wish we'd all stop trying to define the industry and crapping on about it, and just try and do and celebrate interesting ideas like this, regardless of media.

Pass me a tissue said:

Goosebumps all over. Very touching piece

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