The Best Work You May Never See: Angie Bird Directs "First Shave" For Gillette, Grey Canada


Robert Goldrich
Tuesday, May. 28, 2019


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In January, Gillette started a conversation globally about what it looks like for men to be their best in the modern world. Today, Gillette Canada is continuing that conversation with the introduction of the short film "First Shave" from Grey Canada. 

The film, which premiered at the 2019 Inside Out LGBT Film Festival in Toronto on May 25, captures the moment when Toronto-native and trans advocate Samson Brown first used a razor to shave himself, all under the watchful and caring guidance of his father. Samson’s story recognizes that having the confidence to express one’s true, authentic self can be a journey--one that Gillette fully supports.

Beyond the launch of the short film, both Gillette and Gillette Venus are taking action to demonstrate their values of respect and inclusivity for everyone. As they continue the conversation around "First Shave" and what it means for people to express #MyBestSelf, the brand is partnering with Toronto-based charity and City agency The 519 to support its trans-inclusive programs. With support from Gillette, they will continue to provide ongoing resources and support to help inspire Canadians of all parts of the gender spectrum to have the confidence to express their true authentic voices, so we can all be our best selves every day. 

Pankaj Bhalla, brand director for Gillette and Venus North America, stated, “Gillette supports everyone in their journey to looking, feeling and acting their best every day. That includes our own journey as a brand committed to using our platform to showcase real, diverse and inclusive stories of men working toward their ‘best’ selves. Samson’s story in First Shave is a perfect example of that commitment because whenever, wherever, however it happens, your first shave is special.” 

Brown said, “My dad always told me that whatever I do, I should be the best at it; and I wanted to be a part of this campaign because Gillette is encouraging everyone to be their best, just like my dad for me. My dad’s encouragement came from a place of love and gave me the confidence to express my true authentic self.”  

“As I dove deeper into the stories of the subjects, I really started to understand how big of a moment the ‘first shave’ was to them,” said Angie Bird who directed the film through Toronto-based production company Skin and Bones. “I love that Gillette is deciding to tell more diverse stories. I think it’s important for brands to connect to a larger audience and tell stories that we haven’t seen before.”


Client Procter & Gamble/Gillette Canada Agency Grey Canada Per Pedersen, global creative chairman; John Patroulis, worldwide creative officer; Patrick Scissons, Emiliano Gonzalez De Pietri, Helen Pak, chief creative officers; Jeff Stamp, deputy chief creative officer; James Ansley, executive chief creative officer; Graeme  Campbell, copywriter; Logan Gabel, art director; Sam Benson, producer. Production Skin & Bones Film Company Angie Bird, director; Jackson Parrell, DP; Liane Thomas, executive producer; Michelle Woodward, line producer. Editorial Rooster Post Production Izzy Erlich, editor; Taylor McWade, assistant editor; Melissa Kahn, exec producer. Color The Vanity Andrew Exworth, colorist. Alter Ego Conor Fisher, colorist. Postproduction Fort York Paul Binney, Flame artist; Sam McLaren, exec producer. Sound Design Cylinder Sound & Film, sound design & sound engineering Brad Nelson, exec producer Music Asche and Spencer

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