Top Spot of the Week: Droga5 NY, Director Kim Gehrig, Jazz Artist Makaya McCraven Affirm "Life Needs Truth" For The New York Times


Robert Goldrich
Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020


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In a time when life itself has come into sharp focus, understanding the world and having the correct facts and the right information have never been more essential than now. The truth can help guide us through life, help us see and help us learn to understand and navigate the world we live in. Now is the time when the power of good, quality, independent journalism is needed the most. This insight led to the “Life Needs Truth” work, the next iteration of “The Truth Is Essential” campaign that looks to show New York Times journalism as part of the fabric of life and the issues of our time—how it can guide us every day, from daily news to podcasts, opinions to cooking, technology to home. This work looks to capture the current time in America through the lens of Times reporting—it responds to the idea that, in times like these, we all need journalism to help us process the world.

The film work is a poem about life crafted from Times journalism and structured over five verses. Built with words lifted from New York Times reporting, the headlines come together to rhythmically tell the story of the time we are living in.

Set to the sound of Makaya McCraven’s jazz, his music, combined with the sound of typing, looks to put the infectious rhythm, cadence and rhyme structure of the writing and the story in the viewer’s head.

For every part of our chaotic and upended lives, there is a piece of journalism to help bring clarity and guidance to it.

The film work was directed in partnership with director Kim Gehrig. Tom Lindsay of Trim/Cosmo Street edited.


Client The New York Times David Rubin, chief marketing officer; Amy Weisenbach, SVP, marketing; Iain Newton, director, brand strategy; Lyndsay De Carolis, director, brand marketing; Laura Forde, executive creative director, marketing; Taylor Gandossy, associate creative director, brand marketing; Brenna King Schleifer, managing director, marketing & brand insights. Agency Droga5 NY David Droga, creative chairman; Tim Gordon, Felix Richter, co-chief creative officers; Laurie Howell, Toby Treyer-Evans, group creative directors; Ben Brown, copywriter; Jackie Moran, art director; Ruben Mercadal, associate director of film production; Forrest Holt, Brandon Chen, sr. producers, film; Connor Hagan, associate producer, film; Mike Ladman, sr. music supervisor; Nick Maschmeyer, group strategy director; Carmen VonPatterson, sr. strategist; Hillary Fink, communications strategy director. Production Company Somesuch Kim Gehrig, director; Nicky Barnes, exec producer; Saul Germaine, producer; Fraser Muggeridge, typography. Editorial Trim/Cosmo Street Tom Lindsay, editor; Jacques Simon, Ben Elkaim, Josh Mannox, Alex Morales, assistant editors; Anne Lai, Noreen Khan, offline producers. Audio Wave Studios Aaron Reynolds, sound designer/mixer; Vicky Ferraro, exec producer. Music “Requests” by Makaya McCraven, courtesy of International Anthem Recording Co.; composed by Makaya McCraven, Matt Ulery, Marquis Hill, Tony Barba. Additional music arranged by Luke Fabia & Peter Raeburn for Soundtree Music. Music Production Company and Additional Sound Design by Soundtree Music. Postproduction Method Studios Bennett Lieber, exec producer; Warren Paleos, Flame artist; Kristin Engdahl, VFX producer. Color Electric Theatre Collective Luke Morrison, colorist; Oliver Whitworth, color producer; Andi Chu, Olie Thompson, color assistants. Intro Animation Matt Eller, animator.

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