The Client: Fantastic Fungi
Award-winning filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg has teamed up with producer Lyn Lear, iconic mycologist Dr. Paul Stamets, authors Michael Pollan and Eugenia Bone, physician Dr. Andrew Weil, and actress Brie Larson to create an educational, inspirational and ultimately critical film called Fantastic Fungi. Communicating the magic of mycelium became effortless. Conveying the magic and mystery, the profound wisdom and power… it was an honor to to be an integral part of the creative team.
Our project began back in 2014. The film was released September, 2019 to global acclaim and continues to reach audiences to this day. We didn’t create a movie. We created a MOVEMENT.
Working with Greta has been nothing short of Fantastic! Literally, having worked with her for several years on the film Fantastic Fungi, her ability of being able to communicate through art and design has been nothing short of exceptional. She is responsive, a good listener and can adapt quickly to convey ‘meaning in media.’ I highly recommend Greta Rose Pharr!Paul Stamets, Renowned Mycologist
The Challenge: Create a Movement
In our time together, we grew a social audience from ZERO, one follower at a time. Today we have over 300K followers (growing at an average of 1-2K followers/week), over 400K email subscribers, over 100K Facebook Fans, and almost 30K Twitter Followers.
There were many phases to this project. Initially, when there was “no film,” Greta Rose Agency was challenged to create an identity. I am extremely proud of the “world” we created over the span of several years.
This proved to be so much fun. Immediately, we found inspiration in mycelial earth tones. I specifically used a hint of formality and precision to elevate the brand. This would prove to become essential over the years.
Connecting with other photographers, artists, foragers, and influential Instagram communities became the glue for us to grow momentum and establish beautiful standards that could be embraced as “all of ours.” The community took ownership of the brand in a powerful way. The conversations around each post were way more valuable than the post itself.
[*Update: In 2022, an e-commerce shop was built, The Fantastic Fungi Shop, which has become its own company. This secondary revenue stream evolved from connecting deeply with this community and realizing a need and opportunity within this trending marketplace. GRA takes pride in discovering the opportunity and producing the first Mycofair event which proved a successful test pilot for the marketplace.]
Anatomy of Our Moviegoer
What connected the vast and varied fans around the globe was a deep connection to the mycelial world. It didn’t matter how you approached it – or from which duality you originated. Fungi lovers could recognize themselves in this community… And, the best part was that we set a standard for educating, learning, sharing, growing together. We held our our hands and welcomed all.
Community At Its Best
I quickly learned how extremely passionate each group was – and, often, how little they communicated with each other. Foodies and scientists didn’t hang out… until now. We brought people together through their mutual love and respect for fungi and the mycelium kingdom. Conversations began, community events sprung up. People started showing up to screenings in costume, and lines formed around the block.
Events Created Opportunity
Once the film released in 2019, we quickly realized that each screening became its own opportunity for audience affinity and growth. Each ticket holder became a super fan who we wanted to inspire to share with others. The best way to do this was to create true, authentic, organic purpose in a local setting. The film simply became the catalyst for conversation. Local organizations and leaders could host powerful Q&As after the screening to galvanize and organize movement, change, connection. Fun myco-fairs popped up before and after the show, connecting local fungi-related vendors. The energy around this film was palpable!
You owned this film as much as anyone… it became “ours.”
Creatives At Your Fingertips
The archives library for this project are busting at the seams… too many to post here! Working closely with 360˚ Communications, Reconsider, Area 23a, and various PR Firms around the world, we provided every design component needed to convey the significance of this project. The system of organizing team assets became its own mini-project, and it was a joy to work with this caliber of colleagues. We got our groove and worked together as a well-oiled machine.
The Reviews Are In
Greta Rose Agency played a key role in establishing Fantastic Fungi as newsworthy, creating a clear, distinct branded identity, and clearly providing film information for visitors. Creating complete, beautiful and powerful media kits, ambassador resources, and managing all team assets over the years, Greta Rose ensured that the message would remain consistent and accurate.
102 Countries. 3200 Cities. One Day.
The Ability to Shift to Virtual When Needed
Our efforts culminated in Fantastic Fungi Day – originally scheduled to screen in over 500 theaters around the world on a single day. With global events and theater closings in 2020, we had to shift radically on a dime to not lose momentum or investment!
Greta Rose Agency is proud to have lead this shift, personally hosting Fantastic Fungi Day on Zoom (before everyone was doing that) and executing all aspects of digital marketing. With Reconsider facilitating the conversation, Area 23a Productions managing the digital release and 360˚ Communications generating grassroots outreach with affinity groups, we managed to host 3 powerful Q&As with iconic leaders from the film to a massive global online audience. Louie was able to offer the film digitally for rent or purchase as part of an early online digital release.
At the end of the day, we celebrated an epic event that protected this beautiful community and kept the film’s momentum on track.
And.... A Music Album!
Click to listen to “Brilliant Mycelium” by Beautiful Chorus….
Musical artists, like Jason Mraz, came together to produce Fantastic Fungi Reimagine, the album. I was asked to design the cover. I wanted it to be unique and stand apart from the film, with a nod to its origin, but with permission to expand and follow its own path. I literally drew the mycelium while listening to the music. It was a joy to cap this multi-year project with something so creative and artistic. For a fun featured artist interview on me, click here.
My initial design – which I LOVED – turned out to contain a poisonous mushroom. Paul Stamets came to the rescue and took a photograph of his very own discovery, which is what made it to the final version.
Editor's Choice: Successful Kickstarter Campaign
Early on we created a Kickstarter campaign to encourage our fans to become stakeholders. We became a Kickstarter Editor’s Choice and exceeded our financial request.
Creative Campaigns Designed to Appeal to Foodies, Scientists, Artists & Masters
My intention was always to create a beautiful gender-neutral site. Inspired by the brand, Origins, Greta Rose Agency stuck to the warm tones of forest green and soft browns. The logo would clearly mark the project as a film project at heart, and the images would stop you in your tracks.
We were going to make you fall in love with the mushroom.
Here are a few examples of successful fungi community initiatives (click on each item to expand):
OMG!!!!! AWESOME!! Fantastic Job!! Speechless! I so adore Greta’s energy. It’s quite contagious!Louie Schwartzberg, Founder, Moving Art Studio
Treat Yourself to The Trailer
If you haven’t seen this yet, you’ll want to watch the trailer and consider renting or buying the film, or watching on any of the streaming channels you prefer (Netflix, etc). I cried three times the first time I watched it! And, I remain truly enthralled by what Louie Schwartzberg created… What a fulfilling project!