The National Football Museum asked us to shine a spotlight on the history of women’s football in Britain in a new exhibition that was to lead up to the Women’s Euros. The story should explain the landscape surrounding women’s football through the ages, the time it was banned and those that pioneered to play the sport they loved – right through to the 2012 Olympics, professional women’s football up to the Women’s Euros.
As it transpired the decision was made to split the exhibition into 2 halves, the first leading up to the ban in 1921 to be presented prior to the Women’s Euros, and the second half everything leading up to and including the Women’s Euros Championship 2022. At least this way we’d have an ending. And wouldn’t you know it, the Lionesses only went and gave this story the happiest of happy endings!
Taking the pioneers fighting the ban as our inspiration we heard the phrase, “Cross the line” a few times and it struck a chord with us. This can be the line between right and wrong, success and failure or even (during the war) between life and death; coupled with crossing the physical line of walking onto a pitch and we had our vehicle. Using a line acting as a timeline to link the creative but also give the story some vibrancy.
Seeing women and girls from all ages enjoying the exhibition from youngsters starting out on their journey through to some of the first professionals was fantastic to see. Having some of the players from the European squad turn up to have a look around and pay tribute to the former players was a dream come true.
The Cinema Space:
Distilling over 100 years of the modern women’s game into one single film was always going to be a challenge but we overcame this by allowing oral histories to guide the narrative. Testimonies from influential players and administrators from across the generations made for a powerful account of the adversity they faced. To bring these words to life we added animated on screen text and graphics, reminding the audience of the powerful message, this is only the beginning.