From Green Light to Red Carpet, this five-episode series released in partnership with Apple gave audiences unprecedented access to the nearly decade-long journey it took to bring The Greatest Showman to the big screen.
The Greatest Showman was more than just another musical. This was a passion project seven years in the making that was deeply personal for everyone involved. The film itself hits on those same themes, conveying a message that’s both timeless and universal — a story about pursuing your singular vision no matter what critics might say and turning your dreams into a reality against all odds thanks to determination, hard-work, and ingenuity. We needed to find a fun, impactful approach that would tap into those emotions, reach a broad audience, and have people singing the songs before they even stepped into a theater.
We went behind the scenes to create a five-part multi-platform series entitled “Witness the Spectacle” that chronicled the creative minds behind the film and the journey they took. Like P.T. Barnum, no one that was a part of this film gave up on their dream, and this series put a spotlight on all the craft, energy, and dedication that went into bringing it to life. It also allowed us to set everything to the film’s soundtrack and establish the audience’s love for the music.
Every episode was shot in a candid and intimate documentary style that allowed viewers to feel like they were a part of the creative process. We wanted to lean into this idea of bearing witness and make everyone feel like an on-set collaborator that was a part of the film’s history and energy.
To accomplish this, we recruited a team of filmmakers to live on set and eat, sleep, and breathe this movie. The crew was given unrivaled access to go above and beyond traditional BTS filming. They captured hundreds of hours of footage exploring every facet of the film’s production.
The footage was used to create five :60 second digital episodes that captured this journey and featured Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Zendaya, songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, and director Michael Gracey — who contributed footage he shot on his iPhone to help make the series that much more personal.
As the film’s premiere date drew near, a new episode of “Witness the Spectacle” launched each week in a cross-platform partnership with Apple, creating and sustaining buzz throughout the weeks leading up to opening weekend. The film’s talent also shared the episodes to extend reach.
Additionally, the footage proved to be much more useful for the studio as it was also used to support marketing milestones throughout the campaign — helping to amplify buzz around events like trailer debuts, social content, and promotional materials.
“Witness the Spectacle” was a huge success, racking up more than seven million views across platforms, generating overwhelmingly positive social chatter, and helping lay the groundwork for all the incredible buzz and word-of-mouth sentiment that has helped carry The Greatest Showman’s box office into record-setting territories.