First Night Akron Video

Our award-winning video captured the magic, wonder and community celebration of Downtown Akron Partnership's First Night Akron.



  • Showcase regional and local performers in music, theatre, dance, and interactive and visual arts
  • Capture the coming together of Akron, to celebrate in the center of the city
  • Strengthen the message that there is something for everyone
  • Create a feel-good video that captures the overall spirit of First Night Akron



  • Create a video that can be used on social media and also for follow-up thank you/press materials
  • Highlight diversity in both activities and attendees
  • Show fireworks as cornerstone activity of event
  • Feature images and music from First Night Akron partners




Each year, the Downtown Akron Partnership puts on the First Night Akron event on the night of December 31st. The event is a beloved community New Year’s Eve celebration showcasing regional and local performers in music, theatre, dance and interactive and visual arts that was celebrating its’ 19th year. The event has become a tradition for thousands of revelers and multiple generations.

The video, produced each year, needed to capture the magic, wonder and coming together of Akron’s diverse community, celebrating in the center of the city.

For this video, the team wanted to use a distinct style that felt organic and natural, showcasing the event itself. A first-person point-of-view would be used throughout the video to capture the excitement and energy of the night. The viewer would be able to become immersed in the activities all around and feel like they were part of the event, even if they did not actually attend.




At an event like First Night Akron, with 80 different events in 12 different venues over 6 hours, it was important to go in with a plan. The first part of the plan was utilizing a hand-held camera for the night, allowing for quick movement from place to place, because we only had one camera and one night to document it all. The amount of exciting activities meant we had to capture key segments quickly and pay attention to the schedule to make sure didn’t miss a thing.

Our friends at the Downtown Akron Partnership provided a detailed itinerary for the evening and also provided transportation around the city to ensure we were able to get between locations as easily as possible in the crowds. Specific events were chosen, not only for timing, but also to be sure we captured the entire essence of the event and highlighted the diversity in both the artists and attendees.


Our Team on Location

Creative Director, Jeffrey Pritt, captures footage of artists on stage at Lock 3 during First Night Akron




By the end of the night, we had compiled a large amount of footage. As with any recap event, it was important to get the video finished in a timely manner so as not to lose the traction and buzz from the event. There is a small window of opportunity to ensure the video’s success. The clips were quickly brought back to the office, sorted, compiled and put to the local music track that had been selected. The quick turnaround was integral to the video’s launch on the Downtown Akron Partnership’s social media accounts.



In the end, the video was a huge success and Downtown Akron Partnership loved the finished piece. “From the selection of music to the montage of highlights, we felt it truly captured the spirit of the event,” explained Sharon Gillberg from Downtown Akron Partnership. “It [was] also used in a follow up thank you package to our many, many community partners, sponsors and organizations that support this event.” The widespread success on social media showed that it was well received by the Greater Akron community. It was viewed 3x more times than the previous year and remains Downtown Akron Partnership’s most viewed First Night Akron video.

The video was appreciated by the design community as well. It won an Addy award for Film Cinematography at the Akron Addy awards the following year.

The First Night Akron 2015 Video

Downtown Akron Partnership's most viewed First Night Akron Video

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