And so STANDBY continue to go from strength to (even greater) strength! Having completed and delivered our first television advert for BeautyBay.com last autumn, it seemed as though we had managed to cap off what had already been a remarkable 2012. The transition from online to broadcast TV had always seemed the next logical step for a us and our expanding portfolio of clients (and array of admirers)!
However, even with the BeautyBay.com advert delivered and airing on ITV, Channel 4 and E4 (among others), there was no time for self-congratulation and misty-eyed reflections about recent achievements – our second television advert was just around the corner! However, in contrast to the light and ‘poppy’ nature of the previous commercial, this second advert was to tackle a much more somber subject matter, one which has no doubt affected many people – domestic violence.
Operating in conjunction with the Welsh Government, Access Advertising had already worked on a number of campaigns under the umbrella brand of ‘Live Fear Free,’ driven by TV, radio, online, social media and PR. Having previously worked with ourselves on the CTEK Battery Charger film (standbyproductions.co.uk/work/ctek-battery-charger), a strong working relationship already existed between ourelves and Access. The films story centered on an elderly couple whose daughter was the victim of domestic abuse. Despite knowing about this, the couple do and say nothing, which leads to the daughter being beaten so badly she ends up in hospital over Christmas. The film shows the grandparents taking their young granddaughter to hospital on Christmas day, where she gives her beaten mother a Christmas present.
Access came to us with a treatment for the film, indicating the direction of the story. With this information to hand, we began to develop the cinematography for the film, with director Simon looking at a number of different sources (both film and television) to draw inspiration from. Recces were also carried out by ourselves to assess the potential locations. Further to this, the extremely talented Steve Pennington was on camera. His weapon of choice – the gorgeous C300 camera! Perfect for giving the film the desired cinematic edge.
For Simon, subtlety in people’s gestures became key, with great emphasis placed on the physicality of the hands – a reassuring touch of the shoulder, the grandfather agitatedly rubbing his hands together, the granddaughter taking her mothers hand at the end. Every one of these shots needed to carry a certain weight that expressed and reflected the characters’ feelings and inner-turmoil.
The shoot itself was based over two days. The first days filming took place at Trafford General Hospital, in a ward specially booked out for the shoot. The second shoot was based in a home where we saw the grandparents and granddaughter restlessly preparing to leave for the hospital. Despite the somber tone of the piece however, many laughs were had on the set during the shoot – not least when Steve stumbled across what can only be described as a shrine to whiskey within the house! It proved difficult to pull him away after he made his discovery… (See the full behind the scenes gallery on our Facebook page here)
Both of the shoots went extremely well – both finishing on schedule with some fantastic footage being captured. With the production side of things complete, the post-production began and the film came together beautifully. The advert aired on ITV Wales and S4C over December, and also ran across Facebook and on social media sites. The All Wales Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Helpline reported that for the week following the Christmas ad campaign, they saw a 30% (year on year) increase in call volume, a clear sign that the advert had worked exactly as intended.
The film capped off a superb year for STANDBY, following up our first TV advert with our second almost immediately – paving the way for what should be a cracking 2013!