Impact of 'The Big C' Is Brought to Life in Bold World Child Cancer Ad
This week sees the launch of The Big C, a new TVC from international charity World Child Cancer to raise awareness of the differing impacts of cancer on children in the UK and the developing world.
The idea behind the film is simple, yet powerful - two children from different backgrounds play with the same wooden block, which starts as a toy in the hands of the Western child. In 30 seconds, the block travels towards a child in Bangladesh, transforming into an enormous crate, growing progressively bigger and bigger as it makes its journey.
The goal of this striking metaphor is to bring to life the fact that, in the UK, a child diagnosed with cancer has an 80 per cent chance of survival, whereas in Bangladesh, they have only 10 per cent.
The film was conceived and directed by acclaimed director Steve Cope (2AM) working with his long-term collaborator, Grand Central sound designer Munzie Singh Thind.
Together, Steve and Munzie are passionate about using sound design in order to tell stories, build emotion and grab the attention of audiences. This ongoing ambition was realized to great affect in their award-winning TVC, ‘Sensory Overload’, which uses distorted and disturbing sound design in order to highlight the sensory sensitivity issues experienced by people with autism.
The Big C opens with a child, from a seemingly British household, playing in her comfortable home with ABC wood blocks. The sound of a children’s TV programme is merrily murmuring in the background. Accompanied by soft taps of wooden blocks being stacked on top of each other. The child then pushes the stack so that one block begins a journey down the staircase. Transforming from a warm and welcoming environment to a dark and barren basement, the wooden block grows bigger as it bashes and collides with various obstacles on its course. The sound becomes progressively more threatening and intense. Eventually, it ends its journey with another child, in a very different environment. By using the audio view as the main storyteller, the sound highlights the dramatic journey of the block and the vast change of environment.
Grand Central's Munzie Thind and George Castle created the sound design for the spot. Munzie comments: "Every opportunity to work with Steve is an adventure. We have such a level of understanding and trust. He really pushes me to break down the boundaries of what is possible with sound design. As soon as I saw the storyboard for this, I knew we had to create something extremely special to work with the beautifully simple visual idea. Ultimately what I wanted to achieve was giving the audience goose bumps, immersing them in the story."
GCRS sound designer George Castle, adds: “The complexity on this project came from ensuring that the sound of the wooden block grew bigger (to match the visuals) but in both a seamless and believable way. I’m very proud to have worked on this piece, not just because of the level of craft involved, but also because it’s such a worthwhile cause."
Copywriter: Kevin Baldwin
Art Director: Mick Brigdale
Account Director: James Page
Creative Agency: Technique
Music and Sound
Sound Design: Munzie Thind @ Grand Central Recording Studios
Editor: Phil Currie @ Stitch
Post Production / VFX
CG: Smoke & Mirrors
Grade: Mark Meadows @ Smoke & Mirrors
Post Production House: Big Buoy
Producer: Barney Wright
VFX Supervisor: Jim Allen
Director: Steve Cope
DOP: Denis Crossan / Clive Norman
Executive Producer: Nick Crabb
Producers: Kirsty Dye / Alice Morris
Production Company: 2AM
Production Manager: Gareth Crothers
Category: Charity , Corporate and social
Genre: Music & Sound Design , Visual VFX