Campaign Craft: Star directors collaborate on CRE epic

A total of 14 different directors, including Paul Arden and Stuart Douglas, have collaborated to make a new commercial for the Commission for Racial Equality.

A total of 14 different directors, including Paul Arden and Stuart

Douglas, have collaborated to make a new commercial for the Commission

for Racial Equality.



The two-minute ad charts the progress of human life, from birth through

love, sporting activity, old age and death, to make the point that

people - no matter what their colour - are subject to the same life

changes and emotions.



The Saatchi and Saatchi copywriter, Kes Gray, and his art director,

Dennis Willison, came up with the original idea, which involves a list

of 14 different aspects or stages of life. Each of these was

encapsulated in a single word or idea, such as ’prayer’, ’injury’ or

’toddlers/tantrums’ and each was allocated to a director.



From then on, the directors were on their own. From just a single

phrase, each was asked to come up with eight seconds of black-and-white

film depicting - literally or figuratively - that emotion or time in a

person’s life. Their only instructions were to devote four seconds to

white people and four to people from ethnic minorities. Each director

was given six weeks and instructions not to mix black people with white

in the film.



Gray said the hardest part of the project was letting go, giving out

instructions and then standing back and doing nothing until each

mini-film came in: ’What Dennis and I have not done - probably for the

first time - is get involved. We really wanted them to have as open a

brief as we could give them.



’It was a nightmare for some,’ he added. ’If you’re given one word and

asked to nail it in eight seconds it can be quite daunting. Directors

don’t often get the chance to do that.’



Apart from Arden and Douglas, Nick Lewin, Ivan Zacharias, Zak Ove and

Jonathan Greenhalgh also signed up, as did Martin Brierley, Frederico

Brugio, Antony Easton, Fatima, Jonathan Glazer, John More, John

O’Donnell and Tessa Sheridan.



As each director’s contribution has come in it has been added to the

film under conditions of great secrecy, so that those directors sending

later contributions would not be influenced by earlier segments. The

final film is scheduled to be unveiled on 21 May.