A film to promote a TV show, that’s not usual. But this is a most unusual year and the film is also a very beautiful comment about that. The film is by Sweetshop director, Dermot Malone, and was produced by his production company in Ireland, Banjoman Films. It promotes The Late Late Toy Show, an annual, special edition of the Irish late-night chat show, The Late Late Show, which airs annually on RTÉ One. The Toy Show reveals the popular toys of the year, as presented by the host (currently Ryan Tubridy) and demonstrated by various children on-stage, along with appearances by celebrity guests. The show has been so successful it actually extends further than the Irish market and to become a popular international Christmas event.
The film runs for three minutes, the story of a young girl struggling with lockdown, who is usually getting ready at this time of year to watch The Late Late Toy Show in her pyjamas with friends. Dodgy connection prevents her from even watching it with friends virtually – until her older brother puts aside his own lockdown struggles to make a grand gesture for his little sister that brings her and her friends together safely on the night. The film is supported by a 90-second trailer.
Malone explained, “The Late Late Toy Show is an Irish institution and this year I felt people will be looking to it for a beacon of normality and Christmas spirit. The goal was to create something cinematic and warm that would precursor the upcoming show, not just an ad but a short film that would resonate with all ages. The brief was actually for a father-daughter story, but I suggested approaching it a little differently. I have a younger sister that I adore, she’s not nine anymore but she inspired me. I feel the sibling relationship isn’t always one that we see at this time of year but are relationships that will have been particularly important to people during 2020. No matter what age, families come together at Christmas, put their own worries aside to make someone else really happy. That’s what I wanted to capture here.”
Ryan Turbidy, commented, “It has been a very strange year, and that’s why this Christmas is so important. It’s also why this year’s Late Late Toy Show is possibly the most important of all time. We’re going to be singing, we’re going to be dancing, we’re going to be playing with toys, and we’re going to be having lots and lots and lots and lots of fun.”
The Late Late Toy Show can be viewed from anywhere in the world on RTÉ Player. It airs on Friday, November 27 at 9.35pm in Ireland.
Malone is represented globally by Sweetshop; in Ireland by Banjoman Films; in France by Quad Productions; in Italy by Mercurio Productions and in Germany by Zauberberg Productions.