Many brands and their agencies have risen to the challenge of fighting intimate partner abuse for this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.This PSA, by the No More Foundation, agency, MRM and production Company, Great Guns, is particularly strong.
It puts the “observers” in the film, everyday people like those watching the film. It overcomes the problem – obervers feel detached from the problem.
The PSA, The Safe Side, underscores just how near any person may be to someone experiencing violence in their household.
The film was directed by Norton, who worked with No More and MRM to craft the narrative. The subtle cuts between the first three households hearing the violence highlights just how often domestic abuse occurs, while the final panning shot shows just how close you may be to someone experiencing it. Norton also combined his own minimal approach to portraying violence on screen with the recognition that overt depictions of abuse could trigger victims.
Norton commented, “Back when I lived in New York, I was once approached by detectives regarding a domestic violence incident next door. I was shocked, as I hadn’t picked up on all the signs to realise what was happening until then. I wanted this film to show these different stages of awareness through a compressed timeline, ending with the full reveal. To symbolise how many of us are having similar experiences as neighbours of domestic violence, I thought of this ‘choreography’ that connected the three characters, as if they were one. We’d cut on action between each scene, and cross the wall together with the audience, so that the reveal happened as the characters realised what’s truly behind it.”
Pamela Zaballa, global executive director of No More Foundation, added, “As COVID surges and the 16 Days of Activism begin, it’s important to call on everyone to help stop domestic violence that’s occurring literally and figuratively next door. We are extremely grateful to MRM and Great Guns for their incredible work and support.”
Due to Coronavirus restrictions, the team shot everything on separate days and, in some cases, on separate coasts of the US. Aside from the final shot of the film – which was completed last – Norton directed all scenes remotely with varying setups, ranging from watching playback on Facetime to full live monitoring via a connection to the camera. To aid in these new shooting methods, the team sourced DOPs that had multifaceted offerings – location, potential housemates who could act in the film, and quality of work.
In addition to the PSA, the campaign includes complementary posters and a radio spot, which No More and its chapters will share throughout the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.
Chairwoman & CCO: Nicky Bullard
Creative Director: Jon Wells
Account Director: Sarah Tille
Production Company: Great Guns US
LA Executive Producer: Oliver Fuselier
Executive Prodsucerss: Laura Gregory & Adam Collins
Producer: Tim Francis
Sound: Paul Sumpter @ The Futz Butler London
Client: No More
Global Executive Director: Pamela Zabella
Development Manager: Alex Murphy