This trailer for Alex's children's urban fantasy 'Sleeping with the Blackbirds' was shot on location at Oxford prison and in the studio. The narration was taken directly from the book's text. And the film was directed by John Mac, while the animated sequence was created by Hogarth Worldwide who also edited, graded and dubbed the film.
Centrepoint, the charity for homeless young people in the UK, wanted us to create a film that dispelled stereotypes about homelessness. There are any number of reasons why young people end up on the streets. The truth is that homelessness can happen to anyone. We are all victims of circumstance. So by showing a French girl in London running away from her own personal demons, we were able to convey this universal sense of desperation that many homeless youngsters feel when they find themselves on the street for the first time.
This TV commercial for Simple Soap was created back in 1986 and was hugely successful. Besides winning awards, it won Simple (then owned by the Albion Group) a huge amount of business. Sales in London alone rose by 60% in less than a year. And the company was swiftly snapped up by the giant Smith & Nephew. This success can be attributed to a number of factors. It was launched in the year that the book 'E is for Additives' became a massive bestseller worldwide, and this raised awareness of additives to an unprecedented level. So any TV commercial that could tap into this message had a very good chance of getting noticed. This said, a bland TV commercial wouldn't have cut the mustard. This particular execution was certainly fresh, inventive and stylishly simple (excuse the pun); and its message was undeniably clear and powerful. Simple was also fortunate to launch this TV campaign as Channel 4 was starting out. Eager to win advertising revenue, Channel 4 offered Simple a fantastic deal that gave the company the kind of air time it would never normally have been able to afford. The commercial has since been written about by mainstream media including The New York Times and The Guardian. And despite its vintage, has also been highlighted by Wikipedia's Joanna Lumley page. (Lumley provided the voice over.)