Mott MacDonald’s internal communications team reached out to us with an inspiring story of Christopher, an employee struggling with a mental health diagnosis who found support within his network of colleagues and the Employee Assistance Program. Inspired by Christopher’s story, Mott MacDonald tasked us with creating a film encouraging employees to reach out for support if they need it and show that the firm was creating a safe space to talk about mental health.
The challenge for us: telling this story in a way that was more than simply a reconstruction of events and showing why the firm was creating a safe space to talk openly about mental health.
Early on, we realised that for the message to land, we needed to approach Christopher’s story in a way that felt uncontrived and raw. Our strategy centred around setting up a clear picture of who Christopher was as an employee, how the troubles within his personal life seeped into his work and how he subverted the stigma of men reaching out to talk through and overcome their struggles.
With this in mind, the Director developed a treatment with a stripped-back interview style and cinematic recreations, underpinned by themes of healing, self-revelation and openness. We had the opportunity to follow Christopher over the course of a day at work and in his home, working with his colleagues and friends to create a realistic portrait of his life. We used a mixture of fast-paced editing and longer moments directly to the camera to emphasise the ebb and flow of Christopher’s journey, with sound design and music playing a big role in immersing us in his world and guiding the viewer emotionally.