The launch of The Bank of London was an undertaking five years in the making. When the time came to get the word out, one film wouldn’t do – this demanded a whole campaign. They needed to show the world who they are and what they do; why they’re needed; recruit new members; win new clients; invite investors – these films needed to do it all. So we created not one but three, including this one: the brand film.
Rather than focussing exclusively on what it is they do, this film instead started with the problem that exists in clearing banking from the perspective of the financial ecosystem that depends on them. The financial world is in stasis, locked in stagnation, held back by outdated, complacent clearing banks. This is where the heart of our idea was born – what if we filmed the entire financial world actually frozen in time? Billions of pounds are moved every millisecond, so why don’t we slow down time to see that millisecond in depth – and in doing so, reveal the greed, neglect and elitism hidden beneath the surface.
We curated a selection of tableaus that spanned the financial ecosystem, from making mobile payments all the way through to the trade floor. These expertly arranged scenes relied on an art department with an eye for the tiniest detail, creating practical props like a sloshing glass of whiskey, or a pair of headphones catapulted through the air using ultra-fine strings suspended from the ceiling. It was a daunting but exciting challenge that demanded we ask ourselves: how do you create a sense of movement – a sense of chaos – in a scene that doesn’t move?
That the film is charged with an anxious, anticipatory energy even though the majority of its scenes are static is a testament to our team’s talent. Its sense of progress and momentum is sustained by having the camera push through these tableaus, literally revealing parts of the scene we couldn’t see before, peering beneath the flat surface of the image to unpick the depth of the three-dimensional space. Likewise, the sound design holds the whole film in suspense, poised on a knife edge until the climax: the revelation of The Bank of London.