The Best Work You May Never See: Uncommon, Directing Duo thirtytwo Look To "Break Through" In ITV Mental Health Campaign

By

Robert Goldrich
Tuesday, Jul. 26, 2022

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ITV’s “Britain Get Talking” mental health campaign returns with this film showing the interaction between father and child. It uses subtitles to reveal how they both really feel as opposed to what they say to one another, reminding the audience of how difficult it can be to open up.

Titled “The Break Through,” the film--directed by thirtytwo (Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace) via Anonymous Content for agency Uncommon Creative Studio--begins with the father watching TV as his young daughter arrives home from school. He offers her a cup of tea and begins to ask her questions about her day. The girl doesn’t seem like her usual self, looking down at her phone and picking at her nails, avoiding eye contact. As her father begins to ask about her troubles at school, his daughter assures him “she’s fine”--though her body language and the subtitles on screen suggest otherwise.

Her father can pick up on the mixed signals so continues to try to connect with her, asking more questions, but still getting nowhere. As the two sit in an awkward silence, eventually her dad pauses the TV, turns to his daughter and lets her know he is there for her to talk to no matter what. After trying again and again, finally he breaks through to her. We see the girl become relieved and begin to really say what’s on her mind. While young people struggling with their mental health may not want to open up until they’re ready, we see that in this case the multiple attempts her dad made, without giving up, helped her to talk about her worries.

The film aims to give adults the hope that they can break through to their teens and the wider campaign seeks to give them the time and the tools to help have those conversations.

Almost half of young people in the U.K. struggle with anxiety and more than 400,000 children and young people a month are being treated for mental health problems--the highest number on record. This new campaign, supported by Mind and YoungMinds, and SAMH in Scotland, aims to address the fact that even though young people are carrying a lot on their shoulders, they often struggle to talk about it. Its core message is how important it is for adults to keep trying, because it takes time to break through.

Credits

Client ITV Creative Agency Uncommon Creative Studio Production Anonymous Content thirtytwo, director; George Saunders, producer; David Faulkes, DP. Casting Karmel Chocrane, casting director. Editorial Assembly Rooms Sam Rice Edwards, editor; Phoebe Armstrong Beaver, producer. Postproduction Time Based Arts Chris Aliano, producer. Audio Soundtree Henning Knoepfel, recording engineer; Neil Athale, producer.

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