LONDON, UK — Film production and music video company Great Guns’ director Duncan Christie has collaborated with healthcare agency VCCP Health for pharmaceutical company Teva to capture the magic of “The Chemo Show,” a spot that demonstrates how spirit-raising interactions can lighten the tiring monotony of chemotherapy. The campaign is designed to encourage entries into Teva’s Humanizing Health awards which support initiatives that go beyond medicine alone to improve life for people with chronic conditions.
The moving film grants us a glimpse into one patient’s day of chemotherapy. As she sits in the hospital, she seeks out quiet comfort from her companion and photos of loved ones on her phone, but the sense of isolation is palpable. Suddenly, while she undergoes treatment, the lights grow warm and dim, and the curtains opposite her are opened to reveal a young singer ahead of a glittering backdrop. A series of joyful performers follow in a sequinned sequence, bringing a heartfelt smile to the patient’s face as she is transported to another world.
Director Duncan Christie was approached with the brief to celebrate the broader community of people who support a patient. Going beyond healthcare workers and loved ones to include entertainers, the aim was to showcase the huge benefit of these human moments during clinical treatment. To maximize the emotional impact, Duncan chose to hone in on one person’s story, and illustrate intimately what this support network really means to them as they go through serious illness.
Making the film as authentic as possible to underscore the reality of what is depicted, the film features actual hospital entertainers. Such a casting process informed the tone of the piece, as the actors were able to portray the nuances of the story in a truthful manner. Striking the balance between the harsh reality and the ray of optimism, the performers understood that they cannot fundamentally change a patient’s situation – instead, their goal is simply to create a moment of distraction or joy, to make patients forget where they are, even if just for a moment.
Director Duncan Christie commented, “I’m so grateful to have been able to work on such a meaningful campaign. The subject matter is obviously very sensitive and we wanted to get it right, so we did extensive research. The response we received blew us away – there were so many inspiring stories, far more than could be included in this one film. Hopefully, we’ve managed to get the right balance, and convey the positive message without shying away from the more somber reality.”
Director, Global Corporate Brand: Galit Sasson
Senior Manager MarCom, Global Brand: Liron Schipper
Head of Corporate Brand and internal communications: Noa Schumovitch
Agency: VCCP / Girl and Bear
Executive Creative Director: Brett O’Connor
Associate Creative Director: Sadie Mayes
Associate Creative Director: Tess Evans
Business Director: Isla Coulson
Senior Account Manager: Emma Tuckley
Agency Producer: Laura Cooper
Production Company: Great Guns
Director: Duncan Christie
Executive Producer: Laura Gregory
Producer: Tim Francis
Casting Director: Maddie Hinton
Director of Photography: Sy Turnbull
Production Designer: Dale Slater
Editor: Ollie Davies @ Great Guns
Sound Designer: Sean Mahoney
Colorist: Ollie Gill
Composer: Zebedee Budworth