SNAP ELECTION FEVER
The stakes are high, the time is short – we hear from the parties on the campaign trail trying to unseat Theresa May
Let’s face it. Making a party election broadcast for the Green Party is an open goal. The Tories, the market leader (for argument’s sake), behave like a banner ad trying to sell you a sweater that you already bought. And it’ll continue trying to sell that comfy sweater to you even after your order has been delivered and turns out to actually be a dead fox, mauled to death by a pack of hounds. As you hold the sad evidence in your hand, there’ll still be a tiny box flashing on screen saying it’s a great deal. Buy now! We only had ourselves to beat.
Well, us and the ridiculously small budget and stupidly short deadline. Two weeks? Ta very much, Theresa. Not happy with sending nurses to food banks and closing down hospitals, you’re calling a snap election and cutting my precious thinking time down to less than a day. Fuck you.
Where’s our research time? Our two weeks’ exploration? What about internal reviews? Rewrites? Showing it to the boss’s family? Director searching? Casting, callbacks, pre-ppms, edit reviews? What about my mid-morning coffee? How the hell are we supposed to do all that in 12-hour chunks, Theresa? You’re so fucking inconsiderate.
But we didn’t even have time for an eye-roll emoji. About three seconds after saying yes, we were on a Tube to Westminster, where we met an energetic Green Party. At this point, it’d be the obvious thing for the agency to say that they’re a great client because they’re brave and they trust us and take our creative recommendations and yadda yadda yadda. But, really, none of the rest of it would’ve happened if the Green Party hadn’t have been so confident in who they were and what they wanted to say. They are the experts. And that made all those 12-hour chunks to follow flow as smoothly as money through a bailed-out bank.
Less than a week later, off the back of a couple of slides of strategy and just enough bare bones of funny to get a director interested, we found ourselves standing in a studio with a cracking cast and crew. If you haven’t guessed by now, we bloody did it. Apologies, M Night Shyamalan fan (whoever you are). There are no plot twists here.
Without the time to overthink, without the time to “collaborate” on every minute nose hair, we only had the time to trust the experts at each stage to be brilliant. Which, it turns out, is all the time you need. We’ve learned that people are great at their jobs when you let them get on with it. You don’t necessarily need to see 12 mood boards, detailed shooting storyboards and what colour the lead actor’s undercrackers are. It’s actually pretty liberating knowing that everyone else trusts you to make it good. And, more importantly, to make it work. We had a chance to do something that made a difference. We didn’t have time to waste holding on to old-fashioned processes.
So here we are. As I write this, it hasn’t even gone out yet. It’s only just landed in those telly inboxes. And we have no idea if the ball will actually make it over the goal line and increase Green votes. But we couldn’t be prouder. There’s a good chance there’ll more projects like this in the future and, take it from us, if you have a trusting, brave client, efficient, ingenious production partners and a lazy, smug market leader to compete with, they are an absolute gift.
Laura Muse is a creative at Creature of London
Green Party: Creature had to dispense with ‘old-fashioned processes’