Duty To Care - NHS Workers

Jim takes us through his sound design approach for this important film, marking a year of NHS frontline fighting.

To mark a year of frontline fighting, George Hackforth-Jones and the incredible team below have created this film showing why NHS workers need mental health & wellbeing support now more than ever. We all have a #DutyToCare

To promote the charity’s work, George Hackforth-Jones (better known as Senior Creative at AMV BBDO) - together with music and sound company String and Tins, VFX company The Mill and edit house TenThree and DOP Chris Clarke - created a gripping and heart-wrenching ad. The short film focuses on the everyday tragedy and sense of loss that has pervaded the lives of healthcare workers over the course of the past year. To find out more about the ad, LBB spoke with George Hackforth-Jones and String and Tins Sound Engineer Jim Stewart to find out how they pulled this together...

LBB > So, what was the sound design brief from George and how did you approach it?

Jim Stewart, Sound Engineer, String & Tins

George approached us with a really well thought-out soundtrack. The dialogue was in place alongside the accompanying music from Deborah Williams. His brief for us involved adding life and energy to the city surroundings we experience throughout the film - particularly bringing attention to how the nurse might take in these surroundings after a long and challenging night shift. We played with the idea of dampening the sound of the outside world upfront, as she’s lost in thought, and having that effect sharply broken with transient sounds that bring her back to reality.

Unlike most other voices we’ve treated recently, George wanted to maintain the rawness/authenticity of the read he had captured with main actress Lucy, so we opted not to re-record in the studio. Instead we used simple phone recordings - leaving in a lot of the imperfections and room hum that felt key to the performance.

As originally published on Little Black Book:


Film Credits

Writer/Director: George Hackforth-Jones
Actor: Lucy Scott-Smith
DOP: Chris Clarke
Music by: Deborah Williams
Sound Recordist: Sam Mendelssohn
Sound Engineer: Jim Stewart, String and Tins
Colourist: Thomas Mangham

Special thanks to:
Rachel Hough, String and Tins
Julian & Matt, Ten Three Editing
Jasmine Lewis-Humphrey and Alex Fitzgerald, The Mill