Age UK

Commercial Directed by Tom Sweetland


Tom Sweetland, who directed and conceived the film, describes his motivation for shooting the film which formed the basis of the brief,

“After staying in contact with my older relatives during lockdown I realised how difficult it had been for them, I became really concerned about older people being hardest hit and I wanted to do something to help. “

“When I read the brief and began unpicking the personal stories of Age UK’s story tellers, my immediate thought was I wanted to make something emotive that captured the feeling of being isolated inside, looking outward as the world reopened. In itself that represented a real challenge because we couldn’t film with any older people indoors, so I took an approach that would capture the tone and feeling of their words, capturing shots that evoked a sense of the outside coming into the home.“

Being lonely is something nobody wants to be. I used a domestic scale and the concept of evolving from inside to outside. Time appears stretched in lockdown and can be relentless if nothing changes. An upright piano seemed an appropriate place to start, that slowly morphs into a grand piano as the track progresses. The sound of wine glasses being tapped provides an ethereal edge and a solo cello helps to add emotion and hope. These are domestic instruments, small scale, unpretentious. The images show focus on small things, but with a slight twist, reframing them in a dreamlike way.

The piano begins by following the ticking of the clock, referencing the passage of time. But it evolves - so what begins as counting time turns into something more emotional and hopeful. Flutes add some air and freedom to lift the sound as the visuals open out to the seaside, and we hear about what people are looking forward to once they emerge from their confinement.

The track ends with the grander piano and cello carrying a more hopeful sentiment.