Toy Blocks Suddenly Become Monstrous in This Incredible Childhood Cancer PSA What’s play for one girl is a death sentence for another.
There’s something especially sinister about using a banal toy, like a wooden block, to illustrate cancer. But this is the approach World Child Cancer takes in “The Big C.” Directed by Steve Cope, with masterful use of sound design by Munzie Singh Thind of Grand Central, the ad takes you on a journey from safe harbor to looming horror in 30 seconds.
It starts in a cozy living room, where a blonde British girl is playing with blocks. The scene oozes comfort and security; a tea kettle whistles in the background, and the girl knocks her blocks over, sending them tumbling down with a satisfying muted clatter.
But one block keeps going.
It finds its way to the stairs, its size expanding as the sound it makes grows thicker and more threatening. The nicks and dents it leaves in the walls and bannister pay witness to its transformation from a small, cheerful object to something very dangerous.
Following a sharp turn, the stairs go from wood to concrete, lined with dingy walls. What kind of family has a basement like this?! But the block keeps going, finally landing with shuddering finality on the dusty carpets of a house that can best be described as a shanty, where another girl, this one Indian, is playing with blocks. She looks up, runs over and gazes shyly up at the object, which towers over her with a single scarlet letter: C.
Client: World Child Cancer
Title: The Big C
Art Director: Mick Brigdale
Copywriter: Kevin Baldwin
Account Director: James Page
Production Company: 2AM
Director: Steve Cope
Executive Producer: Nick Crabb
Producer: Kirsty Dye / Alice Morris
Production Manager: Gareth Crothers
DOP: Denis Crossan / Clive Norman
Sound Company: Grand Central Recording Studios
Sound Designer: Munzie Thind
Offline Editing Company: Stitch
Offline Editor: Phil Currie
Post Production Company: Big Buoy
VFX Supervisor: Jim Allen
Post Producer: Barney Wright
Grading: Mark Meadows, Smoke & Mirrors
CGI: Smoke & Mirrors