Mott MacDonald’s internal communications team reached out with an inspiring story of Christopher, an employee struggling with a mental health diagnosis who found support within his network of colleagues and the Employee Assistance Program.
Inspired by Christopher’s story, Mott MacDonald tasked us with creating a film encouraging employees to reach out for support if they need it and show that the firm was creating a safe space to talk about mental health.
The challenge for us: telling this story in a way that was more than simply a reconstruction of events and showing why the firm was creating a safe space to talk openly about mental health.
Early on, we realised that for the message to land, we needed to approach Christopher’s story in a way that felt uncontrived and raw. Our strategy centred around setting up a clear picture of who Christopher was as an employee, how the troubles within his personal life seeped into his work and how he subverted the stigma of men reaching out to talk through and overcome their struggles.
With this in mind, the I worked with the agency RDContent to develop a treatment with a stripped-back interview style and cinematic recreations, underpinned by themes of healing, self-revelation and openness. We had the opportunity to follow Christopher over the course of a day at work and in his home, working with his colleagues and friends to create a realistic portrait of his life. We used a mixture of fast-paced editing and longer moments directly to the camera to emphasise the ebb and flow of Christopher’s journey, with sound design and music playing a big role in immersing us in his world and guiding the viewer emotionally.
The release of the film was on International Men’s Day. Mott MacDonald put it front and centre on their internal intranet above their regular news carousel for all employees to see and since then, it has received over 300 likes and over 125 comments from Mott MacDonald employees around the world, sharing their own stories and support. Christopher himself has also been inundated with messages of support and has been asked to speak at industry events. Most importantly, the film has encouraged more employees to reach out to the Employee Assistance Programme, with 3 managers reaching out within the first 24 hours of release.
Writer & Director
Director of Photography