As the film works on very sober visuals, we wanted to give each cross an impressive and distinctive soundscape. We started by researching the historical background of each cross, then we created unique soundtracks matching the era, location and feel for each cross. Using historically correct instruments like the medieval hurdy gurdy.
As the crosses appear, you can hear a rhythmic drum highlighting the casualties caused. This drum also hints to the percussion often used to pump up warriors in battle.
The appearance of the Red Cross is guided by a change in sound. You can hear a more calming tone that communicates a feeling of warmth and relieve.
The music is based on drones to intensify the feeling of war and the seriousness of it. Subtle hints to religion are implemented to emphasise the hypocrisy of fighting in the name of God. To capture the feeling of ancient warfare the music starts with darker drones, composed by a Hurdy-gurdy (a medieval instrument). As the video progresses the music gets heavier and more emotional. When the Red Cross appears towards the end, the sound changes into a more calming tone to communicate a feeling of warmth and relieve.
Throughout the video the music and sound design have been carefully intertwined. An example of this is the Serbian Cross where we’ve switched to the perspective of someone affected by a grenade explosion. The ambience and music are shortly covered up and replaced by the sound of heartbeats and tinnitus.
The film was created to be a conversation starter. And it was.
On the 28th of April 2016, we gave the scoop to our Red Cross network of 14.000 volunteers, which marked the official launch of the campaign. Immediately after, we launched the film online.
Multiple well known French blogs quickly picked it up and kickstarted the social spreading of the film. Shortly after, the rest of the world followed. The film was also picked up by popular media in Germany, where the discussion was obviously fuelled by the appearance of the Nazi swastika.
The amount of buzz generated by the film drew the attention of the Belgian Board of Bishops. Offended as they were, they did everything in their power to take the movie down. Thank God the film already traveled the world wide web and is still visible on sites like Euronews, Campaign, Il était une pub, Amsterdam Ad Blog and AdLand.