TRAPPED– 20 minute dramatic film and Interactive Drama

PRODUCER: Rowland Jobson
DIRECTOR:Rowland Jobson

THE STORY
TRAPPED is a striking and sensitive look into the world of a family stricken by poverty. Living in terrible housing the family are forced to move from place to place as their world falls apart around them, with only red tape to bind them life is a constant struggle. The film revisits “Cathy Come Home” by Ken Loach, but where little has changed for the struggling modern family on the bread line.

THE BRIEF
To develop a a communication for Shelter to use as a campaigning tool to engage Shelter members / potential members in the issues of families living in poor housing and then to ask them to lobby the Minster for Housing. To engage MP’s and key housing decision makers to commit to building more homes and social housing. To develop an educational interactive resource for schools.

THE APPROACH
After understanding the issues I developed a script with Shelter for an online interactive film and a linear narrative which could be shot simply and cost effectively. A film where the user had to make choices for characters through which they could understand the problem. I ask Tony Imi the DoP of “Cathy Come Home’ to take part and engaged a cast to help grow the appeal and press interest for Shelter. We built a microsite with the film and information about the issue.

HOW IT WORKED
A link to the films microsite was mailed to Shelter members who lobbied the Housing Minister by an email link after watching. MP’s were sent an email with a link to the film and a USB stick version of the film. The linear version of the film premiered at Wilton’s Music Hall along with screenings at the Hospital Club to politicians, press, key decision makers in housing and Shelter supporters. All was backed by social media and press campaign. it worked the government kept their commitment to build 40,000 more homes. The project won and IVCA Clarion Award. it was the first interactive online drama to my knowledge at the time

Try out the interactive drama here


PRESS
I made the film for Shelter as I had been homeless myself. Here is what the press said…..http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/jan/30/housing.communities