Ireland’s Call’ is sung with pride by Irish fans before every Irish rugby match. Uniquely, the team comprises players from both sides of the Irish border so this song was written to unite the Irish people and to encourage them to stand “shoulder to shoulder” together. For the 2016 Six Nations tournament, team sponsor Three, donated their sponsorship to Focus Ireland, a homelessness charity working to combat the homeless crisis in Ireland. To launch the partnership, we turned this beloved song on its head. Instead of it being passionately sung by the fans, the voiceless members of Ireland’s homeless population solemnly narrate it, imbuing the lyrics with new meaning and reminding the viewer that we need to unite and “fight until we can fight no more” to help those whose call is never answered.
This 3-minute commercial took over an entire ad break and aired moments before the anthems began. ‘Ireland’s Call’ is the song that is played before every Irish rugby match. It is not a national anthem, as the Irish rugby team is made up of two countries with separate national anthems and a fractious political past: Ireland and Northern Ireland. We purposely subverted the lyrics of this well-known song to bring Ireland’s homelessness crisis into sharp focus for the Irish public, which in an election year was a central theme. To portray the important social message, the aim was to capture the homeless people of Ireland in a natural and honest way. We shot wild on the streets to find people for our commercial. For a flexible and dynamic way of shooting, we chose the Alexa Mini and stripped it down to the minimum, and using Cooke S4 lenses, we created a light structure. With the focus puller on remote we could shoot one-on-one, to keep it intimate and gaining trust with the people. The Alexa Mini was propped up against the body, so with it’s light weight, and on hand held mode, we could move faster, grabbing several shots quickly, of mostly static composed frames. With the homeless out at night, we recce’ed the city and found areas that were well lit; bridges, national monuments, street shops and lighting displays, where there was a natural environment and good exposure.