The advert I am looking at is called House Hunt[1] and was made by JWT London[2], a company that works with brands and social media to produce different forms of art or media. The ad was launched by the National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV) in 2013 and had a big impact on the general public as it showed what can happen behind closed doors.

The first shot is a wide shot of hallway and front door of a house. Behind the frosted glass we see people about to enter the house. In my short film, the first and last flashback scenes will be set in the couples home, originally I was going to use my own house for the location however using a house with things such as extra locks (as seen in this shot) may be useful as it will give the audience subtle clues to the situation.

As the people enter the house we see it is an estate agent with a young couple.

The second shot is a mid shot and shows them looking at the living room, where the estate agent says “double glazed, so no one can hear you scream.” They all then turn to look out the window, in another mid shot, perhaps imaging the situation the agent has hinted at and the man raises his hand to his girlfriend / wife’s back, as if to reassure or guide her. This gesture may have also been a warning for her, to make sure she didn’t say anything about the situation.

The next shot is a close up of the agents hand on a worktop, this is shown and described to be the kitchen. They start by looking around the kitchen and then the agent tells them it is a “fully fitted kitchen and smashing (at this point he slams his hand down onto the worktop, which is the picture below) new granite worktops.” The gesture is violent and his tone of voice is low, adding to the dark atmosphere. The next shot is a medium close up of the agent still in the kitchen where he continues his description saying “ceramic floor tiles, easy to wipe up any mess and blood spills.” The way he acts around the couple is contrary to what he is saying as he is smiling and being polite whilst hinting at abuse that may happen in the house.

We then see a close up of the cooker and the agent says “oh and a six burner hob, that’s great for scalding” again this is a hint towards the abuse that could happen in future, however it could also be seen as the agent giving the man ideas on how to hurt the woman.

They then progress to the second floor of the house, passing a cupboard where the agent says “under stairs cupboard, good sturdy lock on the outside” implying that it is easy to lock someone inside of the cupboard.

As they walk upstairs it is a wide shot and the agent says, almost jokingly, “be careful on these steep stairs, easy to fall down, accidentally of course.”

The next shot is a wide shot of the characters in the doorway to the spare room where the agent says “this is the spare bedroom, not huge but enough room to swing a punch.” The shot then transitions into a close up of the couple as they listen to the description of the room, both seem calm and natural however through the facial expressions used it appears to me that the man seems more interested than the woman in what the agent is saying.

The next shot is a wide shot of the couple entering the master bedroom whilst the agent describes it from the door by saying “and here we have the master bedroom of course you’ve got your ensuite bathroom where I’m sure you’ll be seeking refuge on occasion.” The last part is directed at the woman and hints that she will be using the room to either flee from her husband or to assess her injuries. The shot then transitions to a close up of the couple looking at each other, both are smiling as if the description is normal and they are happy with the house.

The three are then back downstairs, about to exit the house and we see a close up of the couple holding hands and squeezing in what seems to be a reassuring gesture, perhaps a subtle agreement that they both like the house. Before they leave the agent points out the front door in a wide shot and says “triple locks on the door, very hard for anyone to get out.” After they have left text appears over the wide shot, informing the audience of a statistic about domestic violence towards women before offering a contact number for their organisation. This is helpful in advertisements as someone suffering from domestic violence, or someone who knows a person that is, can contact the organisation for help.

Throughout the advert the housing agent speaks in a calm, yet sometimes threatening tone. The calmness is the agent playing off the descriptions of possible abuse as normal whereas the threatening undertones emphasise the severity of the subject to the audience. The juxtaposition used throughout, in the dialogue and actions of the characters gives the advert a sinister atmosphere even though it appears to be normal and calm. I think that it is an interesting and creative approach to raising awareness for domestic violence and that it will have had a big impact on people, something I want my short film to do.


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