We posted a whole host of fancy, often fantastical and fairly big budget Christmas ads from overseas a few days ago. Now Sainsbury’s has joined the fray, and it’s knocked it out of the park with its emotional, crowd-sourced festive film.
Inspired by Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald and producer Ridley Scott’s Life In A Day, the 45 minute film, which will actually be released in cinemas in November, follows a bunch of regular folk celebrating Christmas day, all of whom sent in footage.
According to the Daily Mail, Macdonald, who also directed Touching the Void and The Last King of Scotland, received more than 360 hours of footage from all over the UK to turn into the finished documentary and ads.
‘I was overwhelmed by the creativity and enthusiasm of the people up and down the country, from every walk of life, who filmed their Christmas and shared it with us,’ says Macdonald. ‘I feel that the finished film stands out for many reasons – it is funny, moving, often beautifully shot and above all truthful. I am immensely thankful to everyone who took part and to Sainsbury’s for making the film possible.’
Speaking about how the concept behind the film came about, Macdonald revealed that it originally began as an offshoot from his last crowd-sourced film, Life in a Day.
‘It was completely unlike any film that I had made before, and it really was an experiment in creating the opportunity to hear and see ordinary people share their lives, their loves and their fears,’ says the director.
‘And while we were working on it we kept talking about what an “in a day” film might be like if we could just choose a particular day that was already significant to people, and thought it had to be Christmas, because it is the one time in the year when everyone steps back from ordinary life for a day and we get to stop and think about our lives in a way that we are all just too busy to during the rest of the year.’
He added: ‘People have been hugely generous sending us more than 360 hours of footage. My approach to Christmas In A Day was to look at everything and think about what the footage revealed about the different ways we celebrate or approach Christmas.
‘There are so many experiences which are common to so many of us, rituals and preparations, being with family and friends, or being alone, it was all there in the contributions that people sent in.
‘I feel that the film stands out for many reasons, it is funny, moving, often beautifully shot, but above all there is beauty in the ordinariness of it.’
Sainsbury’s, who will also be running a traditional food-based campaign over the festive period, say they hope the film will reveal something ‘really interesting about the way we celebrate Christmas.’
‘When we saw the film, we realised it had far exceeded our expectations,’ they explained.
‘We believe this film is something very special indeed and I am proud that Sainsbury’s has been involved in this project from the outset.
‘By having the film as our lead Christmas activity, I hope we’ll encourage millions of people across the UK to watch the story of Britain’s Christmas in a Day, which brings to life how Britain really celebrates Christmas.’