MassiveMusic Helps Shine Light on the Darkness of the Syrian Crisis
Teaming up with Don’t Panic and Unit9, the #WithSyria movement have released an awareness-raising film to mark the four-year anniversary since the beginning of the crisis in Syria.
Featuring sound design and music from MassiveMusic London, ‘Afraid of the Dark’ aims to raise awareness of the situation by highlighting a quite shocking statistic – that 83% of the lights in Syria have gone out since the start of the conflict, plunging civilians into darkness.
Shining a light on one of the conflict’s rarely reported consequences, the short web-based film tells the story of a Syrian child who is afraid of the dark but has no way to escape it.
Reflecting back to a time before the conflict, a young boy named Khaled is shown reading by torchlight in bed, but then moves to the horrors of present day Syria where Khaled now uses the torch to aid his search for survivors in the remnants of a bombed out building.
MassiveMusic Producer Tim Preston comments "We’re always very eager to work on projects that are for a great cause, so when we were approached to work on ‘Afraid of the Dark’ it certainly struck a chord with all of us, and this gave us the drive to go that extra mile with sound design.
“Due to the dark nature of the film, the viewer relies heavily on the sound design in order to gauge the film’s surroundings and it was integral we created something identifiable whilst retaining all the tension, emotion and fear held in the picture.
“Throughout the first half of the film, the silences and warmth of the dialogue create a sense of security. This then rapidly juxtaposes itself to put the viewer in the character’s shoes - scared, deprived of light, and dependent on hearing.”
MassiveMusic Sound Designer Mark Adair adds: “It was important to spot the transition in time with some impact, sucking the viewer immediately into the tense new world of fear, war and darkness. We maintained authenticity by using native Syrian speakers for the dialogue, and recreating a soundscape including helicopters, which are frequently used for dropping barrel bombs on civilian areas.”
The film is part of an international campaign launched by #WithSyria, a movement of over 130 organisations and people around the world not taking sides, but standing in solidarity with those caught in conflict. It accompanies a global petition that calls on world leaders to ‘turn the lights back on in Syria’ by boosting response in the country and prioritising the political situation.
Art Director: Lee Wilkinson, (Assist) Johanna Gulcz, Carl Walters
Creative: Richard Beer
Creative Agency: Don't Panic
Music and Sound
Sound Design: Mark Adiar @ MassiveMusic London
Recording: Frank Barlow
Editor: Jacob Proud
Post Production / VFX
Colourist: Simon Astbury
AD: Emma Pounds
DOP: Carl Burke
Executive Producer: Michelle Craig
Producer: Gabriele Lo Giudice & Nick Rowell
Production Manager: Eamonn Hearns
Category: Charity , Corporate and social
Genre: Music & Sound Design