Romesh Ranganathan Stars As CALM's Begrudging Patron

Agency: Great Guns


Suicide prevention charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) has appointed comedian Romesh Ranganathan as its disgruntled ambassador in dramatic campaign worthy of Hollywood. Great Guns’ Calum Macdiarmid directs the film, as he did the charity’s #TellAMate campaign last year. It’s yet another example of how the charity approaches things in a different way, reaching more people and breaking down the stigma around suicide using humour and pop culture.

In the middle of the night, a mysterious crate is sealed to an ominous track in the half-light, ready for delivery. Dramatic strings screech to a halt as a bleary-eyed Romesh answers the door: “What the shit is this?”. A solemn unboxing reveals Romesh’s new role as CALM patron on a mission to save lives - complete with ceremonial chain, knuckle dusters, and gown, of course.

The campaign offers a stark contrast to Calum’s previous work for the charity, presenting the opportunity to dive into storytelling with a surprising amount of comedy. A witty script, alluding to the idea of Romesh being the begrudging recipient of his position, inspired Calum to indulge in cinematic melodrama melding genres such as Scandi noir mystery and Hollywood superhero films. Much of the campaign’s humour comes from immersing the audience as deeply as possible into these tropes before snapping back into the mundane realities of life for certain lines.

Having studied the script, Romesh came to set thoroughly prepared, and even armed with alternative executions of the lines. With only two hours to work with the star, the production team worked efficiently and decisively to get the shots they needed, while still leaving time to workshop Romesh’s ideas.

The film’s humour is enhanced by the use of music, which enabled the team to set a tone that would normally require a blockbuster budget, and to switch it on and off to complement the comic elements. Sound effects from King Lear add the final layer of cinematic drama, which especially pack a punch when paired with the dynamic edit of the unboxing scene.

Calum Macdiarmid comments: “This campaign was a fantastic opportunity to craft a narrative that felt compelling and intriguing before turning it all upside down with the introduction of Romesh and his blunt Crawley accent. He was great on set - though he first explained he'd been bundled into a car by his agent and didn't know what he was doing there. With these kinds of projects, I find the best thing you can do is simply make the film as funny as it can possibly be, worrying less about the darkness of the subject matter, but knowing that if you can make the film entertaining it will do some good for the world.”

This professional campaign titled 'Romesh Ranganathan Stars As CALM's Begrudging Patron' was published in United Kingdom in October, 2023. It was created for the brand: CALM, by ad agency: Great Guns. This Film medium campaign is related to the Health and Public Interest industries and contains 1 media asset. It was submitted 6 months ago.


Client: Campaign Against Living Miserably
Creative Director: Danny Wright
Project Manager: Sarah McGuire

Production Company: Great Guns
Director: Calum Macdiarmid
Producer: Al Eales
Executive Producers: Sheridan Thomas, Laura Gregory

DOP: Matthew Wilson
Editor: Ollie Davis
Grade: Jax Harney
Sound Design: King Lear


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