Channel 4 says 'It's Payback Time, Cancer'

Award-winning 4Creative launches animation to promote Stand Up To Cancer

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Channel 4 today announces 4Creative’s latest bold campaign to promote this year’s ‘killer night of fundraising’ Stand Up To Cancer, the partnership between Channel 4 and Cancer Research UK. The film launches on-air this Friday 5th September 2014.

4Creative’s defiant approach to the film’s subject matter represents the turning point reached in the fight against cancer, with as many people now surviving as dying from the disease.

John Allison and Chris Bovill, Heads of 4Creative said: “We wanted to create something that would empower people to stand up and throw cash in cancer's face. We did this by literally giving cancer a face. An unpleasant, pathetic, terrified and destroyable face. Then what better way to show the epic destruction of cancer than by utilising all the tropes the modern disaster has to offer. In your face cancer.”

Channel 4 will premiere the film to TV viewers during The Last Leg on Friday night, before rolling out into cinemas nationwide. It will also be broadcast across more than a hundred commercial channels on Sunday night including the ITV, UKTV and Sky network of channels.

Commissioned by Channel 4 Marketing’s Charlie Palmer, the idea was conceived by 4Creatives’s Senior Art Director Pablo Gonzalez de la Pena, under the creative direction of Chris and John.

The two minute animation, brought to life by multi-award winning Nexus Directors Adam Foulkes and Alan Smith, with sound design by Factory Studios and music composition by SIREN, sees cancer personified in such a way for the very first time. The cells live in a world of endless construction reflecting the ability of the disease to spread aggressively and relentlessly.

The film pays homage to disaster movies but with a flip - here the world that’s caught in the grip of a lethal outbreak belongs to cancer, and it’s humans that are causing the chaos: Payback Time for cancer!

A mysterious blue substance begins to contaminate the cells’ world, leading to catastrophic destruction. The end reveals this has all taken place inside a laboratory petri dish, with a human scientist introducing a blue drug into the cancer colony - “Time to die, cancer!”

Claire Rowney, Director of Stand Up To Cancer UK said: “The Stand Up To Cancer animation truly captures the energy of this year’s campaign and shows how our fight against cancer is at a turning point. Stand Up To Cancer is an opportunity for the entire UK to come together to accelerate new cancer treatments to UK patients and save lives. As the animation makes clear, we are making huge progress and winning the fight but there’s still so much more we need to do. More people are surviving cancer today than ever before, and that’s down to research. This year we hope that the nation will support Cancer Research UK and Channel 4 by getting involved and raising money for the Stand Up To Cancer campaign. We want the nation to help us defiantly tell cancer, It’s Payback Time.”

Nexus directors Smith & Foulkes said: “The initial brief was to turn the table on Cancer, depicting the disease as a civilisation spreading aggressively - unable to prevent its own Armageddon in the style of a disaster movie. The main challenge was how to visualise the Cancer cells. We wanted to steer away from the obvious route of showing cells as a bunch of grotesque alien germs, but we were also acutely aware of not making them too human or cute.

We also had to find a way to illustrate the new therapies, drugs and scientific breakthroughs that are fighting Cancer. We wanted their arrival to be initially magical and mysterious. so we used a glowing blue orb, an unexplained light descending upon a shadowy world.

Disaster Movies rely heavily on vast visual spectacle and a cast of thousands, so working within our time constraints we decided to recreate this using 2d matt paintings to show a sense of the city without having to model every building. This gave it an illustrative and richly textured feel. Modelling and animating our cast in 3d gave us the flexibility of performance we wanted, and made them stand out from their environment.”


Press contact: Claire Cumberland; 0207 306 8315/

Note to Editors


Client: Channel 4 Television / CRUK

Product: Stand Up to Cancer

Title: ‘Payback Time’

Length: 120”, 90”cd, 60”cd, 40”cd, 20”cd

Agency: 4Creative

Creative Directors: Chris Bovill / John Allison

Creative: Pablo Gonzalez de la Pena

Agency Producer: Shananne Lane

Group Business Director: Olivia Browne

Business Director: Kuba Wieczorek

Group Marketing Manager: Charlie Palmer

Marketing Manager: Daisy Mount

Production Company: Nexus

Director: Smith & Foulkes

ECD: Chris O’Reilly

Producer: Tracey Cooper

Production Manager: Fernanda Garcia Lopez

Technical Director: Dave Walker

Editor: Paul Hardcastle @ TRIM

Grade: Mike Skrgatic @ Time Based Arts

Sound Design & Mix: Anthony Moore, Dan Beckwith & Tom Joyce @ Factory

Sound Producer: Lou Allen @ Factory

Music Production: Company: SIREN

Music Producer: Sean Atherton & Sian Rogers

Music Composed by: Alex Baranowski

Music Production Company: SIREN

Music Producer: Sean Atherton & Sian Rogers

Music Composed by: Alex Baranowski

Live Action Production Company: 4Creative

Live Action Director: Keith McCarthy

Live action Producer: Shananne Lane

Director of Photography: Christopher Sabogal

Live Action VFX: MPC

Live Action Grading: George K @ MPC

About 4Creative:

4Creative is Channel 4’s multi-award winning creative agency and was last year named Campaign Big Award’s Multimedia agency of the year and Creative Review’s Ad Agency of the Year.

Headed up by Chris Bovill and John Allison, 4Creative acts as both creative agency and production company across all advertising output for Channel 4 and its family of brands.

In 2012, 4Creative were responsible for the multi-award winning Paralympics campaign ‘Meet the Superhumans’ set to the epic Public Enemy track, ‘Harder Than You Think’. The film received widespread acclaim and has earned 4Creative multiple awards including the UK’s only Grand Prix at the 2013 Lions, a Black Pencil and four Yellow Pencils at the D&AD Awards, multiple Gold Awards at Creative Circle and British Arrows where the ad was awarded ‘commercial of the year’, a Grand Prix at the Marketing Society Awards (jointly with Sainsbury’s); it was Campaign magazine’s Campaign of the Year in 2012 and was also voted one of TED’s Ads Worth Spreading.

Additionally, 4Creative were behind the thrilling, critically acclaimed ad campaigns for The Grand National; the highly praised marketing campaign for Channel 4’s Mating Season which explored dating through the eyes of a recently bereaved Galapagos Tortoise named Arthur; Channel 4’s latest brand campaign, Born Risky, including acclaimed ‘bearlesque’ act Fred Bear and its unique soundtrack Gay Mountain to wish athletes good luck at the start of the Sochi Winter Games 2014; the Live From Space blockbuster campaign, created by Oscar and BAFTA award-winning British VFX company, Framestore; and the conceptual marketing campaign to launch its brand new original Shorts programmes specially commissioned for Channel 4’s on-demand service, 4oD.

About Nexus:

Nexus is an independent production company and animation studio based in London with a worldwide reputation for creative storytelling across a range of media.

Nexus is dedicated to the development of unique voices in filmmaking, with a roster of directing talent working with multi-disciplinary skills in animation, live-action and interactive media. The studio’s production, animation, post-production staff and facilities support them, with Nexus being a home for the people and the technology to create some of the most innovative work in entertainment and branded content.

Nexus sister company Nexus Interactive Arts was founded in 2010. Both create individual experiences through advanced storytelling, made possible using new technology and a director’s vision to reach an audience.

Nexus has won awards for various works, including an Oscar nominated short, Grammy nominated and MTV Award winning music videos, Cannes Grand Prix & Gold Lions and Black D&AD pencil winning commercials. Its success continues, with two further Cannes Grand Prix wins in 2012 for Johnny Kelly’s film Chipotle 'Back to the Start' and Smith & Foulkes' Honda 'Hands' in 2014.

Nexus also produce original content and have a feature film division in partnership with award winning ‘Wallace and Gromit’ and ‘Coraline’ Producer Claire Jennings, and are the recipients of the BFI Vision Award 2013.

Nexus and Nexus Interactive Arts bring together artists and technical talent to work in a collaborative atmosphere to make exciting, talked about creative content.

About Smith and Foulkes:

Adam Foulkes and Alan Smith received a 2009 Oscar nomination for their 3D animated short ‘This Way Up’.

Their other awards include a Grand Prix Award and Gold at the Cannes Lions, an ITV Award for Best Commercial, several BTAA Golds and Silvers, BTAA Craft Gold awards, 2 Golds, 5 Silvers and 2 black pencils at D&AD. Honda ‘Grrr’ is the most awarded commercial in the world from 1999-2008.Film and broadcast credits include the film title sequence for Thunderbirds and an animated film within a film’ for DreamWorks/Paramount’s Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events.

The music:

The epic filmic music was composed by Alex Baranowski for SIREN. He is a Tony nominated composer and arranger. His collaboration with Mercury winning band The xx was performed at the Hollywood Bowl with the LA Philharmonic Orchestra and previously with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra in the UK for a live broadcast on Radio 1. Other music collaborations have been with Peter Hook (Joy Division), and virtuoso violinist Daniel Hope on Spheres, which reached number 1 in the UK & number 3 in the US Billboard classical charts.

About Cancer Research UK:

· Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research.

· Cancer Research UK’s pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives.

· Cancer Research UK receives no government funding for its life-saving research. Every step it makes towards beating cancer relies on every pound donated.

· Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival rates in the UK double in the last forty years.

· Today, 2 in 4 people survive cancer. Cancer Research UK’s ambition is to accelerate progress so that 3 in 4 people will survive cancer within the next 20 years.

· Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses.

· Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK's vision is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.

For further information about Cancer Research UK's work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 0300 123 1022 or visit Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

About Stand Up To Cancer:

· Stand Up To Cancer is a joint national fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4 raising funds to bring new cancer treatments to patients and save more lives.

· The first UK event in 2012 became the most successful charity fundraiser on UK commercial TV, reaching an audience of 7.8m and raising a staggering £8m - funding 12 clinical trials across the UK. But there is still much more to be done to help bring more effective treatments to patients sooner.

· In 2012, the live fundraising event was hosted by Davina McCall, Alan Carr and Dr Christian Jessen and featured celebrity interviews and moving real life stories – the trio will be returning to host this year, fronting a star studded night of television jam packed with programming from entertainment and science to documentaries.

· Stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow , Samuel L Jackson, Bradley Cooper, Leona Lewis, Cheryl Cole, Keith Lemon, Heidi Klum, Jeremy Piven, Heston Blumenthal, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, Alesha Dixon, Ashley Walters, Russell Tovey, Bear Grylls, Jack Whitehall, Tom Felton, Warwick Davis, Jimmy Carr, Derren Brown, Martin Freeman, Dawn Porter, Micky Flanagan, Stephen Graham, Max Beesley and Jonathan Ross are just some of the talent who supported Stand Up To Cancer

· This year there are also a host of epic fundraising events across the country to support the campaign including - March On Cancer ™, a collective show of force against cancer at 15 simultaneous nationwide events in city centres across the UK and The London 3 Peaks challenge whereby adrenaline junkies scale and abseil three iconic London landmarks - the Gherkin, Salesforce Tower London (formerly Heron Tower) and 200 Aldersgate, culminating in the live TV fundraiser.

· To sign up and find out about other ways you can Stand Up To Cancer, go to

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