Anti-Heroin TV Commercial

Once again, I was very fortunate to be able to work on another anti-heroin TV commercial that was aired locally during the Super Bowl.  I use the word fortunate with a certain amount of hesitation for fear of leaving a impression of professional pride.  There is no room for such an attitude when trying to raise awareness of a what has become a horrific epidemic in our country.  Last year’s spot was a wake up call, whose style affected some viewers especially initally, in a negative way.  But it was tremendously successful in doing what it was intended to so; initiate one of the toughest conversations a parent can have with a child.  (I have to admit I was rather confounded by those who criticized the commercial for disturbing the family tranquility while they were watching a sport now proven to cause devastating, if not fatal, brain damage.)  All of us who worked on the spots are acutely aware of the rare opportunity we have had to trying to combat this crisis, to “elevate the public discourse” as Howard Weismann writes on the NCADA website, to galvanize not just those immediately impacted by the ongoing tragedy but those who have been standing on the sidelines deluding themselves in assigning it as someone else’s problem.  Time to wake up.  It is everyone’s problem and since congress cannot seem to find it’s way out of the wet paper bag of it own making, it will be up to the people’s voice to demand solutions that yes, might cost dollars upfront but like any smart investments, save all countless in the end….not to mention the lives themselves.  And for these reasons I say, I was fortunate.

I also want to thank Scott Smith for his wonderful second camera work and support and Sean Funcik for his talent and energy that they both brought to the project.  And of course to Mark Schupp, whose dedication to the cause is defatigable and inspiring and to Tipper O’Brien for the great script.  It is a rare and special opportunity to work with such great talent on such an important cause.

Guardians of Grace

Recently, I was fortunate to work again for one of my favorite clients, Grace Hill Settlement.  Originally established in 1903 by the Episcopal Diocese with the purpose of helping immigrant families to settle in the area, it’s mission has expanded to provide a host of integrated services to families in the areas they serve, so that they can become “stronger, healthier and more self-reliant”.  Located in north St. Louis, they have been a critical resource for the most disenfranchised.  To read about and admire such organizations from afar pales in comparison to witnessing their work first hand.  It not only reveals the passion of those who choose to dedicate their lives to helping others, often against the political tides, in a culture that often chooses evasion as the expedient method of confronting the overwhelming issues, but also the commitment of the volunteers, from students to board members, to making Grace Hill mission statement a reality.

Guardians of Grace is an award the organization presents to persons or companies who have shown a measure of devotion worthy of recognition.  There is one word that I would use to describe all the recipients….humility.  And given their remarkable achievements, that is rare and wonderful characteristic.

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