Client: CASA of Travis County

My wife and I teamed up with CASA of Travis County to produce a new campaign video to help spread awareness of their efforts and needs within the Austin community.

CASA of Travis County speaks up for children who’ve been abused or neglected by empowering our community to volunteer as advocates for them within the CPS court system.

This was done in 48hours for the 2012 Alamo Drafthouse FilmFrenzy Reel Change festival

After meeting with CASA”s marketing director, I brainstormed various concepts, ruling out most ideas that showed the children as victims. After watching many child-focused PSAs, I knew I wanted to keep it positive and inspirational… Then I stumbled upon the idea of “Let”s have a conversation, just us adults.” Which felt very strong in getting attention, while setting the focus on our target audience, the adults. Once we’d settled on our focus, we jotted down various ideas of child potential and innocence, the root of why we have children and do our best in raising them to be good human beings, and from there we wrote this beautiful script.

Having only 48 hours isn”t much time, so we set out filming b-roll of children playing at Zilker park. We were sure to get releases from their parents so everything was legal and respectful. Producing a film on this very sensitive topic makes it pretty hard to get footage of kids. But I promised I would keep the kids faces out of the film.

Framing artistic and balanced compositions while not showing kids faces isn”t easy, but I think we pulled it off pretty well. I also filmed our friend’s children, choosing to show their faces as their parents were okay with it. I feel that their faces and delightful expressions really add to the emotion of the spot. Most people don’t notice that they only see two kids faces the entire spot, they walk away feeling like they actually saw a bunch of kids. So I think we accomplished that fine line between privacy and intimacy that we were hoping for.

The studio shoot came together brilliantly. Using our iPad as a teleprompter, real-life CASA volunteer Jennifer C. did a wonderful job expressing the emotion of the script without pandering to our adult target audience. I will admit, the camera loves Jennifer under the lighting we used for this shoot. It really couldn’t have worked out better for a no-budget, 48 commercial production.

In the end, we produced a spot in less than two-days(I slept Friday night, and slept in Saturday, a rarity for a 48hr…) that the administration at CASA absolutely loves. Although we didn’t win the film-festival, we’re extremely proud to have helped a worthy non-profit focus their complex voice down to a very powerful 3:30 video for marketing and awareness.

Music by FNDMNTL – Impatient for Toast
Thank you to Dany (sorce) Gagnon for releasing his beautiful song for this cause.

Here’s our interview as we turned in our film, I clearly look tired… 🙂