April 1, 2019 marked a year out from the start date of the nation’s next full head count. It was also the first day of shooting for the massive recruiting campaign “Be A Census Taker.”  Led by Team Y&R and Census Bureau’s Government Recruitment Team, this cross-platform campaign - produced by Venice, CA based Doublewide - helped recruit hundreds of thousands of temporary census workers needed to execute the government’s “largest peacetime mobilization.”

As Census Day 2020 (April 1st) quickly approaches, Danielle Lovett, Owner/EP of Doublewide reflects back. “Shooting exactly one year out from the census itself only reinforced the importance of what we were doing. First, our project was the result of what Census leadership has been working on for 8 or 9 years, so you feel responsible to that effort. Then to be able to contribute to work that will actually effect people’s lives? It’s not every day that your work really counts for something!”

Any production company working in the public sector knows there are challenges. “We had to think about who represents America, who makes up America. There was no Hollywood version of this,” Lovett continues. “In casting for instance, we had to mirror the diversity of people living in America accurately. We made sure to honor both the process and the principles behind the Census in every aspect of the production.”

On a campaign with broadcast, print and social media assets, Director of Photography and stills photographer Walter Smith took representing the best principles of the census personally. “The frantic shooting pace really fit my style perfectly. Capturing 3,000 to 4,000 stills a day, editing in the field and simultaneously feeding selects back to DC for layout, everyone had to be on their game,” Smith says. “I felt strongly the need to be true to people, to be honest and authentic, and to do good work. And we got it.”

For Lovett and Doublewide, this was the second recent public sector project, and for her, this work brings a special sense of accomplishment. “It’s so rewarding to do something that serves the common good. We were part of something that is going to contribute to the quality of all of our lives for the next 10 years. You don’t get to say that about every job.”