The Best Work You May Never See: Green Point Creative, Rachael Leigh Cook Tackle Discriminatory Drug Enforcement Policies
Green Point Creative and director Ryan Kleier from Motiv Creative teamed to create the latest PSA in Green Point’s ongoing campaign to change discriminatory drug enforcement policies--a recreation of the classic “This Is Your Brain” ad from 1998, with original actress Rachael Leigh Cook reprising her role as the pan-wielding Gen X’er. The PSA is playing on various websites including YouTube and Facebook.
The Drug Policy Alliance spot begins in a way that will be recognizable to those who recall the original--with Cook holding up an egg and a frying pan. Only this time she says, “This... is one of the millions of Americans who use drugs, and won’t get arrested.” She then holds up a brown egg and says, “However, this American is several times more likely to be charged with a drug crime. Imagine it’s you.”
From there the spot transitions into an animated sequence, created by post house Edit 1, New York, that follows what happens to the brown egg after his arrest for drug use. With narration from Cook, we see a montage of the unlucky brown egg first being sentenced to a lengthy prison stay, and then once released finding the stigma of that conviction reverberating negatively throughout his life--from being denied employment, financial aid for college and seemingly any chance at a successful life.
The spot ends with Cook back in the kitchen, holding a pan dripping with smashed brown eggs, delivering the spot’s closing argument: “The Drug War is ruining people’s lives. It fuels mass incarceration, preying on people of color in greater numbers than their white counterparts. It cripples communities, costs billions and it doesn’t work... Any questions?”
“Ryan at Motiv came up with the original egg concept and after the Drug Policy Alliance signed on, we further developed the spot,” said Howard Bowler, Green Point creative director. “Once we had the script locked and the project in motion, we decided to approach Rachael Leigh Cook to see if she would be willing to recreate her role for this new message. We discussed the idea with her and after she had time to consider the issue, she came aboard. Clearly her presence adds tremendous credibility to the message.”
Cook related, “Ava DuVernay’s 13th was a complete revelation for me. The shocking, cold water education her documentary presented compelled me to reexamine my own involvement with a larger movement that has gone on to harm so many. When my unique position brought about the opportunity to raise my voice again about this issue, I knew it was the right thing to do. My hope now is to bring attention to the wildly unfair practices of drug sentencing and advocate for their reform.”
Client Drug Policy Alliance Agency Green Point Creative, New York Howard Bowler, creative director; Jon Mackey, managing director; Mary Valentino, production manager. Production Motiv Creative, NY Ryan Kleier, director. Production Services The Shed, NY Matt McClain, DP; Matt Donovan, 1st assistant camera; Josh Lee, production assistant; Abby Hayden, makeup/hair; Chris Viall, sound; Andreas Roalsvig, gaffer. Animation/Postproduction Edit 1, NY Michael Zimbard, animation creative director; Dan Fuerst, producer; Diane Boston, art producer; Kevin Kobasic, illustrator; Erica Jaffin, Matt Trudell, 2D animation. Music/Audio Post HOBO Audio, NY Chris Stangroom, Diego Jimenez, mix/sound design; Oscar Convers, Julian Angel, music.
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