Director Chris Neal, Area 23, Change the Ref Transform “Posts Into Letters”


Robert Goldrich
Thursday, May. 3, 2018


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Agency Area 23 and production company Great Guns have teamed to launch the campaign film for Change the Ref’s “Posts Into Letters,” an initiative that transforms social media posts into handwritten letters to petition members of Congress to introduce stricter gun control laws. The initiative was developed in reaction to the outpouring of social media posts in the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

The font was developed using the handwriting of Joaquin Oliver, one of 15 students killed during February’s mass shooting. His handwriting is donated by his parents, Manuel and Patricia Oliver, who are co-founders of non-profit organization Change The Ref.

Each mass shooting is followed by a huge spike in Americans voicing their frustrations and calling for change online. However, letters to Congress are still the most effective way to influence politicians, according to 96% of Capitol Hill staff. Using this insight, FCB Health Network’s Area 23 developed the “Posts Into Letters” to harness social media momentum and transform sentiments into action.

Great Guns was responsible for producing the moving online video. Shot by director Chris Neal, the film features Parkland students and family members of the victims, who explain the importance behind the initiative. In a candid interview, Manuel Oliver shares his ambition for “Posts Into Letters” to give voice to Joaquin, and to create a movement that Congress can’t ignore. Fittingly, the film features music written and performed by the Parkland Drama Club in memory of the friends they lost.

Director Neal said, “Our responsibility as filmmakers is to capture events and translate them into emotional content. We were so lucky to have so many students and advocates in Parkland come forward and share their stories and determination with us. Seeing tens of thousands pull together and turn their individual shock, frustration and grief into one unified voice for change was incredibly moving and powerful. It was a real labor of love and passion, which I hope will inspire others to stand up against archaic gun laws, write to the political representatives, and advocate for change. It was an honor to be a part of this important venture.”

“Post Into Letters” has already been highlighted by Parkland student and #NeverAgain activist, David Hogg.


Client Change the Ref Agency Area 23--An FCB Health Company Tim Hawkey, managing director, executive creative director; Bernardo Romero, group creative director/SVP; Andy Gerchak, creative director, VP; Fabio Ozorio,  Guillermo Aracena, associate creative directors; Clay MacGuire, sr. copywriter; Natasha Winter-Best, art director; Elan Schoonmaker, producer; Ronnie Caltabiano, associate creative director/VP; Bill Hanff, director of technology. Global Creative Partner FCB Global Fred Levron Production Great Guns Chris Neal, director; Chris Weatherly, DP; Laura Gregory, Thom Fennessey, exec producer.

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