Blind ECD Chris Do completed dazzling, powerfully symbolic typography on a PSA for the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. The :30, shot by Go Film’s Andrews Jenkins for agency Ground Zero, is a stinging portrayal of teenage debauchery that required multilayered yet simple on-screen messaging to educate about teen drug use.
Party At Troy’s is set at a raucous house party stuffed with teens in dingy, smoke-filled rooms, teetering about, alcohol in hand or slouched over grimy tables divvying up prescription pills. A shaky handheld camera captures the spiraling chaos of the event. Do’s team constructed three lines of incisive typography that are transposed over the scenes in turn.
The words make up the rash justifications of teenagers spiraling into drug abuse, while the letters in each statement are comprised of the objects of vice and wobble like the stumbling teenagers, showing the inherent irony and tragedy of their rash thinking. “HOW BAD CAN IT BE?” offers one line of typography strung together with hazy cigarette smoke that dissolves and wafts off the screen. “TECHNICALLY WE’RE LEGAL,” proclaims the next message, the text a montage of prescription pills. “YOU CAN TRUST HIM,” screams the final bit, the letters formed of wavering pools of beer hovering over a teenage boy leading an obviously annihilated girl into an upstairs bedroom.
“The challenge here was the design and rendering of the type – it needed to feel organic yet be legible for the short amount of time it was onscreen,” noted Do. “We considered everything from thought bubbles hovering over the characters to two-dimensional letterforms tracked in to treating the type like reflective tape on road signs. Finding the perfect solution was no easy task. Luckily we had a very trusting relationship with the agency and we worked closely with them to find the best possible solution.”
“It’s often challenging to work on PSAs because, despite the low-budgets or pro-bono aspect, the standards of excellence are usually higher than with a traditional spot, since no one gets involved in a PSA to do average work,” noted Blind EP David Kleinman. “But we treated it as an opportunity to go and explore, and we challenged one another internally to come up with something really cool and creative. This also validates the notion that some of the best creative work comes from jobs with challenging budgets.”
Blind, a multi-disciplinary design, motion graphics, animation, visual effects, live-action, editorial, print and broadcast design studio with offices in Santa Monica and NYC, taps into diverse intellectual and creative resources to come up with compelling results. Since 1995, Blind has been pushing beyond the expected, offering clients a new way to see with award-winning design. A few things remain constant amidst this design/production powerhouse’s constant drive to reinvent itself: the abilities to engender surprise and produce projects from conception to reality.
Blind’s creative team has built an uncommon level of respect in the advertising and entertainment communities via cutting-edge campaigns for brands such as Xbox, Showtime, Bright House Networks, DirecTV, OppenheimerFunds, McDonald’s, Scion, and recording artists including Gnarls Barkley, The Raveonettes and Justin Timberlake to name a few.
Spots Title: Party At Troy’s
Air Date: November 2008
Agency: Ground Zero
Creative Director: Curt Detweiler
Director of Integrated Production: Randy Morton
Art Directors: Mike Bokman, Emily McDowell
Copywriters: Dan McCormack, Jason Rappaport
Prod Company: Go Film
Director: Andrews Jenkins
EP: Gary Rose
Line Producer: Adam Gross
Editorial: Cut & Run
Editor: Dan Sweitlik
Producer: Chris Girard
Executive Creative Director: Chris Do
Exec. Producer: Dave Kleinman
Producer: Dana Vaden
Head of Production: Amy Knerl
Designers: Lawrence Wyatt, Jason Kim, Chris Do
Lead Animator: Lawrence Wyatt
3D Animator(s): Chris O’Neill, Ehren Addis
Compositor: Lawrence Wyatt
Music: Ashe and Spencer