, the award-winning production company, met the challenge of creating an attention-getting national TV spot for MoveOn.org, and turning it around in time to make waves in the middle of a current national political debate. Working on a tight schedule, their team took the live-action national commercial, "We Won't Go Back,"
from script through the design, set construction and production in 36 hours, accommodating the limited availability of star talent with a shoot in LA the next day. The one-stop New York-based company then edited, color corrected and created original music for the spot, and delivered it a day later, allowing national media outlets, including MSNBC, Huffington Post, and The Examiner, to include the commercial in their coverage of the issue, further maximizing the impact of its message.
Lisa Edelstein, (Dr. Cuddy on the Emmy Award winning series, “House,”) has strong personal opinions about the current Republican congressional campaign to redefine the legal definition of rape, which would lead to the de-funding of Planned Parenthood and pave the way for women loosing the right to choose. So when MoveOn.org creative director, Laura Dawn, asked Edelstein to lend her talent to a spot dedicated to raising awareness of this issue, the actress was immediately aboard. However, the issue would be going before congress in less than a week, and Edelstein’s work schedule left her with only the following day free to shoot spot in Los Angeles.
Charged Studios' lead producer Mike Landry took the reins of the project in NYC, and focused on tackling the biggest challenge it presented,
which was creating the 1950’s set that would best serve the script. During the flight from New York to LA he kept in touch with the crew as they were building a mid-century style hallway with an ominous door at the end of it. The set was constructed at Drop Shop in LA with Pablo Sison and Philip Godwin from their art department overseeing the build.
MoveOn’s Laura Dawn took the lead on scripting the spot, and then ideas began to fly back and forth between her and Charged Studios’ executive producer/director of production, Adam Pierce. He suggested incorporating the hanger symbol, a classic icon in the pro-choice movement, and Laura Dawn ran with that in dramatic fashion. Her instinct was that the action should build as the camera floats down the hallway with the actress. She posited that the reaction from the audience should be dread…at the thought of forcing women back into these horrifying situations.
“We focused on creating a look that was simplistic, yet artful and beautiful,” noted Landry. “The message in the script was compelling and the visuals were designed to serve as a way to reinforce it, without distracting from it or overpowering it.”
The spot opens with Edelstein’s back to the camera, wearing a spot-on 50’s cocktail dress, as she begins to slowly walk the length of the hallway towards the door as her voiceover brings home the spot’s message.
“Only decades ago women suffered through horrifying back-alley abortions or used dangerous methods when they had no other recourse. So
when the Republican Party launched an all-out assault on women’s heath pushing bills to limit access to vital services we had to ask….” As Edelstein poses the question: “Why is the GOP trying to send women back to the back alley?” she opens the door, revealing a dark void and a single, stark, hanger.
Daron Murphy struck the perfect chord with his original music and sound design, lending just the right emotional import to the proceedings. Andy Harmon honed in the color correction to create a stylized color pallet.
Charged Studios’ producer Mike Landry notes, “This production reminded me a bit of “Track Meet,” a campaign we produced for MoveOn last year featuring Heather Graham. They both have signature looks that support a strong message. Perhaps it’s because they were both directed by Yaniv Raz and produced and creative directed by the same team. We’ve reached a short hand with each other that is able to turn out a spot like this in 36 hours, with hundreds of thousands of dollars in earned media for MoveOn as a result."
MoveOn’s media strategy is to generate intelligent on-topic spots that capture the essense of an issue while it is the focus of media attention. 'We Won't go Back' accomplished just that, raising national awareness with its message, not just as a spot, but as media content.
ABOUT CHARGED STUDIOS: For over 10-years, Charged has been bringing its wit, originality and punch to the art of visual storytelling, through a mix of creative disciplines - from animation and puppetry to live-action production and visual effects. Its editorial, design, music and sound suites, production studio and fabrication and set design and construction capabilities provide clients with a full service creative center driven by a collaborative team of artist dedicated to the craft of creating fresh, compelling spots, shorts and long-form programming and films.
Charged Studios' credits include national TV series featuring puppets and stop motion, animated spots for Subway and Howard Johnson, promos for Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, and award-winning documentaries. McCann-Erickson recently called upon Charged to write, produce, design, shoot animate and post 'Vertigo Egg,' a short film created for the Ad Council’s Annual Service Awards' animated intro segment.
Category: National Television Spot /Live-Action
Title + Length: “We Won’t Go Back” Length: 30-seconds
Link to Spot: http://www.charged.com/featured/moveon
Creative Director/Writer: Laura Dawn
Production Company: Charged Studios
Executive Producer: Adam Pierce
Director: Yaniv Raz
Producer: Mike Landry
Director of Photography: Pierluigi Malavasi
Associate Producer: Andy Harmon
Color Correction: Andy Harmon
Editor: Steve Centrachio
Music + Sound Company: Gowanus Sound Initiative
Composer: Daron Murphy
Sound Stage: Drop Shop/LA
Art Dept: Pablo Sison, Philip Godwin
Panasonic AF100 HD camera, Steadicam, Final Cut pro, After Effects, Logic