By fusing a striking use of visual effects with powerful messaging, DGWB Advertising & Communications creative professionals recently delivered what they believe to be one of the most impactful and personally fulfilling messages since the firm opened its doors in 1988. And they did it all with 100-percent donated resources.
In an inspiring showcase of DGWB’s creative talent — not to mention the pulling together of numerous community resources — we helped produce a pair of public service announcements (PSA) to commemorate the 15th anniversary of Taller San Jose, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping troubled local youths living in Santa Ana, Calif., where our DGWB office is located.
To produce the two 30-second television PSAs, DGWB collaborated with a second Santa Ana-based visual effects house, An Ideal World, and combined efforts to produce spots illustrating the theme of “Nothing in Life has to be Permanent.” The PSAs are currently broadcasting on local TV stations to raise awareness for Taller San Jose’s mission of being the “Home of Second Chances.”
The work’s most memorable traits are the highly technical visual effects: gang tattoos are literally “undrawn” from the bodies of actors portraying high-risk youths facing the challenges of their surroundings and past gang affiliations. To achieve this powerful and complex effect, An Ideal World and the DGWB creative team of Director Aron Orton and Writer Courtney Betley and Producer Antonietta Smekal needed a special brand of assistance.
Help came from Lowrider Tattoo — a local parlor Smekal herself walked into to recruit a volunteer willing to create the custom tattoos that would be reproduced on the actors and digitally removed later in post-production. Artist Johnny Opina — the same artist who famously inked actress Megan Fox — accepted the challenge and, like the others, did so on his own time and without pay.
Undrawing the tattoos presented a special challenge, as the effect was created to feel organic, rather than simply “fading” the tattoos away. It took imagination, teamwork and the visual effects expertise of An Ideal World. Hammering home the emotional impact was an arresting original score conducted by Greg Kuehn, a local composer who also lent his time and talents to the project.
The end result speaks for itself. The moving work created by the DGWB and An Ideal World team reveals their passion for their craft, as well as their dedication to help organizations that help others. It also speaks to the level of visual effects and creative talent located in Orange County — talent that rivals the best creative agencies found anywhere.