Post Profolactic Production Ponderings

Having just finished the video PSA mid-term for my EMF 326 class, i wanted to take a few minutes to reflect of the production process.

Firstly, this project was a lot of fun to work on. There is no way I could have finished it without the help of about a dozen friends and some local. For those of you who haven’t seen the video yet, you can view it here.

After deciding on the concept, which began as something about human over-population, and brainstorming a million different ways to potentially use condoms beyond their intended use, i set out to gather my props. I needed a large bowl of condoms or the visual gag i was going for to work, so i started at Fronske Health Center on campus. After being directed to the correct person, and pitching my idea and what i was going to do, I was told that they could only give me one condom. After trying to explain that one condom wasn’t very funny, i was given a strange look and told they couldn’t help me. Next stop was Planned Parenthood, where upon giving my pitch twice, i left with a small paper bag of condoms, not as many as i wanted, but a good start. Finally i went to the Coconino County Health Department. I gave my pitch to the lady running the desk at the clinic, she gave me a funny look and provided two big bags of condoms; more is always better, but i had what i needed.

There was a shot that called for condoms filled with helium and tied to strings like balloons, this was not going to be easy to find. The lady i talked to in the floral department of Safeway gave me a funny look and said she couldn’t help me, but maybe Confetti’s Party and Gift across town could help. I went to visit Reggie, the owner of the party store. I gave him my pitch, he gave me a funny look and informed me that the visual wouldn’t work because condoms would be too small to float at this altitude. As it turns out a balloon must be at least 9″ to have any buoyancy up here on the mountain. However, he suggested filling them with air and attaching them to plastic rods specially designed or balloons. I was given five for free and sent on my way.

Given the scarcity of equipment and willing crew i knew i would have to get my shots in one night. I had a very detailed production plan, and had sent out several casting calls on Facebook. As my friend who played the TV show host began to set up the studio i became very nervous that no one would show up to help and that i wouldn’t be able to get the shots done in one night. In the end over 10 people showed up to help and everything went off without a hitch. For the last shots i would have to wait until i edited together a rough cut so it could play on the television. Several of the crew from the first night promised to help and someone would provide a living room that was large enough to set up in and shoot. Right on cue, the night of the shoot, everyone bailed out on me, with various excuses.  I was able to shoot the last shot in my living room a few days later with my roommate and two British girls who i met at a bar and convinced to help.

This was a great project to work on, lots of fun and an amazing learning experience. It would have been impossible to do without lots of help, even if everyone did bail for the last day. If anyone can come up with some more non-convectional uses for condoms and can provide some funding, i would love to make this into an ongoing series of commercials. Post your ideas to the comments.

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