Based on an RFP by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this video is a 60-second public service announcement highlighting the dangers of radon gas. My goal was to make the piece informative yet entertaining. This posed a challenge in that the concept was somber in nature; there was a definite need to balance the very real (and serious) dangers of radon without scaring the audience too much. Hopefully the editing and tone of the piece near the end keep it from coming off as too dark. You can decide for yourself after watching it…
Built around the ever-popular TV detective genre (CSI, Law and Order, etc.), my thought was to create something with a touch of classic film-noir style. To this end, I wrote a detective story told from the 1st person viewpoint, via a voiceover. A choice that helped make up for the lack of a cast at my disposal. Other neo-noir touches include flashbacks, a couple of offbeat camera angles, and a generally fatalistic tone.
For this project, I also wanted to make use of colors to evoke emotion. Note that many scenes are generally of a blue hue, which communicates the cold world the detective inhabits, and perhaps a sense of his disconnectedness with it. The morgue shots have a purple cast, illustrating the coldness of death, while the flashback sequence features golden tones helping portray happier times for the woman. The use of colors in this way can be a subtle but effective tool for helping to bring the most out of a story.
Written, directed, and edited by Brian Schatz of Spool Video.
Radon PSA from Brian Schatz on Vimeo.