In the Fall of 2008, ZTG was approached by the Department of Justice to produce the flagship Public Service Announcement to combat the “Snitching” phenomenon.
ZTG was tasked with understanding the culture behind “Snitching” in the inner cities and creating an effective, realistic message that would appeal to the target demographic of young adults between the ages of 14 to 25. ZTG conducted extensive research within the targeted demographic by conducting interviews with young adults from the inner cities of Baltimore Maryland and Washington D.C. These interviews were recorded, transcribed and submitted to the client for an in-depth review. Once causality was established, ZTG set out to create (5) Public Service Announcement concepts that would appeal to the target demographic. These concepts were then submitted to the client with applicable storyboards. The ZTG storyboard artist professionally created each storyboard in conjunction with the Director and Scriptwriter to ensure that each concept was given sufficient attention to detail. After the first round approval of the Script and Storyboard, ZTG then animated each concept with working professional audio as a visual reference for the second phase of the Pre-Production process. The completed animation was then presented to a test group of approximately 40 young adults from the targeted demographic. The group was given a survey and the results were tabulated and submitted as a thirty-page analysis of the prospective concepts for the “Snitching” PSA.
The completed animations were then presented to a test group of approximately 40 young adults from the targeted demographic. The group was given a survey and the results were tabulated and submitted to the client as a thirty-page analysis (Focus Group Report) of the prospective concepts for the “Snitching” PSA.
PSA Concepts: (click to view)
After completing this exhaustive pre-production process, Zephyr Technology Group then set to work on creating the visual palette for the winning PSA concept. ZTG set out to find the perfect backdrop for this flagship PSA by conduction an extensive location scout. Baltimore was chosen as the location for the shoot because of its visual authenticity and the ability of the production crew to gain shooting permits at prime locations across Baltimore. The cast for this production also needed to be visually authentic, therefore the production team at ZTG reached out to their contacts at the HBO series “the Wire” to obtain actors that have played similar roles in the past. As a result of their efforts, the lead actors chosen for the “Snitching” PSA were actors with recurring roles on the HBO series “the Wire.” The crew shot the entire production in High Definition on the revolutionary Panasonic HMC 150. ZTG also utilized a myriad of visual devices such as a jib arm and steadicam in order to improve the visual quality of the product. Professional audio was recorded on multiple channels using a boom and lavaliere microphones to ensure the highest quality sound. The production was shot during the first week of February 2009 on one of the coldest days of the year.
The Post-Production process was relatively painless since ZTG had done all of the Pre-Production work to ensure that DOJ was satisfied with the product. All aspects of this production were performed to script with little deviation from the conceptual to the completed product. The edit was done on ZTG’s Master Editing Suite on a Final Cut Pro Editing System supported by a Quad Core Apple Mac Pro. Color correction was completed on Apple Color to ensure maximum broadcast quality. The Sound mix was completed in Apple Soundtrack Pro to ensure the highest broadcast standard. The completed product was then sent to the National Captioning Institute to be closed-captioned. This ensured that the final product would be Section 508 compliant and ready for distribution. The final product was submitted to the Department of Justice as a DVD and Beta tape.