PSA: Plan

05/04/2011 § Leave a comment

Our group decided to do a unique PSA that doesn’t involve any skits whatsoever but instead a lot of easily understandable information that emphasises on the large discrimination homosexual persons receive. In my previous blog, I talked about the different ideas we had for our PSA and during our primary discussions, people in the group brought up ideas of skits that were possible decisions and possible ways to make our PSA. However, when I brought up the SU2C video, everyone in the group seemed to like it, so after a few more sessions planning and researching and deciding, we chose to do a PSA similar to the SU2C PSA. At this point in time, we’ve created the Storyboard sketch, we have accurate information gathered from multiple sites on the web, we have characters (roles) and people who might play those characters (classmates who are eager to help, actually), and a general idea where we’ll be filming each scene (which will be explained later).

Firstly, the little details. Everyone will be wearing their normal every day clothes because this PSA shows how important it is for people to appreciate who they are. However, our group, during the final scene of the PSA, will be wearing purple shirts. (Because the colour purple supports bisexual individuals). Kevin and I both have working cameras that could film videos for this PSA but I’ve agreed to bring mine to school. Uploading the clips onto a computer takes very little time and I could probably get all of the film into everyone’s computers in 20 or less minutes. If I have to, we could just email the recordings to each other. We have ideas for props and we’ve discussed costumes but I’ll go into more detail on that later. People who’ve agreed (or who’ve shown interest in helping) to take part in the PSA are Maggie and Natacha. Right now, it doesn’t sound like a lot of people but each of their roles is a maximum 10-second shot.  Basically, we think it’ll take very quickly to film all of the extra-characters’ roles and we will only be stealing about 2 to 5 minutes of their time.

As for the PSA itself, Yurika and I found websites that gave us exactly what we needed: chances/odds that an event would happen. For example, we wanted to know the chances of discrimination if you were a girl, if you were gay, if you were Asian, and because of your skin colour. The website I found gave us the information we needed. However, we planned for the PSA not to be entirely serious but to be lighthearted and maybe even funny during the first part. Yurika found a website that had information about the chances/odds that something would happen. This time, the kind of statistics she found had chances of dying from food poisoning, writing a NY Times best seller, having your identity stolen, becoming president, or finding a four-leaf clover on the first try. There were many possible “chances of ___” to choose from and we chose the ones that we could easily but creatively play the role of.

The PSA would essentially just spew all of these facts out; for example, in one scene, a voiceover would say, “Chances of becoming a pro-athlete.” And while the narrator says that, we’d show an advertisement-like clip of Kevin or Shunsuke or Yurika flexing their muscles and being all sporty. We’d make these first scenes over-dramatically funny and each of those scenes will only take a few seconds. After those few seconds finish, someone (one of the four from our group) would hold up a piece of cardboard paper with a percentage written on it, in this case: “0.0000003%”. The percentage is so small because later, it will emphasise how large the percentage of discrimination is.

The first part of the PSA will be like this. We’ll have a few seconds that say “Chances of seeing a UFO today,” another few seconds that say “Chances of becoming president,” and another that says, “Chances of being considered possessed by Satan,” and other funny and random facts like that. As previous mentioned, every time the voice-over states the beginning of a fact without the number, the PSA would SHOW that example. For example, if the voiceover was talking about the chances of becoming president, the PSA would show someone from our group (we decided that the president would be me) behind the CA podium with two bodyguards next to them, and it would be obvious that they had just won the position of president. Then every time a scene finishes, the PSA would show someone (various people from our group at different times) holding up pieces of cardboard paper with a percentage on it.

After the funny facts however, we move onto the more serious and sadder facts. All of these facts have to do with discrimination. The kind of information we have for this half of the PSA goes like, “Chances of discrimination because you’re a guy,” “Chances of discrimination because you’re a girl,” “Chances of discrimination because you’re Asian,” and the like. However, this time, there will be no accompanying scene that goes with each fact. Instead, our extra-characters will each play their role (whether they’re Asian, Christian, European, white/dark, Indian, a guy, a girl, Korean, Japanese, etc.) and hold up their own piece of cardboard paper that has their category on one side and the percentage on the other side. Each character’s scene will be fast and will only consist of them holding out the category side of the cardboard first, then flipping it to the percentage side. For example, for skin colour (we decided to have two people, one ‘white’ and one ‘dark’ character), two people will hold the cardboard together and show the category side first that says “SKIN COLOUR”. After a second or two, they’ll flip the piece of cardboard together to the side that says the percentage: “32%”. All this time, a voiceover will read out the category and the percentage. Each statement would go like, “Chances of discrimination because of your skin colour. 32%.”

We have nine scenes and categories to film the happier facts.

Chances of injury from fireworks
Chances of writing a New York Times best seller
Chances of finding a four-leaf clover on first try
Chances of spotting a UFO today
Chances of becoming president
Chance of dying from food poisoning
Chances of becoming a pro athlete
Chances of being considered possessed by Satan
Chances of having your identity stolen:

Having nine choices will give each of my group members a chance to have some variety with our PSAs. For the serious facts, we have six categories to film before moving onto the sexual orientation category.a

Asians
Women
Men
Race/ethnicity
Skin colour
Religious beliefs

I have the feeling that everyone will be using at least five of these six for the last part of their PSA. Finally, all four members of our group will be on screen and while the voiceover says, “Chances of discrimination because you’re gay. 74%,” and we’ll all flip the cardboard to the percentage side.

Afterwards, I added this as a final instalment to make the PSA more dramatic, but we can have the people in our group saying the catch phrase of the PSA: “No hate. Don’t discriminate.” The first part of the message could be said by Kevin and Shunsuke or me and Yurika or vice versa. I mainly want two people saying each sentence of the message. Finally, as an even more final instalment to the PSA is simply words on the screen (easily edited with iMovie) that say, “It’s okay to be gay.”

As some final things, the filming of this PSA will be relatively easy because we’ll be filming people from their waists and up so we can see the cardboard sign they hold. During the accompanying scenes for the funny facts, however, we have a lot of ways to film. For example, for the PRO ATHLETE scene, we could film our ‘athlete’ by going around him/her slowly and treating him/her like a model. We could film from an angle that looks up at him/her to make them look “pro”. Our ideas for filming come from the angles we’ve seen in music videos: close up, far away, looking down or looking up at the people, etc. Each time we film, I will record how we filmed each scene. Also, I’ve mentioned places we will be filming like the gym, the auditorium, around the island, etc. For the cardboard scenes, our group wanted only one place for filming and we were brainstorming places that had one wall as a background. We’ll have to find a place at school (maybe in the atrium, at the playground, in a classroom, etc.) that has an empty wall or empty space and we’ll take our cardboard scenes there.

As for our schedule, unfortunately, we already know that it’ll be really tight because I have to miss out on one Sunday, all of my group members miss out on an entire week for APAC and some people just won’t come to some filming days. Overall, we’ll have to try and quickly film as many scenes during the class time provided in the next few weeks. We have class time to film during the 8th, 12th, 19th and 22nd of April and this Saturday after the International Food Day. With the short clips that we have, I suspect that (if we stay on task, which shouldn’t be hard, actually), we can get all our filming done in three filming sessions.

Finally, as a last little thing, we haven’t really decided who would do the voiceovers because that slipped our mind entirely but either everyone pitches their voice in or one person would lend their voice for the voiceover (like in SU2C) so things won’t sound sloppy. I personally support the latter option.

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