"Closet" movie (2.8 megs)
"Closet" appears here with permission of Cease Fire.
The PSA (Public Service Announcement) to the left was produced by an advertising agency in New York for Cease Fire. The organization's mission is to educate the public about the dangers of firearms and promote handgun free homes and families.
The plot of the PSA is as follows:
A child opens a closet door and looks at the top shelf. He drags a chair to the front of the closet and stacks books and boxes on the seat. He climbs up and reaches for a gun on the top shelf.Here's what Cease Fire said about the PSA:
"As with the issues of smoking and drunk driving, the issue of firearms and children needs to 'wake up' the consumer -- hopefully parents -- to the dangers handguns in the home pose to children. Our hope is that they will then take action to remove firearms frm their own homes...We believed that it was necessary to produce a very direct and compelling set of PSAs which would deliver a more direct impact to the viewer."
"Closet" is effective for a number of reasons.
The childlike music contrasts sharply with the seriousness of issue, thus highlighting its importance. It also emphasizes the fact that the victim of the accidental shooting is a child. When the music begins, it's tinkly and rather stark. As the plot progresses however, the strings and voices are added. This creates a sense of foreboding and effectively leads up to the gunshot sound effect.
The dramatic lighting also serves to set the tone of the piece. The room is dark, except for a sliver of light coming from the open door. The closet is in darkness also and when the child reaches for the gun, we can barely see it.
"We used different types of lighting and music in these PSAs to emphasize their dramatic subject matter, but also to signify that so many times those tragedies occur in very ordinary, everyday settings."
Because the target audience of the piece is parents, appealing to their guilt is an especially effective technique. The child's death is a direct result of the parent owning a gun. In order to rid themselves of this feeling, parents must "take action to remove firearms from their homes," as CeaseFire hopes they will.