The creative team at Minneapolis-based SPLICE recently collaborated with director Eric Howell on a new PSA campaign for the American Cancer Society entitled “Smashing Cancer.” The pro-bono effort was led by producer Jillian Nodland of Picture Factory, who first brought the concept to Howell. Taking on the project together, Nodland and Howell pulled together a crew to shoot the campaign. They also called on long-term partners at SPLICE to complete the postproduction, including editorial, visual effects, design, graphics, animation, sound design and final mix. The PSA campaign was donated to the American Cancer Society to help promote the organization’s 5,000-plus annual Relay For Life events.
In the spots, a trio of heartfelt and gripping real life stories – John, Latasha and David tell us how they are standing up to cancer, and invite others to join them in the fight.
“As a breast cancer survivor and an employee of the American Cancer Society, it is hard to find the words to acknowledge what Eric, Picture Factory, and SPLICE did to enhance the fight against cancer and our fundraising efforts for the Relay For Life events,” said Kellie Burrows, community relations for the Midwest division of the American Cancer Society. “What started as a vision by one volunteer, John Knutson of Hudson, Wisconsin, and turned into reality by Eric Howell and Jillian Nodland of Picture Factory is amazing. The fact that SPLICE was willing to join the effort and offer their expertise as a donation is above and beyond. We are so humbly grateful for this effort and deeply appreciate the donation.”
Nodland and Howell gathered together more than 50 industry professionals and local businesses, all of whom donated their time for the shoot. SPLICE editor Chadwick Nelson was on set for the production. “Eric wanted something that was going to feel lush and slightly languid in pacing to really have the emotion and heart of the piece come through,” explained Nelson. “He wanted it to feel really relatable and human.”
Nelson credited the production crew for giving him the material that he needed in the edit. “We had all the coverage we needed and more to create that feeling and pace, and the location they found really aided in that vision. I was on set for most of the day to make sure we had the coverage we needed. Being there also helped me see how things were being shot real time, so I could actually start putting the edit together in my head before I got dailies.”
“There was so much thought and passion that went into the creation of these PSAs,” said SPLICE producer Drew Sondeland. “Sitting in with the Chad and Eric as they crafted these stories was extremely impactful. The stories themselves are moving. But when coupled with the visuals, they really came together to create something beautiful.”
“I’m reminded of the early days of my career as a stunt performer and coordinator,” said Howell. “You gather a group of people around you that you truly trust and who can respond and react to what you need. That’s why I continue to collaborate with SPLICE. Their input was invaluable from the start when we began conversations about using high-speed cameras.”
“It was a completely pro-bono project, so I was so grateful when [SPLICE] were willing to join forces with us,” said Noland. “They’ve just increased the production value to such a high level. What began as an idea for an iPhone video has really just surpassed everyone’s expectations of what could be done.”