Minnesota Department of Human Services Opioid Social Ad

About the Project

Bringing the feeling of home & play to a grim subject matter by reminding Black Minnesotans of opioid dangers.

We partnered with Russell Herder to create a social film for the Minnesota Department of Human Services to respond to new data since the COVID19 pandemic.

According to the Differences in Rates of Drug Overdose Deaths by RaceBlack Minnesotans are twice more likely to die of a drug overdose than White Minnesotans. In addition, 2020 was a record rate for opioid overdoses. 

Art District Industrial Studio Minneapolis
Chris McDuffie, Danami, and Tish Jones
Huey P Newton sitting in peacock chair
Chris McDuffie filming Tish Jones
SmallRig Director's Cage

Home is Where
the Heart Is

We materialized the script through location and casting. The word "home" became our keyword for how we wanted the film to feel. A home is generally a place of warmth, comfort, and support. Those same elements from loved ones are contributors to a helpful opioid recovery. 

Orginally we planned to film on a brick porch; the brick represented the inner city where most Black Minnesotans live. The patio was an alternative to filming in a specific home. Due to projected rain, a studio with brick walls sufficed.

We used a vintage peacock chair look-alike to reference the famous Huey P. Newtown portrait. Huey was one of the founding members of the Black Panther Party and one of our (African Americans) leaders for freedom. This chair served as a Black cultural artifact and spotlighted the narrator as a freedom fighter for Black people.

We cast Tish Jones, Poet/Activist, as the narrator. Her pose and demeanor are comforting. Additionally, her persona in the Saint Paul community is that of a respected auntie. Tish's personality was well suited for our "home" keyword.

Cinematographer Chris McDuffie helped amplify the vision through camera work and lightning, filming on anamorphic lenses in a natural, low-key lighting style that would be typically in a home. 

With all these elements working together, post-production was a breeze. We crafted the animations and supported them with sound design—another great project for the books. 

Credits

Services Provided:
Creative Direction, Film Production, Animation

Client:
Minnesota Department of Human Services

Agency:
Russell Herder

Narrator:
Tish Jones

Creative Direction:
Danami-Maurice Champion

Cinematographer:
Chris McDuffie

Production Assistant:
George Eid

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