A couple of weeks ago Ashton Kutcher approached Grumo to create a video explaining their recent Real Men Don't Buy Girls campaign.
It has been a great honor and pleasure to produce a video for such a great cause and I hope our small contribution can help make a difference to solve this horrible issue.
It all started with a Kutcher Tweet
Soon after, one of my connections introduced me to Ashton and I took the opportunity to offer a Grumo to any cause he felt strong about. It just happened that he and Demi were in the middle of producing a viral video campaign for their DNA Foundation called "Real Men Don't Buy Girls".
Ashton thought it would be great to add an animation component to their video campaign and he was thrilled with the idea of having Grumo producing a video for it.
The original idea was for me to produce an animation similar to the ones they shot with celebrities like Sean Penn and Justin Timberlake.
I even received one of the original animatics for the Sean Penn's Real Men ad.
However, the approach changed when I got the chance to meet both Demi and Ashton in person at this year's SXSW in Austin, TX.
It just happened that while I was speaking to them, my Hipmunk video was playing on a big screen on the background (it was the Hipmunk SXSW party) and I told Demi that my style was very simple and more suitable to explain concepts. Demi right away came with the idea of creating a short demo video explaining how the campaign worked and I thought that was perfect.
Soon after they released the Real Men campaign Ashton got back to me and gave me the green light to go ahead and start producing the video.
Behind The Scenes of the DNA Foundation Grumo
As soon as I had the green light I got busy with the script. Like all my scripts I did not want it to be just a simple explanatory video, I wanted to tell a little bit of a story before getting to the explanation and final call to action.
I usually start by writing a long version and then trimming it to the essentials. The goal is to make it a short as possible (less than 90 secs) but packing as much of the important message as possible.
All my videos up to this point tend to be fun, quirky, and upbeat.
However, this one is about a very sad subject, child sex slavery, so I fell it deserved a more serious and emotional approach.
To write a script I really try to put myself in the shoes of the target audience. In this case I imagined I was the father of a girl who was a victim of sex slavery. How do you do that? it was not easy but the first feelings I got were extreme anger, sadness and frustration. I cannot even imagine how anyone can cope with this horrible experience.
Once I was on that sad mental state I began writing. I wanted to fit the existing message of the campaign, Real Men Don't Buy Girls" so I decided to make the beginning revolve a Man (that buys girls) versus a Real Man.
The first line makes a pretty severe statement by calling a man that buys girls "a sick criminal".
But if you put yourself inside the mind of a sex slavery victim or relative, "sick criminal" is probably the least offensive adjective that will come to your mind.
I felt this was a sensitive issue which most of us are not familiar with so I don't know if I did my best explaining the story but I tried.
Like many other difficult world issues it is very hard to confront them. No one wants to talk about them because they are sad and no one wants to feel sad. But by not talking about them we are contributing to their proliferation.
Sometimes we have to bite the bullet and just try a little bit harder. We don't necessarily need to make our lives revolve around sad causes but maybe once a month or when the chance is presented to us we can do a little effort to help causes like this.
Creating awareness is the first and most important step, and that can be done almost with no effort at all these days. All you have to do is share, re-tweet, post, or email a link so other people can learn about what things need to be fixed in our society.
Special thanks to Ryan Uhrich for bringing to live this beautiful video in such a short notice.
Ryan is a super talented Motion Designer behind many of the videos on this site.
Here is the script:
A man that buys a girl for sex is not a man, is a sick criminal.
A man that buys a girl takes away her dignity, her dreams, her future.
A real man loves and respects other men, women, and children.
A real man.. doesn’t buy girls
Are you.. a real man?
if you are, or believe in real men, you can help the Demi and Ashton Foundation end child sex slavery once and for all..
Help spread the word against Child Sex Slavery by going to rm.demiandashton.org on Facebook and creating and sharing your own video for the “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls” campaign.
Then click on the “Action Center” tab to learn how you can donate,
report child sex slavery on the Internet, or even buy a beautiful t-shirt to support this great cause.
More than 2 million girls are victims of sex slavery around the world, over 100 thousand in the US alone!
And they need YOU to take a stand so they can get back their dignity, their dreams, their future.
Join us in the fight against child sex slavery at the Demi and Ashton Foundation.
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