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Creative

SS+K's Horror Film to Fight Student Debt

lbbonline.com, 4 years, 7 months ago

Can a movie thriller scare students into confronting their debts?

SS+K's Horror Film to Fight Student Debt

How do you get young people to confront a problem they'd rather not deal with? Make a horror movie about it and convince Sundance-award winners to direct it.

 

That’s what SALT – a free resource created by the non-profit American Student Assistance (ASA)  – did to get students and recent graduates to stop avoiding their student loans and feel the relief that comes with taking control of them. The film is part of a sustained, multi-media campaign created by ad agency SS+K to compel and empower young people to take control of their debt on a practical, day-to-day level.

 

You can check out the full eight-minute movie with a mission at www.facethered.com or watch the four-minute version below.

 

 

Nearing a trillion dollars, student debt affects nearly 15 million Americans under the age of 30. Few students and recent graduates even know what they owe – and they aren’t actively seeking advice on what to do about it.

 

“It isn't easy to get young people who feel panicked about their debts to do something about it,” said Sue Burton from ASA. “To connect meaningfully with them, we produced something very entertaining that acknowledges how frightening it can be, yet portrays their own power and offers a path out of the nightmare.”

 

In The Red, which premieres in theaters across the country this week, a 20-something girl is terrorized by ominous red smoke. The smoke follows her at every turn, mirroring the suffocating financial strain of a post-college world. No matter how hard she tries, she realizes that there’s no avoiding the Red. The only option is to face it.

 

The Borderline Films trio of Antonio Campos, Sean Durkin and Josh Mond, who recently won the Dramatic Feature Directing Award at Sundance for their thriller Martha Marcy May Marlene,directed the film. The filmmakers know firsthand the horror of mounting student debts and the paralyzing fear that it can create. “We know exactly how scary it is to owe a ton of money for school and have no clue how to pay it back,” said Mr. Campos. “This is a story we related to. The feeling of The Red made sense. And we embraced the opportunity to work on this project.”

 

The Red premieres this week in Boston, Chicago, Seattle, Tampa and Washington, D.C. and will also be released online at FaceTheRed.com. Beyond the film, a main focus of the campaign is to bring information and resources to students and recent grads through platforms and mediums that they already consume and trust. The campaign includes multiple content partnerships with millennial-focused media outlets like The Onion, BuzzFeed, College Humor and MTV.

 

SALT will also be hosting a sweepstakes with three $10,000 prizes to put toward existing loans or the cost of education. Students and recent graduates can enter the sweeps on FaceTheRed.com. 

 

Credits

 

Client: American Student Assistance   (ASA)

Chief Executive Officer, ASA: Paul Combe

Vice President of Consumer Services: Sue Nathan

Managing Director; Consumer Products and Marketing: Sue Burton

Director of Consumer Marketing: Jay Magilligan

Sr. Manager of Digital Marketing & Product Development: Allison Coburn

Marketing Programs Manager: Brooke Henninger

Ad Agency: SS+K

Bobby Hershfield, Partner, Chief Creative Officer        

Lenny Stern, Partner

Mark Kaminsky, Partner

John Swartz, SVP, Director of Production & Operations

Armando Flores, Copywriter        

Kat Lam, Art Director          

Jennifer Glendining, Producer

Alex Neophytou, VP, Group Director       

Makena Cahill, Account Supervisor        

Christopher Dorsey, Account Executive 

Nick Fico, Digital Strategist          

Nirmal Deshpande, Strategist     

Michael Marabella, Student consultant / Behind the Scenes

Craig Von Wiederhold, Screenwriter      

Jennifer Bilyk, Head of Business Affairs

Richard Shemo, Studio Manager

Zana Kaba, Production coordinator        

Production Company: Station Films

Director / Screenwriter: Borderline

Managing Partner: Stephen Orent

Partner, Executive Producer: Thomas Rossano

Line Producer: Michelle Towse

DP: Joe Anderson

1st Assistant Camera: Sam Ellison

DIT: Mariusz Cichon

Production Supervisor: Jessica Drennan

Asst Production Supervisor: Harry Drennan

1st Assistant Director: Kevin Moore

2nd Assistant Director: Ian Lynch

DGA Trainee: Henriette Ohno

Gaffer: Sean Sheridan

Key Grip: Paul Nickason

Production Designer: Stephanie Carroll

Set Decorator: Danielle Webb

Prop Master: Akeo Ihara

Art Coordinator: Alex Fagin

Sound mixer: Anthony Starbuck

Boom Operator: Jeff Livesy

VTR: Andy Schmetterling  

Script supervisor: Elisabeth Tyler

Hair/Make-up: Michelle Beck

Wardrobe Stylist: Malgosia Turzanska

Craft Service: Heather McArdle

Location Manager: Joe White

Production Assistant: Caitlin Marraffa

Production Assistant: James Russell

Production Assistant: Luke Flegar

Production Assistant: Bradley Ennis

VFX: Motion Picture Company

Head of Production: Derek Macleod-Veilleux

Head Of CG: Vicky Osborn

Senior CG Artist: Ashley Berns

Senior CG Artist: Liam Griffin

Senior Compositor: Alex Harding

Carl Fong: Compositor

Sound designer: Coll Anderson

Composed by: Saunder Jurriaans and Daniel Bensi

Sound mixer:            Cory Melious

Sound studio: Heard City

Executive producer: Gloria Pitagorsky

Producer: Sasha Awn

Post Production:

Editor: Andrew Marcus

Assistant Editor: Zach Patten

Edit Facility: Goldcrest Studios

 

“The Red” Cast

Kate: Amy Northup

Clara: Marisa Parry

Charlie: Drew Lewis

Boss: Phillip Chorba

Teller: Jean Liuzzi

ATM Man: Adam Byrd

Waitress: Laura Peterson