June 2, 2004
Gay marriage PSA in Austin film festival
Parents, one of three television public service announcements produced in support of equal marriage for same-sex couples, will appear at the Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival (August 26 thru September 6, 2004). Festival programmer Mo Ratel is presenting a segment that will focus on same-sex marriage, including our little 30-second gem.
The spot is part of a multi-media campaign that began airing on radio and television stations and networks across Canada this year. American radio stations began playing our PSAs last month. Our printed media public service announcements begin publication this month.
The campaign was created for us, and our friends at PFLAG, by the inspired team at Zig Inc. The television spots were produced by award-winning Industry Films (with partner companies - see credits). All talent, equipment, time, and expenses were donated by the people and companies involved: a tremendous contribution from the advertising/film/radio industry.
Parents was written by Hayes Steinberg with art direction from Craig Brownrigg. The creative team also co-directed the spot. "This commercial takes place inside a dining room of an above-average income home ...," the treatment for Parents begins. "Two married couples, in their mid 60s, are sitting at the table. Neatly strewn across the table are books, magazines, paper, pens and fabric samples - all the stuff you'd need to plan a wedding."
And so a mini-movie begins.
The production of Parents seemed anything but "mini". The spot was filmed on location with a crack-team of professionals that took over the street of a neighborhood in Toronto last fall.
After the film shooting was finished, Roz Michaels, the actress who plays the dark-haired mother in Parents expressed her gratitude for the work that was being done on behalf of gay marriage. She had dearly hoped to land the part she played in the public service announcement, she said. Her son had killed himself, leaving a note behind explaining that he was unable to deal with being gay. It was too late to help her son, Roz said, but not too late to help others.
Claire Crawford played the other mother in Parents, supported by Scott Lale and Ian Matthews who were cast as their soon-to-be-married sons, and David Rutter and Doug Smith who were the fathers of the grooms. Ben Weinberg provided the voice-over.
The public service announcement campaign in support of marriage equality is ongoing for the next two years. Please encourage your local broadcasters to carry our message.