New York/San Francisco-based content creation/production company Bodega directors Eric Steinman and Mark Littman, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Pau Gasol and the New York Knicks’ Tyson Chandler suit up and box out for the fight against illegal wildlife trade in two new :30 PSAs, “24 Seconds” (with Gasol, directed by Steinman) and “Center” (with Chandler, directed by Littman) for NBA Cares and WildAid, produced direct to client. “24-Seconds” was shot in English, Spanish and Mandarin to reach a global audience for the wildlife conservation organization, which, with this NBA Cares collaboration, adds new NBA athletes to its long list of celebrity ambassadors which includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Harrison Ford, Jackie Chan, Sir Richard Branson, Yao Ming and Carmelo Anthony. “Center” encourages consumers to never buy products made from ivory while “24-Seconds” focuses on all endangered species.
The spots are currently airing during the 2013 NBA Playoffs on TNT.
The PSAs come in addition to prior collaborations with WildAid as Bodega ECD/Director Adam Reid previously created a sizzle reel for their annual Celebrity Gala held in San Francisco last May.
Steinman is no stranger to working with sports celebrities, having previously shot spots with Michael Jordan, Mariano Rivera and LaDanian Tomlinson. He notes, “Pau had very good acting instincts. He seemed to get into a very believable committed attitude—speaking extemporaneously with genuine care. Rather than celebrities simply talking about a cause, the PSA feels more like a story—much more relatable.”
“24-Seconds” features Gasol comparing basketball to endangered species. He begins, “24 seconds. That’s all it takes to make it happen.” As he continues, we intercut between Gasol and stock wildlife footage by Dereck and Beverly Joubert, and National Geographic. As we observe the animals in their natural habitats, he continues, “But unfortunately, for endangered animals there’s no reset. Many are now facing extinction. When their clock runs out, they’re gone forever. So please, support conservation and never buy products made from these animals—there’s no more time to waste.” The spot closes with the NBA Cares and WildAid logos and the super, “A message from the NBA and its players.”
“Center” opens on Chandler declaring, “Bigger, stronger, more domineering than any other. Elephants are the centers of the animal kingdom.” We see images of the mighty animal existing in its habitat intercut with muscular displays of strength on NBA courts. Chandler continues, “Unfortunately today they’re under attack. Tens of thousands are being killed each year just for their ivory.” Disheartening images appear: hundreds of tusks being collected illegally and then sold in high-end stores across the globe. He concludes, “Never by products made from ivory. Because when the buying stops, the killing can too.” The organizations’ logos close out the PSA.
According to a 2011 survey conducted by IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare), “Elephant poaching levels are the worst in a decade and recorded ivory seizures are at their highest levels since 1989.” The timing of these PSAs could not be more crucial, as many of our endangered species are threatened with near extinction.
Client: NBA Cares/WildAid
Creative Director: Eric Steinhauser
Executive Director: Peter Knights
Production Company: Bodega Studios
Executive Producer: Clint Goldman
Title: “24 Seconds” :30
Director: Eric Steinman
Director of Photography: Stephen Kenneston
Editorial: Northern Lights, NYC
Editor: Mark Tyler
Senior Producer: Julie Zivic
Music/Sound Company: SuperExploder
Mixer: Tony Sprayberry
Executive Producer: Beth Cummins
Talent: Pau Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers
Title: “Center” :30
Director: Mark Littman
Director of Photography: Matt Workman
Editorial: Peep Show Post, NYC
Editor: John Resner
Editorial Executive Producer: Deborah Sullivan
Music/Sound Company: Pirate New York
Composer: Ben Zebelman
Mixer: Dave Rivera
Partner/Executive Producer: Tag Gross
Talent: Tyson Chandler, New York Knicks