Responses by James Rosene, creative director, EraserFarm
Background: The Homefront Foundation encourages veterans and service members to tell their stories. Not only will this storytelling serve as a coping method, but it also gives the courageous men and women a chance to come together as a community. In this PSA, we wanted to show how challenging it is for the veterans and service members to relive those moments—and we did this without using actors.
Reasoning: The foundation exists for those veterans and service members who struggle to tell the stories of their professions—especially the ones who have difficulty readjusting to the life they’re returning to. The use of real veterans was imperative to convey this message in a very believable and moving way.
Challenges: Without a doubt, the shoot was emotionally taxing for both the crew and the veterans. Asking them questions took them back to a moment in time that was very difficult for them to recall and articulate.
Favorite details: The realism of the video and the emotion it evokes is powerful and something that we, as an agency, try to hone in on.
Visual influences: We created this video with an interview style in mind, where the veterans were more engaged with the viewer instead of the person conducting the interview. Every time these veterans would answer a question, we wanted it to evoke a powerful connection with the viewer, whether they looked at the camera or not. The silhouetted side views were also juxtaposed with the black background to give the video some added depth.
Specific demands: The easy part was finding the veterans and service members to participate. They all were very generous with their time, and so open to express themselves in front of us like they did—especially since they didn’t know what questions we were going to ask them. They only knew it was for the Homefront Foundation.