Producing Public Service Announcements

in Redding, California

June 17, 2019 | Andy Linda

Last fall (October 2018) we shot a series of Public Service Announcements (PSAs) for the City of Redding Water Utility. We were actually supposed to shoot a video about their water treatment process in the late summer, but two weeks before the shoot the Carr fire almost burned down both of Redding’s water treatment plants. So in October we went up to shoot a PSA series instead, to share with the community the Utility’s heroic effort to keep the water flowing.

Keeping the water system functional was essential. Not only do all city residents rely on it for drinking water, but firefighters use it to battle blazes. Through extraordinary effort, the water service continued without a hiccup.

This PSA video production consisted of our writing, shooting and editing five 30-second public service announcements which played in rotation not only on TV, but also in movie theaters throughout the winter holiday season. We were ready to deliver them in 4k resolution, but even the theaters specified they only accept HD. So to “go all out,” we mixed the sound in 5.1-channel surround and some venues may have used that format. (We’re not sure, we gave them the option.) This is a case where our capabilities exceed the client’s expectations, but we still do it, if for no other reason than because it looks and sounds terrific in our editing room. There is no added charge.

Producing public service announcements is fun because there’s a challenge to it. If you’re not familiar with PSAs, they are exactly the same thing as TV commercials except that instead of promoting a product or service for profit, they promote a service that’s offered for public benefit. Television stations are obligated to air a certain number of public service announcements every day because TV uses the public airwaves. Airing PSAs at no charge to the agency that has them produced is the broadcaster’s way of giving back.

We love producing commercials at eImage because they’re often mini-stories, told in precisely 30 seconds. But producing public service announcements has the added sweetness of our knowing that what we’re doing benefits the public.

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