Stop Secondhand Smoke


The Call

Occasionally when I’m driving, I’ll pass another motorist who is smoking with their kids in the car. I think to myself, what barbarians. Even worse, sometimes their windows are only barely cracked. All that second hand smoke just billowing inside the car. A gaseous umbilical cord delivering asthma and cancer to your children. I can’t think of a better example to illustrate the addictive power of tobacco. You become so controlled by your addiction that you prioritize the need to smoke over your desire to protect your own children from harm. These people must only be doing this because they don’t truly understand how harmful secondhand smoke can be for their children, right? Otherwise, they would by psychopathic.

In Wyoming, 67% of parents who smoke, do so around their children. This means in the car, the living room, the garage, wherever. It is a disturbing statistic that the Wyoming Department of Health has been charged to reduce. If people are only smoking around their children because they don’t know about the harmful consequences, then an emotionally weighted public awareness campaign could help reduce the rate of second hand smoke exposure amongst children, and even adults.

Enter Warehouse 21. The Cheyenne, Wyoming based agency crafted a thoughtful, integrated campaign which would rely significantly on a powerful series of videos. Warehouse 21 brought Image Brew on board to manage the entire video portion of the campaign.

The Concept

Our story focuses on a young mother and her son. A montage of sentimental flashbacks depict the mother innocently smoking around her son over the course of a decade. A flash forward reveals the mother in present day, scrambling down a hospital hallway as her son is carted into an ER with an asthma attack, the lasting impact of years of second hand smoke exposure. For our edit, we deconstructed this core storyline into seven unique spots that blended the different time periods with the terrifying, present day trip to the emergency room.


This was a challenging project to produce. Starting with talent….we needed to cast four different aged boys that could all pass for the same boy over the course of a decade, all from a limited Denver youth talent pool. Shooting in the summer added another challenge as many families are on vacation. We conducted an exhaustive, but fruitful casting which combined talent agencies, social media posts, and personal connections. How did we do?? Watch the finished spot and let us know.

Locations were also a bit of a challenge, primarily because we needed to find a hospital emergency room. Our budget (and conscience) wouldn’t allow us to attempt to shut down a real ER for the day. So we endeavored to find something that could pass for an ER, and then supplement it with background extras, production design, and other magic tricks. We ultimately settled on shooting the hospital portion in a historic Denver high school’s hallway. On-camera, the school’s long, tiled corridor passed beautifully for a hospital you might find in rural Wyoming.


We shot this on an Alexa Mini at the 2K Anamorphic resolution (2048 x 858). We lensed the Mini with Cooke anamorphic glass, the Cooke look! Our DP, Robert Muratore shot a mixture of handheld and rigged shots. The spots were graded in DaVinci Resolve by the talented Brian de Herrera-Schnering. Music, mix, and mastering were handled by Alcheh&Hunt.

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