Blind Leads a Stray Bullet on a Path to Tragedy

Blind Leads a Stray Bullet on a Path to Tragedy

Santa Monica/New York design/production studio Blind creates "GPS," a graphically haunting PSA campaign for, out of Martin Williams, Minneapolis, MN. The animated :30 gives a GPS a life of its own, drawing attention to the harrowing simplicity of gun violence: an ostensibly innocent route on a GPS system takes a sinister turn when the guiding arrow turns out to be a stray bullet, whose destination terminates in tragedy.

Agency Martin Williams approached Blind with the basic conceptual narrative to produce and animate a PSA dramatically portraying the real danger of stray bullets. Blind's Art Director Sakona Kong oversaw the project as Creative Director. According to Kong, "When approaching this project, we had to keep in mind the controversial and sensitive nature of the topic, as well as create a visual metaphor that effectively blends two worlds."


The spot opens on a basic GPS map, outlining a suburban town. As the camera zooms in, a mechanical voice dictates the next moves on our route, and a blue arrow guides us down streets that become increasingly more detailed on the map. The graphics progress from flat, one-dimensional buildings, to 3D representations that grow progressively more realistic as we speed closer to our destination. The arrow veers off-course, maneuvering over fences and twisting itself to slide through gates. It makes its way into a residential backyard, and smashes into the house of an innocent victim: a small girl, playing quietly. The arrow-bullet shatters the window in slow motion, and shards of glass frame the girl as a target, freezing on her unprotected face. An explosive crash and sudden jolt of red signal despair as the scene cuts to a graphically beating heart, then silence. The voiceover continues, "you have reached your destination," and the tag appears, "Stray bullets find people." A black screen with the website closes out the spot.

Transforming a Benign Symbol Into a Deadly Weapon
Kong notes, "The mis-direction of the bullet posed the greatest challenge. There needed to be a seamless transition from the familiar, mechanical GPS display and arrow to something that, while unclear, conveys an ominous event." Kong and his animation team found solutions by moving into and through the 2D display and having a dimensional world evolve around the viewer. An additional element the team had to work with was taking a benign GPS arrow on a straightforward path, and turn it into something dangerous and menacing. For this, Kong altered the movement of the arrow, giving it an arbitrary yet violent characteristic. Utilizing various tools including Cinema 4D, Maya and AfterEffects, the result is a seamless transition and narrative that is surprising, shocking and effective.


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