(For the best experience of the above, watch the short PSA spot before reading about it below!)
What happens when you match one of the great filmmakers today up to a PSA or Public Service Announcement? Here, filmmaker Adam Newport Berra’s take on a high school shooting. We see the aftermath of the shooting rather than all the violence of the shooting. This perspective is strangely powerful. There is a certain peace to the film clip. No wild noise or screaming. The great viloence has been done and we are simply observers to it, almost like the first front of a CSI team.
The perspective of the aftermath of the school shooting offers a different insight into the horror of this event. What can one say? Here, the viewer does not know where they are when the film starts out. We are looking at what is a normal view outsie a window. Onto some field? Houses in a middle class neighborhood in the background. It is just another average day in our town. The camera pulls in from the outside scene through a window and to an interior scene.
There is the buzzing of a telephone that continues to go unanswered. It continues during the first 30 seconds of the film.
Against the sound of the unanswered phone call, the camera glides over a scene of disruption in a classroom of a school. A plant is turned over. A student is slumped over a desk. The camera glides past him and through the classroom and then outside the classroom and then looks up and down the hallway of the high school. There are shapes laying on the floor in the distance of the school hallway. There is the flurry of two people running down the hallway and then out of the building.
The camera then moves back into the classroom, its embarcation point. As the camera pulls back into the classroom, we see a body lying on the floor to our right in a pool of blood. The phone is ringing now and we hear a woman’s voice. A mother saying “Honey pick up.” The voice is desperate as would be the voice of any mother calling her child in a school shooting.
The screen turns black and over this the words, ” There is a school shooting every 13 days in America.”