By, Michelle Maslanka • Producer
When the Les Turner ALS Foundation reached out to us in November 2015 to create the video for their annual “Hope Through Caring Gala” event, we were honored, and immediately pursued the opportunity. It was just a few months earlier in July that we completed our first video with the Foundation, the ALS Walk for Life video, used to harness awareness, support, and participation for their annual Walk for Life event that occurred in September. To be able to join the forces of our two teams once again was an exciting moment.
The format of this second video would be quite different from the first. The Foundation proposed the idea of interviewing PALS (persons with ALS) and family members that have been involved with the Foundation and benefitted from their continued support. We agreed that hearing directly from those affected would be the most genuine and effective way to convey their stories. Over the course of three days of production, PALS and family members opened their homes and hearts to our crew, and through a combination of tears and smiles, shared their personal connections to the disease and the Foundation. In the end, we wove together these honest and heartfelt accounts into a 4-minute docu-style video that captured the delicate balance of the daily struggles of ALS, and the hope that through the Les Turner ALS Foundation, a cure will be found.
The final video premiered at the “Hope Through Caring Gala” event that took place this past Saturday, February 27th. The celebration was a successful night, as the event raised an impressive $550,000, surpassing their fundraising goal. This accomplishment made the entire experience that much more rewarding.
The presence of projects such as this can be felt throughout the entire office. It truly becomes a team effort to create this kind of video, and that is a creative energy that we strive for in all of our projects. Through working with the Les Turner ALS Foundation, we have been given the special opportunity to give voice to stories that are often overlooked or go unheard. That is the power of video, and that is why video production is not just our job; it truly is a part of our lives.
Throughout the video, PALS and family members provided profound quotes. One line in particular that captures this experience came from PALS Ryan Brubeck, 39: “ALS robs you of your movement and everything, but you need to focus on what I can do, and that is seeing my wife and my son, and that’s what keeps me going.” Unadulterated hope is a powerful feeling, and in partnering with the Les Turner ALS Foundation we have been able to experience that firsthand. And that’s what keeps us going.