New Mexico DOT: Some Things Can't Be Reversed

The horrifying repercussions of drinking and driving bluntly tumble from the screen in an emotive film for the New Mexico Department of Transportation written and directed by Smoke & Mirrors New York's (SMNY) Sean Broughton.

Broughton designed the spot specifically to deal with New Mexico's plague of drinking and driving with children in the vehicle. The gripping story begins with a man in a prison cell, tottering on a chair, head in hands, clinging to sanity. A ghostly, bludgeoned child appears before him, leans close to his face, and whispers, "Daddy," causing him to tumble backwards, screaming. The narrative then unwinds in reverse, spiraling from the little girl's lifeless body laying among the twisted wreckage of a catastrophic auto accident to the pair first jumping into the truck to the man downing endless cocktails at a party.

Broughton worked closely with NM police and emergency crews to create a realistic and terrifying scene that could be shown during peak U.S. TV viewing hours.

"The challenge was to shock this group of adults into realizing their actions have real-life consequences," says Broughton. "It frightens me that these people are out there thinking it's ok to drink and drive with children in the car and risk killing whole families. The pain of losing a child has such deep-running consequences for so many people; it must stop."

Demien Barba skillfully lit every scene in a hectic one-day shoot.

"Demien was brilliant," noted Broughton. "He's a joy to have on any shoot, but with this tight turnaround, his indispensible genius really came through."

Broughton collaborated closely with the creative team at VWK on all aspects of the spot. "Both Danny Lewin and Lonnie Anderson brought so much support to the project; you really felt beholden to their trust and undying passion," Broughton stated.

The spot began airing in November 2009, with a longer version destined to play on the Internet.

Attribution: Written content created by TRUST: http://www.trustcollective.com

Read more: http://www.trustcollective.com/portfolio/content/sm_nmdot.php#ixzz0ZoLQ13XK
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Share Alike
Advertising Agency: VWK, USA
Art Director: Daniel Lewin
Copywriter: Sean Broughton
CD: Lonnie Anderson
Producer: Willie Ford
Agency Principal: Richard Kuhn
AE: Webb Johnson
Prod Company: Smoke & Mirrors NY / Black Sheep Productions
Director: Sean Broughton
DOP: Demien Barba
Editorial: Whitehouse
Editor: Crandall Miller
Producer: Melissa Maxwell
Executive Producer: Corina Dennison
Grading: Smoke & Mirrors NY
Colorist: Ben Eagleton
Post / Effects: Smoke & Mirrors NY
CCO: Sean Broughton
Lead VFX / Flame Artist: Sean Broughton
Designer / Animator: Steve Parish, Mike Donovan, Wei Louie
VFX Producer: Paul O'Beirne
Sound Design: Audio Engine
Sound Designer: David Wolfe
Shoot Location: Albuquerque, NM

November 2009


morse's picture
17002 pencils

Shocking. Very good work!

.. / .-.. --- ...- . / .- -.. ...- . .-. - .. ... .. -. --.

bad astronaut's picture
bad astronaut
544 pencils


windnclouds's picture
8 pencils


royschellekens's picture
390 pencils

Love the message! Film could have been better...


Hate advertising? Make better ads.

bubblestheclownfish's picture
614 pencils

Yeah - pacing seemed off. Visual tone was nice though.

Marlus Lau's picture
Marlus Lau
1808 pencils

Very good, I like the film.

manal©'s picture
89 pencils


nothing is impossible!

manal©'s picture
89 pencils

Some Things Can't Be Reversed!

nothing is impossible!

silvi's picture
4172 pencils

Excellent production. Strong message.

Brain-Art's picture
1101 pencils


J Designer's picture
J Designer
2420 pencils

very very good. This ad really touched me...although I would never ever drink and drive because I too have experience loss (twice) from idiots drinking and driving.

Meezo's picture
40 pencils


lucdesaulniers's picture
1145 pencils

Convincing. Very good.

Osocio's picture
2 pencils

Great PSA and a very good way to tell the story.
But the reverse technique is done before many times for road safety campaigns:

WillyLatasa's picture
616 pencils


"Bright ideas bring better results"

mgriff21's picture
592 pencils

Very good!

I'm here doing this, but feel I should be there doing that. But to do that, I have to be doing this. Does this make sense or do I have to explain that?

mikepants2005's picture
504 pencils

The backward video idea has been done to death but doing it again for a road safety commercial is seriously lame! Haven't you guys seen this done before?


Log in or register to post comments