Since our inception, Ezra Productions has been committed to working with mission-driven brands to produce commercial video content that has a positive impact on the world, while also promoting brand awareness and loyalty. We especially love working with nonprofits and community groups whose goal is to make this planet a safer and more equitable place for all. We were honored and grateful when long-time client Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) asked us to produce a commercial public service announcement (PSA) about solving a life-threatening problem in San Bernardino, California.
Due to a long-standing distrust of the government and related health initiatives — a result of racist and potentially dangerous public policies, such as redlining and the Tuskegee experiment— black and brown community members in San Bernardino were suspicious of, and therefore avoid, government-sponsored COVID vaccines . This was one of the factors that lead to black and brown communities disproportionately falling ill and dying from COVID-19. This community also had a harder time getting access to the vaccines, and our client IEHP wanted to change that.
Mission-driven Video Commercial Promotes “The Right Thing”
Inland Empire Health Plan, or IEHP — a 26-year-old non-profit Medi-Cal and Medicare health plan in Southern California that serves over 1.2 million residents in Riverside and San Bernardino counties — was determined to overcome that legacy of pain and distrust in the healthcare system, and make the vaccines accessible to a community that often goes overlooked. IEHP’s motto is “Do the Right Thing.” In this case, the right thing was to help community members to save their own lives by promoting vaccination and by bringing the vaccines straight to the members through trusted channels.
IEHP partnered with Loma Linda University Health, SAC Health System, and local community groups such as St. Paul AME Church in San Bernardino, California, to build trust in the community and deliver the vaccinations to the community members. The Church, led by third-generation pastor, Steven D. Shepard Sr., is the heart of the community, a place of solace and inspiration. Like IEHP, the church wanted to bring COVID-19 vaccines to underserved community members by overcoming their suspicions and making them feel safe.
IEHP enlisted woman-owned video production company Ezra Productions to produce a documentary commercial and public service announcement to document the partnership and promote future innovative partnerships. The video featured local community members, leaders, and service providers doing the right thing by coming together to overcome vaccine reluctance to improve health outcomes in this community.
Keeping Hope Alive Through Video Production
The historic partnership between the community’s heart and service providers inspired the title of the ultimately multiple award-winning video that Ezra Productions produced: “Hope Is Alive.” The commercial broadcast as a public service announcement, shared on social media, and screened among the community.
Building upon the trust that St. Paul AME Church had in the community, IEHP set up their vaccine clinic directly on the church’s grounds. In the “Hope Is Alive” video, after one vaccine-hesitant woman, a descendent of a victim of the Tuskegee Experiment, learned that the church had partnered with IEHP to administer vaccines, she signed up: “For me, this is a game changer!”
Ezra Productions was honored to capture this historic, life-saving partnership with a high-quality commercial video production in Los Angeles that could serve as inspiration to other service providers who work with underserved communities.
“We don’t take for granted how lucky we are to work with clients like IEHP who go out of their way to do the right thing by their members,” said Jillian Ezra, founder of Ezra Productions. “We were so grateful to St. Paul AME’s pastor and community for welcoming us with open arms and trusting us to help tell their inspiring story.”
Creative Choices Amplified an Emotional Story
In the nearly 4- minute video production, we featured interviews with members of the San Bernardino community whose stories of exclusion, distrust and loss were especially compelling. The commercial begins with stark, black-and-white images that immediately set a somber tone to reflect the tremendous loss and grief that the community has suffered historically and as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We used short snippets of emotionally compelling interviews captured on film to tell the story of moving from distrust to trust. We shot B-roll inside of the church to capture the beauty of the location. Several slow-motion shots created a dramatic, cinematic effect that amplified the film’s emotional impact.
To underline the emotional journey that the story takes, Ezra Productions chose to highlight the St. Paul AME Church choir as it sings “Hope, Strength, and Love” — an anthem composed by Charles Jones, musical director for Andra Day. The woeful wailing of the choir’s first chords mirror the images and interviews that lay out the grim starting point:
- Entire families hospitalized with COVID 19
- One woman who lost 12 friends and family to the pandemic
- Endemic distrust within the community of anything the government tries to “give” them
Though the beginning is mournful, the images soon become saturated with light and color to highlight the hope the partnership between IEHP and St. Paul AME Church brings to the community. We shot B-roll at the vaccination clinic to showcase the individuals and families that this collaboration affected. The footage also demonstrates the coming together of IEHP healthcare professionals and St. Paul church members.
The high-production-value video ends as the choir sings, “Hope is alive,” signaling the success of the partnership between IEHP and St. Paul AME Church: hundreds of women, men, and children were vaccinated who otherwise would have been vulnerable to the worst ravages of the virus.
One Community’s Story Helps Other Communities, Too
The video’s impact extends far beyond the community it highlights. The emotional but compact story provides hope and a way forward for leaders and service providers who want to overcome distrust of vaccine programs in their own communities.
The compelling narrative and professional video also garnered a number of commercial video production 2022 awards, including:
- Hermes Creative Award — Platinum
- Communicator Awards Distinction —Individual-Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for Online Video
- Viddy Award — Gold
- Aster Award — Gold
- Aster Award — Silver
- Aster Award — Bronze
In addition to helping companies, brands, and community groups serve their missions, Ezra Productions always serves one of our own prime missions by hiring diverse crews for each production. Our crew for “Hope Is Alive” was filled with women, people of color, and other underrepresented individuals in the film industry.
Nothing made our work more worthwhile than Pastor Shepard’s message to us after watching the video:
“Please allow me to express my gratitude, thanks, and love to you and your crew for your kindness towards us and your professionalism and work ethic. We all stand amazed in what the production crew did, the time in which they did it and the elegance and grace they all displayed. We consider each of you FAMILY. As even now the tears begin to flow, they are tears of gratitude and thanksgiving to you and your crew for such a wonderful work of art and ministry that mattered and made a difference.”
As outsiders coming into a community to tell their story, we were thrilled that we were able to do that in a way that honored them, uplifted them, and made a positive impact on them.
To learn more about this video production project, click here.
Promoting Missions with Video Commercials
The partnership between IEHP with community groups and members demonstrated that commercial video productions in Los Angeles forcefully and positively affect the lives of individuals and communities as a whole. It also demonstrated that doing the right thing brings emotional rewards and tangible awards, too.
Whether your company wants to promote a mission that’s global or local in scope, the first step is Ezra Productions is here to make that a reality. Depending on your needs, we can help you craft a message and devise a creative strategy to bring that message to life.
To get started doing the right thing for your brand, your followers, and your community, contact our production team today.