Psyop partnered with The Butler Bros to develop a new set of Public Service Announcements (PSAs) for Legacy and Leave No Trace. The Rethink Butts campaign, which kicked off in an exclusive with the New York Times today, aims to raise awareness, spark discussions, and encourage the general public to think about tobacco trash in a new way.
In the spot, the camera pans from left to right, zeroing in on what seems to be toxic waste gushing from a run down factory. Nearing the end of the building, the camera elevates and reveals not an industrial plant but a discarded cigarette butt, swimming in the gutter along with many others. The camera looks down from a bird’s eye view as the collection of butts leak chemicals into the water supply.
“Despite the fact that so many Americans are hyper-concerned about the environment and are eager to recycle household items and pick up litter, there remains a total disconnect when it comes to flicking cigarette butts onto our streets and into our waterways,” explains Dr. Cheryl Healton, DrPH, President and CEO of Legacy. The campaign urges viewers to Rethink Butts and take a new perspective on this environmental issue.
“We set out to reposition cigarette butts from merely an unsightly form of litter to what they actually are — toxic waste,” said Butler Brothers Director of Creativity, Marty Butler.
Psyop drew inspiration from a variety of ecological disasters, including the recent toxic sludge tsunami in Hungary, as well as abandoned oil rigs and factories.
"From the initial pitch style frames, we increased the scale of the factory by five times,” commented Psyop Creative Director, David Chontos. “This increased the level of detail across the entire design, which led to a tremendous amount of additional texture painting and modeling."
Modeling and animation for the PSA was completed in Maya, while all the liquid effects were simulated using RealFlow. The spot was rendered using Arnold in Maya, and compositing was carried out in Nuke and Flame.