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Radium Puts Can it in the Can

Ogilvy PR recently commissioned the talent of digital effects and design studio


to direct and design a hip anti-litter PSA. The PSA is part of the LA County Department of Public Works efforts to inform people about the negative impact littering has on the environment.

The 30-second spot, “Can It,” shows young people in various outdoor situations — on a city sidewalk, a park, and public beach — throwing garbage into trashcans, rather than littering. “Of all the places you can throw something out, a trashcan works best,” explains the voiceover. “‘Cause everything that’s thrown in the street can wash down storm drains and end up in the ocean. So keep our neighborhoods and beaches clean. Can it. To talk trash, call 1 888 CLEAN LA.”

According to Radium designer/director Tuesday McGowan, the challenge was to take a mundane message and make it vital and interesting, and to increase overall awareness. McGowan worked with photographer Mike Martin to shoot three people using digital stills in slow motion for a stop-motion technique. They shot thousands of stills to capture moments of fluid motion.

“The idea was to set up scenes of young people in various environments eating or drinking and as they appear to be about to litter — a trash can suddenly materializes in a 3D cubist transition as we witness the person actually throwing the trash away,” says McGowan.

McGowan collaborated with Radium Editor Alan Chimenti to edit the spot, working closely to capture the rhythm of the stop-motion and the subtlety of the action. Radium Inferno artist/creative director Simon Mowbray created the signature transitions while After Effects artist Julie Jang created the line-art animations. The technology utilized by Radium included Avid, Inferno, After Effects, Illustrator and Photoshop.