Community engages in film to save Ebola orphan lives

Ebola baby is loved by Patty Anglin

Chicago freelance creative director, John Siebert, formerly a longtime DDB Chicago GCD/CD, enlisted Greg Allan’s Sonixphere and other local talent to produce a powerful 3-minute film for a CrowdRise fundraising campaign to save lives of “Ebola orphans.”

The campaign benefits non-profit Acres of Hope (AOH), an orphanage in Liberia facing critical challenges in caring for babies and children left without families after parents have succumbed to the Ebola disease.

The campaign seeks to raise $25,000 to help buy and ship containers of medicine, food and other supplies to the orphanage to enable dedicated executive director Patty Anglin to continue AOH’s humanitarian efforts until such time as adoptions can resume.

“Children will die if help doesn’t come,” says Anglin in the video.

Creative director John SiebertSiebert was inspired to helm the pro bono project after his friend and neighbor, Jeremy Capell, a board member of Oak Park’s Adoption Link, explained AOH’s dire situation in sustaining its orphans.

Mike Dunbar, owner of Illumivation Studio who also is associated with Adoption Link, recently had heard Anglin speak while she was in the US seeking funding. “He said, “We should put her on camera and something with this video,” Siebert relates. 

“We literally had zero money, zero, to shoot the video so I reached out to Columbia College and luckily connected with journalism grad student Danielle Dwyer, who was our DP,” he says.

Siebert and Dwyer co-directed the shoot at Illumivation; Cutters’ Billy Montrose edited and when Sonixphere’s Greg Allan was called in, he was immediately inspired to sit down at the keyboard and start composing an original score.

Composer Greg Allan of Sonixphere“The images of the children are enough to make people want to help,” says Allan, who had worked on many projects with Siebert during his DDB tenure.

“My approach was to be subtle and emotional, allowing enough space to support the narrative, and let the pictures and Patty tell the story,” Allan says. “She’s informational, she cries, and then is hopeful, and even celebratory at the end. I wanted the music to follow her emotional arc.”

Cutters’ Billy Montross edited; sound designer Amber Tisue of STIR Post Audio, in which Allan is a partner with David Kaplan and Mindy Verson, did the final audio mix to picture.

“Our final product is just a snapshot of what the people of West Africa are going through every day,” said Dywer, who earned her Journalism M.A. from Columbia College in 2014.

“As Patty says in the film, ‘It’s not just finding families, but the need to provide for the children of the orphanage.’ Patty can make a difference and take care of the children; she just needs the resources to do so.”

To learn more about Acres of Hope and how a donation can mean the difference between life and death for a child, see CrowdRise.