Tigervision creates PSA about 911


Story by TJ Wall, sports editor

Growing up, individuals all over the U.S. are taught to call 911 in the occurrence of any emergency situation. However, calling a dispatcher is not always practical. With the help of new technology, you may now text 911 when calling is not a legitimate option. TigerVision created a public service announcement about this new innovation that is being publicized in Texarkana and surrounding areas.

Ark-Tex Council of Governments, a voluntary association of local governments, contacted TigerVision director Charles Aldridge asking if he and his group would like to aid in spreading this message. TigerVision has done other productions for Ark-Tex before, so Aldridge accepted the offer.

“(Ark-Tex) came and met with us and basically asked if we would make them a little PSA,” Aldridge said. “We opened the door to that and discussed with them about what they were looking for.”

Senior Abbott Lawrence took the initiative on this project by creating multiple storyboards for the potential plots of the commercial.

“We decided that, since the majority of (Ark-Tex’s) marketing is going to be through cinema, we would make it a cinema-style production,” Aldridge said. “We planned it out and turned it into a lesson—a teaching moment to work out the details with them.”

Aldridge’s students received real-world, hands-on experience all while spreading an important message.”

— TJ Wall

After multiple takes, retakes and at least 12 hours of filming in three different locations, TigerVision concluded their project.

“The purpose of filming this was to promote the new technology of text to 911,” Abbott said. “Now that the product is finished—granted it could always be improved—I think that goal has been achieved as it’s used in training videos for the regional council of governments, and it’s being shown in theaters and on social media. I’d say that the filming was great practice and we learned a lot of things that you can only find out with experience.”

The original commercial is one minute. However, it was cut down to 30 seconds so that it could be spread through movie theaters and social media platforms.

“The whole purpose is just to get the word out,” Aldridge said. “If you can, they still want you to call (911), but if you can’t, then text.”

In the end, Aldridge’s students received real-world, hands-on experience all while spreading an important message.

“They learned a lot,” Aldridge said. “The number one reason we took (this project) on was to get students some experience, turning it into a moment like that with them learning actual filmmaking. This is not just an assignment for a grade. This is real.”