NEW YORK - Mitch Schreiber of Refinery New York was recently nominated for an Emmy Award for his work on the PSA Imagine New York. The project, which Schreiber also edited into :15 and :30 versions, invited the people of New York to submit their ideas for the future site of the World Trace Center Memorial. It features flash cuts of quintessential New York celebrities, including Yoko Ono, Harvey Keitel, Kevin Bacon, and Bebe Neuwirth, as well as average Manhattan citizens.
"We wanted it to appeal to young people," explains producer/director Peter Putka, who simultaneously introduced a timeless element by setting the piece to John Lennon's "Imagine." Capturing the essence of the characters in such a short spot was no easy task.
"We worked on the shooting boards to come up with creative ideas for each setup to make them unusually interesting in the shortest time possible," recalls Schreiber. In the course of one weekend, "with obviously, no sleep," Schreiber completed all post production editing, including take selection, spot editing, transferring, mixing, color correction, and conformation for broadcast. As the project drew to a close, the song arrangement became crucial. After gaining Yoko Ono's personal approval, friends of Schrieber's recomposed the song to time. Ono herself thanked them on a thoughtful and creative finished product.
"She was blown away," recalls Schreiber. The spot provided a public forum for the public to voice its innovations for the future of the WTC site and the emotional issues of its memorial. "This was such an important project for all of us and I feel honored that the spot was nominated." The editor worked closely with producer Micaela Birmingham of the Municipal Art Society and director/producer Peter Putka.