So much more than an “internship.” For the eight students enrolled in this year’s Establishment for the Greater Good (EGG), the 12 weeks they spent creating a 90 second animation for the Against Malaria Foundation (AMF) was more like a mix between a humanitarian aid effort and an artist residency than a typical internship.
“The students are fully responsible for this project,” says EGG founder, Pakorn Bupphavesa. “They get on the phone with the client, they have to hit deadlines — and if it fails, it’s on them.” But the students aren’t alone. They’re mentored by senior staff at Psyop, an Emmy award-winning bi-coastal production company that specializes in high-end animation and visual effects.
Susan Sarandon jumps on board
When Academy Award-winner Susan Sarandon (Dead Man Walking, Thelma & Louise) learned about AMF and the EGG program, she agreed to lend her singular voice to the project.
“Her read perfectly captures the innocence and pathos of the spot” said Ave Carrillo, EGG’s co-founder and producer.
The 90-second spot, starts as a sweet tale about a little girl drifting to sleep at night.
Things turn dark, though, when a giant mosquito impales the child, infecting her with malaria and plunging her into her own bloodstream. A twisted series of psychedelic visuals ensues, taking the viewer on a wild ride through the symptoms of malaria.
The nightmare ends abruptly when mosquitoes hit a net draped around the child’s bed. The call to action is simple: three dollars buys a mosquito net, effectively preventing a malaria infection and limiting the spread of the deadly disease.
AMF has distributed over five million long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) to malaria-stricken parts of the world, saving hundreds of thousands of lives — most of them children under the age of five.
“The work EGG has done is simply fantastic,” says Rob Mather, Founder and CEO of AMF, “It’s a simple message with a simple request: please help with a net.”
Getting into the game
“EGG is our chance each year to step outside our comfort zone and push the boundaries a bit” says Marco Spier, Director and Founding Partner at Psyop. “This year, we also decided to make a game inspired by the spot. We’ve never done that before.”
In “Nightmare: Malaria,” players make their way through 18 levels of fever-dream visuals, avoiding killer mosquitoes and collecting hard-to-reach teddy bear tokens along the way.
The game is available in the iTunes App Store and the Google Play store for Android.