Halloween PSA “My Heroes” Challenges Gender Stereotypes
By Mila Madison
A new Halloween PSA created by Landwirth Legacy Productions challenges gender stereotypes when it comes to children's Halloween costumes.
The 2-minute video was written by Alexander Day and Brian Carufe, and,directed by Almog Avidan Antonir. It features a married couple that is carving pumpkins for Halloween with their son and daughter. The mother brings in their costumes, Batman and Wonder Woman, as the kids run upstairs to put them on. The parents share a nervous stare and go out trick-or-treating with the children as they watch them go door to door.. At the end f the video, it is revealed that the son is wearing the Wonder Woman costume and the daughter is wearing the Batman costume. As the father puts the kids to bed at the end of the day, they are sleeping in their costumes. The father goes to close out the lights, looks at his kids and whispers, “My Heroes.”
The video sends a positive message that you don’t have to force gender stereotypes on your children.
We spoke with the writers to gain some insight behind the video.
Transgender Universe: Why did you decide to make the video?
Alexander Day: My Heroes was created in a very organic way. I had just seen the new Wonder Woman movie and texted my friend and writing partner, Brian Carufe, “So, Why can’t a boy be Wonder Woman?” The next day we had 7-8 drafts of a commercial/short video. A few days later, I had a meeting with my friend Toby Wosskow about it and he put me in touch with Max and the team at Landwirth Legacy Productions. We all clicked immediately and things happened very quickly after that. The Director, Almog Antonir, saw my vision perfectly and I’m so impressed with how he was able to take the vision in my head and bring it to life. We did not set out trying to tell a particular LGBT story but rather just wanted to tell a great story about a family during Halloween who just happened to have children that may or may not be apart of the LGBT community. It is intentionally very subtle and left up to the viewer whether this is a gender non-conformity video, transgender video, gay video etc. We wanted to be direct but also not make it a big deal because it shouldn’t really matter.
Transgender Universe: What are you hoping to achieve with it?:
Alexander Day: The main goal you could say is simply to show that anyone can be anyone they want, whether that is gay, straight, bi, transgender, etc. Be who YOU are. We hope that this helps bring awareness for all the little children out there that are unable to be themselves because they face scrutiny and vicious attacks by close-minded people. I want them to know that we see you. And you (the children) are our real life super heroes each and every day. Children are innocent and pure and open minded, and we can all learn from their example. We all need a bit more love in our world. And for the parents, I hope they see this and can sleep a little better at night knowing they are not alone and are doing the right thing for their children. Over the last day I have received hundreds of messages from people saying how they sat with their children crying and smiling about this video. How it has further pushed the discussion of LGBT rights and individuality. These messages alone have made it all worth it. Doing the right thing is always worth it. This was worth it.
Brian Carufe: Society is traditionally slow at accepting new status quos, and gender nonconformity is no different. While we made the film knowing it would resonate with the LGBT community, it carries a message that's universal, namely being comfortable and confident in every life choice regardless of the opinions of others. That's a message all brands should be able to get behind.
Cast and Credits:
Sophie Brabenec - "Mom"
Tim Parrish - "Dad"
Santino Bernard - "Boy"
Scarlet Ward - "Girl"
Robin Roth - "Neighbor"
Production Company: Landwirth Legacy Productions, LLC
Executive Producer: Alexander Day
Executive Producer: Toby Wosskow
Produced By: Max Landwirth
Written By: Alexander Day and Brian Carufe
Directed By: Almog Avidan Antonir
Director of Photographer: Thomas Taugher
Production Designer: Sage Griffin
Edited By: Almog Avidan Antonir
First Assistant Director: Rachel Shimko
First Assistant Camera: Will Hecht
Gaffer: Dylan McGale
Key Grip: Sebastien Nuta
Best Boy: Enrique De la Garza
Set Decorator: Robert Guard
Set Dresser: Lyla Flashman
Hair/Makeup Artist: Jordan Hurst
Production Sound: Kyle Pham
Colorist: Thomas Taugher
Sound Designer: Anthony Aguilar