By Blair Mlotek
Ryerson School of Image Arts professor John Tarver has won an Emmy for his work as art director with the Game On Cancer campaign, an initiative meant to raise awareness for the fight against cancer.
Tarver’s work on the campaign’s commercial — which depicts a football game between the Detroit Lions and various types of cancer — received an Emmy award for best cinematography in the short form category.
The Lions face off against a theoretical football team that includes players such as lung cancer, breast cancer and brain cancer, all displayed in the name bars on the backs of their jerseys.
“It’s about time that you experienced the world of pain,” one Lions players tells a member of the opposing team.
Tarver said that the goal of the campaign is to raise awareness about cancer in a unique way. All funds that are raised will go into cancer research.
“The idea was to create something that would get people’s attention … that was out of the ordinary for a health or cancer awareness campaign,” he said.
Tarver said the process of making the commercial wasn’t always a smooth one. The team ended up filming outside in the rain, creating the dark and dramatic mood in which the commercial takes place.
The group had originally planned to film in an NFL stadium but its availability fell through.
Tarver said that this turned out to be a good thing, as it forced the team to come up with a more creative decision that benefited the commercial.