Aussie expat CDs Alex Little + Karsten Jurkschat of McCann New York help launch PSA video in the US to challenge federal gun laws in schools


Aussie expat creative directors Alex Little and Karsten Jurkschat, with their agency McCann New York, have launched a new PSA video titled ‘Generation Lockdown’ in the US to challenge federal gun laws in schools.


Following the 20 year anniversary of the Columbine High School Shooting, the video offers a stark reminder of the dangerous environment today’s students face in schools across the country. The PSA features a young girl instructing adults on how they would survive an active shooter event.

The PSA offers a moving look at what students deal with and how schools have had to respond to the very real threat of gun violence. It is estimated that 95% of school kids — some as young as five — are now trained on what to do during an active shooter situation because they have to be prepared for it at any minute, in any community. The PSA ends with a call for viewers to support federal legislation to put universal background checks in place for the purchase of firearms.

Says Aussie expat Alex Little, CD, McCann New York: “The idea for Generation Lockdown started with a tweet we found. A mum writes about the moment her kid came home from school and told her that today he learned to barricade his class door. A week later we had a safety drill at McCann and asked ourselves, what if a kid was the expert running this thing?”

Says Aussie expat Karsten Jurkschat, creative director, McCann New York: “Coming from Australia, it’s tough to get our heads around the craziness of active shooter drills. The fact that kids need to learn how to barricade doors and identify different types of guns is so far from normal.”

Says Little: “There’s two different reactions when you talk about active shooter drills over here — adults say, “holy shit” and kids “yeah, no shit”. Generation Lockdown speaks to the parents and politicians who are oblivious to what’s happening in schools but can support laws like the Background Check Expansion Act and stop dangerous people buying guns. Kids are politically powerless, but this film gives them a massive voice.”

Says Jurkschat: “Kayleigh is the bravest kids we’ve met. She’s not an actor. She’s never been in a PSA. She’s simply a kid who goes to school and is forced to learn to lockdown drills like millions of other kids. When she walked out in that office and started speaking, we knew we had something special.”

Says Little: “The reaction has been unbelievable. The film launched on CNN Headline News on Monday and already has over 4 million views on Twitter and Facebook. Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris also shared it which was pretty amazing.”

The PSA follows the recent April 15th launch of a two-week Times Square ad campaign centered on gun violence prevention.

March For Our Lives’ Times Square billboard ads are estimated to reach 5.5 million people as the organization seeks to garner support for legislation to pass background checks, extreme-risk protection orders (ERPO’s), safe-storage laws, and other life-saving measures. In 2017, nearly 40,000 people were killed due to gun violence.

March For our Lives:
Amanda Conlee, Director of Operations
Ryan Deitsch, Co-Founder & Content Creator
Lauren Hogg, Co-Founder
Robyn Mohr, Deputy General Counsel
Precision Strategies

McCann New York
Eric Silver, Chief Creative Officer, McCann North America
Devika Bulchandani, President, McCann New York
Sean Bryan, Co-Chief Creative Officer, McCann New York
Tom Murphy, Co-Chief Creative Officer, McCann New York
Pierre Lipton, Global Executive Creative Director, McCann New York
Marco Pupo, Executive Creative Director, McCann New York
Karsten Jurkschat, Creative Director, McCann New York
Alex Little, Creative Director , McCann New York
Nathy Aviram, Chief Production Officer, McCann New York
John McAdorey, Executive Producer, McCann New York
Gabrielle Levy, Producer, McCann New York
Jeremy Miller, Chief Communications Officer, McCann Worldgroup
Danielle Korn, Director of Business Affairs, McCann New York
Kimberly Kress, Director of Talent Partnerships, McCann New York
Wilmien Blake, Director of Business Affairs, McCann New York
Terry Marcello, Director of Talent Payment, McCann New York
Bristol Parrish, Senior Project Manager, McCann New York

Film production: Hungry Man
Director: Bryan Buckley
EPs: Mino Jarjoura, Kevin Byrne, Caleb Dewart
Producer: Matt Lefebvre
Production Manager: Sherra Fermino
DP: Scott Henriksen
Editorial: NO6
Editor: Jason Macdonald
Editor: Justin Quagliata
Executive Producer: Corina Dennison
Post Producer: Malia Rose, Laura Molinaro
Assistant Editor: Tripp McCarty, Scott Zeitlen
Finishing: NO6
Flame: Ed Skupeen
Flame Asst: Mark Reyes
Color: Steve Picano
Finishing: The Mill/LA
Flame: Tom Graham
Creative Director: Phil Crowe
Producer: Marie O’Brien
Executive Producer: Anastasia Von Rahl
Audio Post: Sonic Union
Audio Engineer: Brian Goodheart
Audio Mix Assistant: Kelly Oostman
Audio Producer: Pat Sullivan
Audio Producer: Justine Cortale
Music: Duotone Audio Group
Executive Producer: Ross Hopman
Composer: Brad Fischer
Clearances provided by: STALKR
Executive Producer: Colleen Cavanaugh Anthony
Producer: George Alvarez
Project Manager: Natalie Stowell
Researcher: Niko Savich
Researcher: Craig Phillips