This Haunting PSA Models Tragedy to Warn of 3-D Printed Guns

Arnold's new PSA for Stop Handgun Violence

To date, no 3-D printed guns have been used in school shootings. But the weapons are certainly being produced. Last year, more than 100,000 Americans downloaded plans to print 3-D guns. 

To raise awareness of the issue and rally support for banning 3-D printed guns, Stop Handgun Violence has rolled out a bleakly compelling PSA from Arnold that shows stark black-and-white scenes of a mass shooting at a nondescript high school—with characters designed to 3-D printed, even though it's actually all CGI. 

The still images show victims and bystanders in abject terror. The feared active-shooter scenario, all too common across America, has arrived. 

Ban 3-D Printed Guns

The creative team at Arnold 3-D printed characters to study the material and how light effects them, and then composed the scene with CGI, working with production and design studio LOBO. 

"The fact that anyone with access to a 3-D printer could potentially create a gun is alarming, especially as gun violence is already so high in the U.S.," Icaro Doria, chief creative officer at Arnold, tells Muse. 

"The biggest challenge was to find the right tone, visual, mood and narrative. The proposed scenario is extremely sensitive and dramatic, so we needed to spend the time to craft of each piece of the scene, so they could all work together to reveal a compelling story that would draw the viewer in and, ultimately, encourage them to act to prevent the proliferation of 3-D printed weapons." 

The soundtrack is an original song, composed specifically for this work. 

"The composers understood the ask and worked tirelessly to create this sort of melancholic atmosphere that captures your attention and makes you hold tight to your seat," Doria says. "The song carries the weight and anguish we all feel when we hear and watch news of violent acts happening due to gun violence – and especially school shootings. 

The video will live on and Stop Handgun Violence's YouTube page. The site allows visitors to email their congresspeople to urge them to pass legislation to ban 3-D printed guns.

"We are in desperate need for more public support to push lawmakers to ban 3-D printed guns," John Rosenthal, founder and chair of Stop Handgun Violence, said in a statement. "These firearms pose a huge risk to public safety, and we need our elected officials to take swift action to stem the flow of these dangerous and completely unregulated weapons. As 3-D printing technology becomes cheaper and better, the dangers will exponentially climb. 3-D guns are catastrophes waiting to happen, and we must amp up the narrative legislative action before that happens. We are cautiously optimistic that our effort will bring a bill that bans 3-D guns to Congress." 


Stop Handgun Violence:
Founder & Chair: John Rosenthal
Executive Director: Zoe Grover

Chief Creative Officer: Icaro Doria
Executive Creative Directors: Max Geraldo, Fred Saldanha and James Bray
Creative Directors: Guilherme Rácz and Lucas Casão
Associate Creative Director: Rafael Beretta
Art Directors: Dan Hlvika and Jason Gan
Copywriter: Clark Chamberlin
Director of Integrated Production: Zamile Vilakazi
Producer: Pat Carney
Sr. UX Designer: Ma'Ayan Castel
Director of Digital Production: Rebecca Chaplick
Principal Software Engineer: Steve Hallman
Business Affairs: Danielle Ivicic
Project Manager: Danielle Fabrizio
Marketing: Laura Voigt

Executive Producer: Luis Ribeiro
Directors: Mateus de Paula Santos & Aron Matschulat Aguiar
Head of Production: Clara Morelli
Coordinator: Rosangela Gomes
CG Director: Marcos Samia
Lighting & Render: Marcos Samia, Ale Barbosa
3-D Modeling: Marcel Fukuwara, Milton Dias
Previs: Marcos Samia
Lead Compositing: Bruno Ferrari
Compositing: José Ambrosio, Carlos Campos
Audio Company: Studio Tesis

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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