The original director’s version of the PSA may be viewed at:

The approved version as aired on local television stations may be viewed at:

     As David Brau and Joseph Resendes, of Mal’s Towing Service, created the accident scene with the two wrecked cars they brought in, under Doug’s direction, make up artist Juliana Capillo began the process of turning actor Dimitri Neyshtadt into the drunk, badly injured driver in the back of the ambulance, to get out of the cold. Cuts, bruises, bleeding, and torn clothing were the order of the day for the unfortunate victim.

     With the accident scene in place, Sgt. Jeff Wardwell, Bedford (MA) Police Department, stepped in to make it look as though the accident had just occurred. Special effects are his hobby, so he rigged it to have steam vapor escaping from the engine compartments.

     The sun was finally down, darkness had fallen, and it was time to film the PSA. The accident scene was surrounded by three Lexington police cruisers, their flashing blue lights adding to the eerie feeling of the set. Off to one side, but nearby, was the Lexington Fire Dept. ambulance. The two tow trucks had been moved down the road, hidden from the cameras in the darkness. As everyone took their places, Juliana added yet more blood to the steering wheel and interior of the car, the asphalt just outside the open driver’s door, and the victim himself before he laid down on the roadway, ostensibly having been ejected from the car in the crash. Final instructions from Doug Wicks and everything was set to go.


     Ian, handholding his camera, filmed the overall action with Rendon Group’s John Carley getting in there with the audio boom to capture all the dialogue from the police officers, Sgt. Kevin Veno, Officer Bruce Cleaver, and Officer David Bresnihan, and the fire personnel, Capt. Jim Duddy, Lt. Larry Giorgio, and firefighter/medic Brandon Cooke. as they investigated the accident and attended to the victim. Once the stretcher was loaded onto the ambulance, Doug, having the smaller of the two cameras, climbed in to get that angle as the ambulance was driven away.

     The scene was repeated another three times to ensure that there was enough coverage from all angles for editing. In seemingly no time, filming was wrapped, the ambulance and police cars were gone, the two wrecked cars were towed back to the wrecking yard, and the light tower was folded down and hauled off. Only the four of us were left to pack away the gear in the dark.

     In the end, Doug edited two versions of the PSA: The first version was brilliant! A group of children singing We Wish You a Merry Christmas on the soundtrack underneath the scenes of the aftermath was an effective “punch to the gut” message that really left one thinking about the implications of drinking and driving! Sadly, it was too graphic and the client asked for a softer approach. The second-and-final version was all that.

     The completed PSA was aired on major Boston television stations in the week between Christmas and New Year’s.