Monday, March 10, 2008

Acclaimed local producer creates a new perspective for the meaning of hospice

Award-winning TV commercial producer Mark Meyers of Sanibel, Fla., has seen hospice care in a dramatically new way and has captured it on film.

Through his production company, TradeMark Films, Meyers has produced commercials for Nike, Toyota, Coca-Cola and other brands well-known internationally. His work has appeared during the Super Bowl, the ultimate stage for the world’s best producers of TV commercials.

After a family experience with hospice, Meyers approached Hope Hospice and Community Services President and CEO Samira K. Beckwith with an idea for a TV message, focused on the “uplifting feeling” of hospice.

“Traditionally, hospice messages on TV have featured seniors holding hands as a symbol of caring,” Beckwith said. “That’s very nice, although it does not really tell our whole story.” Beckwith added that hospice care is for people of all ages, from all walks of life, and at Hope, special care services are offered long before the end of life. “In his TV spot, it’s as if Mark is looking into people’s hearts and seeing what our care really means to them.”

Beckwith saw Meyers’ concept as fresh and thought-provoking, and she wanted it to be experienced nationally. She introduced him to the President of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), Donald Schumacher, who also saw it as a new way to illustrate hospice. The NHPCO, which has member hospice organizations throughout the country, supported Meyers in the production project.

The sixty-second public service announcement features the soundtrack is the pop song “It Must Be Love,” which was also the theme of National Hospice and Palliative Care Month in November, 2007. The announcement is being distributed to TV stations locally and around the country.