Does A New Sandy Hook PSA Plagiarize Another Short Film?

posted on December 10, 2016

On Dec. 2, gun-control group Sandy Hook Promise released a shocking PSA titled “Evan,” created by ad agency BBDO. It tells a heartwarming story of young love—until a deranged murderer enters the school building. Clever framing and editing shows how the warning signs of impending disaster were missed, but there is another problem: 

“Evan” appears to be the result of plagiarism. 

Filmmaker Albert Gonzalez says “Evan” steals its charm from his 2011 short film, “The Desk.” The claim certainly has merit; His portrayal of young students exchanging messages by writing on a mysterious school desk is shamelessly mimicked in “Evan.” In addition, certain scenes, sequences and camera angles are copied nearly frame-by-frame. Claiming coincidence will be difficult; to date, “The Desk” has nearly 2 million views. 

In evidence, Gonzalez has posted a side-by-side comparison video on YouTube and on his Facebook page. As of this writing, the many media outlets who trumpeted the release of “Evan” had not commented on the possible thievery.

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