Jeremy Kagan knew he and his fellow Trojans had to do something.
“Communities surrounding our campuses in South Los Angeles and East Los Angeles were getting vaccinated at lower rates,” said Kagan, a professor who teaches graduate courses in directing at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
The internationally recognized director, writer and producer of feature films and television was determined to find out why these communities were hesitant to get vaccinated and hoped he could change their minds.
Change making is kind of his thing.
Kagan is the founder of the USC Change Making Media Lab, which specializes in developing and creating entertainment education that emphasizes the values of narrative dramas and comedies to successfully motivate behavior change.
“My interest is to see how film can be used to shift awareness and change behavior,” he said. “Facts inform but stories transform.”
At that point, Kagan was approached by Sheila Murphy — and old friend and colleague as well as a professor of communication at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism — and the Vaccinate L.A. team to make films that would encourage vaccinations.