Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic. According to a 2012 AT&T teen driving survey as part of the “It Can Wait” campaign, 97 percent of teens know texting while driving is dangerous; 43 percent admit to sending a text while driving; and 75 percent say the practice is common among friends. George Sholley ’04 worked alongside director and legendary German filmmaker Werner Herzog to produce From One Second to the Next, a short film on the dangers of texting and driving.
How did you connect with the project From One Second to the Next and what was your role as producer?
I am a producer at BBDO New York, an advertising agency. AT&T is one of our clients. From One Second to the Next represents the latest project in AT&T’s Don’t Text & Drive campaign, targeted at young drivers. In this case, we were looking for a way to more personally dramatize what can happen when someone texts while driving.
What was it like working with Herzog, whom some call the greatest living director?
Experiencing firsthand Werner’s legendary life in filmmaking was incredible. He brought his A-game to this project, and we think it shows in the final product.
What is the backstory to the evolution of From One Second to the Next?
More than 100,000 crashes per year involve drivers who are texting. Seventy-five percent of teens say texting and driving is common among their friends. Texting drivers are 23 times more likely to be in an accident. The other three major phone companies—Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile—joined AT&T in contributing funds to make this film possible. This was the first time in history that they have worked together in this way.
What did making the texting film teach you about your professional priorities?
Making From One Second to the Next taught me that using film to do good for and/or bring change to the world brings maximum fulfillment. Being a part of this film demonstrated that the power of storytelling can impact positive social change (especially in this rapidly evolving media landscape).
What influenced you to want to tell stories through film?
Books of photographs by Mary Ellen Mark, William Eggleston, Eugene Richards and Robert Frank introduced me to the storytelling power of imagery. [Former faculty] Joe and Joanna Swayze made me love visual arts. Joanna once told me that she thought I’d have a career in something to do with film. (She’s usually right.)
Are you more careful about texting than you used to be?
Living in New York City I don’t drive much. But whenever I do drive, I put my phone in the glove box. After seeing what the subjects of this film went through, it’s clear that texting and driving is simply not worth it.