Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Oprah Winfrey have lent their collective star power to First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to create public service announcements on behalf of the nation’s military families.
Produced for the Joining Forces organization and released Wednesday, the three 30-second PSAs illustrate the struggles of military families as they endure deployment overseas.
All three vignettes utilize Skype as their centerpiece, reflecting the realities of the 21st century communication. The First Lady and Biden created Joining Forces (www.joiningforces.gov) to support military families and the PSAs are intended to spread its message.
The organization focuses on employment, education, and wellness while raising awareness about the service, sacrifice, and needs of military families.
All of the major broadcast networks have agreed to air the announcements.
Heavy artillery behind the scenes included “Invictus” producer Lori McCreary; Academy Award-winning composer Hans Zimmer; “Army Wives” creator Katherine Fugate; “Lost” creator and executive-producer, Damon Lindelof; and director Tom Shadyac (“Ace Ventura,” “Bruce Almighty”).
Spielberg introduces a soldier, Justin, who weeps as he greets his wife, Holly, and their newborn via Skype.
Hanks narrates as a young man named Jacob keeps up with the household chores while his dad is away in Afghanistan; they slap each other five on the Skype screen.
And Winfrey’s segment depicts a stateside father blowing out his birthday candles as his soldier daughter applauds thousands of miles away.