Director Mark E. Ridley Unveils “Unhood Your Mind” PSA to Honor the Memory of Trayvon Martin

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Hollywood director makes a powerful statement and causes America to rethink dangerous policies.

“Mark had the vision to make a powerful statement through this PSA,” said producer Jerry Boyd of Jerry Boyd Films. “I'm proud to know that we'll be able to deliver some awareness to America in the aftermath of a terrible situation.” Director Mark E. Ridley just unveiled the “Unhood Your Mind” PSA in response to the senseless killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

“I've been consumed with the Trayvon Martin shooting since it happened,” said Ridley. “The whole thing was very sad and so unnecessary.” He's the proud father of two sons; one is almost as old as Martin was. “It's absurd to me that a young person of any race can be targeted and killed because of the clothing they choose to wear. It should be apparent to everyone that this type of profiling has gone terribly wrong.”

At about three a.m. one morning a month ago the director was driving near the Los Angeles suburb of Encino, California and had an epiphany. “I drive to relax. I was on the freeway when the when the concept came to me,” Ridley said. “I immediately pulled off the freeway and into the parking lot of a closed fast food restaurant.” He jumped out of his car and began to work out the dance moves he saw in his mind. “A police cruiser slowed down to take a look and then sped away. I suppose they're used to seeing creative types in this part of town,” Ridley said. He grabbed a pen from his pocket and a brown paper bag from his car. While standing under a street light, Ridley began to make notes and sketches about location, cast and most importantly – the dance moves he saw in his mind. “When I have an idea it jumps from my head no matter where I am. I've learned to take advantage of this blessing.”

“On the set, Mark's a juggernaut. It makes me tired just watching him,” said Boyd. “He always brings a wonderfully creative concept, rallies a great cast of professional actors and has the ability to consistently craft a convincing piece of work.” The two men have worked together on several projects including a TV show pilot, a feature film teaser, short films and commercials. “He (Ridley) and I see things pretty much the same way,” said director of photography Brennan Wright. Wright operates the camera and has also worked with Ridley on several shoots. “When Mark told me about the concept for the PSA and the purpose behind it, I was pretty excited,” Wright said.

Ridley brilliantly used a cast of men and women of different ages and ethnicities. “My cast reflects 21st century America – and in real life; anyone of them could be wearing a hoodie,” Ridley said. What I want the world to get from “Unhood Your Mind” is that we need to be more cautious, but let's also be careful while being cautious. I want to prevent another senseless Trayvon Martin-type shooting. Our young people are this country's most vital natural resource.”

In addition to the 23 professional actors, Ridley thanks his producer Jerry Boyd, 1st assistant director Rhonda Dunwood, director of photography Brennan Wright, choreographer Eric Whipple and soundman-editor Darrin Forsythe. The PSA can be seen by clicking this link:

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Lovelace Lee III
Robert Lucy Creative
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