Retired Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel, actor and comedian Rob Riggle stars in the third installment of Easter Seals Dixon Center’s award-winning PSA series.
Released to coincide with Memorial Day, “What to Wear” uses light humor to highlight the strengths of returning veterans while reinforcing the valuable contribution they make in America’s workforce.
“Changing the conversation about how Americans perceive veterans is really important,” says Riggle, with 20+ years of military service. “These are hardworking, dedicated, innovative people who deserve quality employment when they return home from their military service.”
Riggle stars as an executive interviewing a job candidate who happens to also be a Marine Corps veteran (played by Air Force veteran Brice Williams). Riggle questions whether the interviewee has the right skill set to match the job’s various challenges. Throughout, Williams has flashbacks to his time in action, recalling experiences that prove he’s highly qualified. Riggle asks one final question that shakes the interviewee’s confidence for a moment before William’s answers like a true military veteran.
Easter Seals Dixon Center worked with its partner Veterans in Film and Television (VFT), a networking organization that unites current and former members of the military working in the film and television industry, to recruit a filmmaker for a special career-building opportunity to direct this PSA and received a mentorship session from award-winning director, producer and writer Judd Apatow.
More than 50 directorial candidates – all veterans – applied. Former Air Force Combat Camera Officer Jim Fabio was carefully selected based on criteria including an original PSA concept, video pitch, prior experience and film portfolio. In February 2015, Fabio spent time discussing the PSA with the influential director.
“I like Easter Seals Dixon Center’s approach. They’re using comedy to remind us that American veterans are highly skilled, disciplined and comfortable managing high-stress situations as a way to reinforce that veterans make strong employees,” says Apatow, the award-winning comedic power behind numerous films including “Anchorman,” “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “Bridesmaids.”
Apatow, a passionate supporter of veterans, actively works with Easter Seals Dixon Center and VFT to hire veterans on his films and productions.
“Meeting with Judd Apatow and then having the chance to direct Rob Riggle has been an incredibly rewarding opportunity, and I’m grateful to Easter Seals Dixon Center and VFT for making this possible,” adds Fabio.
The PSAs are made possible through the Easter Seals Dixon Center and VFT partnership with support from Los Angeles-based cause marketing agency, CK&D. The trio of organizations is dedicated to helping veterans find career-driven employment.
“This latest PSA will continue to celebrate the unique, successful qualities of our veterans when they return from active duty, reminding employers they are among the best and brightest,” says David W. Sutherland, Colonel David W. Sutherland, U.S. Army (ret.), Chairman, Easter Seals Dixon Center and Chief Strategist, Easter Seals Military and Veterans Services. “We’re thrilled to work with Judd Apatow, Rob Riggle and Jim Fabio to break down barriers and connect individuals and organizations with solutions veterans and military families need to access meaningful employment, education, and healthcare in their communities.”