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Winning Film Submission Helps Promote Childhood Asthma Awareness
Contest submissions addressing "What should a kid do during an asthma attack?" came in from across the country, but filmmaker and UCLA student Michael Rutherford's piece differentiated itself from the others with its accurate, compelling content and its popularity among YouTube viewers as well as BREATHE LA's panel of judges. The 30-seconds public service announcement (PSA) entitled "Emily" featured a young girl engaged in physical activity while the overdub tells kids like Emily to stay calm, tell an adult, take their medications and use their peak flow meter --good advice that empowers kids to manage their asthma. Michael's PSA now becomes a valuable tool among an expansive catalogue of visual resources available through BREATHE LA's Asthma Lung Power asthma management for kids.
Michael Rutherford's interest in film extends back to his early childhood. Besides spending a great deal of time watching films on TV, his weekends were spent watching them at the local church and nearby theaters. Growing up, his other great passions were art, music, photography and performing, but combining those into one career didn’t seem possible at the time.
In college, he starred in a friend’s independent film, but earning-a-living soon took precedence and the dream of being in the movies was put on hold. It wasn’t until after a number of years in advertising, that a friend suggested he try directing commercials. To learn more about the craft, Michael applied to UCLA Film School’s Extension Program and there, the flame was rekindled and the true calling was realized.
Michael is now embarking on a career as a Filmmaker. He has written and directed a number of commercials and short films and was recently the 2nd-Unit Director on an independent feature.
Besides playing hockey, Michael’s other passion in life, is helping children’s charities. His involvement has extended to such organizations as Breathe LA and YPAC (Young Professionals Against Cancer) - supporting kids with cancer and their families. One day Michael will fulfill his other dream of opening a year-round “Summer”camp for kids with cancer.
Entering the Breathe LA contest was a great opportunity to combine all of Michael's passions and skills with his desire to help our most precious gifts - children.
Michael is happily married to his wife Jeannie and they have two wonderful children - Autumn (7) and Jackson (3).