“Helping Johnny Remember”: Ashleigh Nankivell’s re-animated PSA is a real horrorshow

By on June 11, 2015

Several years ago, Brooklyn, NY’s Ashleigh Nankivell found a social guidance public service announcement, “Helping Johnny Remember”-– which was originally meant to warn children about the dangers of being selfish and domineering in their relationships — and she turned it into a nightmarish little horrorshow that she lovingly refers to now as “my demon babies.”


The original film short, courtesy of the Prelinger Archives and now in the public domain (it was made in 1956), shows a kid named Johnny who is shunned by the other kids around him because he’s bossy, uncooperative, and selfish.

Nankivell — who currently works as an Art Supervisor for “The Bank” at FCB Health but apparently makes lots of cool video projects on the side — – used Adobe’s After Effects CS4, a visual effects program, and also added, for the musical soundtrack, a tune called “One Never Says ‘Verbal’ When Ones Means ‘Oral'”by Good Old Neon, the trans-Atlantic (London/NY) computer-based pop project of Michael Philip Smith and Jeff Lee.


Ashleigh’s “Helping Johnny Remember” remix won 1st place at the RE/Mixed Media Festival 2010, sponsored by lofilounge.org.

That same year, she added herself into another PSA, “Name Unknown,” for a film called Sucker Sense.


About Bryan

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide and a dozen other websites and zines, most of them long gone. He’s also worked for over twenty years at reissue record labels, and penned scads of liner notes -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He is now somewhat reclusive and bides his time quietly in his dusty Miracle Mile hermitage in Los Angeles, CA.