Meet the agency working with Governor Cuomo to help make New York safer

"Trouble Makers for a better world," is the Convicts NYC agency mantra.

When Peter Maiden found himself without any clients to produce work due to the coronavirus pandemic, the CEO of boutique agency Convicts NYC decided to apply his skills and those of his team for the greater good. 

That’s where "NY Tough," an inspirational video that includes voiceover clips from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s COVID-19 press conferences. The two-minute public service announcement has been viewed millions of times on Twitter, with shares from the likes of Hillary Clinton, Katie Couric, Ellen DeGeneres and even Cuomo. 

From there, Cuomo’s office reached out to Convicts and Maiden asked how his team could continue to help.

"We said to them, ‘How can we help? What’s the most important thing?’" said Maiden. "We had an idea to do a film with healthcare workers because I did an interview with a friend who is a nurse and she said, ‘We have enough masks, but we really need people to stay home.’"

Convicts got to work right away on the next video, virtually interviewing doctors, nurses and healthcare workers from five different hospitals in the New York area. The video, which came out earlier this week, has already been widely shared. Maiden said the goal of the film is make sure people listen to the message and stay home to save lives.

— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) April 14, 2020

Singer Sia "was amazing and gracious and gave us her music to use in the film," said Maiden.

Even celebrities, like Hugh Jackman - an Australian native like Maiden, have engaged with the new "Stay Home for Us" film.

Next up, Maiden said Convicts is working on an idea around small businesses, focusing on the drive it takes to launch one’s own company. 

"The same energy and passion is going to be needed when the ban is lifted on social distancing," said Maiden. "It’s about businesses and owners remembering how much they wanted to follow their dreams and open a bar or restaurant or jewelry store or sandwich shop."

He added that the goal with that one is to help businesses and commerce start moving again when social distancing restrictions are reduced.

Aside from the work in New York, Maiden said he’s helping his brother, who works for UNICEF and is currently in Zimbabwe, on a similar video to "NY Tough" for the African audience. Convicts is currently working with UNICEF pro bono on a script, combing through the words of African poets that would resonate in the film.

According to its website, Convicts - founded by Maiden in 2015 - has a specific mission: "Trouble Makers for a Better World. Convicts is a media brand that produces and publishes stories celebrating real people. Convicts are never serious, but always sincere. Because the world needs the right kind of trouble, now more than ever."


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