Filmmaker Errol Morris makes get-out-the-vote ad

Asked to make a get-out-the-vote ad in advance of the presidential election, Errol Morris was initially ambivalent. “I’ve seen a lot of voting videos, and you can’t imagine most of them being effective,” says Morris, director of such documentaries as “The Thin Blue Line“ and the Oscar-winning “The Fog of War.” “They usually shame people into voting, or hector or embarrass them into voting.” Not Morris’s. His spot, which hits the Internet Tuesday, is a tongue-in-cheek look at some of the reasons young people don’t vote: You could get into a car accident on the way to the polls! (Shot a few weeks ago at a studio in Allston, the seven-minute commercial/short film will debut on The New York Times’ Op-Docs site and Morris was approached with the idea by Cambridge teacher Jessica Lander, whose dad, Eric , is an MIT professor and founding director of the Broad Institute. “I have my own views on the election, but really what I want is to get young peole out to vote,” says Jessica. “Having lived in countries where people can’t vote, I think people here shouldn’t take it for granted. I want them to stop and think about it freshly.” Morris created the ad using the Interrotron, the patented interview machine he uses in most of his movies. Neither President Obama nor Republican candidate Mitt Romney is specifically mentioned in the spot, which is aimed at voters between the ages of 18-30. “I’m glad I did it,” says Morris, reached Monday in LA where he’s busy shooting an ad for Burger King. “You never know if it will have any effect — how do you know? — but I did it in the hopes that it will.”

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