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WITNESS Guide to Video Advocacy Part 4: After Filming

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WITNESS. See it. Film it. Change it. You’re watching the after filming section of the WITNESS guide to video advocacy. It covers how to assess whether footage is reliable, how to edit effectively and ethically, and how to distribute your video to have an impact. Revisit your advocacy plan. Before you start editing or distributing, make sure you and your team, and collaborators, still agree on your goal and message. Make sure nothing has changed in terms of risk. Less is more. Editing is all about telling a story that is efficient, compelling, and truthful. Less is more particularly when you are putting your video online, where viewers tend to watch shorter videos. How to work with limited footage. What happens when you have very little footage? Maybe you just have one shot of graphic violence but no context. Think about these options. Borrowing footage from colleagues, or using footage with “creative commons" licenses. Film an interview to explain it. Use title cards to tell your viewer more, and remember that on some websites you can place contextual information around your video. Edit effectively. Compress time and space, you don't need to show everything. Tell your story effectively by creating meaningful sequences of images and words, but resist the temptation to make connections that don't exist. Edit ethically. Editing gives you power. By placing two clips side by side you can make two people argue who have never met each other. You can misuse shocking images. You can change the chronology of events and create false cause and effect. Be truthful to the situation you've experienced and make sure your collaborators are too. Is this online footage real? The best way to asses credibility online is to look at the feedback from other viewers. Often, viewers will point out discrepancies and give you additional information. Always check it against other external sources and try sharing the clip with a local human rights group to get their feedback. Show your video in the right place and at the right time. Don't forget your audience and your objective as you start to distribute. Strategic distribution is all about timing, and finding the right place to reach your audience so that you can engage them to make a difference. Look for a "tipping point" in your situation where your video could make the final persuasive push. Be imaginative in showing your media. Think about screening for your community and for decision makers. Try going viral by encouraging people to copy and share your media, and use the power of the web to distribute and engage dispersed audiences. The principle of "the carrot and the stick" can come in useful. Try using the threat of public exposure or public praise to make someone act. "Sequence" your distribution. Remember that successful distribution in one place can open up opportunities. Be ready. If your video is watched extensively online and is topical for a major news story, expect TV producers to want to use it in news broadcasts. Or, if you choose to build momentum through a series of grassroots screenings and online distribution, use that impetus to give credibility and urgency to a screening for decision makers. Reassess the risk. Constantly reassess the risks to yourself, your organization, and people who you have filmed. The Hub. Go to The Hub to see video, to share video, and to take action

Video Details

Duration: 4 minutes and 54 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: WITNESS
Director: WITNESS
Views: 209
Posted by: ryanschlief on Feb 20, 2009

WITNESS Guide to Video Advocacy Part 4: After Filming

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