The Digital Naturalist is an inspired forum for video, film, and multimedia with a cause. It brings together an elite panel of experts to analyze what makes digital storytelling successful, establish helpful guidelines for advocacy groups, and shine a light on the most effective and inspiring work being produced today. Through analysis, forums, interviews, and personal accounts, we hope to help nonprofit organizations and the creatives working with them better communicate the most pressing, complex issues of our time.

Try This!

If your video is comprised of interviews, try to get your b-roll after you’ve recorded all or most of the interviews. The reason is that inevitably the people interviewed will say certain things that may inspire the kind of b-roll you’ll want to shoot. Read more bladeronner.com.


3 Stumbles


Mountainfilm 2011: Awareness Into Action

Mountainfilm 2011,Telluride, CO. (c) Amy Marquis

Five stunning days in Telluride. Dozens of advocacy focused films. 30-something business cards. 20-something fabulous new friends. Seven hours on the road back to Boulder. One seriously exhausted Amy, who can't muster much beyond a list of five highlights to celebrate this incredible weekend of filmmaking with a cause.

1. A fabulous bonfire and outdoor screening of 23 Feet. I have so much love for this project and the awesome ladies behind it!

2. Running into this guy around town. Repeatedly. My hero.

3. Listening to Terry Tempest Williams. Favorite quote: "As filmmakers, every time you turn your cameras on, you're going to betray someone. You just have to make sure you don't betray yourself."

4. Watching this film.

5. Dancing at The Llama with the amazing Baffin Babes.

Check out more at mountainfilm.org. You do not want to miss this next year!!


3 Stumbles


Never Say Never

The Little Engine That Could, (c) Roadsidepictures

For more than six months, I've used this blog as a way to help advocacy groups embrace, focus, and deliver on their enthusiasm for video and multimedia. Because in this day in age, everyone understands the power of digital storytelling, right?

Apparently not. Last week, when my friend asked if I'd be willing to direct a potential multimedia project to educate Boulder residents about homelessness in this otherwise Utopian town, she warned me that the biggest hurdle wouldn't be time, process, or even money-- but convincing her boss that a video is worthwhile at all. 

Not the hurdle I was expecting.

I quickly began to see it as an opportunity to strengthen yet another side of the argument that good stories sell. So I spent the weekend gathering some of the most compelling video successes I've seen to date: hard numbers that show video is reaching people-- a lot of people. Proof that, if done well, video can pay off not only in dollars, but also in votes, legislation, and increased public engagement.

Here's my list so far:

I'd love to keep adding on, but I need your help. What have you produced that's made a difference, and what did the results look like? Increased donations? New members? A win in Congress? Share your links and success stories below!

(Haven't been measuring results? Tsk tsk! Vimeo Plus and Google Analytics can help.)


3 Stumbles