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.
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.
Check out more at mountainfilm.org. You do not want to miss this next year!!
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:
- Online video is growing faster than you can say "YouTube." Check out these mind-blowing stats from 2010.
- Brand-engagement companies like NORTH are seeing big results with their advocacy videos: Portland mayor wins by a landslide; the Right Brain Initiative raises an extra $800,000; and Big Brothers Big Sisters earns $350,000 in donations at this video's unveiling.
- The Miami Herald is getting more news to more viewers as a result of this calculated video push.
- Climate Wisconsin videos have gotten 85,000 plays and counting, thanks to public-television broadcasts, use in climate-change presentations around the country, and teachers who are showing the videos in their classrooms. (Read about the nuts and bolts of this project here.)
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!