As a videographer and editor, I have always wanted to dab my hand in producing a documentary but always thought it to be a challenging prospect. I do not want it to come across as bias and boring after several minutes. Sometimes there are those issues that need to be pushed in front of the viewers face to help raise awareness of a certain subject. One such issue is homelessness. A great documentary was presented to me via Facebook – again showcasing the importance of getting your videos onto many social media platforms – and after watching it I decided it had to be my video of the week.
The video is created by Az and Mo, you can find them on YouTube by searching their username, AzMoShishaShow, and it follows them as they embark on spending 3 full days and nights on the streets of London. The video cuts back and forth from the two reminiscing about the experience and how they felt living on the streets to shots of duo on the street talking to homeless people. It does well to cover all bases by asking members of the public their views on homeless people and would they stop and give change to someone who is homeless, and from a videographers side, they got the right answer of ‘no’. By getting a negative response, it shows honesty and realism in the video and a lot of people will be able to relate to the every day person.
I will admit the audio is a let down in the video with cheap lapel microphones used, and their voices are too loud and become distorted, but that is a minor point given the key messages in this video are not about microphone audio levels but about homeless people. There are some great shots throughout this video and I especially like the use of the news reports at the beginning. A lot of time and effort has gone into the making of this, which makes me not want to look for faults, but instead look for the positives. Plus, I can hardly criticise something that I have never attempted to produce myself.
Praises have to be given to the 2 guys for partaking in this adventure and seeing the power of having a video to accompany this. A couple of snaps or a blog would do no justice, but producing a 30 minute documentary, which is the equivalent of a normal sitcom show you, they are allowing a wider audience to be made aware of this issue. Moreover, as I mentioned earlier, the accessibility of being able to share it on an array of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, StumbledUpon…the list goes on, the video is able to rack up the views and get a higher rating on YouTube.
So next time you are thinking about raising awareness of a certain issue, think about the possibility of having a short video to accompany it. It does not need to be a 30-minute documentary but not as short as 30 seconds that your key messages will not be put across correctly. One other key element you need to think about if you are considering a video for it, is the timing. By this I do not mean the length of the video but the time you have to create a video. It sounds very simple but a rushed video looks rushed and can look cheap. Most people will switch off after 30-40 seconds if they find it to be of poor quality. So, take your time planning the video, what key messages you want to portray, locations and, if needed, actors. The more awareness raised the more chance you have of making even just a small difference.
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