News & Notes

Structuring a Strategy: Video for Change – “What’s your organization’s video strategy?”

Written by: Jillian M. DiNardo


Panelists Overview

Robin Smith, the founder and president of Video/Action, began the event. She is currently a member of WIFV and has received our Women of Vision award! Andrew Satter spoke next. He is the Senior Video Producer for the Center for American Progress and spoke about film being considered as a medium to convey content. Mitch Wenkus, a video producer for Greenpeace, took the third spot on the panel. The last panelist was Liz Norton, the director and founder of Stone Soup Films.


Hints and tips from the experts

1. Be aware of these myths that companies may have about videos:


a) They believe that anything can be made into a video, when sometimes it would be much better suited as an informational document. We need to respect the medium of film its ability to show emotions about topics.

b) They may assume that a short video is ideal because it will cost less than a long one. Not necessarily true; travel, production value, and editing can vary for a video of any duration.

c) They may believe that talking heads are boring, and that the whole video must be live-action footage. However, much can be done with an interview of the right story in the right environment or with a strong picture. A video should unfold slowly and change directions; a strong video will not cram all of its important information at the beginning, but it will end with a call to action.


2. Filmmakers should always consider all aspects of their audience, as the appropriate length of a video will depend on where and to whom it is being shown. Truly think about the purpose of your video with your team. Make sure that the topic would fit best as a video rather than in another medium. What is your objective? Who is the audience? Has this video been made before?

3. When making videos for a general audience, as most videos will be, keep the ideas simple, the content digestible, and the length relatively short. Make the video shareable.

4. Trick out your smart phone! There are lots of attachments available on sites like .

5. Throughout the filming process, make sure that the film you wanted to make is the one being made.


A video of this panel will be on Martha Dodge’s blog, “The Video Effect,” very soon! Here you can find a breakdown of the panel as well as full bios on the speakers:


Panel organized by Martha Dodge Media LLC

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