Sunday, March 11, 2012

Rainsing Awareness, Part I: Make a Movie

Did you know that you can send out the animal rights message through songs and movies? I know, for those of you who have never done something like this before, it probably seems pretty overwhelming. Before I started work on my environmental documentary, I was totally clueless as to how easy it was.
I sat down and started writing out new ideas for things to do to help the environment and animals. The idea of making a documentary came to me, so I started doing some voice recordings for the narration. This ended in complete failure (!) because I don't have that "narrator voice" and the narrations were just painful to work with. So I tossed that idea and decided to approach people to interview, instead. I asked my mom, and she suggested to interview the owner of an eco-friendly cooking class/catering company. I did that, and it worked out brilliantly! The owner had even more ideas of people to interview, and I am having my next interview very shortly!
You see, this is actually very simple. Sometimes it will be hard to ask people for favours or to use their music, but it is definitely worth it.
Here is how you can get started:
  1. Decide on the topic. Granted, "animal rights" is your category, but you may want to go more specific. This isn't necessary-- my eco-documentary is just on how humans are destroying the planet and how to become more environmentally friendly. If you choose a more specific topic, however, you will be able to dig deeper and will have more chances of convincing others.
  2. Decide on how you will gather and present the information. You may choose to sit in front of the camera and talk, while perforating your film with pictures and videos. Or you might not have yourself on the screen at all, and merely interview people and provide videos and pictures. Another option is to recruit a narrator for the job.
  3. Go! Contact people to interview or get started on your narrations, go out to events, laboratories and farms as a video-journalist, take pictures, and visit for a free soundtrack. Get creative.
  4. Edit your footage on movie-editing software. It really doesn't matter what you use, although it does help to use something more professional. I'm just using Windows Movie Maker.
  5. Work out where and how you will screen your video. Ask community and recreation centres, libraries, schools, film festivals, and other places that you know about. You can also enter documentary contests. If all else fails, host a screening at your house and then publish it on the Internet. Make sure to publicize your screenings, however!
  6. Decide: will you sell DVDs of your documentary or give them away for free? You'll reach more people if you give them away for free, but it will have to come out of your own wallet. You might also decide to charge a fee for people to attend the screenings, then donate the money towards a good cause.
For more ideas and information on what it takes, please see
For the next few weeks, I'll be talking about different ways to raise awareness, so stay tuned!

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