Note: this post is about a project by the Youth Advisory Council, YouthLine’s partner program
Every year, Oregon Episcopal School (OES) designates a day to do service in the community in honor of the support the OES community received during a tragic Mt. Hood Climbing accident 26 years ago. For the third year in a row, Oregon Partnership Lines for Life partnered with OES this week for one of these projects.
This year, we decided to take on a very ambitious project: creating a Video Public Service Announcement (PSA) in a single day. As the lead project organizer I was very nervous about the whole thing. My idea seemed great at first, but the closer we got to the service day the more I became worried about the countless details that needed to be finalized. When all of the OES high school students signed up for projects I was thrilled to learn that we had the biggest group this year: 20 students. With all of our student leaders and adult supervisors we ended up having about 30 people involved total.Because we had to have at least a general idea of what our video would be about in advance, we decided that the Youth Advisory Council would develop three concepts, which the OES students voted on and developed into the actual video. I won’t tell you about the concepts that didn’t win, since we’re saving them for future video projects, but the winning concept (by a single vote) was an Underage Drinking prevention video. Again, I don’t want to give away the storyline, so stay tuned for the video release in a few weeks!
The day started out with an all-school ceremony at our bell tower. As a senior at OES, I now find these all school gatherings (OES is PK-12) a little boring, but I do appreciate their purpose. Next, everyone dispersed to venture around the city and do great work in the community, that is everyone except for our group. Since our video takes place at a school, we decided we should stay at OES instead of working at the Oregon Partnership Lines for Life offices, so we headed to the now-empty science hall to play some ice-breaker name games, since we had students from all four grades and guests from Lines for Life and the Youth Advisory Council.
We then split the group into two, and I presented our prevention methodology and our summarized alcohol abuse prevention to half the group at a time with YouthLink volunteer Lilli. Meanwhile, YAC Coordinator Kovi led the other group through some alcohol knowledge quizzes with Hana, who joined YAC after last year’s service day project. After everyone was caught up on the facts, we held a big story boarding session with the entire group. This was the part I was the most worried about – could thirty people in a room figure out the detailed sequence of scenes in our video, in only 45 minutes? Surprisingly, yes! Everyone was very engaged through the process and we ended up getting a little of everyone’s input into the final script.
We took a break, played a more serious ice-breaker, then jumped into four groups for pre-production, concurrently writing the script and shot list, preparing props and filming locations, setting up video, audio, and lighting equipment, and developing characters/their back-stories and working on acting. With the blessing of guidance by teachers/Lines for Life Staff with expertise in each of these areas, everything was looking great as we took another break for lunch.
Finally, the afternoon: our two-hour time-block for filming the whole video. Since having thirty people on set at once would only make things take longer, we had a video marketing focus group through the duration of our production session, cycling through extras from this group, which was guided by Lines for Life Marketing Consultant Barry.
Meanwhile, I abandoned my hopes of working with the marketing group throughout the afternoon because we needed more guidance on set. Since I had been a part of the writers group and had worked a little with the other groups, I was able to make sure everything worked smoothly and we stayed on our very tight schedule. Somehow, we managed to shoot at all five locations and get all the footage we needed in our brief window (stills from our footage throughout this post). At the end of the day, everyone was really excited about all of our work, and we look forward to seeing the edited video in a few weeks, then implementing our marketing plan. Hopefully the success of this project will lead to future video projects with the same approach!
Update: here is the completed video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-Sd1wzUB4g Enjoy 🙂