After three months of inspiring workshops, training, and masterclasses on impact production, EngageMedia’s first Video for Change Environmental Impact Lab has officially come to an end.
Under the mentorship of three experienced impact producers and guest speakers, four video initiatives completed the Impact Lab with more impact production skills and knowledge to advance the impact campaigns of their video initiatives. Aside from learning more about impact production, the Impact Lab also provided a dedicated space for the participants, mentors, and guest speakers to share their stories and contribute towards the impact of each other’s initiatives.
The Impact Lab is a project by EngageMedia that aims to help participants better create impact for their environmental video initiatives. The Lab is grounded in the principles of the Impact Toolkit.
Incorporating an ‘impact production mindset’ to video initiatives
During the Lab, both participants and mentors emphasised the power of video and its potential to contribute to positive changes within affected communities. But beyond this, the Lab emphasised that bringing about change is not achieved just by producing a video. Enacting change through video instead requires more from filmmakers, such as more strategic efforts in the planning, production, and outreach stages of the video. Impact production starts even before video production, and is also ideally done throughout the film’s production.
“[Video] can only be impactful if the need or the social issue was identified, through research, and goals and objectives were set at the start”, said John David Moncada, a participant from the Philippines working on a video initiative that will document the indigenous knowledge system on plant utilisation by select indigenous people and ethnic groups in northern Mindanao. “If you want your production to have focus and purpose, Impact Lab is the training that you should be in”, he added.
Another important learning for participants was the idea that impact production is a collective effort, and not just left to one dedicated impact producer. Oftentimes, this work requires more than one person. Filmmakers should also look beyond their production teams when thinking about producing impact, which will help
“In short, the Impact Lab opened up a chance to connect and expand networks of thoughtful people that are willing to make a change”, said Syufra Malina, a participant from Indonesia working with the Orangutan Information Centre in North Sumatra on using video to emphasise long-term conservation efforts.
For sustainability, the participants also agreed that they each needed to spread the impact production mindset with their respective teams and organisations.
What’s next for the Impact Lab?
Now that the first round of the Impact Lab is done, the participants will be using their newfound learnings in their video initiatives.
For Syufra, the next step is to integrate everything she has learned into Orangutan Information Centre’s communication strategy and policy. Check out their site for more information.
For John, the Lab’s teachings will be incorporated into his digital activism classes. Connect with John directly for more information on his work.
EngageMedia continues to invite filmmakers, video initiatives, and environmental campaigners to join the second round of the Impact Lab. The second round will be held from June to August 2021. Deadline for applications is on 9 May 2021, 23:59 Bangkok time (UTC+7).