I spent some time on the Witness.org page this week looking at some of their advocacy videos in order to see how they have incorporated the techniques into their video production process. At first I found the Witness.Org page pretty overwhelming, and found it easier to navigate my experience on youtube. I was watching this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3tLioIVgfY&feature=player_embedded#at=28) about forced evictions. One thing I found interesting was that they did not subtitles in their videos. In particular, the video “People Before Profit” they had a couple of different languages, none of which was translated. However I thought the use of graphic images, and the passion with which the interviewees spoke about the issues was enough to translate a clear message about the problem. They also did a good job of explaining the background of the problem and even defining what “forced evictions” are from a variety of different sources. I also thought that showing the before, after, and “during” of the problem was effective in relaying the message. In addition, they have high quality video that captures most of the scenes and the interviews are all shot from the same angle/perspective even if they are shot in completely different parts of the world at different times.
Another video I watched was “Our Plea” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zw8GH073YEc&feature=c4-overview-vl&list=PL1FA2D970240567B8), however, I found this a little less cinematographically savvy than the first but still effective. Firstly, they made use of lots of written text on a black screen to explain the background of the issue instead of using interviews. One thing I thought worked was the way the interviews were shot, as both close up and half-body shots that really made the interviewees the main focus of their stories without distracting with too much B-roll. It was also great, that unlike the other video that was structures around interviews with experts, this one featured only two long stories of women and their plea for action. Thus, although Witness.org uses some different techniques in the videos they produce they do an effective job of rallying their message because they have a clear sense of what has to be done and who their intended audience is.