On the one hand, Using Video for Advocacy had a very high ratio of signal to noise. Breaking it down to a five step process (Define your goal, Talk to other people, Analyze your style and strengths, and identify your allies, Define your audience, and Decide on a level of involvement and start planning) is extremely helpful, especially since the writers also traced their own steps in making their video project, Bought and Sold.
But I don’t know if giving steps is necessarily the best way to encourage activism. Yes, giving a concrete definition of how to proceed will help community organizers and members actualize their ambitions, but I’m worried that it doesn’t give enough room for creativity. From the perspective of an attorney and a dyed-in-the-wool activist (as our author is) this might be secondary to methods of implementation, but in my mind we must remember that all video production is still the production of art.
I realize this opinion may not be popular, but art is individual. There’s something so deeply personal about the organic creation of art that is antithetical to formulas for me that I can’t quite reconcile Using Video for Advocacy with the world of art it must exist in.
Maybe video activism isn’t meant to be art, or maybe there is art in the machinations. Hopefully, individuals passionate enough to be video activists will have enough inner motivation and turmoil to create beautiful pieces that transcend their form. I’m just worried about setting a precedent of production over passion.