Making a video is an engaging process that requires people to work together, listen to each other, experiment and be creative. People can be attracted to the filmmaking process — either by the chance to be in front or behind the camera, or to observe the process of making a video.
More importantly, the filmmaking process can attract those who are disengaged from the structures of decision-making. Those who are unlikely to attend other kinds of community meetings or to participate in consultations may be more likely to attend a screening where they can see footage of their local area, their friends or family, or hear people speaking about issues that affect them.
Participation, Co-Creation and Collaboration
If your filmmaking process is participatory, members of your team can work together with community members to collectively devise, plan and produce videos. This process allows groups to spend time identifying, prioritising and investigating issues they wish to address.
This impact story from InsightShare on rural communities in northeast India using participatory video to recall and revive traditional knowledge about local food and agriculture illustrates what participation, co-creation and collaboration can lead to.
Reflection and Action
The process of collecting location footage and on-site interviews can help participants reflect on the issues that are affecting them. Footage can act like a mirror for individuals and communities to see themselves, and to shed light on issues that are being ignored.
The filmmaking process can also draw people into conversation around important issues, sharing stories and listening to others, promoting mutual understanding and empathy. Video (and other forms of visual storytelling, such as interactive or immersive content) has the power to create an emotional connection. All of this can lay the groundwork for taking collective action to make change happen.
When the filmmaking process is truly participatory, co-creative or collaborative, it gives groups ownership over how they and their views are represented. They decide what to show, why, where, when and to whom.
This means the resulting video will:
- represent the reality of a group, amplifying unheard voices and undervalued perspectives
- be realistically targeted to achieve change
- have more chance of being seen and supported locally or by a wider community.