Video for Nonprofit Organizations : Bringing theatre arts to underserved middle schools

I firmly believe that the arts are an essential component of every child's education, so this project has been especially gratifying. It has also been quite familiar, as I am the former Director of New Media for the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA), the sponsoring organization.  

The JumpStart Theatre pilot program was launched in the 2015-2016 school year in order to create sustainable theatre arts programs in middle schools where there currently are none. Three schools in the Greater Cincinnati area were chosen for the program's initial year and this video documents that journey. 

Happily, both the JumpStart Theatre initiative and the resulting video have received universal praise from those invested. Looking back at the creation of this video, it is easy to identify a few key elements that I feel contribute to the effectiveness. 

1. Early planning and investment in the video process.  It was a strategic decision to periodically document the first year of the program. Footage collected throughout the year was shared quarterly with invested parties (donors, board, staff) as welcomed program updates. Then, at the conclusion, all of the assets were on hand to create the comprehensive overview video shown. 

2. A collaborative client/vendor relationship. Being a first-year program, there was no ready template for how to tell this story. The truly collaborative relationship between Talkington Media and EdTA allowed us to evolve the storytelling together in order to meet objectives. For example, the script for this video was an initial draft by EdTA that was refined together. They also provided the voiceover talent. 

3. An editorial approach to coverage (as opposed to a large commercial production). I often work with a small team or as a solo filmmaker, which allows capturing genuine moments and commentary without the distractions of a larger production team. Stitching together the sincere and unrehearsed commentary of the subjects, collected over time, is a key component to the story. 

Do you have a story that needs telling? Or questions on how video can benefit you, your business, or nonprofit organization? Please do not hesitate to let me know by email or phone. 

Jim T.