How has New Jersey benefitted from its participation in the State/Territory
This project provided us with an opportunity to show the strong collaborative efforts
that New Jersey has implemented and the commitment of key stakeholders regarding
the issue of underage drinking in NJ. We have strong prevention leaders within the
nonprofit sector and effective advocates within the public sector. NJ also has a
vigorous network of coalitions, agencies, and youth and community members that are
working on the local level to implement environmental strategies that effect positive
changes in this area.
Through this video, we can promote the strategies that we have successfully implemented
statewide, and we can showcase the powerful support structure created within our
State to prevent underage drinking. Additionally, we knew from a statewide survey
that NJ teens believed that a parent’s opinion regarding drinking is a significant
influence in determining whether or not a child will drink underage or binge drink. Our
Planning Committee recognized that there was a lack of videos geared toward parents.
This video project gave us an opportunity to fill that gap.
How has New Jersey used its video, and how are you planning to use
it in the future?
The first screening was for key prevention leaders within the State. The group included
some new prevention coalition leaders, which allowed us to introduce them to successful
NJ initiatives addressing underage drinking. Moving forward, the video will be shown
at Town Hall Meetings and other community events to get the conversation started
about underage drinking.
Thinking about the video production process, what did you learn
that surprised you?
We were pleasantly surprised at the high level of cooperation from so many different
organizations when asked to join forces around a common issue. It was impressive
how dedicated people were to the process and how accommodating they were with scheduling
interviews within a short period of time. Overall, it was a reflection
of how truly passionate they are about the safety of our children and concerned
about the dangers of underage and binge drinking. The other surprise was how committed
everyone was to making the best use of our time and Federal funding by creating
a product that would be timeless, far reaching, and have a lasting impact. Suggestions
by the SAMHSA media experts, as well as our own experience, guided our video committee
away from shock or scared-straight-type messaging or a tragedy-focused video as
these approaches often lose effectiveness rapidly. Instead, we moved toward an educational
message that would inform parents about underage drinking here in NJ, the physical
and health risks, NJ laws and legal consequences, and some of the solutions and
programs that are happening right here in our State.
What advice do you have for other States that are in the early stages
of preproduction on their own videos?
Develop an advisory committee that includes members of the target audience. We found
this was very helpful in targeting parents with the right message. Next, vet the
process. If you reside in a politically charged State, as we do, it is important
to vet this process with as many appropriate stakeholders as is manageable. It is
much easier to redirect efforts and make necessary changes to the plan before shooting
than once the action starts. Also, listen to the video crew. The video production
tool kit that was provided was a great roadmap for the project. Following the step-by-step
process broke it down into manageable pieces that ended in an effective story board.
The best advice I can offer is, the more you put in the more you get out. Carefully
mapping out the timeframe, interview and shooting sequences, identifying who is
speaking on which topic, and communicating this information with everyone involved
will help to make the most of the time. When it comes to the actual days of shooting,
make it easy for participants by providing a convenient and comfortable location
for shooting. Send them driving and parking directions, with clear timeframe and
advanced questions. We also arranged the final shooting day to happen during a large
community event as a “catch-all” so that we could interject an interview or stage
a shot that was previously missed.
Lastly, we identified a lead organization for this project that has strong State
and local connections so that the outreach would be comprehensive and inclusive.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thanks for the opportunity! The New Jersey Prevention Network (NJPN) was honored
to be asked by Donald Hallcom, who is New Jersey’s NPN [National Prevention Network]
representative, to coordinate this project. NJPN is lucky to have two amazingly
dedicated and talented staff, Lisa Daly and Rob Lightfoot, who took the lead on
this project and did an outstanding job.
“When putting together your field production schedule, always
keep logistical concerns in mind. The crew will typically need an hour to scout
out each location and set up. Afterwards, the crew will need 30 to 45 minutes to
break down and pack up the equipment. If you plan for multiple locations in one
day, be sure to account for travel time. Remember, it’s always better to plan too
much time for any one location than not enough!”
—State/Territory Videos Project producer
In Tennessee, the planning and review team wanted a video that incorporated scripted
scenarios and interviews. With only 2 days to shoot, the video crew simply wouldn’t
have enough time to drive to all the places where the interviewees lived or worked
and conduct interviews.
The planning and review team created the most efficient field production itinerary
by scheduling all of the interviews on the same day at the same location. Not only
did it eliminate travel time but it also allowed the crew to set up the equipment
just once, allowing more time for the interviews.
Here are some ways States/Territories are getting the message out:
Michigan used its video project as the catalyst for a new social marketing campaign
against underage drinking, called Do Your Part. As part of its video, the
Michigan team created several public service announcements highlighting how different
members of the community are doing their part to prevent underage drinking and encouraging
others to do the same.
Furthermore, the Michigan Department of Community Health held a press conference
on March 21, 2012, to highlight the video as well as a series of Town Hall Meetings
taking place throughout the State during Alcohol Awareness Month in April.
Completed videos for four States and one Territory were recently added to the “Underage
Drinking” playlist on the YouTube channel of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health
Services Administration. Check out new videos for
Montana, Oregon, and
Puerto Rico by clicking on the hyperlinks in this sentence! [Note: Puerto Rico
has produced two public service announcement videos, both in Spanish.]