How has Vermont benefitted from participating in the State/Territory
Our state video has enabled us to provide a more human glimpse into Vermont's Underage
Drinking Prevention Initiative by capturing stories from youth and adults who are
actively engaged in this work. We often describe the prevention of alcohol-related
problems with very technical language because it is a complex issue.
This film illustrates what we mean by “a comprehensive community-based approach”
with pictures and stories.
How has Vermont used its video, and how are you planning to use
it in the future?
Vermont's Prevention Works When We Work Together video is posted on the
Vermont Department of Health, Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs, website
as an educational tool for the general public. We also have presented the video
at two training events: the Strategic Prevention Framework training for community
coalitions and the Association of Student Assistance Professionals’ annual conference.
In addition, we have distributed it to regional coalitions and to Vermont Department
of Health District Offices staff—particularly prevention consultants and other partners
represented on the Governor's Alcohol and Drug Advisory Council. We refer reporters
and other interested parties to this tool for background information on what works
related to underage drinking. Unfortunately, we do not have the capacity to track
the number of times the video has been viewed on the Vermont Department of Health
website. We intend to continue to post it for the next year.
What did you enjoy most, or what did you find most valuable, about
the production process?
Many Vermonters participated in the making of the video. It was great to hear their
stories. We appreciated the flexibility of the film crew. They made time in their
schedule to film much of the action at Prevention Day at the Vermont Statehouse,
and it was wonderful to have the youth and adult participation in that day documented.
What advice do you have for other states that are beginning to produce
their own videos?
Be sure to set aside adequate time to work on the project. Even with the support
of the producer and film crew, the project requires substantial coordination on
the state's part. It is also important to focus on messages and stories that will
be relevant over the long term. One of the initiatives highlighted in our film is
no longer active, which affects the shelf-life of this tool.
“Always have a backup plan, and always be ready to improvise
if needed. Even the best planning in the world can go awry if a participant doesn’t
show up on time, an interview doesn’t go as expected, or weather disrupts your schedule.
Patience and flexibility go a long way during field production (i.e., shooting)!”
—Video producer and State/Territory Video Project coordinator
One of two cohosts failed to appear at the time scheduled for recording the introduction
and closing to Alabama’s video. The team recruited a willing individual off of the
street at the last minute, but the footage was not particularly captivating, and
questions arose about the individual’s background.
The Alabama team reached out to a local news organization to rerecord the introduction
and closing with vetted cohosts, then copied the footage onto a hard drive and sent
it to their producer for inclusion in the video.
Here are some ways states/territories are getting the message out:
Puerto Rico produced two 30-second public
service announcements (PSAs) designed to fit in with the "Somos Mas" ("We
Are More") campaign against underage drinking. These Spanish-language PSAs have
since been seen by youth throughout the territory.
New Jersey’s video, as well as three vignettes produced for Idaho, has recently
been added to the "Underage Drinking" playlist on
SAMHSA’s YouTube channel.