Maryland produced an 8-minute video aimed at parents, which is titled
Don't Be a Friend. Be a Parent. Why did your team choose a teen party to
focus attention on underage drinking prevention?
Our team, which represented substance abuse prevention experts from all 24 jurisdictions,
chose the approach of a party scene because we knew this scenario is a reality for
many parents in Maryland and would capture the interest of the viewer.
What about the production experience was particularly memorable
I was honored to be asked to participate in this project, and the entire process
was memorable for me. I believe that video products are a very effective way to
communicate a message to the public. The team considered the production of this
video a great opportunity to reach parents and adults who believe that young people
are “safe” if they are consuming alcohol in a supervised setting. As the video points
out, that is not always true. Watching the volunteer acting talent transform the
team’s ideas from paper to a viable scene was magic!
What challenges did you encounter, and how did you overcome them?
Coordinating the talent and everyone’s schedules
is always tough. I have been involved in other production projects, and there is
a tremendous amount of coordination that is necessary. There were about 25 people
to coordinate, including the production crew, while scheduling with the home owners
of the location shoot. Perseverance is how you overcome!
Did anything come up during the making of your video that you had
not anticipated or surprised you?
Picking up the
Carroll County Times newspaper and seeing the entire front page coverage
with full-page photos of the production crew and the actors really surprised me.
I knew that the media and the community were supportive and taking this project
What would you do the same?
I like partnering with local teens and actors as the talent. They have a stake in
the outcome. They have never disappointed me, so I would call upon them again to
be involved in any future video projects.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
The Maryland team is grateful to SAMHSA [Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration] for funding and inviting us to participate in this incredible project.
I also have some advice for others: To have a successful project, you must be totally
committed from beginning to end and not be discouraged by delays and changes. A
positive mindset that it will all work out will make it all work out! View Count Me In...On
the Fight Against Underage Drinking.
“When casting, keep in mind the availability of your possible
participants. If your video calls for interviews with professionals, it is probably
better to schedule the shoot during the week. If, however, your video requires involvement
of parents or youth, it is may be better to schedule their segments later in the
day or, even better, on a weekend when they are more likely to be available.”
—State/Territory Videos Senior Producer
The Pennsylvania team wanted to create two public service announcements (PSAs),
each taking place in a “party” setting. Originally, the scripts called for one to
be a child’s birthday party and the other to be a congratulatory event for an adult.
However, this plan would have necessitated creating two entirely different sets
and recruiting two entirely different casts of extras.
To make the most of preproduction efforts, the team agreed to set both PSAs at the
same party, albeit with different lead actors. This arrangement had the bonus effect
of further “linking” the two PSAs together thematically. (In fact, astute viewers
will be able to note that the lead actors in one PSA are extras in the other one!)
Here are some ways states/territories are getting the message out:
SAMHSA, in collaboration with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), is making
state and territory prevention videos available to the nearly half-million annual
visitors to the Maryland Science Center at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Target America: Opening Eyes to
the Damage Drugs Cause is the national touring exhibit developed
by the DEA and the DEA Educational Foundation. This exhibit, which opens on February
11, 2014, includes access to all of the prevention videos as one of its interactive
Dialogue with Native Youth about Underage Drinking: Our Culture is Prevention,
a video produced in cooperation with SAMHSA’s Native American Center for Excellence
(NACE), has been accepted warmly by individuals and organizations in
Indian Country and others who were provided with the video by NACE. The video has
been shared with SAMHSA internally via e-mail, and staff working with tribal communities
were encouraged to disseminate it widely. It was featured on the SAMHSA website
homepage for several weeks during 2013, and it was shared with the Office of Indian
and Alcohol and Substance Abuse (OIASA), housed within SAMHSA’s Center for Substance
Abuse Prevention. OIASA, in turn, posted an announcement and link to the video on
Alcohol and Substance Abuse Interagency Coordinating Committee website maintained
by SAMHSA. Many groups within Indian Country are now using this video to educate
their audiences about strengths-based, resiliency-focused prevention.
From December 2013 to February 2014, on-location field production of videos took
place for the final three states and five territories participating in the State/Territory
Videos Project. This brings the total number of participants over the course of
the project to 48 states, 8 territories, the District of Columbia, and NACE. Congratulations
are due to all who have played a role in the production of their local video. As
a reminder, all completed videos are available on SAMHSA’s YouTube Channel and StopAlcoholAbuse.gov.