Montana’s video, Keep Talking Montana: You Can Prevent Underage
Drinking, features a mix of scripted scenarios and interview footage. Why did
you choose this approach?
We chose this approach because we wanted to create a tool that could be used over
the next few years to engage parents and youth at the community level as well as
policymakers. With the help and expertise from the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention
and their production team, we were able to weave together scenarios and interview
footage that nicely reflects Montana’s underage drinking prevention message.
Your video contains an introduction and closing delivered by a local
newscaster. How did you get him to participate?
A member of the planning team knew him personally and reached out to him. After
receiving permission from his station, the reporter agreed to volunteer his time.
We figured it didn’t cost anything to reach out to a recognizable media person.
But, we also had an alternate plan in case it didn’t work out!
How has your video helped Montana’s efforts in preventing underage
The links to the video have been distributed far and wide across the State. In addition,
the video has really encouraged collaboration between Native Americans in Montana
and State government. The video was first publicly viewed by over 300 people at
the Montana–Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council, Tribal Health Conference. [Please
see “Spread the Word” below for Montana’s creative distribution ideas.]
What advice would you give to someone who is just beginning to work
on a video?
Recognizing that the script needs to be fluid and dynamic, you should have clear
ideas of what information you want to be covered in the script. Once you have identified
the main points of your message, identify the best person(s) to deliver the message
and have alternatives—especially with youth because their busy lives can interfere
What was the most interesting thing you learned from this experience?
Trust the process! When video participants are passionate about your message, the
message will transcend to the screen.
“Interviews can be a powerful way to present information.
But, depending on the topic, they can require a lot of b-roll (supplemental footage)
that may be hard to get. Scripted scenarios, on the other hand, allow you to craft
messages exactly how you want them and focus your time and energy on shots that
you know won’t end up on the cutting room floor.”
—Video producer and State/Territory Videos project coordinator
The planning and review team for the Washington State video wanted to include a
message from Governor Chris Gregoire. Unfortunately, the Governor was unavailable
when the contractor’s camera crew was on location in Washington.
Washington’s point of contact reached out to the Governor’s Office, which arranged
for a local crew to tape the Governor’s segment several weeks later. The contractor
worked with the local crew to ensure consistency of style, and the footage was later
incorporated into the video.
Here are some ways States/Territories are getting the message out:
In Montana: 600 copies of the DVD were distributed to various coalitions across
the State, including DUI (Driving Under the Influence) Task Forces, prevention coalitions,
and Responsible Alcohol Sales and Service trainers. Almost immediately the Early
Childhood Services Bureau of Montana’s Department of Public Health and Human Services
put the video into its Pregnant and Parenting Teen curriculum.
In Oregon: The State plans to distribute its recently produced video to middle schools
to spark classroom-led discussion about the public health issue of underage drinking.
Three public service announcements, created for Florida’s Be the Wall campaign
against underage drinking and included in its
State video, won a Bronze Award at the 2011
Telly Awards! The Telly Awards honor excellence in local, regional,
and cable television commercials, programming, and nonbroadcast video productions.