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Spring 2011

Behind the Lens newsletter. State/Territory Underage Drinking Prevention Videos Project. Keeping you informed, inspired, and up to date.
In Your Words Map of the United States

Interview with Amity Chandler, Director, Drug-Free Charlotte County, Florida

Amity Chandler Please describe your State’s experience collaborating with the video producers on the project.
We were able to put together a great framework once we started working off of each other's ideas. I appreciated that the producers were very specific about what they would need once they hit the ground. This allowed us to do all of the ground work in advance and start running the moment they got into town. I stress the importance of preparation because if we hadn’t followed directions to the tee in advance, it would have slowed down the entire process and we wouldn’t have the great product we now have.

How did you distribute your video?
Scripted videos, as opposed to more interview-driven, documentary-style videos, gave us more flexibility and options for distribution. We could take sections and place them in movie theaters, on television, or even on radio or the Web. We could also use the entire video as an introduction to a town hall meeting, a parent open house, a coalition meeting, etc. And we knew people wouldn't mind watching the whole thing because it was entertaining, visually pleasing, and it didn't feature people talking "at" them for 20 minutes. Our 30-second segments have aired almost a million times on movie screens in Florida, and the video in its entirety has played to audiences as large as 1,000.

Please talk a little more about the value of a scripted video.
Besides giving you more options, a scripted video takes a serious subject, frames it with healthy community norms, and ends with a product that does not leave audience members feeling guilty, sad, or powerless. In fact, when done correctly, scripted pieces provide hope, encourage participation, and yield a call to action that everyone can understand.

How has your video helped your State’s underage drinking prevention efforts?
The video helps us get out a global message across the State—Be the Wall between teens and alcohol.

What was the most interesting part of the production process?
LOL! Keeping 50 kids on task for 2 days … but they were great, truly!

What advice would you give someone just beginning to work on a video?
Follow the producers’ directions at every turn. Don’t shy away from creativity just because it may take a little more work … it makes a better video. I don't think any of us, especially me, was thrilled about hauling kids around for 2 days in Florida heat, but it was well worth it. The kids were incredibly well behaved, and the final product would not have been the same without them. And, finally, but perhaps most important—consider the tone of your video. Don't talk down to parents, or blame or scare teens and parents—make them partners with your message.

Was the experience/opportunity to create a video worthwhile? If so, why?
Certainly! I have a professionally produced video that supports our work here in Florida, with a message that will always be timely and relevant.

Tips from the pros
A senior producer shares insights

A senior producer shares insights on making a video even more effective.

"In the beginning, at the very least, make sure your designated point of contact is available to devote sufficient attention to pre-production. The success of any video is largely determined by how well it is planned, so the better we plan, the better the final product will be."

—State/Territory Underage Drinking Video Project Producer/Coordinator

Overcoming Obstacles
Image of students

Challenge: Wyoming’s video featured a segment on keeping community events safe, but, unfortunately, no community events were scheduled when the crew was available for field production. This meant that, for that segment, they were unable to film appropriate “b-roll,” which is additional footage used to show what is being described through interviews or narration.

Solution: Wyoming’s point of contact got in touch with the State’s tourism board, which kindly supplied a reel of promotional footage that the producer used to bring the community events segment to life. As an added bonus, the reel provided other images that were used for motion graphics in other parts of the video.

Spread the word
Students at the capitol
Here are some ways States/Territories are getting the message out:

In Oklahoma: Area Prevention Resource Centers have used the videos at their coalition meetings; Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities grantees have shown the youth video to students they work with; one of the videos was shown in a loop at the Oklahoma Prevention Resource Center’s exhibit during the 3rd Annual Mental Health, Prevention and Substance Abuse Conference.

In U.S. Virgin Islands: Broadcast its videos on local television, including network television, public television, and government channels. It also premiered the videos at a public viewing and gave the local press a heads-up so that the event could be covered in the St. Croix Source. Click here to read the article.

Whats New
Delaware’s video, Time to Re-Think Teens and Drink, recently won a Platinum Ava award! Click here for more information.

SAMHSA featured Wyoming’s video on its home page as part of its support for Alcohol Awareness Month. This move has increased exposure to the State/Territory Videos Project. In fact, the videos on SAMHSA’s YouTube channel have been viewed more than 12,000 times!

Vermont’s video, Prevention Works When We Work Together, was selected as a Documentary category finalist in the 2011 Aegis awards! The mission of the Aegis Awards competition is to provide a forum to recognize the people and organizations responsible for developing some of today’s most effective video/film productions.

Status Check

Recently completed:

  • Montana


Currently in postproduction:

  • None

Currently in preproduction:

  • Arizona
  • Indiana
  • Michigan
  • New Jersey
  • Oregon
  • Puerto Rico
  • South Carolina
  • Washington, DC
On The Horizon

Scheduled to begin preproduction in 2011:

  • Alabama
  • Idaho
  • Kansas
  • Tennessee


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