Given that NCSY’s flagship program “GIVE” was a major hit in Israel, there was great incentive to promote the new American version, dubbed “GIVE USA,” and help it take off in the same way. Combining volunteering and community works with exploration of the continental US, GIVE USA is a chance for high school girls to discover the rewards of hard work, giving back, and making a difference. NCSY brought us in with the goal of showing off the camp’ using authentic and exciting footage from the GIVE USA summer experience.
It takes thorough, precise organization to capture such a dynamic and extensive program. Following GIVE USA on their route from New Orleans to Albany, we had a vast array of locations to cover and integrate into the film’s planned storyline. We would also have to conduct interviews in parallel, weaving in campers’ voices in eloquent support of the video’s themes. For a project of this scale, pre-planning was key.
First, we sat down and systematically ranked the significance and accessibility of each activity on the calendar. For instance, we looked into filming at the Coke factory in Atlanta, weighing the challenge of getting permission to bring a crew onto the premises against the value of the footage we would obtain. By having a discussion like this up front, we were able to be very clear about how to allocate our time overall. We couldn’t be everywhere, so we had to fully understand the results we wanted and pick the locations that would best speak to those goals.
At the same time, we worked with the client to design interview questions on the themes with which they wanted to anchor the video. By the time we were ready to meet with campers, we were well prepared to initiate conversations on the relevant topics. This was an organic way to bring the voices of participants into the film’s conversation.
In other words, we broke down the project into its discrete elements, committing our resources with care and getting the most out of each moment. This is one of our core principles; before anyone even picks up a camera, we put tremendous energy into research and preparation because they’re the not-so-secret ingredients that ensure real quality.
By properly refining our strategy and scrupulously arranging all technical components in advance, we elevated the caliber of the entire project and maximized the value of our clients’ time or money. In this case, we cut our projected production time in half while improving – not compromising – the quality of the film.