Producing short dramatic videos to raise awareness

Your overall goal is to raise awareness. Your method is to create dramatic videos that will

  1. shock the audience
  2. lead to introspection and questioning
  3. make the audience think and reach their own conclusions
  4. provoke, rather than convince

This morning I saw the following page at the NGS site, and I found it shocking. I am guessing that you want to create videos that have a similar effect, that stay in viewers’ minds long enough to provoke reflection and/or consideration of changes in thinking and behavior.

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Hi @aschrijver

Re. the Github project, I guess your plan is to discuss various campaigns on that platform, i.e. not only the short videos project, but any other awareness campaign. Is there a risk that it becomes too cluttered, or is it possible to structure the repository as a tree so that each initiative (and all their sub threads related to the nitty gritty) is clearly separated? Forgive my lack of experience with Github.

As to the videos project (in which yourself, @borja, @patm and @PatMc have indicated interest in collaborating), I was thinking of the following threads/issues?

  1. Overall agenda, i.e. mission and principles of the videos project

  2. Scripts discussion:
    2.1 video1
    2.2 video 2

  3. Production issues
    Anything related to commissioning and working with professional producers in the right place at the right time.

  4. Crowdfunding
    How to maximize chances of securing funding.

  5. Distribution
    How to spread and make the videos viral, possible linkage with CHT core team.

If you had other ideas on how to structure this, happy to listen.

Hi @anon51879794

I created some more structure in the Github project. Check it out. I’ll be adding more this evening, and/or tomorrow (in am on CET Amsterdam timezone, btw), and I’ll incorporate some of your structure recommendations from above, and other posts in this thread. Thank you!

I will create an issue detailing my Phone Zombie idea, but I’ll let you elaborate your own ideas in the Issue Tracker in the way you want to add it. I leave that up to you to decide :slight_smile:

Edit: Ah, I see you already found the project and created an issue. Great!

Hi @borja

Not sure if you have kept following this thread, but would love to have your opinions on the first script (please go to the Github project @aschrijver kindly created). I am still not quite sure about the proper creative process and your experience would be invaluable in making this work.

I guess the concept of this first video (after reading your article on the subject one more time) is “Let us look at how our pastimes have changed by considering a scene at a cafe that represents two decades. From leasurely and seemingly tranquil activities, we have become increasingly absorbed in our phones, in the process building the wealthiest and most powerful companies in the world’s history. At the end, we realize our phone has become our only source of gratification.”

Other aspects, which you are currently dealing with for your own documentary, include financing, production and distribution.

Conversely, should you need any assistance on your own projects, would be happy to contribute. Is there a link to your project details you could provide?

Lovely to see the project coming along on GitHub.

Will there be so-called focus groups to evaluate the videos? If so, I’m happy to participate.


We welcome your participation @patm! Still far away from actual video production, of course, but that is the beauty of crowdsourced open-source projects. Anyone can contribute at any time, on tasks of most interest.

If we want videos with the potential to go viral, we need to do a bunch of brainstorming, storytelling and script writing, as well as creative thinking on how to spread our message most effectively. Then funding, production, etc. etc.

But first we need to flesh out the project, and create some plans, create tasks and the like. This will occur in the project space, so keep an eye on that. You can jump in anywhere you like :slight_smile:

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This point requires special care. As I wrote in our position statement our community should be an exemplar of Humane Technology and be fully transparent. We work in the open.

This means that, while it is okay to crowdfund individual campaigns or campaign-themes, we should have a way to publish our expenses, so they can audited by the public. Furthermore the community will have more projects and a community website (with Donation button) in the future that probably need crowdfunding, so it seems prudent to me if we create a general crowdfunding strategy first (and not having each project go their own way, reinvent the wheel).

If a campaign receives more funding than what is needed, then the surplus should be added to the community ‘war chest’ for use in other campaigns, or different projects.

I realize this complicates the initiative, but it is something that has to be done. But if our plans our good, and we are well-organized, then it will also be easier to find funds and possibly sponsoring opportunities as well.

I would like this preparation and strategy to occur in another repository, namely the one for Community Building.


Hi @patm

Happy to see you are keen to get involved and sorry I omitted you in a previous post as your username is almost the same as @PatMc.

Right now, we are at the preparation stage, thinking of possible concepts/scripts while exchanging on the process of financing, producing and distributing the videos.

Would be great to have your views on Github repository!

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Hi Arnold,

Totally agree and this has been my thinking all along. We should be transparent as to who we are, what are objectives are, what the videos will show, and importantly publish quotations for all the costs to be incurred in production.

On crowdfunding strategy, would be great if the community already had discussed the topic somewhere (not sure it has), and if not, we could create a new thread in the forum to discuss. Alternatively, if this project is the first in the community to be crowdfunded, then I believe it would be more practical to treat it as a pilot, with the whole discussion about the crowfunding process and lessons learned eventually transferred to another Github repository and linked to in the forum.

I understand @borja will soon start a crowdfunding exercise to finance a documentary, would be good to learn from his experience.


Thank you and @aschrijver for the opportunity to participate. I have just created a Github account and look forward to sharing ideas :sunny:

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Hi @patm

Sounds great! In case you’re not familiar with Github (I wasn’t so much until yesterday), please feel free to create an issue in the issues tab (it could be useful to other members as well) with your questions on how to collaborate on the platform, and some of us will help you with the technicalities.

Looking forward to collaborating with you.

Hi @aschrijver

Created a request to add a file for the first video script. Not yet quite conversant with Github, so I hope this is the way you envisaged it.

Thanks again for your invaluable contributions on this project, which I know come on top of all your work as a forum moderator. Is there a way we could share admin rights for certain parts of the repository? This could alleviate your burden.

@patm creating separate issue is not needed. I responded to @healthyswimmer yesterday, that I will create a manual for people that are new to Github and add that to the repository. See:

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Project seriously taking shape, with a Github repository and discussions approaching conclusions on a unifying theme, campaign ideas, and a draft script for the first video.

If you believe awareness is a critical pillar of promoting humane technology and dramatic videos can help raising it, please join us on Github and get your hands dirty!

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@anon51879794 yes having many venues in Github could be important to capture the best of everyone on this forum.

Effective comprehensive education includes many types of media to reach all learning styles. Educators teach best in their chosen style as well. Thank you @aschrijver for stepping up to the plate once again!!

Videos capture a very special audience who needs to be reached the most.

This reminds me we all need to read each others work so we can help one another express important ideas in different types of media.

Thanks everyone!! Good to be here.


Indeed! Thanks to you Arnold, we now have a clearly structured collaboration space where we can effectively push projects to fruition. Awareness is a critical pillar and it was well worth your efforts to now have a clear platform where all related projects can be developed. Looking forward to working with all members of the community feeling strongly about this topic.

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The inspirational imagination to raise awareness of the problem is as important as the will to tackle it head on with a related detailed proposed solution. I’m proud and glad to join and add to this thread’s audio/visual mission.


Great to hear that, @Hex. Welcom to the team! Could you also give a shout on the Call for Participation: The Humane Tech Awareness Campaigns project has started topic, and click the poll?

Hi! I think I had a pretty similar idea to what you describe here, except coming at it from the educational perspective. I’ve been creating and teaching courses (somehow the institutions that have been hiring me to teach for them have been ok with this) on the cognitive efficiencies that are being exploited by our technologies. My goal is to empower as many people as I can reach through education and before I got bogged down with my teaching/post-doc responsibilities I had started planning to create a series of accessible educational videos for the purpose. It seems like we are interested in the same sort of work and, I’m sorry I’m late to the party, but are you still doing this work? Have you made progress? Can I help?


Welcome to Humane Tech Community, Anna. Unfortunately the projects we were envisioning have stalled for now due to reasons outlined in this post. But feel free to discuss any ideas you have in this regard and/or provide pointers to related work of your own :slight_smile: