Producing And Airing Videos

Producing And Airing Videos

Three experienced film producers from different animal organizations – Shannon Keith, Nathan Runkle, and Kim Sheridan –  shared their experiences and recommendations at FARM’s 2011 Animal Rights Conference. The three had some similar recommendations and some opposing views. To my view, the three represented a range of film-making from the gifted amateur to the seasoned pro. My notes:

Kim Sheridan of HealthForce Nutritionals:

  • Eighty percent of books that people buy do not get read. Film, however, gets watched.

There are three broad steps to making a film:

1. Pre-production:

– determine what to produce

– create the script (consider using software if writing it yourself)

2. Production:

– footage! Produce it yourself or obtain from others. Use any kind of camera, even the small point-and-shoot kind.

– music: produce it yourself or find royalty-free stock music. Garage band on the Mac is a good program for producing it yourself.

– still photos: stock photos or use images from animal organizations that permit this use (most do).

3. Post-production:

– editing: can use small programs like imovie.

It isn’t necessary to have expensive equipment or salaried workers. You can do it yourself.

Airing the film:

  • Youtube of course
  • Public access channels
  • Film festivals – check
  • Contests

Confidence is important. Meet deadlines for submission.

The Message: follow your heart and your film will be better for it.

Nathan Runkle of Mercy for Animals


Shannon Keith of Uncaged Films

Films get through to people.

Animal Entertainment Terrorism Act –

Sometimes the illegal approach works.

Generally, about film:

  • Script – useful to have one, including for a documentary.
  • Distribution of film: festivals
  • use of public relations team really valuable
  • Use good equipment

Nathan Runkle of Mercy for Animals

Been involved in all kinds of films.

Video is powerful.

Lights, camera, action:

  • Use top equipment from the start. You never know when your film may be picked up and the base footage should be of good quality.
  • Lighting kits are available and are especially useful. Without one you may have nothing but useless footage.
  • Camera: get a decent one and learn how to use it. Need to be able to work in all kinds of lighting and sound situations.
  • 10-second rule: film at least ten seconds of everything you film.
  • Music: try

Making a viral video:

Don’t try for a feature-length film.

Success on facebook or youtube:

Try for

  • funny
  • amazing
  • helpful

evoke emotions, keep short – of the top ten videos on youtube none are over five minutes, most are between two and five minutes.

Make it easy to share – include a facebook share link.

Give the story to the Associated Press when appropriate.

Described MFA’s Farm to Fridge cross-country tour and the new pay-per-view technique.

2 Responses to Producing And Airing Videos

  1. “Eighty percent of books that people buy do not get read.”
    Wow, I didn’t know that.
    Thanks for sharing your notes. Good info!

  2. If you need free photos for your videos, check out for free, royalty free images.


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