Did you know that Instagram now supports video?
For a few months now I’ve had it in my head to test out a micro film series on Instagram.
As I prepare to test out my concept and launch the series, you can follow along with the journey on my Facebook page where I’m documenting the process.
In this article, I’ll take you behind the scenes with my thought process.
My original question was: How can I take a subject that is not super sexy (transit) and create emotionally engaging content in 15 seconds that people will want to watch? And not only watch, but want to talk about?
I’ve found a way to transform seeming dry or obscure content to something interesting and engaging with 3 minute pieces, and 5 minute pieces and even an hour long documentary about beards.
But can I do this with 15 seconds?
THE IDEA: Create short personal profiles
When I’m not working on my business or riding my bike, I’m working on my documentary project called MIND THE GAP. It started as a feature film project and has grown into a webseries and now Instagram project called DIALOGUES [IN TRANSIT].
The Instagram series, originally just photos, is meant to spark interest in transportation infrastructure and in how we move through our cities, how we can move better and more safely and how we can make better, safer choices.
This may seem like a tall order for 15 seconds.
It is, which is why I’ve been brainstorming ideas and plan experimenting with several approaches to the new microfilm series.
One of my initial ideas including a series of humorous sketches illustrating bad road behavior called “Would you…”
Another idea called “The Numbers” would compare statistics to show the true disparity in investments.
My initial ideas were rather complex. They would take time in researching statistics and finding creative ways to convey these ideas.
So recently I came up with another idea: Profiling people who use our streets.
Besides being much easier to execute, it fits in more naturally with the project title, DIALOGUES [IN TRANSIT].
The idea behind this series is to humanize the people who are on our streets. Unfortunately this idea has been born out of seeing so much bad behavior on the streets of San Francisco from all users of the roads.
Pedestrians who walk into intersections after being at a dead stop looking at their phones, not being aware that a car or bike has stopped, looked, waited and starting moving based on the fact that you were not moving.
Bikes who zoom through pedestrian crossings on a red light.
Cars who zoom in front of bikes and make a sudden stop to let out a passenger, or who park in the bike lane for any reason.
Bad behavior is on the rise.
And my hypothesis: so much of bad road behavior comes from a lack of empathy towards other people on the road.
So let’s build some empathy.
My initial micro film series will be giving voice and a face to people who use the roads.
I plan to film five people for each type of road user. I’ve developed a set of And I’m going to experiment with how I present people based on what access I have.
THE BIG GOAL
To start opening up the conversation about how we behave on the roads.
To get the conversation started, we need views. The Mind the Gap Instagram account currently has 61 subscribers. I’ll need to increase that number through mentions on Facebook and in my newsletter.
I also have started talking to organizations who have publicized my web series content in the past to let them know this is coming. Those people I’ve talked to have said yes, they’d share!
I’m reaching out to new organizations like Walk San Francisco to partner with them for subjects as well as outreach.
And this time around, I’ll be reaching out to larger media outlets.
WHERE TO FIND OUT MORE
If you want to follow the process and get ideas for how you can launch a microfilm series on Instagram, or have experience you want to share, like my Facebook page.
Click here if you want to check out the MIND THE GAP Instagram page itself.
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