Making a film about the general election campaigns in Cambridge – want to get involved?

Summary

Can we crowd-source support for a documentary on the Cambridge election campaigns? 

I was discussing this idea earlier this week with Claire Meade, having pondered what to do with the increasing amounts of video footage I’m collecting during this campaign. Having just finished filming the Cambridge Cycling Campaign hustings, I’ve realised there is going to be a wealth of footage and lots of things going on – something far too great for any one person to manage.

Uploading short videos is relatively straight forward. Creating medley’s is more complicated. Making a documentary is something else – and requires a much more professional approach.

Outputs

Essentially I want to produce:

  • A 30-60 minute documentary about the 2015 general election in Cambridge
  • Extended linked video pieces of events, debates & hustings that happened in the run up to the vote
  • A launch event after the election

Outcomes

  • A group of participants who might become community reporters or activists who can help scrutinise what institutions do in and around Cambridge
  • Raising awareness of what happened during the campaign, with a view to inspiring people to get involved in local democracy & possibly stand in future elections
  • Further break some of the community & generational barriers in our city
  • Create a historical video record of the campaign for future generations at a time of significant change in our city

Learning from Be the change – Cambridge

To make sure we get both the best out of the footage, and that those taking part get as much experience and as many new skills as possible, I want to have a mix of passionate young people with huge potential, experienced wise minds & well-networked individuals, and older people who perhaps want to learn something new.

Having nearly completed Be the change – Cambridge, I’ve learnt a huge amount about what I am and am not capable of. In particular I want to make sure that it’s not me looking after the details of:

  • Detailed project, people management & sequencing
  • Detailed financial management, budgeting & fundraising
  • Marketing & publicity

The above are all essential components that, on reflection I was weaker at than I would like to have been with Be the change – Cambridge events in late 2014/early 2015. Therefore, in the process of making this documentary I would like to have a small core team of talented, experienced & competent people managing those aspects of the project.

I want the project to be one that pays the participants

Hence the importance of fundraising, budgeting & financial management. In particular, I want to ensure that the young people taking part in this are paid – because all too often they are expected to work for nothing in the world of unpaid internships. I met someone over Easter who, for her degree has to spend a ‘year in industry’ working as an unpaid intern because of the nature of the industry that she’s in. (ie a highly competitive one where they can get away with such practices).

‘You have left this far far far too late!!!’

In one sense, I have. In another sense, I’m already halfway through the project having got a lot of the essentials. For example:

  • I have the kit with which to film video footage
  • I can do the basics with the kit – ie film, do basic editing & upload it to the internet
  • I have a means & ‘niche’ contacts for publicity both on and offline

On the other hand, yes I have left it far too late. But my original intention was simply to film as many of the debates & upload footage to my Youtube channel.

‘So, what do you need other people for?’

Two of the candidates, Julian Huppert here, and also Daniel Zeichner here, have helpfully listed the debates & hustings they will be taking part in. My well-documented mental health issues mean I simply do not have the capacity to attend all of the ones I’d like to, let alone all of the ones listed.

Having more participants means we can cover more of the campaigns, and it’s also a chance for people to get to know some of the politicians, activists and campaign groups in Cambridge. (And get paid for it!)

‘I’m interested! What do I need to do?’

First of all, I need to know what you’re interested in doing. This will depend on your circumstances. Are you:

  • ‘time poor but passionate about doing something positive for our city’?
  • ‘time-free but with very limited funds’ – ie cannot do much without financial support?
  • Someone who ‘has qualifications but not the experience’ that employers are looking for?
  • Specialists in areas that we need? (I’m not just talking about the professional skills listed above, but for example those of you who check your social media statuses before breakfast and who might not leave the house in the morning without having sent a snapchat message to one of your friends.)

…then this short project might be of interest to you.

If you are interested, please send an informal expression of interest to me at antonycarpen [at] gmail [dot] com, stating why you are interested, what you think you could contribute, & what you would like to get out of participating.

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