Video Documentation for Spot the Future

For video documentation of the Spot the Future project, I will be travelling to Georgia and Armenia with [Noemi], and [Nadia] will be working with a local videographer on the Egypt leg. (The Georgia/Armenia workshops will be largely in English, the Egyptian one in Arabic).

The end result could be one video, or multiple mini videos with consistent aesthetic, structure and approach, differentiated by subject, country or stages in a process. It all depends on what we decide is most useful.

For now, these are my general thoughts for a single video (5-10min).

Part 1: Setting the scene

Armenia, Georgia, and Eygpt. Introduction to the people, the places, and the problems they are trying to solve. Stories are intercut, shots from different countries are mirrored/referenced. At this stage we’re focusing on the similarities in people’s experience, without getting too specific – the difficulty of working outside the system, or working in isolation without strong support structures. Mostly shown visually, with single-sentence voiceovers / interview segments to introduce the themes.

Part 2: A new approach - Edgeryders and Spot the Future.

Real-world example story/stories from new people who have recently signed up to ER. How did they find ER / how did ER find them? How were they welcomed? What do they think of the process? What connections or inspiration have they gained through the online collaboration?

Key moments to capture here include the initial meetings of international participants – people who only know each other from online interaction, meeting each other offline for the first time.

Bridge to Part 3:

Why do we need to ‘Spot the Future’? What does sharing these stories achieve?

Part 3: specifics of the initiatives

Questions to ask participants:

  1. what issue are they working on? is it specific to this region/country?

  2. what kind of people are involved and what are their motivations?

  3. what have they tried so far, where have they struggled?

  4. (if asked before workshop) what do they hope for from the workshop, networking and online collaboration?

  5. (if after workshop) what did they get out of it?

-connections made?

-ideas to solve/minimise existing problems in their approach?

-goals to work towards?

  1. what do they still need? what’s next?

Part 4: call to action

How can people help? (again, the ‘goodbye, see you on the web’ moments are important to get here)

Some other thoughts: It doesn’t make sense to go to interesting, unique locations and only come back with footage of whiteboards and post-it notes. Even if that’s the environment where discussion is happening, the issues and stories we’re focusing on are outside the workshops, and that’s where the camera needs to go. Unfortunately I don’t think there is time to get too far outside of the city for this.

In each location it would be ideal if we can find someone willing to be a guide for a few hours who can take me to see some of the locations and subjects we’re talking about, interpret with locals and perhaps (very succinctly) explain some of the issues on site. Based on the information we gather before the trip I can write up a wishlist of shots I would like to get to illustrate the projects, and post it here so people can suggest storytellers / locations.

Due to language issues and wanting to appeal to a broad audience, wherever possible I would like to reduce the amount of spoken content as much as possible and find more visual ways of presenting our message. There will be plenty of written documentation and the video serves a different purpose. Where possible, SHOW rather than TELL.

Personally I think it would be easier and make more sense to create two or three separate videos: one from Egypt and one or two from Georgia /Armenia.

This means that we should aim for a similar aesthetic and approach in our videos. Whoever is shooting in Egypt will have my videos (or at least a rough cut of my footage) to work off as a loose template - it doesn’t have to be the same, it just has to work together as a collection.

For this I suggest using Edgeryders/Spot the Future graphical elements in the same way throughout, and using one or two of the same music tracks in each video.

I will aim to find music under a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC-BY) but it is usually easier to find Attribution Sharealike (CC-BY-SA) music. On that note, is there a preferred license for the videos? I would suggest CC-BY or CC-BY-SA, but whatever works.

I can share my example titles as transparent .pngs and also as templates (.xcf files) made in GIMP (GIMP can be installed for free on any operating system here)

I can put these in the dropbox with the other ER/Spot the Future graphical elements.

Once videos are completed we can upload them to the Edgeryders vimeo page and to dropbox for reuse and uploading elsewhere, and also work on translations and subtitles with Amara.

So, 3 Questions for everybody:

  1. From a social media perspective, we would like to find ways of making video available in bite-sized chunks for the Edgeryders community to share or remix, but currently I’m unsure of the ideal workflow for this. Vine? Instagram video? Mozilla Popcorn? Suggestions are welcome. [saidhamideh], [Daniel Vaarik], [Dorotea Mar]?

  2. What format should we aim for for the main videos? separate 3min videos for each country? One general video? something else?

  3. Participants from Armenia & Georgia- which locations / subject matter in Yerevan and Tbilisi do you think are relevant to your projects? While you’re busy at the workshop, is there someone else from your project who might be able to show me some relevant locations?

Any input, ideas and criticism are very welcome.


is that the file sharing solution we want to use, [nadia]? i know im already on some shared folder, maybe you could include Sam in o nit. if you give us short length videos in a standard file format, this could suffice as we would be in charge of uploading them onto all the channels ourselves.

thanks for your work, Sam.

that could work

I also figure I’ll have a couple of days inbetween the Georgia workshop and the Armenian one, in which I can quickly edit together a couple of little stories (like this one from lote3 of Pio’s geological lesson) I might try my hand at vine as well while I’m there, see if I can come up with some interesting 6-second stories.

I don’t have a smartphone. Some services only allow you to upload videos if you have your phone linked to the platform. This is instagram and perhaps Vine as well. Either way, between all of us, someone will have the ability to push out to those services.

Edgeryders has a Vimeo pro account, could that work?

dunno if you can download them tho


Sam this is great planning work, very comprehensive! To your questions:

  1. I wonder who would have the final word on number and length of the videos? Unless there is a specific need or request, I guess it would be you, since you know your work best. Personally I prefer shorter videos, it could also be more effective for post engagement if people spoke in their languages. Do we have to make the decision now or can we do it based on the footage following the first two workshops?

  2. The storytellers will be the participants -we don’t know who they are yet although some in each country have already introduced themselves here on the platform. Based on our onsite interactions in Day1 of each workshop we could ask 2 or 3 to spend a couple of hours the next day walking you around town (workshops end at noon on Day2), that is unless someone already jumps in here with ideas. @Inge and @Vahagn, our community builders in Georgia and Armenia, could also help with guidance no?

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