PROJECT: 1 in 5 Americans can’t name a single branch of government. We were commissioned by the Multnomah Bar Foundation to create an easy to understand, educational video for English and Spanish speakers answering a simple question: What are the three branches of Government and how do they work? We personified each branch of government into their own character within a kids’ classroom, in which they are passing notes. Through this narrative, viewers learn how checks and balances work within our democracy.
APPROACH:First, we wrote a script that simplified the branches of government to a degree a 5th grader could understand. It was then translated into a detailed choreography that involved all the actors in the classroom. We then built a vintage classroom set and collected a plethora of costumes and props. Now that we had a good idea of how the actors would move about the classroom, we had to decide how the camera would move and convey the video’s message. We did this by focusing on the cinematography and creating an intricate storyboard. We were intentional in our casting so that our Spanish speaking audience would see themselves represented on screen. Once we casted over 20 actors, many of which were children, we were able to create a bouncy video, with layered sound design, that kept viewers engaged, entertained and ultimately, educated.
RESULTS: Our video has since been circulating the web amongst teens throughout Oregon and Pennsylvania! Here is an excerpt from an text message we received from of the students: “Omgggggg that was a rlly good video. Honestly, if I watched that video when I was first learning about the branches of gov., I would’ve understood and caught on wayyy faster. Also the voiceover was super calming and thorough with explaining th responsibilities of each branch. I also rlly love how quick to the point the video was, short by explains the duties well. From a student’s viewpoint, thats a HUGE plus factor. That was a super nice video!!” For more information go to: https://mbabar.org/mbf