The Power of a Video: Making the Chennai Children's Choir's Dreams Come True

Videos are the next big thing, and it is happening already. With the advent of social media, the power of a video to touch minds and influence decisions is huge. We recently did a fundraising video for a children’s choir and were amazed by the response. This post is a quick recap of what we learned in the process.

Chennai Children’s Choir is comprised of children from the most disadvantaged backgrounds. Some are visually challenged and a few have special needs. But nothing stopped their spirit of singing, and they got selected to perform in the Serenade Choral Festival this year. It is the only summer festival of its kind in the US. The festival features professional and community choirs with a distinctly foreign flavor. For the 23 kids and their conductors to travel to the festival, they needed to raise funds for air travel, lodging, food, and local transport. That is where we came up with the idea of creating a short and sharp video voicing their cause. We invited the kids to the studio, and with a simple one-light setup (a Kino Flo 4-Bank light from the top), we conducted interviews with the kids. Once we had the video edited and done, we uploaded it to Ketto, a fundraising platform. The good news is the video raised the goal of $48,890 in 30 days. Yes, that’s the power of a short video that had the cause voiced in it. Here is how we approached the making of this video.

Outcome

We followed the top-down approach, where we start with the outcome before anything else. In this case, our outcome in mind was to make sure the viewer is inspired to donate to the cause. It was as simple as that. We then broke down the outcome into further processes.

Approach

The next step was to define the approach. So, how were we going to make the viewer inspired? How were we going to move the viewer emotionally so that he/she decided to donate to the cause? We decided to take the interviews of the children, which would be both authentic and touching in terms of the emotions.  

Storytelling

The next step was to decide the way we were going to tell the story. In this phase, we discussed the technical and the human elements involved. We went ahead with a single-light setup, which would highlight just the face of the children in focus and capture their world of emotions as they narrated their dreams to travel to the festival in the US. We took a series of interviews.

Crafting the Video

It then came to editing where we put together everything we had shot and tried to weave a storyline from it. After listening to all the interviews, we realized that the one common factor that everyone shared was that they hadn’t traveled anywhere outside the state, let alone the country. So, to step into an airplane was a dream for most of them, and they were so close to realizing it. We took this as the pivotal point and weaved a story around it. We edited and came up with a short video.

Power of Social Media

We then uploaded the video to Ketto and shared it across social media platforms. The response was phenomenal. Even before the deadline came, the video managed to raise the target amount and is collecting more than that now for all the miscellaneous expenses to be covered too. In hindsight, it feels amazing to have made a video that ultimately made the dreams of these children come true. The power of a video and the leverage of social media used the right way prove to go a long way together.

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3 Comments

Spy Black's picture

"Videos are the next big thing..."

A bit of a comical statement, but I'm glad about the positive response you've had with your project. :-)

Arun Hegden's picture

Loved this Amar. :)

Anirudh Raghav's picture

Great Initiative by Studio A