Producer Patrick Creadon had never used Facebook, and thought he never would. But the social media site emerged as one of the most important buzz-generating engagement strategies for I.O.U.S.A. Creadon also experimented with distributing a shorter version online (leading to impressive viewing and comment metrics), and had a one-night-only digital theatrical distribution in 359 locations, with each showing followed by facilitated discussion.
The producers of the social media/documentary hybrid project The Waiting Room began their project with a website and blog, and by placing interactive story booths in Highland Hospital, a “safety net” facility in Oakland, California used primarily by uninsured patients. The website already features waiting room interviews, searchable by theme; the documentary will use some of the most compelling stories.
Art:21 provided small grants to public television stations to conduct meaningful engagement around the cultural themes of Season Five. While they did not provide a large number of grants, Art:21 developed a straightforward application process and very clear engagement goals.
Producers Marcia Jamel and Ken Schneider prepared advice to stations and nonprofits holding community screenings of Born in the USA, including who to invite, where to hold the screening, and what equipment to use.
The producers of Two Towns of Jasper, Whitney Dow and Marco Williams, knew firsthand that racism is one of the most difficult topics for communities to address. Read through their discussion guide to see insightful questions and exercises, and valuable advice to meeting facilitators.
Brad Lichenstein and colleagues at 371 Productions created a report to their funder, The Helen Bader Foundation, soon after broadcast. It included details about their engagement planning and implementation as well as early feedback on the results.