THAT video and how it was made… #7thScrutinyCommitteeNow #Manchester #Climate

Yesterday we posted this video.

It’s about the official response to our call for a seventh scrutiny committee, devoted to climate policy. If you live, work or study in Manchester City Council’s boundaries, you can sign it here. Please share it widely among your friends, and take part in our regular “social media blitzes” (on – at least – the seventh of August, September, October, and November).

Today, as part of our commitment to (public where possible) reflective learning we publish an interview with core group member Marion Smith about the work behind the video…

  1. Who are you and why did you decide to make this video – what are you hoping to achieve?

I’m Marion Smith- I’m a core group member of CEM. Generally speaking I do quite a lot of CEM’s social media-type content, so infographics and more recently videos. When I ‘went to’ the Manchester Climate Change “Agency” “conference”, and listened to Richard Leese blatantly disparage something that our group adamantly believes can make a difference to climate policy in Manchester, in spite of myself I was slightly floored- it’s pretty demoralising to see someone in a position and power be so disrespectful about something you’ve been working really hard on. We quickly regrouped afterwards, and decided that Leese’s condemnation was so blatantly about our petition that we had to acknowledge it in some way. And the footage is so funny to watch- it’s the leader of the City Council getting increasingly angry on a webcam- that the best course of action was essentially to meme the shit out of it. Broadly, my aim is to make MCCA regret ever making the conference footage public by the time I’m done with it 🙂

  1. did you have prior experience of making videos,  or is this a first effort? What software did you use, and what lessons did you learn along the way?

Apart from using windows movie maker 10 years ago, I don’t really have any experience editing videos, so this was definitely a case of learning on the job! (Please excuse any blatant video editing faux pas for the time being.) It’s a skill I’ve always wanted to develop, and this seems a pretty apt opportunity. I used VDSC editor, which is a free software, and whilst it wasn’t initially the most user-friendly program I’ve ever used, it seems to be pretty good! I’ve definitely learnt that editing videos is super time consuming- and that it’s harder to make text legible than you might think.

  1. what do you hope people take from this video?

Most of all, I hope that people find it amusing- I spent a lot of time cackling to myself whilst I was making it! I know that CEM weren’t the only people who felt angry and demoralised by that conference, and I hope other people get some enjoyment out of it for that purpose too. Getting to rebut a number of incredibly silly, gaslighting points on my own terms was definitely satisfying. More broadly though, I hope that people can actually learn some useful stuff about the need for a seventh scrutiny committee as well- this video kind of acts as an FAQ as well this is pretty handy. Hopefully this combination of informative points and humour means that people will be inclined to share it, and that the petition generally will get more coverage. Humour has always been a powerful method of speaking truth to power I guess.

  1. what other videos do you have in mind (not too many spoilers!) and new tricks are you hoping to learn/get better at?

I definitely have some snappier, more shitposty-type videos up my sleeve- that conference footage is a goldmine of meme material as far as I’m concerned. I definitely want to get quicker at editing videos, because this took me a while, and be able to discern what makes a video look professional a little bit more. And I don’t want to say too much, but CEM might be making its debut in the Manchester EDM scene sometime soon, so watch this space…

  1. what feedback and advice are you hoping to receive from folks?

If people have any feedback on other meme-y videos we can make, please let me know! That would be great. Otherwise, any advice on the best way to make text legible and just generally making videos look good would be highly appreciated. (1)

  1. anything else you want to say

After spending several late nights making this, that irritating music and Richard Leese’s even more irritating face are now permanently imprinted onto my long-term memory. So this better be worth it!!

(1) And we have already had the following, which we all greatly appreciate.
“Music makes it difficult to hear the speech, particularly if anyone has hearing difficulties (i.e. a large proportion of he over-50s)
The text, in most cases, doesn’t stay visible for long enough to read it all – a few more seconds each time would be good.
The red subtitles for Leese aren’t all that visible.  Maybe go for a simpler frills-free format?”

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