Grace Chew, reporting from Singapore on a new fleet of electric taxicabs that use technology developed under a joint research program between Technische Universität München (TUM) in Germany and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore
UNEP was eager to be our presentation partner and through them we have had continued access to UN climate conferences. We share a belief that youth must become more science literate than previous generations if they are to understand the myriad environmental problems facing humanity. Young faces on camera posing probing questions to scientists about climate change adaptation and mitigation solutions also help the audience contextualize the message and the importance of the work. The next generation is here, from around the world, on camera, wondering what the heck is going on.
So far we have been bootstrapping the project, reinvesting revenues generated from The Antarctica Challenge, another of our climate change documentaries, with some welcome but small additional support from foundations and individuals. Trying to stay true to a crowdsourced ethos, we haven’t been too prescriptive and have taken interviews as they have been submitted. Provided that the sound quality is good, we haven’t been too concerned about low light or jumpy camera work. Our reporters are provided a letter of introduction and usually find their own interview subjects, often scientists at the university or college they attend. They are told that the interview can be as simple as asking one question of a researcher: “What should delegates and negotiators at the conference know about your work and why is it important that they know it?”
As we continue to push our young reporters to make better work with a stronger impact, we have seen a need to formalize our production and interview training. Up to this point we have had some rudimentary instructions on our website about proper framing and lighting of interview subjects and how to ensure they are getting the best possible sound. We decided to create a kit, an out-of-the-box “country starter kit”, to provide more in-depth training to youth who often approach us with little more than their own enthusiasm through Facebook or other social media sites. Once we have set up this module, we will work with our country coordinators, who have set up Facebook groups with 125 members in India and approximately 25 each in Bangladesh, Ghana, and Indonesia. We will also work with 13 of our country directors across Africa, South Asia and Asia, to assist them with their own training of their reporter teams.