Huffpost Impact

How Video Hackathons Are Strengthening Creative Communities Nationwide

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This piece is a follow-up on our coverage of the 2014 DoGooder Awards. Are you a video visionary? Read more on how to enter here.

After eight years, hundreds of videos, multiple partnerships and exponential growth, it’s safe to say the DoGooder Video Awards have an inspirational, funny, sometimes heartbreaking and always informative history. And we’re thrilled to report it’s only getting more awesome from here.

See3 Communications founded the DoGooder Awards as a way to recognize and reward organizations and causes that are advancing social change and creating real impact by telling stories through video. In creating the awards, these nonprofits and individuals were given a space to share them so others may learn.

Recently, Here's My Chance (HMC), in collaboration with Generocity.org, developed the local Philly DoGooder model to stimulate the need and importance of quality impact storytelling.

The result was the world's first impact video hackathon, where filmmakers are paired with organizations to create compelling PSA style films in 10 days. (See the below slideshow for some of the videos they created.)

The hackathon is a simple model where all preproduction is completed in a single day. Following a random drawing, the paired teams take five hours to develop a narrative, identify production needs like site scouting and props and set a shooting/editing schedule.

Teams are supported with tons of local resources and access, plus established filmmakers, screenwriters and storytellers serving as advisors. Organizations are also empowered with digital community building workshops to prepare their communities to share the video and vote in the challenge.

After a successful first year, seeing 1.2 million views of its videos, 130,000 individual voters and 90 organizations, the hackathon took on a life of its own. A key intention of the filmmaker recruitment program was to strengthen the local creative community. As a result of the first hackathon, 4 of the 25 filmmakers started their own full-time production companies, hiring 12 staff members.

2014 will see the launch of more video hackathons in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland and Seattle to identify local impact storytelling champions interested in taking on the role as convener and host. Ideal groups are socially minded creative agencies, media outlets, or impact associations who see the value in raising the quality of their impact stories while strengthening the local creative economy. The Second Annual Philly DoGooder Video Hackathon is underway, preparing excellent films for the final awards night scheduled for March 12th.

All films will also be submitted in the national DoGooder Awards, accepting submissions now through February 15th. Learn more here and then head over to YouTube to submit your videos!

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