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Re: [carfree_cities] Getting Carfree Concept into American Lexicon

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  • Richard Risemberg
    I ve been harping on this for a while on the Urban Ecology forum. I agree that we need to be on TV and in mainstream print forums. My partner in New Colonist
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 2, 2002
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      I've been harping on this for a while on the Urban Ecology forum. I
      agree that we need to be on TV and in mainstream print forums. My
      partner in New Colonist is a videographer and I know at least one other
      who would be sympathetic to the cause; both have editing equipment. I
      know other folks who would work cheap. (I live in Hollywood.) NC is
      planning an educational video already; I and other can write and
      storyboard, and, as I said, we can probably find production folks who
      would work cheap.

      I have been mulling a story concept for a carfree cities ad in my head
      for a while. A couple, actually. I think we could get a series done
      fairly cheaply--thinking with wild optimism, I suspect we could do four
      30-second ads for about ten thousand bucks. TV quality is low; anything
      that would play well on a computer monitor would play well on TV, so we
      could produce in some digital format for editing if we had to and then
      transfer to tape.

      The hard part will be getting placement. Adbusters
      (http://www.adbusters.org/home/), which does this sort of thing with
      their "uncommercials," has had placement refused even when they were
      willing to pay undiscounted ad rates. It took a court order, I believe,
      to get a network to play one of their ads for pay, as if they were any
      other advertiser! But the ice is broken; it can be done.

      If it looks like we can get serious, I will formalize my ad concept,
      storyboard it, and put it out for criticism. The NC project is not
      strictly speaking carfree--more of a general overview of livable
      cities--so we'll go that alone.

      I'll make the time to work on this IF it looks like we'll actually be
      able to afford production. Can't go on spec right now--too booked up.

      One hundred people with one hundred US dollars each could pay for our
      four ads. If we make them, I'll run them on NC for free; NC doesn't
      just preach to the choir; our city pages get a lot of hits from folks
      who are just looking for a good restaurant or nightclub or for
      neighborhood news.

      Richard

      J.H. Crawford wrote:
      >
      > I'm starting to thing that, much as I hate it, we're going to have to
      > resort to TV to get the message across to millions. This is actually
      > "good" televison, because the issue is very graphic. If we could put
      > together some good programs that contrast auto-centric cities with
      > carfree areas, I think people might: 1) be exposed to the idea, and
      > 2) begin to understand just how much cars are costing us.
      >
      > My personal problem in this is that I don't do television--I do stills.
      > I know that with the advent of DV camcorders, it's possible to make
      > TV on a shoe-string budget, but you have to know what you're doing.
      > And even at that we'd need a few thousand bucks for cameras, hard disks,
      > and editing software.
      >
      > So, back to where we started: we need money.
      >



      --
      Richard Risemberg
      http://www.living-room.org
      http://www.newcolonist.com

      "Hope cannot be said to exist, nor can it be said not to exist. It is
      just like the roads across the earth. For actually there were no roads
      to begin with, but when many people pass one way a road is made."

      Lu Hsun
    • J.H. Crawford
      ... I agree--based on the little I know, prodction is not a great problem with today s technology. ... Sounds right AFAIK. ... But you have to have the money
      Message 2 of 4 , Nov 4, 2002
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        Richard Risemberg responded:

        >I've been harping on this for a while on the Urban Ecology forum. I
        >agree that we need to be on TV and in mainstream print forums. My
        >partner in New Colonist is a videographer and I know at least one other
        >who would be sympathetic to the cause; both have editing equipment. I
        >know other folks who would work cheap. (I live in Hollywood.) NC is
        >planning an educational video already; I and other can write and
        >storyboard, and, as I said, we can probably find production folks who
        >would work cheap.

        I agree--based on the little I know, prodction is not a great problem
        with today's technology.

        >I have been mulling a story concept for a carfree cities ad in my head
        >for a while. A couple, actually. I think we could get a series done
        >fairly cheaply--thinking with wild optimism, I suspect we could do four
        >30-second ads for about ten thousand bucks. TV quality is low; anything
        >that would play well on a computer monitor would play well on TV, so we
        >could produce in some digital format for editing if we had to and then
        >transfer to tape.

        Sounds right AFAIK.

        >The hard part will be getting placement. Adbusters
        >(http://www.adbusters.org/home/), which does this sort of thing with
        >their "uncommercials," has had placement refused even when they were
        >willing to pay undiscounted ad rates. It took a court order, I believe,
        >to get a network to play one of their ads for pay, as if they were any
        >other advertiser! But the ice is broken; it can be done.

        But you have to have the money to pay for placement, and I think
        that's a great deal more than the amounts we're talking about
        for production. At the moment, with the Institute on indefinite
        hold, we don't have any money or any prospects for it.

        >If it looks like we can get serious, I will formalize my ad concept,
        >storyboard it, and put it out for criticism. The NC project is not
        >strictly speaking carfree--more of a general overview of livable
        >cities--so we'll go that alone.
        >
        >I'll make the time to work on this IF it looks like we'll actually be
        >able to afford production. Can't go on spec right now--too booked up.

        understood.

        >One hundred people with one hundred US dollars each could pay for our
        >four ads. If we make them, I'll run them on NC for free; NC doesn't
        >just preach to the choir; our city pages get a lot of hits from folks
        >who are just looking for a good restaurant or nightclub or for
        >neighborhood news.

        Even if that would pay production costs, it still leaves the
        question of placement costs unresolved.

        I'm thinking more in terms of feature-length stuff that would
        run on Discovery, NGS, PBS, etc., and might actually put money
        in the till from royalties. I think we could do a 23-28 minute
        show (in various lengths for commercial/non-commerical stations)
        for something on the order of the $10,000 we're talking about
        for four ads, and then we wouldn't need money to broadcast it.
        We would, of course, still need that $10,000....

        Regards,




        -- ### --

        J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
        mailbox@... Carfree.com
      • Erik Rauch
        ... PBS (American public television) has carried programs recently which indicates their possible receptiveness, such as: Store Wars: When Wal-Mart Comes to
        Message 3 of 4 , Nov 4, 2002
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          On Mon, 4 Nov 2002, J.H. Crawford wrote:

          > I'm thinking more in terms of feature-length stuff that would run on
          > Discovery, NGS, PBS, etc., and might actually put money in the till
          > from royalties. I think we could do a 23-28 minute show (in various
          > lengths for commercial/non-commerical stations) for something on the
          > order of the $10,000 we're talking about for four ads, and then we
          > wouldn't need money to broadcast it.

          PBS (American public television) has carried programs recently which
          indicates their possible receptiveness, such as:

          "Store Wars: When Wal-Mart Comes to Town"
          http://www.pbs.org/storewars/story.html

          "Think Tank: Suburban Sprawl"
          http://www.pbs.org/thinktank/show_724.html

          There have also been several features on News Hour.
        • J.H. Crawford
          ... So, ok, do we try to get these guys to do our show, or do we make our own and distribute it to them? This question is especially relevant right now, as the
          Message 4 of 4 , Nov 5, 2002
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            Erik added:

            >PBS (American public television) has carried programs recently which
            >indicates their possible receptiveness, such as:
            >
            >"Store Wars: When Wal-Mart Comes to Town"
            >http://www.pbs.org/storewars/story.html
            >
            >"Think Tank: Suburban Sprawl"
            >http://www.pbs.org/thinktank/show_724.html
            >
            >There have also been several features on News Hour.

            So, ok, do we try to get these guys to do our show, or do we make
            our own and distribute it to them? This question is especially
            relevant right now, as the matter of shaping public opinion and
            building political support seem set to become important themes
            at the forthcoming Car-Free Cities III conference this spring in
            Prague. I think we've got to get this idea in the faces of millions
            as soon as possible, and we can't use commerical media to do it,
            because they won't run our shows (car ad revenue is at stake).

            Regards,



            -- ### --

            J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
            mailbox@... Carfree.com
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