Why Doc Films (Still) Matter: The Moviemakers Behind The Age of Consequences On Getting a Message Out

“There is still no replacement in our digital age for people getting together as one, standing together as one—making a political demand.” – Chris Hayes, MSNBC

Documentary film can provide that spark. It can be a tool for offline engagement, education, dialogue and action. By harnessing the power of film, we can give people a tool to become participants.

Films are starting points: platforms for discussion and civil discourse about ideas, attitudes and actions that will shape the world we share.

Film has a low-entrance barrier—anyone can sit down and watch an 80-minute motion picture, no matter what your political persuasion, nationality, economic disposition, age group or worldview happens to be. We do it every day. Most everyone has a insatiable appetite for media of all kinds, and doc films are increasingly raising the bar on cinematic imagery and storytelling.

The Age of Consequences director Jared P. Scott

Although social media and online viewing isn’t a replacement for offline engagement, it is easier than ever to share a documentary with a friend, family member or colleague. A penumbra of online platforms are available these days, allowing people to stream, rent and buy docs. You can tap into your online network with a key stroke and post a trailer, promote a screening, and excite and educate around a doc and its social message.

That same online organization is crucial when collaborating with individuals, groups or institutions of all kinds that understand the value in creating synergy with a film and rallying their community and members around a film’s message. Organizations can use film to energize core supporters, recruit new members, cultivate new relationships, engage policy makers and find common cause.

Film can in turn strengthen an organization’s messaging around new or existing campaign goals and help coalition building using a third-party film that speaks to a number of constituencies. Because every member of every organization wants to know “What can I do to help?” and “How can I get involved?” In organizing language, film can be a catalyst in the ladder of engagement—an entry point to shift the audience along the spectrum of allies.

A still from The Age of Consequences

With our newest film, The Age of Consequences, we are endeavoring on a robust outreach initiative to book screenings with hundreds of organizations, governments, veteran organizations, solar companies and film enthusiasts—and create a much-needed kitchen table conversation about the threat of climate change to peace and security around the globe.

Although the film has traditional distribution setting us up for success, every message film’s outreach success needs champions of all shapes and sizes. It is truly a collective effort to go from film to change. MM

Jared P. Scott is the writer, director and producer, and Sophie Robinson is the executive producer and director of outreach, for The Age of Consequences. Upcoming The Age of Consequences screenings can be found here.

1 Comment

  1. Sean

    January 26, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    With all news media outlets becoming completely unreliable, I would love to see a full force of documentary filmmakers storm the globe. Although subjective and personal, they provide truth and insight into the issues that the filmmakers view as important to our society. The filmmakers spend years trying to complete their ideas to get their message across. That kind of determination deserves to be rewarded. Documentarians unite!

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