Stone Soup Films for Pro Bono Week 2013

Stone Soup Films for Pro Bono Week 2013

By Liz Norton

Multimedia from this Release

Thursday, October 31, 2013 - 3:30pm

CAMPAIGN: Pro Bono Week

CONTENT: Article

In honor of Pro bono Week 2013 everyone at Stone Soup Films rallied and in short order did what we do best: harness the power of our awesome skilled volunteers to produce and donate a film to a worthy organization.  In this case, though, we made a pro bono film about Pro bono Week highlighting the range of pro bono services that benefit local nonprofits. How meta is that.

Here's how it got done: first we filmed an interview with Max Skolnik (ED of Taproot here in DC) and then impulsively Max turned the tables on Stone Soup ED and film producer Liz Norton by interviewing her. We then ingested that footage back at the office, put up the interviews on our transcription website and two volunteers typed them up word for word. Highlights were then selected and the film was on its way.

Monday morning a crew of five filmed the workshop for several nonprofit groups at Winston & Strawn on how best to utilize pro bono resources. Afterwards we went outside and stopped random people on the street to do brief interviews on what they knew about pro bono. At one point a crew member went to drop off some equipment in my car and when they came back, one of the women being interviewed was sobbing! The crew member was only gone a few minutes so after the woman walked away they asked "what the heck happened?" Turns out she was so moved by the survival of one of her friends through the work of a local organization that she has been moved to donate her skills as an accountant there ever since!

Pro bono is a powerful thing.

The next day, we arrived at the Taproot Campfire in the shadow of the US Capitol. The room was filled to capacity with consultants donating their time and nonprofit groups soaking up the constructive attention. The energy was fantastic! After filming for several hours we got back to the office where our editor was working on piecing together all of the elements so far. More footage was ingested. Dum de dum (that takes a while). In the meantime, we emailed the logo for Pro bono Week to a volunteer graphics guy - he animated it and sent the file over a few hours later.

More editing ensued. A rough cut was screened. Changes were made, then music and titles were added. People fought over whether or not to include the man-on-the-street interviews. Those who wanted them in the cut lost the argument. There was just too much good stuff at the campfire, so that became the focus. By Wednesday afternoon at 4pm we locked the picture, dumped it onto a thumb drive and raced over to the Uproot Party to screen the finished piece. 

 End result:

9 skilled people+3 cameras+2 mics +1 edit suite=Pro bono happiness all around