A BLUEPRINT FOR MAKING VIDEOS IN THE AGE OF COVID: “My intent is to try and help illuminate a pathway for interested parties, and the visionary leaders as well. It’s about human interaction and how to adapt to it on our COVID planet,” stated David Mackenzie, technical director for ‘Watershed Moments, the Video Trilogy Series’ (Nov 19 / Nov 26 / Dec 3)

Editor’s Context:

“In 2020, the COVID pandemic changed everything and created a new reality for everyone on Planet Earth. Until there is a vaccine, mass gatherings are not allowed in British Columbia, by order of the Provincial Health Officer. Thus, events such as the Third Annual Vancouver Island Symposium on Water Stewardship in a Changing Climate must be delivered online rather than in-person,” states Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia.

“The series is the result of collaboration between the Partnership and NALT, the Nanaimo and Area Land Trust. David Mackenzie, NALT volunteer extraordinaire, stepped up and opened our minds as to what could be. This is the moment, he said, to leverage technology and reach far beyond those in the symposium room. Be bold and do something other than a Zoom webinar.

“Inspired and guided by David Mackenzie’s passion, knowledge and attention to detail, a plan took shape to deliver Watershed Moments, the Video Trilogy Series via YouTube. In the interview below, David shares the story of his transition from interested community member to technical director of the Video Trilogy Series. He reveals what is taking place behind the camera to ensure success on screen.”

TO REGISTER, VISIT https://www.civicinfo.bc.ca/event/2020/Third-Water-Stewardship-Symposium-Reimagined 
The Registration Fee for the series is a a nominal amount – $30 for stewardship groups and $50 for all others!

David Mackenzie’s Progression from
Concerned Citizen to Key Team Member

“It is an elusive path that leads from ecological inspiration to tangible environmental restorations. A lot of people I meet seem to be searching for it. But now in a pandemic challenged world, that path has altered,” stated David Mackenzie.

A retired project management consultant and director, his passion is videography. His efforts are making it possible for NALT and the Partnership to elevate their message and expand their reach. In 2018, he attended the first in the Vancouver Island Symposia Series on Water Stewardship, held in Nanaimo.

“I went to the Nanaimo 2018 conference looking for leadership and found it.  I have been to many water conferences over the years. Often, I have found them to be focusing on the status quo, or looking backwards to try to figure out how to move forward. But not with the partnership.

“I introduced myself to spokesperson John Finnie at the conference and said that I would like to talk to him sometime. I loved the conference. It was refreshing.  But I also felt its ground level media provided limited exposure to the public.”

To Learn More About the Symposia Series:

Download a copy of the VANCOUVER ISLAND SYMPOSIA SERIES AT A GLANCE to view the programs for all three events.

The story of Parksville 2019 is told  in narrative style in Re-Cap and Reflections. It is written for two audiences – first and foremost, for those who attended; and secondarily, for those who have heard about Parksville 2019 and are curious to learn more about the ‘story behind the story’. DOWNLOAD A COPY.

CLICK TO READ NANAIMO 2018: “The vision for restorative development is an idea whose time has come – and a set of videos uploaded to YouTube provide a permanent record of this watershed moment,” stated John Finnie, Chair, Nanaimo 2018 Symposium Organizing Committee

David Mackenzie Seized the Moment

“A couple of months later I saw John in a store and approached him. So, why did I do that? There are people out there like me who are concerned about the environment and would like to do something about it, and are motivated to help bring about necessary change. They see the environment changing. They see the world changing. So, what to do? How to help in a meaningful way?

“The Partnership had become an instrument of change. If you can attract me, and I have met people at conferences that have done the opposite, then I know that it works. This is why I believe in doing the speaker introduction videos (as we have done for the Video Trilogy Series). Every single person who presents at these conferences has a very interesting background that got them to where they are.”

MASKED / UNMASKED: On November 19, this local government team representing four Vancouver Island regions kicks off the Video Trilogy Series with a facilitated conversation about “BC’s Climate Reality, Inter-Regional Collaboration & Actionable Visions” > Julie Pisani (Nanaimo region), Darry Monteith (Comox Valley),Jody Watson (Capital Region), Kate Miller (Cowichan Valley), and Zoe Norcross-Nu’u (Comox Valley)

Connect with and Inspire an Audience in the Age of COVID

“People don’t want to just follow the status quo,” continued David Mackenzie. “They want to follow people with vision. They want to work with people that exude hope, inspiration, and motivation. But also, have tangible solutions to big challenges! And if they possess these characteristics, then people will find them if there is a path to follow. My intent is to try and help illuminate that pathway for other interested parties, and the visionary leaders as well. It’s about human interaction and how to adapt to it on our COVID planet.

“But in these COVID days we have to illustrate this in different ways because we cannot show up at conferences anymore and meet Kim Stephens, etc. in person. You have to do it over a virtual media platform. So, if you have to attend virtually through a device because you don’t have the ability to see them face-to-face, then you have to introduce the presenters and tie them to what is being talking about. It is the people that are inspirational, and their words simply flow from that passionate source.

“I think people get a lot of motivation when they learn who people are, and what they have been doing, and why. In these days, you have to start giving people some hope, because otherwise they are just not going to engage. They will just sit and watch and wait while entertaining their worst fears for them or their families. This was a big speech, but I’m just trying to give you some indication as to what I have been thinking about on this broad topic.”

WATERSHED SPACIAL FORMULA: To be COVID-proof, one needs a 50×50 room for six people to have a conversation with five cameras running.

Watershed Spacial Formula for
Producing the Video Trilogy Series

David said “I have a number for you. 12 people x 15 metres x 15 metres. It is our watershed spacial formula developed by the Video Trilogy team for video work. This is a COVID spacial relationship formula for video production work for our watershed conferences.

“In the COVID world in which we are going to be in for the next little while, 15 by 15 is the optimum size space and also the minimum size for a room that is required to house up to maximum 12 people, with up to six of the 12 in a semi-circle having a conversation, and up to five cameras, lighting and sound equipment. When you add in a producer, director, and media production team that number climbs very fast.

Now that I Know What I Know

“So, if someone said to me, how do we do this, what I did not know when we started, that I know now, I could write and post a 3-page article and say: here is what it is; it is COVID-proof under these circumstances; it allows you to do what we are doing. And you know what? We ran three media conferences involving over 25 people and no one got sick!

On December 3, the federal /provincial team concludes the Video Trilogy Series with a facilitated conversation about “International Year of the Salmon  – Will Lightning Strike Twice?” >  Dr. Kim Hyatt and Nick Leone of DFO; and Dr. Peter Tschaplinski and Neil Goeller of  BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change 

Video Trilogy Series Exceeds All COVID Standards

“Now I am trying to move from my creative, strategic side into my technical, objective and analytical business side,” stated David Mackenzie.

“We could not have done what we did if we didn’t change gears and refocus our staging. Fixed platforms are not a good idea in a COVID world. When we are doing these events, we have to be as fluid as possible. We know now what that set looks like.  And if you use staging, you will need a really big stage. It should all be calculated,

“If you had told me at the beginning that we would need a room that was 50 x 50, I would have said ‘no I think we can do it in a smaller space’. If we had tried, we would have failed. So, what we have done is this: By working with COVID standards, and with a film crew, we have been able to determine that for us to host an event with six participants requires a 50 x 50 room.

“But more importantly, it doesn’t just meet COVID standards. We have exceeded them. And we have enhanced them. We did not aim at hitting Dr. Bonnie Henry’s target and the federal government guidelines. We aimed to do better. And we pulled it off. Every aspect of the production met or exceeded local, provincial and federal requirements. And I can say that with great confidence.

Why the Video Trilogy Series is Precedent-Setting

“Why does it matter? For anybody else, especially low budget projects, who want to do this, we have the blueprint. There are so many variables to consider: the number of people in the room, the shape of the room, the layout on the floor, the kind of camera equipment you are using, and the budget.

“Everything in the COVID world seems to have a multiplication factor of three in time and space.  So, you have to adjust the way you think to that reality. I know now what it looks like. I could not find any information about this online! It does not appear that anyone has yet documented the approach.”

Video of Staging Setup

David Mackenzie in action