Jelle Donders's Shortform

post by Jelle Donders (jelle-donders) · 2022-05-01T15:57:38.222Z · EA · GW · 2 comments


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comment by Jelle Donders (jelle-donders) · 2022-05-01T15:57:38.323Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

EA Documentary
I continue to be surprised by how little talk there is about creating some kind of EA documentary. Making a well-produced, easily accessible 1-2 hour visual introduction to EA that is optimized to get people up to speed with EA ideas and motivated to contribute seems like a very worthwhile thing to do. 

Additionally, it is so easy for people to get a warped impression of EA when first hearing about it. I can't even blame them, given how EA encompasses so many interconnected and complementary ideas and frameworks for looking at the world. You need quite a lengthy introduction to EA for it to fully make sense and be optimally convincing. Sending people a bunch of links that introduce (standalone) EA ideas in text can fail to do this. Making a documentary ourselves that serves as the perfect holistic introduction to what EA is, why it matters and how people can contribute could fix this.

Finally, I don't know anything about this, but shouldn't it in theory be possible to just give Netflix and every other streaming service under the sun free rights to put this on their platforms? If it's well-produced I'd imagine these services to be quite eager to expand their libraries for free.

Wouldn't be surprised if there are solid reasons for why there's next to no talk about this, so feel free to let me know what I'm missing here.

Replies from: Lukas T
comment by Lukas Trötzmüller (Lukas T) · 2022-05-02T08:40:47.083Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

I believe a documentary could be a great vehicle to explain EA and get people interested.

Obviously it would need to explain EA principles. But there is also room to include emotion and personal stories. Which might be much more important, in terms of the effect on the viewer.

Perhaps the emotion and personal stories could make up more than half of the film. One documentary that does this really well is "Chasing Ice". It's about James Balog, a photographer documenting climate change by filming glaciers. The film presents the science in a clear way, but it's mostly just a story about one person trying to have an impact with their career. And that has a much bigger effect on the viewer than a pure fact piece. (This film led me on a path to eventually joining EA)

If the goal is to make a documentary that is viewed by a large number of people, then I see a number of challenges:

  1. It would need to be a really good film with a captivating story - not an advertisement, and not an explainer piece.

  2. The quality (both technical as well as artistically) would need to be exceedingly high, and you might need a very experienced team. Or outside help. For example, "Chasing Ice" was made by an inexperienced filmmaker but got help from an Oscar-winning editor.

  3. It might be difficult to get the film distributed to a mass audience. This depends on (1) and (2), but also on the team.