If a picture tells a thousand words... how many more words and thoughts can be shared with a whole kaleidoscope of images in the form of a video? Many organisations benefit from videos which show what they do, or provide instruction for some important element of their focus.
Could yours? Maybe a promotional video for your organisation, or a record of a landmark event. A how-to video, or the documenting of a project.
Environmental and Science Media provides an excellent attentive service, and with the knowledge and enthusiasm for environmental and community issues to back it up, are the go-to company for any of your environmental video needs.
I was fortunate to be able to ask Andrew and Miriam Yip some questions about their business and passion- Environmental and Science Media.
Could you give us a basic idea of what ES Media is all about?
Environmental and Science media was set up to provide fast and affordable high quality video media to the Natural Resource and Community Sectors. We are especially interested in guiding our clients towards the benefits of web video and social media.
What inspired you to create ES Media... how does it fit in with your environmental/sustainability values?
We always loved the idea of making films, but we see that messages can be lost in translation when film makers are commissioned to tell stories, which they have no technical knowledge and background in, so we saw a niche for our skills in making films for these specific sectors. There are lot of people with excellent videography skills, but do not know anything about the environmental and community fields.
Film-making is an electronic product, so our products don’t end up in land fill, they may lounge around the internet as data, but they have a very small foot print. We try and be as sustainable in production processes, including riding our bikes to shoots, minimising paper usage; we work from home and we are entirely powered by greenpower. Yes, like everyone, we can’t avoid the car, but careful planning and scripting can enable for us to minimise our resource inputs into our projects.
Who have been some of your clients?
We have been fortunate to have completed commissions for the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board, the SA Department of Environment and Natural Resources, City of Charles Sturt and Forestry SA.
We have also had clients including the Clarence Park Community Centre to produce a history piece commemorating the '30 Years of the Black Forest Primary School Garden' and have done a number of pro bono’s for Friends Groups and Community Sustainability Organisations.
For a more complete picture of what we have done please have a look at our online magazine:
Do you have a most memorable or enjoyable moment, or project (or a few) that you would like to share with us?
We get a buzz from the positive feedback from clients and for our freebies. In this job, we get to meet inspiring community leaders, who are very driven and very committed to their respective causes or organisations, such as Linda from the Woodville South Guides, who has received an Order of Australia for her commitment to the guide movement, she was interviewed for a film we did for City of Charles Sturt.
There are many others, not as decorated, but passionate about providing bikes to refugees, vegetable plots for the community to use, saving garden plants from the demolishers and to organising community events for all to enjoy. One video that has had constant hits is the Food Swap video, a video that inspired us to start a food swap in our local park after making this video.
What qualifications and experience do you have for this work?
Andrew has mixed past career, working in various professions, including earth building, youth work and child protection and the solar industry, while Miriam worked for a number years in government and the private sector in Natural Resource Management.
We came to Adelaide not long after we were married for Miriam to pursue a Master in Natural History Film Making at Flinders university. We learnt early on that we were not going to get the dream job at the BBC Natural History Unit or for National Geographic, but saw an opportunity to provide specialist film making service in our prior fields.
What sort of costs to the client are involved?
We are pretty cheap compared to other service providers, as we provide all aspects of the production, scripting, filming and editing. WE don’t use external contractors for these roles. Our shoots are usually single camera operator who will also wire up talent for sound. We do a lot of unscripted web video, which are an interview, edited with footage and royalty free music, can cost around $250 per minute. It gets more expensive if we need to research and script the piece, and if we need to outsource, for things such as voice over artists and animators.
We have examples and cost estimates on our website.
I believe grants from various sources are often available for groups who want to document or promote their activities on video. Can you tell us a few places that offer such grants?
The Natural Resource Management Boards across South Australia and Catchment Management Groups in other states will have annual funding programmes, and some of these have been used by our clients to fund their films. It’s great for the client, because we can produce a film for web or DVD pretty quickly and the authority providing the funding is able to use the film to show their purchasers, such as State and Federal Government Funding Bodies.
For other clients, they have used money allocated in their project budgets that were outlined for communications and evaluation to fund the film projects. A short web video can make a real impression and does not involve the time that reading a comprehensive project report requires.
Anything else you would like to tell our readers?
We love the work we do and we love to see our films watched, yet it’s really important for clients to have strategy for their film. Just simply putting it up on YouTube will not guarantee the film going viral or getting any hits for that mater. Clients really need to think about the purpose of the film, who the audience is, why they need to see the film and how are they going to make it available.
The web is good, but you need to really use social media to get people to see it, the films need descriptions and tags so they can be found by your search engine, embedding videos in a web e-newsletter is better, than providing a hyper link and where possible if a larger media organisation is interested in your story, by getting it on their site, even for a day, can get a lot of views.
Please get in touch with Andrew and Miriam if you think they could help you promote or document what you do, with your very own video!
You can contact Environmental Science and Media on their site: