Connecting government and community one YouTube video at a time
Diebboll and Calkin present the videos in an objective way, with no editing or commentary. Diebboll said he wants it to be “a trustworthy source of what’s happening that anybody can access without feeling like they are unwelcome. I want people to feel included in being able to watch this footage. I don’t want to represent a side.” He says being objective is an ideal that’s a hard thing to do as a human being.
Calkin agreed, saying that while the meetings speak for themselves, it can be difficult not to express their personal views, which she did at the first meeting they filmed. She said, “I wasn’t going to speak at the meetings. The film work is completely neutral; we don’t make anything look biased in one direction or another. But at this particular meeting, I was getting frustrated and I had spoken my mind.”
Calkin and Diebboll say that YouTube is the fastest and easiest way to reach people who don’t go to the meetings. Diebboll spoke to the power of images in today’s society and said that when he is filming the meetings it is a form of art. He hand holds the camera and is careful to follow whoever is speaking, keeping a tight frame around their face. This portrait style lends the viewer the feeling of actually being there. Calkin said the benefit of the videos is being able to pause and come back to them later, and to be able to watch them at any time. Their vision is to connect the community through film.
Diebboll said CFW’s mission is to share the value of people through a public film archive that documents all sides of community from government, to education, to business, to farming, to art and performance, and to people’s stories and working processes.