So you’re on the fence about this whole Car-Free Diet Skeptics Challenge. You’re interested but not totally sure how to approach the key part of the application - the video. Allow me to give you some thoughts on how I handled this component last year when I applied for the challenge. Now ultimately you will want to convey at least these three topics in your video.
First, tell us about your current driving habits. Do you drive to work everyday? What do you hate about your commute? Do you use your car for all your errands? What do you love about your car (i.e. what would you miss if you gave it up for 30 days).
Second, what makes you a skeptic of this challenge? Do you think it will be impossible to ditch the car for 30 days? Are you worried you’ll be unable to navigate the network of public transportation options available in Arlington (and beyond)? Has it been awhile since you last got on a bike?
Third, what do you expect to gain (or lose) from the challenge? Lose some weight, save some money, gain a better understanding of how to get around without a car. All very real possibilities! Make sure you visit the car-free diet calculator on the website to get an idea of your current commute by car - and how that might change if you take the challenge.
How you choose to cover these topics in the video is up to you. You don’t have to be a video-savvy person to do a simple video. You can just turn on the camera and start talking if that works for you. Just think about what you want to say in advance and practice it a bit. I highly suggest writing a script in advance. The important things are to have fun with it and be yourself! If you’re feeling like you want to produce an edited video (like I did) you don’t need a whole lot to make that happen. If you don’t have a camera or editing equipment - I’m betting you know someone who does who can help you!
When I set out to make my video I thought of a few different ideas before ever starting the process of filming and ultimately settled on the notion that I wanted to show how there are so many ways for me to drive to work (each one of them sucked too). I also wanted to show that I do walk around my neighborhood quite a bit - but still relied on the car for my work commute. So I shot footage for all of these parts of the video and worked on a script. You wonder what some people did to occupy their time during Snomageddon? I was making my video! I used my handheld video camera to shoot most of the principal shots. I had a smaller camera called a GoPro for the shots of my commute. If you want to add a voice over and mix audio I highly recommend using Audacity to record and mix. The best part of this great software is that it’s free! To edit the footage and audio I used Final Cut Express from Apple. There are other very basic software editing tools out there that are either free or don’t cost very much.
Make sure to start soon so you don’t find yourself frantically uploading your final production to Youtube at 11:00pm on the last day for entries to be submitted (like yours truly was doing).
Good luck on those videos - and have fun with them!
Car-Free Todd was the winner of the first Car-Free Diet Skeptics Challenge. He walked, biked, rode transit, and telecommuted for 30 days to win the Challenge. He's not skeptical anymore.