Echelon Insights and the Walton Family Foundation

Millennial Parent Views on Education

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Project Brief

Echelon Insights and The Walton Family Foundation approached NJI Media with a cause, to gain insight on Millennial parents views on education. We wanted to bring their upcoming polling report to life by sparking conversation and highlighting the key concerns for everyday parents. As a result, we orchestrated an 11-person round table interview in the heart of Virginia.

Our Approach

The secret to our success is in the thorough pre-production planning. We had to be insightful and deliberate in our actions to ensure everything coincided.

Our first challenge was to find a venue in Richmond, VA (RVA) where we could fit an 11-person round table, our production team, and all the required gear, while also maintaining the right aesthetic. Our team traveled from DC to RVA and visited multiple locations. The winner was a converted warehouse which delivered the flexible space we needed and aesthetic qualities (exposed brick wall, wood exterior) that matched the tone we wanted to create.

In every project we undertake, we want our client’s experience to be as seamless as possible. After arriving at the location we worked quickly to understand the space and potential challenges. How are we going to run audio for 11 people in a confined room? How many cameras angles do we need to cover while remaining discreet? What type of lighting we need to light the table evenly and naturally?

Lights, Camera...

We turned the open atrium area of our office into a technical playground, where we experimented with running truss, different light fixtures, and multiple primary and secondary audio recording packages.

We decided the best course of action was to run a 20’ box truss across the top of the table with a 48,000 lux LED fixture using a 32” Lantern Globe softbox. This large lantern-shaped light gave us a great soft and even lighting on the faces of everyone around the table. We worked with a partner vendor to run the truss and provided a digital soundboard where we individually recorded 11 tracks from a lavalier on each participant. Additionally, we transformed the room by hanging blackout drape around the windows and filled the room with furniture and rugs to fight the echo in the converted warehouse space, so every track came out clean.

...Action

On game day, we took purposeful actions for setup, vendor deliveries, and testing - ensuring that every detail in the room translated on camera and that every angle and individual on we captured looked purposeful and conveyed the right amount of drama.

On set, we ran five 4K cameras with a master directors feed, a sixth 1080p wide angle shot, 11 individual audio tracks, box truss with large lantern LED fixture and back-up audio area mics, strings of room fill lights, and a moving camera jib.

Following the conclusion of the round table footage, we worked directly with Echelon on combing the transcripts for the most dynamic portions of the conversation and matching them with data points from the polling report. Our goal was to synthesize the report takeaways with conversational anecdotes from the round table, in order to create a digestible report for the American public. Once we had the story from the roundtable, NJI wrote and shot scripted scenes with an Echelon principal to tee up every video and ID the right opportunities to present the data visually on screen.

The Final result

The final result was a series of 5 videos - each highlighting one key insight on how Millennial parents view education: Is Millennial parenting different? What is the purpose of a public education? How do you know your child is learning properly? How do you know your child's school is good? Who's responsible for struggling schools?

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