Our Town is a “day-in-the-life” video scrapbook that features the people, places, stories, and events of a particular Rhode Island town, as seen through the eyes of local filmmakers. There are no restrictions as to age or experience, and no cost or compensation to participate - just enthusiasm and willingness to be part of the project.
Community members - residents, business owners, school teachers, students, town officials, and other interested parties - are invited to attend a planning meeting to learn more about the Our Town project. The meeting takes place before filming begins.
At the meeting, local residents are able to discuss which landmarks, people, events, and stories the program should include. Town residents are especially urged to participate, but living in the featured town is not mandatory. Volunteer filmmakers will then videotape the footage for the documentary. Rhode Island PBS will be available to offer guidance and answer any questions regarding the technical aspects of the project.
There is no compensation for videographers involved - filming and other participation in the project is strictly voluntary.
After Filming: Interview Day
Videographers deliver footage and shooting logs to Rhode Island PBS on “interview day,” which is scheduled for the end of the filming period. A brief on-camera interview will also take place, during which the filmmaker can describe what he or she filmed and why, putting the story into context.
Creating the story and editing together of all videographers' footage is done by a Rhode Island PBS producer and editor.
Anyone interested in being a storytelling videographer - or in being paired with a resident to record a story for the program - should contact Rhode Island PBS at 401-222-3636 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch the Our Town orientation video. It includes basic instructions, as well as tips and tricks to make your filming experience rewarding and enjoyable.
Tips for video shooting
It’s wonderful to be part of an energetic and committed team, especially when it involves your neighbors and friends. What better way to nurture a sense of belonging and pride in your community than telling others why it’s such a special place? To help you tell the story more effectively, we’ve asked our station videographers to share some of their secrets and strategies for successful videotaping:
Everything looks better on a beautiful day. Try to shoot on days with lots of clear skies and sunshine, if you can.
Pick subjects that capture your town’s uniqueness. Remember, this is your chance to show off your town to people who may have never been there. Make them want to visit.
Landscapes and landmarks are great, but remember that people make a community unique, too. Don’t forget to show us some of the faces of the people in your town.
Keep a shooting log
We ask that you keep a log of what you shoot. This is used to help the producer answer questions when you return from a day of filming.
You don’t need to organize your log second-by-second, just subject-by-subject.
Click here for the Shooting Log template or it can be found under Resources on the right side of this page.
Our Town Orientation Video
Welcome to Our Town! In this ongoing WSBE Rhode Island PBS community project, neighbors become filmmakers to describe life in their beautiful Rhode Island town and its villages. This video provides project information quickly and early in the process, so you can enjoy yourself while recording a great story about your town.
Our Town Tripod & Camera Training Video
Need a little help with correct assembly of the Rhode Island PBS tripod and camera? Watch this video for easy instructions as you prepare to tape your story for OUR TOWN.