Development Cooperation Handbook/The video resources linked to this handbook/The Documentary Story/Getting the RAI on board
Getting the RAI on board
I had met Francesco two years before in Varanasi. He liked that city, as I do. He was doing an interesting service on the difficulties that people are now facing in raising a family, even if they are middle class people. It is something that did not happen in the previous generations. It was a problem in Italy more than anywhere else. But he wanted to understand the Italian situation comparing it with other countries, European and not European. I found the service intelligent and alive. His colleague cameraman was also a very nice person. We told each other that one day we should do something together. Now we had the opportunity. And so I offered him to come on board of Eugad project. And he agreed.
I told him about the objectives of Eugad and that we had to produce a documentary about the work being done in the world for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal and the role of European Union in contributing to the programme. It has to be an authentic news product of the Italian television, not something commissioned by the EU. We could not pay salaries to the media company; but we could cover the costs of air tickets and local logistics.
I wanted to show him the projects on the ground. I would have explained how the International Cooperation projects work. But then I would have left RAI absolutely free to choose what to put on air. Only we wanted to be able to use freely the video footage and the audio recorded by them for further editions that would have been edited independently by me. Besides the video reporter of RAI we would have had also our cameraperson, and we would have shared with them our footage. The only commitment they had to take is to try to cover the programs without pre-conceived television stereotypes. Naturally they had to adopt a communication style that was fitting their programs and their audience; but they had to deliver what they learned in the travel, not the preconceived notions they had in mind before travelling. He agreed to that, with the only hesitation that the cameraperson he had to take was a bit rough (the previous one with whom he came to India had retired) and he may have not been so sensitive to the social commitments. Anyway he is a good cameraman. And he is used to go in tough areas. So we will bring him along and bear with his roughness. That is anyway the best TG1 offers.
As the funds of the second year arrived to Armadilla bank account we could finalize the plans. I had long talks with Marco about budget reallocations. On the one side there was the question that Armadilla employees now were on the paying roll (still Armadilla did had no other clients for its services at that time) and they needed to do something useful for the project; but I was finding it difficult to manage them because they were resisting an “external” like me telling them what to do. On the other side there was the big challenge of the video production, which was becoming more and more central to the project action. So we decided to practically split the project in two separate sections: the video production and the rest, which included the training activities in Romania and Bulgaria, the advocacy work in Belgium, and the improvement of the web site on the basis of the collected videos and the feedback from training activities and the distribution of the products. I would have taken charge of the whole video production and left the management of the rest to Armadilla permanent employees. That gave me a lot more freedom for the video production. But it was not a good managerial choice for the whole project. Any project needs a unitary approach, which can be achieved only through a uniting leader who has the whole vision. What happened in fact was that the web site did not really grow and the video production team on the field lacked the back office support. But for me it was OK. I could concentrate now fully on the video production which was really what I needed to do for the sake of the ‘substantial” project. I could well leave the “formal’ one to someone who had managed it in the light of the minimum requirements. And that was in fact more safely done by Armadilla itself, which was in fact the contractor and legal responsible. I was free. I had the budget. I had the team. I just needed to do some technological shopping. And then, finally, I could leave.
Difficolta' di parlare nelle news dei progetti di costruzione sociale
Cosa devono fare i giornalisti per uscire dagli stereotipi
Cosa secondo Francesco abbiamo imparato reciprocamente (EUGAD e RAI)
Lasciato sufficientemente libero di parlare al pubblico delle sue idee?
alla RAI - 5 - Difficolta' di collabarare tra due enti diversi: cultura di comunicazione
alla RAI - Cosa ha imparato Francesco da questo progetto