Creating Video Content on Pahoti

What to create? 

There were ideas that had been brimming in my mind ever since I had conceptualized the idea of Pahoti. There was the educator in me who wanted to educate, there was the researcher who wanted to inform and there was the caretaker who wanted to uplift. So it was clear that the first few of the content pieces on Pahoti including videos would be a mix of these. With other members participating there were other ideas that came up- for example what is relevant in current times, what is relevant to the user, and also create with our core vision and mission in mind. The latter helped fine tune the initial list a bit. After discussions with therapists who directly work with mental health patients, the content topics became more focused. We decided to focus on a couple themes- Educate about the mind, Inform about different types of disorders and how they originate for videos. We decided not get carried away by ongoing topics like Covid- too much content was already available.  Then came the next question.

Who to create for?

Who would be our audience? Mental health seekers, yes, mental health patients, yes, but what age groups? Those who had practiced therapy or those who were looking for help? Their age groups? Gender? Lots of questions. We skimmed through some online content for research and thought of just starting with something instead of trying to be perfect right in the beginning. We’d perfect content as it kept building given there was’t enough information available and too early to make decisions. So we thought we’ll work for a general audience with two types- one who was a general mental health seeker who was looking online to keep himself or herself informed about her wellbeing but had not been going to a therapist or did not need to for her issues; the other was a mental health patient who had already taken psychiatric or therapist help and was now looking to continue their wellness practices as well keep themselves informed about therapy techniques, mental wellness. 

Video creation 

I had barely interacted with animation teams most of my career years- this was my first. I started with creating a video of my own- something I was good at but not in the creative space. So I picked Powerpoint, played around with it and created a persona and gave a shot to storytelling. After showing it to a few of my close friends and team mates (including the therapist) I was sure it wasn’t going to click with the audience. The quality was very poor and so was the storytelling – for me too it was more about understanding the process of video creation before getting it done by someone else. It is still very dear to me- being one of my few creatives. 

Once I became serious about creating the animations I started searching on Fiverr. Fiverr was cheap but the search was difficult because other than the sample videos the animators put on their profiles it was impossible to know about their quality/delivery/etc. (The ratings for creative products can be very personal, I think). Still I got lucky with the first animator who was good at communication and made sure I was happy with whatever she was ideating and creating iteratively. I let her be responsible for the whole creation from start to finish including the scripts with some discussions with me with the mindset that creative people need their space. The result was this- 

Our first professional video was out despite many first timer limitations– like time- wanted to keep it short (30s) for more attention, money- dint want to experiment with too much in the first video, working with a new animator, being nice (first timer issues ), no voice-over etc.