Our Journey to Virtual Programming
By Patricia Hunting
Like so many other businesses impacted by Covid-19, we discovered that we had two choices: 1) reinvent or 2) shutter. Obviously we chose to reinvent, or you wouldn’t be reading this!
We’ve spent the greater part of this year learning how to convert a local in-person-only tour organization into one offering a similar experience in the virtual world.
We decided to take on this significant challenge to pivot by creating virtual programs and offerings.
We knew it would take a new team with video experience to make it happen so Sonya, our top-notch HR intern, started recruiting videographers and editors. We were incredibly lucky, finding several experienced video experts willing to invest their time in our project. Over the summer, we started out with Danny, Sam, Wendy, Anjili, and Julian; and now have Maya, Dennis, and Elisabeth.
The first places we decided to film were farms, knowing the fire season would soon be upon us. After contacting several of our inspirational farming friends—relationships we developed over the years—we set out to capture their stories just before the horrific fires started to rage.
Thankfully, Markegard Grass Fed, Pie Ranch, Frog Hollow, Riverdog, Capay Mills, and Three Springs are now available virtually.
Shooting video turned out to be much more involved than any of us could imagine.
We discovered that timing is everything. Being at a farm on the right day to capture the most interesting activity, with the right weather conditions, and the best lighting, was a huge challenge. Not to mention coordinating the farmer’s schedule with an entire production team!
Once the footage was captured, the editing process began. With the myriad of editorial themes available to us, choosing one for each farm is both exciting and complex.
Do we want to focus on regenerative agriculture? Food justice? Fire resilience? Indigenous practices and rights?” We’ve spent literally hours making these decisions.
The time we spent was completely gratifying and rewarding—our new virtual videos are spectacular! With each video that we complete, we have a huge sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, knowing that we can share vital information about how our solutionaries are dealing with climate change by providing attainable steps we can all make or support. Sharing these new virtual experiences is at the very heart of what we are about and what makes BAGT such a special place to volunteer.
Did You Know… Bay Area Green Tours is 100% volunteer-led? Please consider supporting our work by donating so we can continue to deliver quality programs and content. Or sponsor a customized Virtual Team Building event for your colleagues with live Q&A from solutionaries who will illustrate local, sustainable solutions. Virtual Team Building events also include lunch or a happy hour cooking class featuring our Chef and Sommelier partners. To learn more, please email our Director Of Program Development & Marketing, firstname.lastname@example.org.