LabourStart recently held it’s LabourStart Video of the Year competition, which aimed to get showcase the best union videos of the year.
Like the LabourStart photo of the year, the shortlisted videos included a few good videos, but really only served to highlight the parlous state of union film making globally.
The winning video, a direct copy of the well-known scene from Monty Python’s Life of Brian, was made in 2007 in Australia as a spoof on the hated WorkChoices laws.While this is a fine video for what it is, it is fairly old now (made in 2007), and effectively plagiarises Monty Python (so it is not an original idea). Furthermore, it is very long, and filled with crude swearing. This makes it less than ideal for unions to widely disseminate to their membership.
I’m writing this to mourn union videos, which are mostly awful.This is especially the case when compared to the rest of the non-profit sector.
There are some good union made videos. Unfortunately, they weren’t recognised by LabourStart (or the judging panel), or else the makers didn’t feel confident enough in LabourStart to submit them.
Compare the LabourStart videos of the year award to the non-profit video award.
They are all original, well-shot, short, personal, and moving. They tell a story that is intimately tied up with the narrative of the organisation they were made by.
There are some really fantastic union videos out there (like this one) – rivaling the ones that won the non-profit video awards. But they aren’t getting the recognition they deserve.
The LabourStart video competition could’ve been a really fantastic exhibition of the best the trade union movement has to offer. Instead it just rehashed some of the same-old same-old videos that have been circulating people’s inboxes recently.
There’s an interesting article at LookBackLabor where the LabourStart video competition judges discuss what they were looking for in a union video, and some justification of their decision. I’m really not convinced that the winning video matched the criteria that many of the judges give as key elements to a good union video.