6 June, 2021

How to make rapid response videos. Like for Voting ProChoice after the Texas abortion ban.

icon Video Campaign,Video Story Telling
Texas’s new “heartbeat” measure ranks among the most extreme abortion bans in the US, blocking the procedure as early as six weeks into a pregnancy – before many women and girls even know they’re pregnant. The bill, due to come into force in September, doesn’t include exceptions for rape or incest.

Texas governor signs extreme six-week abortion ban that bars abortion with no exception for rape or incest.

"18-year-old Paxton Smith used her valedictorian address to protest Texas’s near-total abortion ban, inspiring cheers at her Lake Highlands High School in Dallas." - Guardian

Building support for your cause is easier when the issue is in the news and on people's minds. How do you create a video for your cause quickly in response to fast moving events? How can you create videos quickly when you have little time, money and video skills?

Learn how to use iMovie, an Apple app to create rapid response videos quickly. The app is free and easy to use. This blog explains how this 2 minute video was created for supporting women's rights and to vote #VoteProChoice using excerpts from Paxton's speech. This video was created in a few hours using iMovie. Get pro bono help with videos for women's rights and social justice issues here.

Paxton Smith rails against Texas Republicans' bill to ban abortions. Texas’s new “heartbeat” measure ranks among the most extreme abortion bans in the US, blocking the procedure as early as six weeks into a pregnancy – before many women and girls even know they’re pregnant.

Creating a video with iMovie

Use existing digital resources with attribution and 'Fair Use' where possible, rather than recording new content. This cuts costs and the time needed to create a new video. This two minute video uses:
Portions of Paxton's speech
Images from HandMaid's Tale - A Hulu Original
VoteProChoice call to action video clip
Sound clip of ticking clock from iMovie

Putting it all together
This video was created with iMovie (a free app) and
It has four tracks audio, video, overlaid images and captions (in English and Spanish).
Three excerpts from Paxton's video were first uploaded and forms the foundation of the video.
An opening photo of her and a closing video from Vote ProChoice were added.
Images overlaid on the video track at the right times to add a visual element to Paxton's speech.
Paxton's speech is the soundtrack of the video with music clips for the opening and closing sections.
Captions in both English and Spanish are added to create two different versions of the video.

An iMovie has tracks for audio, video, images, captions and titles
Use iMovie to create rapid response videos for your cause. It is fast, free and easy to use.

Caption & translate your video

Remember to caption and translate your videos, as most people will be watching it on mute and may speak different languages. We used the Threadeo service to translate and caption this video. Adding captions to your video makes it independent of the closed captioning offered by platforms like YouTube. It also lets you review and edit the transcript before captions are added.

Excerpts from Paxton's video

"Recently the Heartbeat Bill was passed in Texas. Starting in September, there will be a ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. Regardless of whether the pregnancy was a result of rape or incest. Six weeks. That's all women get. And so before they realize. Most of them don't realize that they're pregnant by six weeks. So before they have a chance, that decision is made for them by a stranger. A decision that will affect the rest of their lives is made by a stranger. I have dreams and hopes and ambitions. Every girl graduating today does. And we have spent our entire lives working towards our future. And without our input and without our consent, our control over that future has been stripped away from us. 

I am terrified that if my contraceptives fail, I am terrified that if I am raped, then my hopes and aspirations and dreams and efforts from my future will no longer matter. I hope that you can feel how gut wrenching that is. I hope you can feel how dehumanizing it is to have the autonomy over your own body, taken away from you. This is a problem. And it's a problem that cannot wait. And I cannot give up this platform to promote complacency and peace. When there was a war on my body and a war on my rights. A war on the rights of your mothers. A war on the rights of your sisters. A war on the rights of your daughters. We cannot stay silent!"

"Recientemente se ha aprobado en Texas el proyecto de ley sobre el latido del corazón. A partir de septiembre, se prohibirán los abortos después de las seis semanas de embarazo. Independientemente de que el embarazo sea fruto de una violación o de un incesto. Seis semanas. Eso es todo lo que tienen las mujeres. Y así, antes de que se den cuenta. La mayoría de ellas no se dan cuenta de que están embarazadas a las seis semanas. Así que antes de que tengan la oportunidad, esa decisión es tomada por ellas por un extraño. Una decisión que afectará al resto de sus vidas es tomada por un extraño. Tengo sueños y esperanzas y ambiciones. Todas las chicas que se gradúan hoy lo hacen. Y hemos pasado toda nuestra vida trabajando por nuestro futuro. Y sin nuestra aportación y sin nuestro consentimiento, nos han quitado el control sobre ese futuro. 

Me aterra que si mis anticonceptivos fallan, me aterra que si me violan, entonces mis esperanzas y aspiraciones y sueños y esfuerzos de mi futuro ya no importarán. Espero que podáis sentir lo desgarrador que es eso. Espero que podáis sentir lo deshumanizado que es que te quiten la autonomía sobre tu propio cuerpo. Esto es un problema. Y es un problema que no puede esperar. Y no puedo renunciar a esta plataforma para promover la complacencia y la paz. Cuando hubo una guerra contra mi cuerpo y una guerra contra mis derechos. Una guerra contra los derechos de vuestras madres. Una guerra contra los derechos de vuestras hermanas. Una guerra contra los derechos de vuestras hijas. ¡No podemos quedarnos calladas!"

Paxton Smith

"Paxton Smith, is a valedictorian of Lake Highlands High School’s Class of 2021, in Dallas, Texas with a 104.93 average. She couldn’t stop thinking about the “heartbeat bill” that Gov. Greg Abbott had signed into law last month. The law prohibits abortions as early as six weeks, before many women know they are pregnant, and it matters not if the pregnancy results from incest or rape. Abortion rights activists say it is the most restrictive law in the country."

Her advice? “Well, I would like them to know that they should register to vote for the next election and to stay involved in local elections because those have more power than I think the media gives them credit for.” - D Magazine

Handmaid's Tale

"Society is organized by power-hungry leaders along with a new, militarized, hierarchical regime of religious fanaticism and newly created social classes, in which women are brutally subjugated. By law, women in Gilead are forced to work in very limited roles, including some as sex slaves, and they are not allowed to own property, have careers, handle money, or read." - Wikipedia

"The Handmaid's Tale is a dystopian/speculative fiction novel by Margaret Atwood, first published in 1985. The novel revolves around a woman named Offred, and her struggle to survive in a totalitarian theocracy known as the Republic of Gilead, which has replaced the United States of America, and explores themes such as religious fundamentalism, political censorship and oppression, sexism and gender roles, and more. The Handmaid's Tale is a 4-season dystopian drama series on Hulu." - Fandom

"The media and the news are strictly state-run, heavily censored, and often include propaganda to promote the ideals and values of Gilead, whilst demonizing their enemies. As a result, it is difficult to obtain reliable information." (Fandom). Sound familiar?

Texas’s new “heartbeat” measure ranks among the most extreme abortion bans in the US, blocking the procedure as early as six weeks into a pregnancy – before many women and girls even know they’re pregnant. The bill, due to come into force in September, doesn’t include exceptions for rape or incest.

Vote Pro Choice

#VoteProChoice is a national political project and technology platform is the  original online news and community site for progressive activists. It connects the nation’s pro choice majority voters with prochoice champion candidates in every election. Our reproductive freedom is in danger, but in 2021, we’re electing a new class of prochoice champions to fight for our autonomy to control our own bodies.

Takeaway: Speak out an mobilize support for women's rights and democracy now. Once Republicans make America the Republic of Gilead, you won't be able to.


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