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Chat with Courtney and Ines, script writers of the #NotTheOne campaign video

Two girls

“There is always another option, another road to go down that doesn’t involve picking up a knife.”

The campaign video launched for #NotTheOne Phase garnered a lot of positive feedback on social media with many calling the campaign ‘powerful and impactful’. Wales VPU interviewed the two script-writers of the campaign video- Courtney Jade-Francis and Ines Renaldi from Cardiff Metropolitan University. In the interview, Courtney and Ines gave an insight into their journey of writing the script, deciding the style and tone of the video and the messaging.

Growing up in Islington, Ines has seen the effects of knife crime in the community thus the topic of knife crime prevention was quite personal to her. “As a writer I will never take on a project unless I know I can relate to it emotionally to a degree and there’s a story worth telling, so this absolutely seemed like the right thing to do,” shared Ines. To create an impactful campaign video, Courtney and Ines wanted the video to be an immersive experience for the audience. Therefore, they chose the video to be played out on a phone screen- to have the audience feel like they are on a video call with someone they know. “The idea is that you are put into the perspective of a family member watching their loved one get into a potentially dangerous situation,” explained Courtney with Ines adding that the phone screen also humanises the characters on the screen and relates to the target audience who are so used to absorbing content on their phone- “I showed the video to my younger brother who falls under our age category target audience, and he said he found it especially engaging due to the scenes playing out through a phone screen format, which he admitted captivated his attention longer than a video shot with normal angles would have.” The portrait video format also makes it accessible to be posted on a variety of social media platforms, enabling its reach to a larger audience.

“The video is very deliberate in depicting the younger boy who has a knife as the one who at the end of the was ultimately stabbed; in real life cases, more times than not the person stabbed is stabbed by their own knife.  I’d also like them to take away that by picking up a knife they are more likely at risk of danger, and are also placing danger on their friends, family members, and loved ones,” highlighted Ines, with Courtney adding that she wanted the audience to take away the message that “there is always another option, another road to go down that doesn’t involve picking up a knife.” Both mentioned that the messaging did get through to the audience based on the feedback they had received from their friends and peers.

“The second launch of the campaign was described as ‘thought provoking and totally on point,’ which is something I believe was important to the whole team when creating the video,” shared Courtney. She also mentioned that during the script writing process, they were focussed on creating a video that wouldn’t induce fear but would still be impactful in disinclining young people from wanting to carry a knife with them. Courtney and Ines shared that the process to create such a script and video was ‘challenging’ and ‘difficult’ but with the writing workshops, they managed to find that balance ‘between a preventative message and one that may make the audience feel fearful’.

Based on the feedback, it does seem like Courtney and Ines have managed to pen the script with that perfect balance of a non-fear inducing yet highly impactful video as many wished the 2 minute video had been much longer. “I have had feedback from my friends who have said that it is a very powerful piece, and one criticism I’ve heard is that people wish it was longer, which gives the chance for a second video in the future!” shared Ines.

Watch the #NotTheOne Phase 2 campaign video in English | Welsh