Changing the World One Minute at a Time

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Wed, 01/30/2013 - 19:00 -- Nick Dager

Sisters Jessica (creator/producer/writer) and Alicia (executive producer/director/editor) Arinella have set out to prove that you can change the world – in one minute – with their highly successful series What You Can Do. To date through their company On the Leesh Productions they have created more than 300 episodes of compelling stories of people and organizations making a difference. Each episode is supported with unique Shutterstock footage. “When we began the series we knew stock footage would be crucial to support our range of stories ” says Alicia Arinella. “When I discovered Shutterstock I immediately wished I’d known about it for other projects. They simply have the best selection. The cost customer service and terms of use are the best available – hands down.

 The range of images are key to our use ” she adds. “In the beginning I would tag team with my sister. We would have an idea that we wanted to tackle wildlife so we would go [the Shutterstock website] and look for say gorilla footage or find great ocean footage of turtles and sharks. We would then gear our writing to these images.”

 Eventually the team became confident that Shutterstock would have everything they needed and putting together each story was easy. “There are so many examples of how Shutterstock has really come through for us ” Alicia says. “One day we needed a clip of a lion and a cub ” she recalls. “For us it was important that the shot not be in a zoo. We found footage of a lion on a hill where a cub nudges him with his head. It was not only a great protect-the-wildlife shot but it has also become a sort of ‘money shot’ for us. It does a variety of things including introducing our promos.”

 When searching for elements to support their segment on energy the team easily found a low-angle of moving clouds with energy generating windmills. “Now anytime we talk about green power something that is ‘coming soon’ or to highlight alternative modes Shutterstock images are prominent.”

 When in need of images of people in a busy city Shutterstock’s footage from London fits their needs. “The time-lapse selection we used denotes a crowd and is often used to show people coming together to solve a problem.” The Arinella’s mission is to present their material in a positive and non-threatening manner even when talking about delicate issues. “Sometimes we run into problems with certain topics or content ” Alicia says. “It becomes a problem when someone is in the shot. When we talk about breast cancer for example we don’t want the person to appear to have breast cancer. In situations like this we’ll often use something like people gathered around a microscope working to find a cure.

 Sometimes we do go for the dramatic she adds. When we want to make a statement we find that Shutterstock has some pretty dramatic editorial-based and intense footage from urban poverty to the slums of Brazil and everything else. The images are always impactful. On the Leesh Productions even uses Shutterstock footage of a spinning globe to introduce every video in What You Can Do. “It is our opening our closing and in our promos ” Alicia Arinella says. “We’re so glad that we found Shutterstock when we started doing this series. From now on their footage will appear whenever we need stock to enhance any project we do.

 What You Can Do produced through On The Leesh Productions airs on the company website YouTube and is featured on several New York-based PBS affiliate WNET including WLIW NJTV and Thirteen. The series received Outstanding Achievement honors for documentary/reality series and musical composition at the 2012 LA Web Series Festival. It was also nominated for Best Educational Web Series at the inaugural IAWTV awards and received two Accolade Awards for use of film/video for social change as well as a Indie Fest Award of Excellence.