The Message In The Bottle
March 10, 2010 10:09 AM   Subscribe

The Message In The Bottle
The Message In The Bottle is a 50 part documentary series examining how the message of responsible use of alcohol reaches (or doesn’t reach) youth.

We follow brewer Molson Coors trying to ensure young adults use their products responsibly, an NGO spreading alcohol awareness on campuses throughout Canada, a team of comedians trying to make responsibility funny, a first year university student facing a year of new experiences and pressures, and a family grieving the loss of their son.

The Message In The Bottle does not have all the answers. By exploring this issue from a number of very different perspectives, we hope to spark a discussion which will let viewers and participants think about their own relationship with alcohol.

I'm not sure of the etiquette of Projects, so excuse me if this is a little over the line, but we would love if this got posted to the front page. There's a lot to unpack and discuss here, from how we treat alcohol as a society, to corporate social responsibility and transparency. This has been over a year and a half in the making (I did all the editing) and I'm excited to finally be able to share it with the world!
posted by yellowbinder (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Clearly I haven't had a chance to look at all of these yet, which actually is going to help me give you some feedback. I'm a health educator working with teens, and I'm always looking for well-done, current media such as this to promote conversations. I'm very interested.

Here's the problem. I can't decide whether to spend my time looking this over or not. Fifty episodes? Sounds overwhelming. Unless I have a way to get some basic screening information, I'm not going to sit through all of these episodes.

How long are they each? Can I get a brief summary in text of each video? Do they go together in any particular order? Do you have any educator-targeted supplementary information, like activity ideas or lesson plans? I like PBS's POV series and how they deal with this.
posted by Stewriffic at 12:19 PM on March 10, 2010

Thanks for your comments! An educator's guide would definitely be something for us to look into! Each video does have a text description and most have a discussion question or two, but you have to go to the individual page to see them right now.

There is an order, which is shown at the bottom of each video page. The videos are divided into several series. If you click Browse Videos on the site, you can filter the episodes by series, which should help you narrow down what might be interesting to you. I'll break them down so you can decide

"The Tragedy" deals with two families' losses, and contains 9 videos. Includes interviews with family members, visits to the crash site, and one of the father's attempts to change young drivers laws in Ontario.

"The Brewer" is 13 episodes dealing with MolsonCoors, and covers things like their responsible use campaigns, where they've made mistakes in the past, and how they are working with alcohol educators to provide better, more engaging information to their consumers and brand representatives. This also gets into issues of Corporate Social Responsibility, ie, what responsibility does a brewer have to society?

"The Comedians" is 10 episodes following a trio of stand up comedians as they try to come up with a routine they can perform at universities that will entertain while also getting young adults to think about the choices they make.

"The Student" is 3 episodes featuring Veronika, a first year student preparing to leave home for the first time.

"University Life" is 3 episodes showing university students in their natural habitats, showing how they use alcohol and what they think of the messages and information society has provided them with.

"The NGO" is 3 episodes following The Student Life Education Company, a non profit group struggling to inform and educate students about how to make responsible choices.
posted by yellowbinder at 12:46 PM on March 10, 2010

Awesome. Ok. Now I have most of what I need to begin screening these in case I'll use them. I'd put a summary of each series much like what you've written here somewhere on the page so other visitors who don't have direct access to the editor can decide where to start.

Also, when I asked if there was an order, I wasn't clear enough. I meant to ask whether each series can be a stand-alone unit or should i watch The Comedians immediately before The Student. It was the bizarreness (pretty though!) of the browse video page that left me unclear as to what to do. In fact, I just went back to the main browse video page, and clicked on something at random. I got Episode 2 (Lani) of The Tragedy. Could I start with that episode and have it make sense with no other background?

Now that I've had a bit more time to look at it, I'd also recommend that you tell people somewhere that each episode has a run time of between 2 and 6 minutes (or whatever it really is.) My impression was that I was looking at 25-50 hours of material. I'm sure it seemed like that at times for you!

This is a really awesome project. Looking forward to watching it.
posted by Stewriffic at 5:09 PM on March 10, 2010

we would love if this got posted to the front page.

I would love to watch a couple eps but yours is one of the small minority of video sites which my browser/computer can't run. Any chance you could toss an ep or two to the YouTube?
posted by telstar at 2:04 AM on March 11, 2010

Stewriffic, the threads intertwine a bit, since characters based in one appear in others, but they can be viewed on their own as well. Ideally you could pick any thread or video and it will make sense on its own. Thanks for the heads up on timing as well, 50 episodes sounds daunting, but only a handful of them are longer than 5 minutes.

telstar, do you mind letting me know what your browser/computer settings are, just so I can pass that along to the web folk? All the episodes are hosted on YouTube, you can see the playlists here. Although I'm noticing now the University Life thread doesn't show up there, something to check into!
posted by yellowbinder at 7:07 AM on March 11, 2010

Fixed the missing playlist not showing up, if anyone has any other comments, they've been very helpful so far!
posted by yellowbinder at 7:14 AM on March 11, 2010

Firefox on Linux with Flash 10 point something.
posted by telstar at 8:17 PM on March 12, 2010

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