The Long Night: Tim Matsui on creating social change through stories
Award-winning and Emmy-nominated visual journalist and filmmaker Tim Matsui used to view stories as a means of having experiences. Now, he sees them as a means of creating change, engaging audiences and helping them see that they can make a difference. In this PIX 2015 video, Matsui speaks on The Long Night, his documentary on human trafficking, and how he leveraged grassroots distribution to effect social change.
Matsui's insistence on grassroots distribution stems from the difficulty he found in getting sponsorships to fund creation of the project and get the final film in front of audiences. 'This is a difficult subject,' Matsui says. 'Brands don't want to touch it. It's a little too dark. This pisses me off.'
After exhausting his grant money, leveraging his own savings and going into debt just to get the filming done, Matsui explored every avenue he could find to take his film to his audience. He explored social media, Kickstarter, mainstream media like TIME Lightbox and the Huffington Post, and GATHR, a crowdsourcing platform for bringing small productions into mainstream movie theaters.
To be successful in creating change, 'don't make them come to you,' he says about his audiences. 'Go to them.'