One of the biggest stories on the web has been the emergence (and subsequent sale to Google) of the video uploading/viewing website YouTube.com. There is something for literally everyone on YouTube from reruns of favorite TV shows or film clips to original videography (like the series about Chad Vader, fictitious brother of Darth, who is the night manager at a small grocery store.)
What does this have to do with community development? Well, there are a number of videos made to highlight communities and neighborhood initiatives across the U.S. A resident of Raymond, WA produced a video highlighting his town and inviting other residents to join him in revitalization efforts. Another video discusses the advantages of community supported agriculture and yet another documents efforts with youth in northeast Louisiana. There are a number of videos by community foundations and organizations promoting community development efforts, these are fairly straightforward, but there are also some segments of news shows reporting on strategic economic development initiatives such as this one in the city of Fortuna.
The production quality is low on most of these videos, these aren't like the public service announcements produced by the Ad Council. At the same time there's a real charm to the sort of "genuine" feel achieved by a homemade film. Maybe this will give some of our readers ideas for capturing either their communities or their efforts on film.