Future Trails

Three authentic and personal stories articulate the benefits of a regional trail system in the DC area. Produced for Washington Area Bicyclist Association.

The Need

In August 2015 Washington Area Bicyclist Association came to MHP in need of a tool to engage and motivate NGO's, donors, businesses, and government agencies as they launched a regional campaign to create a network of trails in the Washington DC area. They were challenged to bring diverse groups and perspectives together to achieve a common goal, and needed to communicate a complex idea simply with authentic, emotional impact.

The Strategy

With guidance from WABA, our team researched the trail network to identify three authentic and personal stories of people affected by the trail that captured the diverse perspectives needed to engage stakeholders. This whole video was filmed in two days because our team was able to do the legwork and research in advance. With the completed film, we also delivered an outreach strategy to ensure WABA was able to use it strategically. By building a trusting relationship with the participants and sharing their authentic stories, we created a short film that personalizes the need for a trail system in an emotionally compelling way.

The Story

Positioned alongside the railroad tracks in Northeast DC, the metropolitan branch trail was built with the goal of countering the divisive nature of train tracks. It was created to bring people together and create community along the corridor. On the trail we meet Sunny, a ‘power user’ of the path who recently moved back to her grandmother’s neighborhood and discovered connections. Her jog leads us to Sterling, the Executive Director at a nonprofit used bike shop where he teaches youth to fix bikes, and Jonathan, a charismatic youth mechanic. Jonathan’s personal account of how DC could benefit from a regional trail network succinctly and emotionally captures the need for a trail system.

The Team

  • Executive Producer: Lance Kramer

  • Producer: Brandon Kramer

  • Director & Editor: Heather Courtney

  • Director of Photography: Brett Wiley

  • Music: Sam McCormally

  • Sound: Drew Kennedy

  • Production Assistant & Assistant Editor: Kimberly McFarland

  • Associate Producer: Lindsay Davis

The Client

The mission of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association is to create a healthy, more livable region by promoting bicycling for fun, fitness, and affordable transportation; advocating for better bicycling conditions and transportation choices for a healthier environment; and educating children, adults, and motorists about safe bicycling.

"I'm so pleased with the video Meridian Hill Pictures produced for WABA. It's really incredible. The stories are so strong and truly help tell the narrative of this work."

 – Greg Billing, Executive Director

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