The Impact Spiral

How a film sparks individual intentions that transform into actions is a key indicator of impact. The concept of a systemic approach to impact media can be seen as an Impact Spiral that starts small and circles outward with ever-increasing reach. The Impact Spiral reinforces the idea that change is generated through an action-reaction chain that occurs before, during and after the filmmaking process. The spiral grows outward from individual to community to global engagement.

An impact distribution strategy involves knowing how to influence viewers’ mindset, inspire caring, create empathy, motivate action, stimulate behavior change, and more. This may mean targeting specific demographics. Yet, even within targeted audiences, different people will respond to different emotional tones, messaging and media form/style. The Climate Story Lab Report suggests that targeting personality types might be the way to direct impact. It points to new research by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communications research that identifies nine American personality types and Cambridge Analytica’s “Big 4 Personality Traits” with the acronym OCEAN (openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism).


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