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Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity | Training Video

The
Challenge

Teaching young government analysts to be aware of cognitive biases isn’t easy, but the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) team needed to do just that. As part of a larger project, 522 Productions was tasked with writing, developing, and producing a 30-minute training video on cognitive biases – a phenomenon where people draw incorrect conclusions on information based on their own subjective perceptions.

The
Connection

Teaching a complex topic like cognitive biases in under 30 minutes is tricky, but we worked together with the IARPA team to develop a teaching platform that kept the content fun and engaging. We used a quirky on-camera host to lightheartedly break down a series of vignettes that provided examples of the various types of biases.

The
Focus

We wrote, shot, cast, and produced the project with a 12-person crew and a cast of over 25 talented people. We had 7 days to capture 5, three-minute narrative vignettes and the host’s detailed explanation of the content. Infusing the video with humor and a storyline that appealed to recent college graduates (the target audience) kept the content fresh and enjoyable.

The
Result

Two focus groups during post-production confirmed that the execution of the video was a success. The video then went on to test well among end users of the product as well. A second series of videos have been produced based on this success.

It didn’t feel like the video ran for a half an hour. I wasn’t thinking, when is over?’ at any point during the run.

Focus Group Participant