The Climate Crisis: think global, act local

The brief

We would like you – schools, colleges, independent student filmmakers – to think about the climate crisis, and specifically initiatives local to you designed to address the global issues we face in 2022.

Could you produce a 2-minute video around this theme, highlighting and celebrating local activity/activities, or the work of your branch of an environmental campaign group?

To help you plan and execute your idea, here are a few pointers to focus your approach:

  • Find a local community group or environmental campaign group, anyone that’s doing something for the environment at a local level. This could be a local cycle club, a walking group, a group of gardeners, litter pickers, Friends of the Earth, anything, really. Every area will be active in its own unique way.
  • If you’re new to the group, introduce yourself, get to know them, spend some time with them. Let them know you’d like to tell their story, and would like to make a short film about them. You’ll need their consent to film, and you can only get that if you’re honest from the beginning.
  • You’ll need to structure your film. Plan your film. Film them on a day when they are doing something. For example, going on a local cycle ride, maintaining high street planters, or litter-picking.
  • Include interviews with the people involved, asking them about what they’re doing, and why they’re doing it. How are they helping to tackle climate change? 
  • Finally, it’s worth reiterating that you’ll need to get the consent of the people you’re filming. Ideally, this is a signature on a paper that says something along the lines: of ‘I consent to being filmed and my image and voice to be used for the production of a short documentary, provisionally entitled….’ Make sure it’s also dated. We have a generic consent form you can adapt for your purposes.
  • Once you’ve filmed and edited your 2-minute video, submit to our Vevox box.
  • Deadline: 15 June 2023
Image of Edge Hill University's allotment.
Edge Hill University’s allotment and bee sanctuary
Dr Elke Weissmann

Dr Elke Weissmann, Reader in Film and TV and organiser of the Critical Awards in TV (CATs), has put together a series of videos (below) to help you get your project off the ground.

  • Video 1: Getting started
  • Video 2: Interview techniques
  • Video 3: Editing techniques

Video 1: Getting started

  • Find something you’re interested in – if you care, it’ll show in your film
  • Do your research: what interest groups are there in your area
  • Talk to people: find out why they’re involved, what they hope to achieve, how they put their ideals into practice
  • Be upfront from the start: groups will appreciate honesty from the start, and generally will likely be happy to be documented, as it will help to spread their message
  • Choose an event – this will help to showcase the cause
  • Find out the details – what, where, when (so you capture everything), who (for interviews), why

Video 2: How to interview

  • Who should you interview?
  • Interview tips

Video 3: How to edit

  • Review footage. Look for common themes and priority messaging.
    • What is the story?
      • it could be obvious, or it could emerge…and it could be different to the one you were expecting to tell.
      • Stories – and especially documentaries – don’t always have an obvious beginning, middle and end
  • Technical considerations – editing software, matching narrative and footage
  • More footage needed?
  • Finally, don’t be afraid to try new things, but also don’t be afraid to keep things simple

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