The DIY aesthetic is right up front on this week’s blog: I’m looking at user generated charity video. The RNLI showcase dramatic rescues shot by their crews, MIND builds on the Vlogging style with mental-health selfies, and Anthony Nolan uses low budget cameras to capture real donor journeys.
Although the charities featured at some of the larger ones, the techniques they use are super cheap and can be adopted by any charity. The secret of this type of film making is to curate rather than create: encourage your staff, volunteers or supporters to start shooting and upload to your YouTube Channel.
1. Kinsale RNLI rescue cows from the sea: RNLI
As well as these cows, the RNLI’s channel features on-the-spot footage of many dramatic rescues – windsurfers, a 12 year old boy and fishermen.
Shot with Go-Pro type cameras mounted on the rear of in-shore life boats, these films give a real insight into the work of the RNLI’s crews. Simply edited and with minimal sound, none the less these films are a direct and powerful way of showing what the charity does. Each of the clips have racked up a respectable number of views on YouTube and I suspect that the footage could also be used for local media too. Clever, consistent and right in the heart of the action.
2. Mental Health Selfies: MIND
I’m a big fan of the channel that MIND curates. As well as the mental health selfies there are round table chats, people’s own tips on what works for them and guest blogs by ambassadors such as Zoella.
None of these films are particularly polished with jumpy editing and a homemade feel but they are all authentic and they’re all really watchable. The really clever thing about them is that they feature real people swapping notes or sharing stories. It’s a wonderfully human way of passing on advice or creating a supportive network. Well curated, immediate film making that’s full of compassion.
3. Leigh’s donor vlog: ANTHONY NOLAN
Anthony Nolan are amazing at encouraging their supporters to make films for them. The channel is bursting with video diaries showing people’s journeys, the results of their work or their fundraising activities.
They’re all very low-fi and simply made but films like Leigh’s video diary are compelling and wonderful. The charity also uses the channel to address some issues and concerns too – such as the lack of BAME donors – through the use of comedy, personal experience or testimony. They’re also adept at gathering and featuring endorsements from celebrity supporters. Well rounded, good insight and very brave use of video.
Jeremy Jeffs is a documentary film maker with 15 years experience of directing films for BBC, Channel 4, National Geographic and PBS. He’s recently finished work on a history of China, with broadcaster Michael Wood and his recent feature documentary, Bette Bourne, was shown at the London Film Festival, Sheffield International Documentary Festival and the V&A. More about Jeremy
Magneto Films is an award winning production company that specialises in working with the charity sector, not-for-profits and the public sector. We specialise in telling real stories, working with case studies and real people to make films that move people to action. More about Magneto Films