Category

Best Charity Videos

New charity video from Centrepoint & Mind

New charity video weekly round up

New films this week from Centrepoint, Mind, Anthony Nolan, Dogs Trust and Alzheimer’s Research. As always, if you’ve made or spotted a film and would like us to feature it in our review next week, why not send us a tweet or an email!

Trends we’ve spotted this week:

1. Sound Design

Sometimes music gets in the way. Using natural sound or back ground noise can help your film standout. Check out Centrepoint’s film – or our brand film for Anthony Nolan – to see this technique in action.

2. Spoofing YouTube

‘How to’ videos are massively popular, so leveraging off this simple formula can help people find your video and the info they need. Anthony Nolan have tried this.

3. Little and Often

Making cheaper DIY video means you can engage with your audience more often. Dogs Trust in Leeds do this brilliantly – their YouTube is full of doggy films, bursting with character.

ABI’s STORY: Centrepoint UK

What we love about this film from Centrepoint is the clever sound design.

Music is kept to a bare minimum and instead the focus is on the natural background sound. It keeps the film engaging and, in-keeping with Abi’s emotional state as she tells her story, harnesses the broken and jarring journey she goes through. It catches your attention and works well with the story being told.

Sound and story work hand in hand, and this is the perfect example that sometimes a lack of music can be more effective.

(Produced by Mile 91 http://www.mile91.co.uk/)

HOW TO BE A STEM CELL DONOR: Anthony Nolan

Some of the most popular videos on YouTube are How To videos. If there’s one thing that people will always be searching for, it’s videos that show them how to do something. So it’s a great idea for charities to take advantage of this format – boosting searchability and offering useful info.

Anthony Nolan have created this short, fun animation letting people know how they can become stem cell donors.  Animations are a great way to create videos that are fun to watch, while also giving lots of information in bite-size and easy to digest chunks.

ELEFRIENDS: Mind

Recently we teamed up with Mind to produce their Christmas appeal that they’ve released this week. Nadine shares her story with mental illness and how she copes at this time of year.

Showing real vulnerability in film is incredibly important when you want to make an impact. It’s the raw, gritty stuff that often makes people pay attention.

Not only that, but sharing personal stories like this can really help others gain the confidence they need to seek help themselves if they are in a similar situation.

(Produced by Magneto Films)

ROXY: Dogs Trust Leeds

By using a low budget film to introduce us to Roxy, Dogs Trust Leeds’ film this week does what video does best – shows rather than just telling. We really get to see Roxy’s character shine out and we see how well trained and obedient she is.

Video makes information so much more accessible to people, all for free. By creating video portfolios for their dogs it allows potential owners to learn a lot about the dog before they even meet them, and hugely increases visibility for the dogs who need a home… genius!

You don’t always need fancy equipment and a chunk of money to make films. Sometimes the most effective videos are made using your phones and free editing software like iMovie.

TRINA & GRAHAM: Alzheimer’s Research UK

This film from Alzheimer’s Research UK was actually released last month, but it caught our attention so much we had to feature it. If you’d like to see there latest Christmas film then it’s here

We’re a big believer of using real people to tell real stories. It can be incredibly powerful, especially when you need people to sit up, pay attention and engage with your charity’s message.

The film gives an intimate insight into the vulnerability of both Trina and Graham as it follows how they are dealing with Trina’s illness. It really allows the viewer to empathise with their journey, making this a powerful charity film.

(Produced by Across the Pond http://www.atp.tv/)

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imogen gower magneto producerImogen Gower in an assistant producer at Magneto Films. She recently graduated from King’s College London with a degree in English Language & Linguistics. Imogen has joined the team at Magneto and is training in film production.

Magneto Films Logo London video producersMagneto Films is an award winning production company that specialises in working with brands, technology and the charity and public sectors. 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

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New trends in charity video

New Trends in Charity Video

Keeping up to date with the latest video trends can be tricky and time consuming. But there’s a lot to watch and learn from. So to make it a bit easier for you, we’ll be sharing our weekly roundups of the best videos we’ve enjoyed watching and what you can learn from them.

Three trends in charity video we’ve noticed this week:

 

1) Films are getting longer. ‘How long should a video be’ is the age old question. But recent findings suggest Facebook algorithms are now favouring longer videos.

2) Creativity Counts. Don’t be afraid of venturing away from what you know. This week’s films from Cats Protection League and American Heart Association take a lateral approach to charity video.

3) Recipes are taking over your inbox. So to harness the popularity of this style of video, the American Heart Association has made a video that’s usefully watchable and promotes their cause.

LONELY THIS CHRISTMAS: The Children’s Society

All good charity videos tell a story. And this one does it wonderfully.

We’re able to empathise with the girl’s journey of emotions – her loneliness, her confusion, her fear – while the text messages pop up on screen.

It’s the perfect example of how to tell an effective story with no dialogue. You’re engaged in the story entirely through the visuals, and the cinematic quality adds the finishing touch.

FELINE FACTS: Cats Protection

Next we have this short, sweet and informative video made by Cat’s Protection.

As with all content on YouTube it’s not always about what you produce, but how you produce it. Cat’s Protection run series of short and informative videos all about cats and how to care for them.

Cat lovers especially won’t be able to resist these cute videos in their sub boxes. But this method of uploading videos in a series works for them. Looking at the number of views their films get on their channel they’re consistent, with most reaching into the hundreds, often pushing thousands.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: American Heart Association

You don’t always have to stick to the same style of video to promote your charity. Sometimes it’s good to think outside the box and find new ways of engaging with your audience.

American Heart Association have been regularly making healthy recipe videos for their YouTube channel. Rather cleverly, they follow the trend of the ever popular ‘Tasty’ recipe videos that infiltrate everyone’s Facebook feed. Come on, we all secretly love them.

Finding out what people love watching and creating your own similar content can be really effective, and this is a great example of that.

We regularly publish helpful blogs and reviews of new films – sign up and stay inspired!

imogen gower magneto producerImogen Gower in an assistant producer at Magneto Films. She recently graduated from King’s College London with a degree in English Language & Linguistics. Imogen has joined the team at Magneto and is training in film production.

Magneto Films Logo London video producersMagneto Films is an award winning production company that specialises in working with brands, technology and the charity and public sectors. 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

 email us!

The best marketing video campaign ever? – Poo-Pourri

The best video marketing campaign ever?

We’ve love these marketing videos from Poo-Pourri – and not just because they’re full of toilet humour. We love the campaign because it was built around video and achieved staggering success. To date their launch video has been watched 39 million times. Not bad for an air-freshener.

Girls Don’t Poop: Poo-Pourri

Strategy built around a video marketing campaign

In the week after it was published ‘Girls Don’t Poop’ gained 6 million views and increased the company’s Facebook following by 354%. Now at 39 million views, the advert remains one of the funniest brand videos to date.

And it’s not the only viral video Poo-Pourri have produced.

Since launching  the company have released a further eight videos that reach well into the million viewing figures… ‘How to Poop at a Party’ (10 million), ‘Imagine Where You Can Go’ (13 million) and ‘Save Your Relationship’ (2.6 million) to name a few. They even released a Christmas addition ‘Even Santa Poops’ which received a staggering 16 million views since 2014.

So what is behind Poo-Pourri’s continued success?

Video First

The company founder Suzy Batiz knew what she was looking for when it came to marketing – an all out viral video success. After watching his other viral videos on Youtube and wanting to recreate a similar tone for her product, Batiz specifically sought out marketer Jeffrey Harmon of the Harmon Brothers to produce Poo-Pourri’s first advert.

Make them laugh, make them share

When you’re selling a product relating to a taboo subject it certainly helps to have a sense of humor. And a marketing video that makes people laugh is a bold way to go.

On first watch viewers even think the advert is a joke. But this actually encourages people to look further into the product. It’s genius because it grabs the audience’s attention and the product gets more visibility. After its initial release, ‘Girls Don’t Poop’ boosted Poo-Pourri’s web traffic by 13,000%

When it comes to planning their videos the team sit down to brainstorm multiple script ideas until they find the right one. They say, that it’s all about not being afraid to try new things and not being afraid to be flexible with existing ideas. The result is pretty much the best video marketing campaign that we’ve seen.

As long as you have an end goal in mind, the rest will follow.

Now wash your hands

The majority of Poo-Pourri’s video marketing takes place on YouTube.

Adverts appear before the start of other YouTube videos and offer a click through link, taking viewers to Poo-Pourri’s main YouTube channel. Commenters even say they sat and watched the entire ad (their longest runs at 4.31 minutes) because they enjoyed it so much…

By knowing their target audience and running on the success of their first viral video, the company place most of their advertising efforts on YouTube and have repeated success every time.

And the recurring character from the original advert is instantly recognisable to those who have seen the ads before. When you create a brand image that’s memorable people are more likely to pay attention.

Have fun

Poo-Pourri is so successful because it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It engages with its audience in humorous ways which people appreciate.

Their content isn’t all professional ads either. Audiences enjoy watching behind the scenes clips or other various content, such as learning how to do the Poo-Pourri dance..

All in all, this makes it just about the best video marketing campaign that we’ve seen.

We regularly publish helpful blogs and reviews of new films – sign up and stay inspired!

imogen gower magneto producerImogen Gower in an assistant producer at Magneto Films. She recently graduated from King’s College London with a degree in English Language & Linguistics. Imogen has joined the team at Magneto and is training in film production.

Magneto Films Logo London video producersMagneto Films is an award winning production company that specialises in working with brands, technology and the charity and public sectors. 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

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Best brand videos – Christmas mix

3 of the best brand videos - all with a Christmas flavour

Christmas is peak season for brand videos and in a few weeks the papers will be full of speculation about what the big players will be doing this year. But you don’t have to be John Lewis or Sainsbury’s to create a brilliant video marketing campaign. So here’s our round up of 3 of the best Christmas marketing videos from the past few years.

Last year’s 2016 Christmas season saw as many as 60 charity campaigns appearing on our TVs. That’s a lot of appeals. Not to mention all the commercial adverts that appear this time of year. So having an effective brand video that stands out from the crowd is a must.

We’ve chosen three distinct and different Christmas brand video examples that we think are each effective and attention grabbing in their own way.

1. We’re Robert Dyas and we’re gay. And straight. And bi … ROBERT DYAS 2015

First up is this LGBT themed marketing video from Robert Dyas. It’s silly, it’s unique and it certainly left us laughing. It left other people baffled and still more scratching their heads.

The brilliant thing about this brand video is that it required very little time and money to make. Its success lies entirely in the comedy value. It deliberately plays on the idea of a bad, cheesy advert – which ironically makes this a brilliant one – and is so comical in its bluntness it leaves you wondering about what you’ve just watched.

Since published in 2015 it has generated a 733k viewing figure on YouTube. A large viewership like this inevitably lends to a rise in negative or homophobic comments, but rather cleverly Robert Dyas have prevented this by disabling the comments section and like/dislike feature for the video. Definitely one of the best brand videos.

2. Advent Calendar: BRIGHTON HOUSING TRUST 2015

Instead of your typical cosy family Christmas, this ad looks at the harsh reality of a family struggling to make ends meet.

Behind each door of the advent calendar reveals something bad that happens to the family, until eventually they are evicted and made homeless on Christmas Eve. It leaves us with the message ‘a month can be all it takes to become homeless’, and really drives home how easy it can be for people to be left vulnerable and without a home for Christmas.

3. Kassensymphonie: EDEKA

Nope. We’d never heard of them either but they’re a giant German supermarket chain.

This last advert is all about the fun. There’s no dialogue and no story, just two minutes of supermarket workers playing a rendition of Jingle Bells on the checkout machines. One of the funniest and best brand videos that we’ve seen.

It’s catchy and clever in that we’re subtly shown branded products throughout but in a way that’s entertaining and keeps the viewer watching, listening and bopping along.

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imogen gower magneto producerImogen Gower in an assistant producer at Magneto Films. She recently graduated from King’s College London with a degree in English Language & Linguistics. Imogen has joined the team at Magneto and is training in film production.

Magneto Films is an award winning production company that specialises in working with brands, technology and the charity and public sectors. 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

 email us!

5 of the best campaign videos

Best campaign videos

Supporting a marketing campaign or awareness drive with a marketing video is a must. Here’s our round up of  the five best campaign videos we’ve seen.

A campaign video can give your brand or charity a louder voice. They engage and can create real change. Think of Movember and the Ice Bucket challenge – we’re all familiar with them because they’ve had successful campaigns that were (and are!) widely talked about.

We’re possibly a bit biased, but video and film are absolutely essential when it comes to campaigning. That’s why we’ve chosen 5 campaign videos to share with you that we think are up there with the best.

1. GIVE ME A HEART: Donate Life America

We’re starting with a tearjerker. ‘Give Me a Heart’ launched in 2016 and shows us why the need for organ donors is so prevalent.

Patients tell us the number of days, months and years they’ve been waiting for a heart transplant. It’s pretty grounding stuff.

But Donate Life have taken the concept of giving a ‘heart’ on Instagram and made this a reality, to really give someone a heart.

And it worked. They saw an incredible increase of 698% in organ donor registrations after the video launched.  And three of the heart candidates we see in the film received heart transplants in the weeks following the campaign.

2. GIRLS POOP TOO: Poo-pourri

This one was a certainty for our list of the best campaign video: you don’t know whether to cringe or laugh. Or both. But talking about a taboo subject in a blunt and crass way is clearly an effective marketing strategy.

And so is using video for marketing: the whole brand has been created and communicated by the use of video. The launch film alone has generated more than 39 million views, and lifted their Facebook following by 354%. It’s such an impressive campaign that we’ve written a whole post about it.

The video’s  success can easily be seen in the number of views these videos generated on YouTube, with figures heading well into the millions per video. Apparently there’s something to be said for bad toilet humor.

3. #ThatsNotLove: ONE LOVE FOUNDATION

#ThatsNotLove raises awareness of abusive relationships.

This is definitely one of the best campaign video that we’ve seen and over 2 million viewers on YouTube have watched in, many leaving a strong positive response.

What’s brilliant about this film is how it builds suspense throughout. With each short cut scene the camera slowly zooms further and further in on the faces of the abusive partners, all while they repeat the ‘because I love you’ mantra. This is a great filming technique called a ‘push-in’.

‘the push-in turns a wide into a mid-shot, taking us closer to the action. It turns a mid-shot into a close-up, revealing a character’s intention as we drift ever nearer.’

Paired with a low string soundtrack that builds with intensity this film makes you feel on edge and ‘trapped’, really reinforcing the campaign’s message.

4. Youth Sports Trust

Now for something a bit more uplifting… Earlier this year Youth Sport Trust partnered up with the #ThisGirlCan campaign encouraging young girls to get involved with sports at their schools.

The interviews with girls who got involved and are sharing their stories are lovely to watch. It’s fun, upbeat and lively and an empowering message for all girls across the country

Paired with a low string soundtrack that builds with intensity this film makes you feel on edge and ‘trapped’, really reinforcing the campaign’s message.

5. Crisis at Christmas

Every year the charity Crisis run the Crisis and Christmas campaign. In 2016 they went well over their income target, generating £13.1 million and making this their most successful campaign to date.

Taking a look at last year’s film it’s clear to see why they did so well.

The focus is on the vulnerability of the homeless, but also shows them as normal and relatable people who could be any one of us. Watching them enjoy a Christmas meal together knowing they would otherwise be alone on the streets is particularly poignant.

We regularly publish helpful blogs and reviews of new films – sign up and stay inspired!

imogen gower magneto producerImogen Gower in an assistant producer at Magneto Films. She recently graduated from King’s College London with a degree in English Language & Linguistics. Imogen has joined the team at Magneto and is training in film production.

Magneto Films Logo London video producersMagneto Films is an award winning production company that specialises in working with brands, technology and the charity and public sectors. 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

 email us!

Sad charity video – does it still work?

The emotional push & pull of charity video

We’ve all seen them – the charity video that’s full of of emotionally upsetting scenes. And we know why charities do it – we’re supposed to be overwhelmed with compassion and dig deep into our pockets.

But new research suggests that going for the heart strings with a sad charity video is actually making viewers turn off.  Here’s how to harness the power of the positive in your video.

What’s the alternative?

In a world where we’re surrounded by less-than-optimistic media everywhere we go, perhaps a more positive and uplifting approach is the better way forward. We’ve blogged several times about using a range of emotions in charity video – everything from humour to anger. This time we’re featuring 3 campaigns that harness the power of the positive.

The power of empowerment

#ComeOutForLGBT: STONEWALL

LGBT people’s experiences in public can be hostile and even violent. Unfortunately this is the scary reality for many. But this short and snappy film takes this fear and turns it on its head, with the campaign’s message instead focusing on strength and acceptance for the LGBT community.

It’s particularly touching the moment two men holding hands in a pub greeted with a nod and a smile – a simple scene, but one that holds a lot of power. An inspirational message.

The optimistic outlook

OCEAN HERO: SKY

Not entirely a charity video but we’re always pleased to see brands being positive…

While the amount of plastic that enters our oceans every second of every day is a scary reality, this film isn’t all doom and gloom.

The up-beat soundtrack and community spirit of the film encourages us to be proactive and get involved to put a stop to this environmental destruction.

Adults and children are seen waving reusable water bottles, dancing and chanting ‘be an ocean hero’. We’re inspired to use the #OceanHero hashtag and share our experiences on social media. In the modern world where social media is a large part of people’s lives this is a great way to spread the message of any campaign.

The value of comedy

Henry the Lost Dog: DOGS TRUST

This final example looks at one of our own films that we made for the Dogs Trust.

While the safety of stray dogs is the main concern, the ‘Trigger Happy TV’ style of storytelling is funny and a great way to engage an audience. It’s not everyday you see a man dressed up as a dog rooting through bins and playing fetch with a stranger.

We’re told the facts but we’re allowed to laugh. Where a sad video of a lost or abandoned dog could have given the same message, the comical theme of this film leaves the audience with laughter and something light-hearted to remember if they ever find themselves in this situation.

We regularly publish helpful blogs and reviews of new films – sign up and stay inspired!

imogen gower magneto producerImogen Gower in an assistant producer at Magneto Films. She recently graduated from King’s College London with a degree in English Language & Linguistics. Imogen has joined the team at Magneto and is training in film production.

Magneto Films Logo London video producersMagneto Films is an award winning production company that specialises in working with brands, technology and the charity and public sectors. 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

email us!

Making video work for charities – Thom Craigen

Making video work for charities

Video should be about more than just shiny content on your website – it should be a tool that will help you achieve a clear strategic aim: awareness, branding, fundraising or advice. And a successful strategy means thinking of different ways in which video can work for you – case studies, fun DIY fundraising videos and longer, documentary style pieces.

This week, Thom Craigen, from the Benenden Charitable Trust, shares his experience of getting to grips with video content.

Thom's 4 tips on making strategic video content.

1. Make use of case studies and testimonials

Benenden Charitable Trust provides grants to people struggling with health-related money problems, matters which are sensitive and private. It takes courage for someone to ask a charity for help and even more to allow their story to be shared publicly. Charities should be extremely grateful to those who are willing to tell theirs and must tread lightly when having conversations around this.

Our first case study videos were interviews conducted remotely using Skype and Facetime, which made up in authenticity what they lacked in polish. Their DIY production values were well received at our 10th Anniversary celebrations and helped us raise £19,000 as well as generating numerous invitations to present at members’ meetings across the UK.

We went on to create two professionally produced case study videos, using the voices of the participants to tell their story and demonstrate how Benenden Charitable Trust is able to help. These videos provide a fulcrum for our current awareness campaigns with magazine articles, direct mail and email activity all supported with the rich video content available online.

You can watch all of the Charitable Trust’s videos at www.benenden.co.uk/charityvideos.

2. Keep it DIY, lo-fi and fun

As well as the emotional and moving case studies, the lively and lighthearted home-made videos produced by fundraisers have also been a big part of engaging with a key audience – Benenden staff.

It is fast becoming a tradition for #TeamBenenden to feature prominently in the annual York 10k Run For All event and each year the runners pull together a video in support of their online fundraising. This has featured footage of them training, or simply a series of photos of grinning team members wearing their branded running shirts. In 2015 footage of the event itself was also crowdsourced from friends and colleagues stationed along the route and edited into a short video which was shared to thank supporters.

3. Try long distances and longer video for lasting memories

In 2016 the charity teamed up with the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) to organize “Cycle GB 2016”, a 7 day, 540 mile charity cycle ride from SAMH’s home in Glasgow to Benenden Hospital in Kent.

Physical challenge events like Cycle GB 2016 are relatively common these days, so to project the scale and importance of our challenge we chose to work with a video production company to create a documentary video about the event and the personalities involved in it.

A series of rider profile videos, released online in the months leading up to the ride, charted the training, preparation and personal motivation of riders. Participants from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Yorkshire were selected from the team of 20 riders as those most likely to provide a compelling and emotional narrative during the ride (whether from deeply felt personal motivation or through a serious lack of preparation and training…)

A producer and cameraman travelled with the riders for 3 days in total, capturing interviews and key events including the departure from the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome and finish line celebrations. Additional footage in between these days was captured by riders and support crew using Go-Pro cameras and smartphones.

The final result was a 19 minute documentary which, as well as supporting online fundraising efforts, serves as a lasting record of the challenges faced and overcome by all involved in the ride. It is a reminder of the £29,000 raised for two worthwhile causes and brings longevity to the aims of the event, providing a talking point around which conversations about mental health can be started, now and in the future.

4. Make sure you know what success looks like.

Our experience has shown that success is about more than just social media viewing statistics. Video opens doors and provides a rich and engaging way to showcase diverse aspects of our work in ways where other channels fall short. It can amplify a message, inspire the viewer and leave a feeling that what you are watching is part of something big, something fun or something important.

For Benenden Charitable Trust, video is a valuable means of raising awareness amongst our target audiences – be they fundraisers, corporate sponsors, colleagues or most importantly, our potential service users. We have just launched a video outlining how we can help and how to apply. We will continue to seek participants for further testimonial videos… and who knows what our 10k fundraiser runners will come up with this year…

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Thom Craigen is the Charitable Trust Manager at Benenden Charitable Trust.

One half of a team of just two, Thom is responsible for a broad range of areas including governance, strategy, fundraising and casework.

Magneto Films Logo London video producersMagneto Films is an award winning production company that specialises in working with brands, 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

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Charity video … on a tiny budget

How to make a charity video on a tiny budget

Not everyone has the budget to employ a production company to make a professional video but if you’re willing to give it a go, there are lots of ways that you can make a DIY video on a tiny budget.

We asked Emma Sullivan, Digital Content Producer at Relate, to share her super-useful tips on how they make charity video on a tiny budget.

Taking a creative risk

Making a video on very small budget can feel daunting but it can be a great opportunity to experiment and take a risk on a creative idea.

We make a lot of our video content on budgets of less than £250, sometimes for as little as £25. This means we’ve put a lot of thought into how to make engaging videos that don’t look like they’ve been made with limited funds.

Here’s our top 5 tips for making charity video on a tiny budget:

1. Go full-on DIY

When we started out we couldn’t afford actors or animation. This meant we needed to come up with a different way to get our ideas across. After getting some inspiration from the Adam and Joe show’s ‘Toymovies’ we decided that embracing the DIY look and giving the films a homemade look was a great way to give the video plenty of personality. So we decided to make our own cast using eggs, you can see the results in our first film:

2. Get away from your desk

It’s all too easy for video projects to get pushed back when you have other content projects on the go, we found booking a block of time away for our desks to complete the films made it much easier to prioritise making video. Working over one or two days was also much more efficient, we could do everything in this time, including making the set and buying props. It’s much easier to perservere and get the filming done in one day rather than try to do bits and pieces, here and there.

3. Plan to get the most out of filming

We wanted to have something going on in every shot — be it a shift in perspective, or a pan, or a tilt to keep things interesting, we planned this all out before we started filming­. Thinking ahead in this way and using a script and storyboard means you have a good idea of how it will cut together before you start editing. Editing also tends to be easier when you’ve decided how the set will look and decided the tone for the film. You can see how we put this into practice in our video ‘How do you know they’re the one?’

4. Start with a test scene to make sure idea will work in practice

Before diving in and making a full video, we made a test scene. We wanted to do this for a number of reasons, firstly, we wanted to see how our ideas for the film looked, it was a chance to check it didn’t look too homemade and had the right tone. Secondly, this gave us an opportunity to try out different ways of shooting a scene and allowed us to see what was practically possible: it became clear that we needed to simplify the set and characters so they could be quickly and easily moved around to shoot from different angles. Thirdly, this took a lot of pressure off, making just one scene meant a minimal investment of time and allowed us to produce something we could show to stakeholders for sign off before we spent more time on the project.

5. Have faith in your idea

We found that sticking with our ideas despites our worries about how they would be received meant we could make something unique and funny. It also helped us to put the case for increasing our video budget and led to us making some low budget videos with actors.

We regularly publish helpful blogs and reviews of new films – sign up and stay inspired!

Emma Sullivan, digital content producer, Relate

Emma is the digital content producer at Relate and manages their content strategy and digital content. Emma joined Relate in October 2015, having previously worked at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Childline.

Magneto Films Logo London video producersMagneto Films is an award winning production company that specialises in working with brands, not-for-profits and the public sector. We specialise in telling real stories, working with cases tudies and real people to make films that move people to action. More about Magneto Films

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Best Charity Video 2016

The 5 best charity videos of 2016

The last 12 months have been a bit of a bumper year for charity video so we’ve put together our choice of the best ones we’ve watched.

They’re not necessarily the films that have the most views or have raised the most money but we think that they’re they represent some of most creative charity video that we’ve seen and they all have an impact that goes far beyond the usual.

We’ve seen wonderful charity films from Australia, America and the UK and from charities as varied as Prostate Cancer UK and Parkinson’s New South Wales. Have a watch and see if you’re as inspired as we are!

1. BEST STING IN THE TAIL: Parkinson’s New South Wales – The lucky ones

Genuinely surprising charity videos are a rarity but this film from Australian charity, Parkinson’s NSW made me sit up and watch. Simply made but with an ending that’s sure to shock this is a wonderful example of a charity video with impact.

This film actually made me exclaim on out loud when I watched it for the first time.  The film was directed by David Jagoda who’d undergone the same procedure 6 years ago. He’s also made a video about his experiences.

With a film as punchy as this it’s important to make sure it capitalises on the impact and reaches an audience. This film has been supported with a seeding campaign  on Facebook & Unruly and it also has  a microsite on www.pnsw.org.au with more video and an opportunity to donate. The PR campaign has also placed the protagonist Andy on Australian TV.

Made by We Are Content and directed by David Jagoda.

2. BEST STORYTELLING: The Prince’s Trust – It could have been different.

Beautiful visual storytelling and a clever use of split screen makes this film watchable and powerful.

I keep going back to this film and I keep showing it to colleagues: it’s a really simple premise that has a clean and clear payoff … so I won’t spoil it here. Very few charity films are bold enough to let the pictures do the talking and this film is a masterclass in using images to tell the story. Well worth a watch.

Made by CHI Partners and directed by Miles Jay.

3. FUNNIEST: Prostate Cancer UK – Time to grow up

Laugh out loud funny and very stylishly shot this film takes its direction from family sit-coms.

This video from Prostate Cancer UK takes the ‘birds and bees’ chat and turns it on its head: a switched on a very direct teenage son traps his dad into a father and son chat on the sofa. The laughs come from the son’s toe curling euphemisms for his dad’s ‘junk’ and what can go wrong with the ‘little soldier’. It gets even funnier when Dad’s friend Dave arrives. Funny and informative and cleverly avoids a lecture about a tricky subject.

Made by BBH and directed by James Rouse.

4. MOST OUTRAGEOUS VIDEO: Donate LIFE – The world’s biggest asshole

Charity video often plays it safe but here’s one that’s not afraid of risky humour to push home its message.  A laugh-out-loud funny charity video.

Casting  “World’s Biggest Asshole” in your film is not an obvious choice for a charity video but it may just help you connect with hard to reach audiences.  American charity Donate Life created the character of Coleman F Sweeney and let him loose to work his nasty magic.

This filmreally shows the benefit of making a funny charity video that really thinks about the audience its aimed at: within a few days it had over a million views, and now, having reached close to two million, this imaginative, brave film is really capturing the attention of its target audience and most surely qualifies to be the most outrageous video of 2016.

Created by The Martin Agency and directed by Furlined’s Speck and Gordon.

5. MOST TOUCHING VIDEO: Inspiring the future – What does a firefighter look like?

A great example of a simple story with a genuinely surprising reveal that leads to a very clear call to action.

Released around International Women’s day to raise awareness of how gender stereotyping is already at play in early childhood. Each child is asked to draw a picture of a  fire-fighter, surgeon and fighter pilot, then they’re asked to give them a name and say something about them. So we hear about fire-fighter Gary or Surgeon Jim-Bob and we learn about his ambulance or his plane.  Their surprise and wonderment when the real life fire-fighter, surgeon and fire-pilot are revealed to be women is captivating.

Made by MullenLowe

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Jeremy Jeffs is a founder partner at Magneto Films. Before that he spent 15 yearsdocumentary film maker  for BBC, Channel 4, National Geographic and PBS. He’s recently finished work on a history of China, with broadcaster Michael Wood and his films have been  shown at the London Film Festival, Sheffield International Documentary Festival and the V&A.

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Magneto Films is an award winning production company that specialises in working with brands, charities and the public sector. We specialise in telling real stories, working with casestudies and real people to make films that move people to action. More about Magneto Films

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