Glossy, glamorous and ultimately shocking this film from Greenpeace expertly plays on our emotions to leave viewers vulnerable to the stark message they want to push home.

The Little Explorer: Greenpeace

This may be an expensive looking film but this campaigning video from Greenpeace has a simple and easily repeatable idea for charity videos: sometimes telling us a clever story is far more important than telling us the bare facts.

Made to highlight the dangers facing the Arctic from over-fishing this film avoids shots of icebergs, polar bears or dead fish. Instead it tells the story of a little girl playing make believe: we see her make a cardboard diving suit and transform her living room into a torchlit undersea world. There’s no voice over and no facts or figures. Instead the film concentrates on building an emotional connection, and our feelings towards the little girl and our sense of shared wonder for her undersea world are crucial to leaving us vulnerable for the final sting in the tail.

Films like this are made to be tools that open people’s minds to a new situation and provoke them to find out more. They’re made to watched and to be shared by audiences who may never have given a second thought to Arctic fishing.  They’re not designed to tell the audience everything about an issue and they’re not made to simply to be fund-raising vehicles: they’re designed to send audiences to micro-sites where that information is available.


Produced by Don’t Panic and directed by Simon Mitchell.


Let video do what it does best – show people something wonderful or something they’ve not seen before. Tell them a story.

Use context: a film doesn’t need to explain everything about an issue. Once you’ve used a film to grab people’s attention, then you can use your website or a micro-site to point them towards more detail and offer then a chance to get involved.

Plan the journey: make sure you let people know what they’re supposed to do next. Tell them to go to your website, tell them to click on the next film or tell them to find our more. And then give them the tools.

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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 Logo London video producersMagneto 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 casestudies and real people to make films that move people to action. More about Magneto Films

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