Wonderful reality video style films from charities.

By September 2, 2015best charity video

Some reality video techniques in this week’s selection of best charity videos. An amazing dog, tricks the audience for the British Heart Foundation, hidden cameras bring the Syrian conflict to London for Save the Children and dirty work done delicately from Cancer Research.

Clever film making from Save the Children is once more partnered with an algorithm friendly title to make sure their film is findable on Youtube and an integrated campaign from British Heart Foundation shows how a message can be pushed via TV, On-line and digital with tailored films made for each medium. Clever stuff.

And a film about pooing in an ice-cream carton from Cancer Research.


Another stunning film from Save the Children that viscerally communicates the shock of civil war for ordinary families.

Following on from their ground breaking Most Shocking Second a Day film that shows a year in a child’s life ‘as if Syria were London’. This film uses hidden cameras to capture people’s reactions when their primary school is barricaded by black clad guards or their corner shop is stripped of essentials. Two things stand out for me:  the use of a YouTube friendly title – part of the success of their previous film was that it built on an established phenomenon (the second a day film) and this one seems designed to pick up on the popularity of  hidden cam shows. The second thing is the use of actuality sound – using the actual words spoken by people in a dramatic situation that had been created by the film makers. Much more dramatic and spontaneous than scripted moments.

2. HEART DISEASE IS HEARTLESS: British Heart Foundation

A glossy advert style film that uses a strong premise to push home the sudden devastation that heart disease can cause.

This beautifully shot film shows a young boy who is confused when his father suddenly appears in his class rooom to say goodbye. Moments later the boy is called out of class and we see him being told some obviously devastating news. Lovely storytelling and a well judged performance give this film an emotional punch. It’s supported with an online campaign called Amazing Dog (once again a YouTube friendly title) – we watch through a lens as a dog does tricks before the camera crashes to the ground -and also a heart attack simulator app – where users hold their phone against their chest to feel what a heart attack is like. Clever stuff.


Sometimes films have a job to do… and sometimes it’s a dirty job but this animation does it beautifully.

Not all charity videos are about awareness or brand and some films have a straightforward job to do – tell people about something. This cartoon style animation is designed to tell people the correct way to take a stool sample for bowel cancer screening and it does it with admirable frankness and clarity. Maybe not one to watch on your lunch break but it does show the value of a clear and well thought out script.

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london video production companyJeremy 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

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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