wonderful charity videos – May 11th

Three really strong films this week that use three very different techniques – real life drama from the RNLI, effective storytelling from the Body Dismorphic Disorder Foundation and clever constructed reality from Trinity College. Three wonderful charity videos.

1. #ringyourgranny: Trinity College Students Union

a single strong idea and a clear message make this film effective and memorable.

With Ireland due to vote on equal marriage on 22nd May, students at Trinity College have made this rather wonderful film. They were concerned that whilst younger people would be open to equal marriage, many people in older generations won’t even have talked about the issue. Their film shows several students calling up their parent’s and grandparents to talk about gay marriage. The response was overwhelmingly positive and in some cases moving. The film sticks with a single set-up – students are shown sitting behind a table with their phone in front of them and the story is woven together from sections of their conversations. It ends with a student’s story of coming out to his granny. Simple, clear and compelling. My only constructive criticism is that it’s a little long and that it would have been good to see the final student who shared his story, making a call too – otherwise he feels a bit bolted on.


59,000 views on YouTube. Amazing for a students union.

2. #respectTheWater: RNLI

real life footage of a surf rescue keeps you watching  this simple film

A single fixed camera mounted on a the rear of a small life boat shows what happens when a surfer gets caught in a rip current off the beach at Devon’s Bantham beach. I think this is really excellent – a moment of real documentary that shows what happens when the RNLI have to pull someone out of the water. No tricky camera work and barely any editing, just raw footage of a rescue. It’s simplicity matches the simple message – Respect The Water. This film sits really well in the RNLI Facebook page and the shots of the boat heading out to sea are eye catching. I particularly like this because it was one of my local beached when I was growing up and we were always warned about the currents here…. nice work.

3.You Are Not Alone: Body Dismorphic Disorder Foundation

Straight forward storytelling and a satisfying ending sheds light on a hidden phenomenon.

This film for new charity the Body Dismorphic Foundation has been getting some decent publicity thanks to an interview with Twilight actor Robert Pattinson talking about his brush with the disorder. The film shows a day in the life of a young woman who sees herself as ugly – every reflection, poster and sign seems to be reinforcing her fears. Finally, whilst hiding behind her paper on the Tube, she catches site of and connects with a young man who sees the world in the same way. This leads nicely into the reveal… You’re not alone…. The film is simply made but the happy-ish ending makes it a charming watch. Nicely branded to sit well within the charity’s home page too.

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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 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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