PLAYING WITH EMOTIONS
Sure, slow-motion shots, mood lighting, and cool camera angles can make things look great and emotive. But if we go overboard, it’s like we are trying to get the audience to feel something that the storyteller did not intend. Your supporters deserve transparency, real understanding and empathy. When we care more about hitting the charities key messaging than telling the truth, we risk hiding the real problems that your charity is solving.
The secret to making charity films that are effective, is making a real connection between the audience, the storyteller and the incredible work that you do. When we tell stories honestly, with raw emotions and real experiences, that’s when they truly resonate. A story’s real strength is when it goes beyond the screen and touches hearts. That’s what honest storytelling is all about.
RESPECT THE STORYTELLER
Respecting the individuals who share their stories is central to ethical storytelling. When someone opens up about their experiences, vulnerabilities, and how your organisation has helped, they are entrusting us with their personal journey. Manipulating their story for dramatic effect not only breaches that trust but also diminishes the authenticity and impact of the narrative. The power of a genuine story should always be enough and should always be respected.
EMPOWER: NOT SYMPATHY
Heavy production techniques, can inadvertently lead to an unsettling phenomenon known as “white saviourism.” When these techniques are used, they can change the tone of the content from empowerment to guilt or sympathy. This can risk perpetuating harmful stereotypes and the feeling that external intervention is the only solution. Genuine storytelling, on the other hand, preserves the dignity of those involved and brings the audience along for the journey to make change.
In a world full of flashy stuff, we’re asking you to join a movement that believes in real stories. Together, let’s create a time where true stories matter more than shiny effects. Instead of going big on production, think about these ideas that fit with honest storytelling:
So in the end, as filmmakers who care, it’s our job to avoid the flashy stuff that can hide the real stories we’re trying to tell. Honest storytelling is about getting back to the basics – the story itself. By being real, simple, and letting the story’s power shine, we can make charity films that don’t just look good, but actually mean something. It’s time to let the story do the talking, because that’s what really matters.
If you would like to have a chat about how to tell your stories ethically, email email@example.com