Small Charities Coalition – Case Study
Who Small Charities Coalition are
Small Charities Coalition are an organisation with 9000 members from across the UK. These members work in a wide range of sectors, helping a diverse cross-section of society in the process. They work to support the small and micro charities that are operating in every community in the country, the charities that are on the front line but don’t get the recognition that they deserve for their work. Through support, advice, training and mentorship, Small Charities Coalition are helping these charities to make an impact nationally, giving them a voice and making sure that they are listened to and celebrated.
The idea – requirements
If a film was going to promote a diverse and interesting organisation like Small Charities Coalition, it would need to be just as dynamic and exciting. Their reach and scope is so vast, and this would need to be highlighted, but at the same, the film would need to be concise enough to hold people’s attention. It would need to strike that fine balance between engaging, informative and interesting which can be so hard to achieve. On top of that, we knew that for real success, the film would need to utilise Small Charities Coalition’s active social media channels, which meant that as well as being short, the story would need to work without sound. It sounded challenging, but fortunately we’re not a video production company that shy’s away from a challenge.
The idea – premise
With all of those needs in mind, we approached them with a pitch for a film that we were sure they were going to love. We came to them with an idea for a non-linear film that was quick and showcased their vibrancy. This film wasn’t about interviews, it was about visually expressing the amazing work that Small Charities Coalition and their members do. We also wanted to break away from traditional video in terms of visual style, proposing a film that had it’s own distinct language. This would relate to the lighting, colour and camera movement, meaning that the piece as a whole felt cohesive. To top it all off, we suggested that the editing face be frenetic, to reflect the fast paced and exciting nature of small and micro charities. We didn’t want to linger on shots for too long, instead, we want to cut away quickly to the next exciting charity.
We were keen to jump straight into production, but we knew that for this film to come out right we had to take the time to plan things. The first stage in this was selecting the charities that we would be filming with. Most importantly, these charities would need to represent the diversity of Small Charities Coalition’s members. The film wouldn’t have as much of an impact if the charities we showcased were too similar in what they do, and so we worked with Small Charities Coalition to pick out a varied mix of charities. We settled on 4 amazing organisations; JustDifferent, York Road Project, The Arthouse and Chester FC Community Trust.
We spent a day with each of these charities to capture the footage we would need to finish the film. Rather than capturing what was happening, we worked with each organisation to plan and schedule specific scenarios. We love documentary filming, but we wanted to be able to craft the visual style of the film, so this was a must. We turned up to each charity with a detailed shot-list and a lighting plan, and everything we did had a purpose and reason behind it.
It was quite a journey travelling between each of the charities, but we returned to Hampshire with a tonne of great footage, ready to hop into the edit.
We had already defined a clear style in the early stages of the project, so we had quite a clear vision for where the film was headed. That being said, we were faced with a problem; how to condense so much into a 30-45 second film. We decided that in order to do this, we would only use very short sequences and keep our cuts as quick as possible. In order to support this frantic style, we chose music that we felt was dynamic, exciting and a little bit different from the usual music used in video production. All of this really tied the footage together and made the film feel complete.
Looking back on the project, we couldn’t be much happier with the results. This was a challenge for us, and forced us to work in a slightly different way than we usually would. It was a break away from our documentary and corporate video work, and it taught us a lot that we’ll taking forward in the future. It’s taught us a lot about storytelling and we also got to work with some amazing charities, so we couldn’t ask for much more.
If you’d like to learn more about the fantastic work that Small Charities Coalition do, you can find out more on their website Small Charities Coalition
Watch the video here: