Even though we have ticked over into a new year, some problems don’t go away.
In the case of the bush fires blighting Australia currently, they are still very much here.
High-profile celebrities within Australia and globally are pledging funds to help with the firefighting, but it’s in the creative areas where more hard-hitting support is being given.
Australian director Darcy Prendergast was both angry and frustrated about the effects of the fires on his country and some of the underlying issues the fires have raised.
So he made an animated short to raise awareness and give his support.
The Big Idea
The idea started as a poem.
Whilst watching the news reports on TV, Prendergast was moved to write the poem which forms the basis of the script and from there started creating a storyboard for his vision.
As a lover of wildlife, he was especially touched by the effect of the fires on species such as koalas who may end up as an endangered species such is the level of loss.
But it’s the underlying factors such as global warming and government neglect that really hit home.
He certainly hasn’t held back in his condemnation of his government’s position on global warming which is cited in many news outlets as a factor in the destructive fires
What They Did
The output all revolves around a 1 min 45 second film which has been put out on social channels and is taking it outside the shores of Australia.
The director was clear he wanted to cut through with both the message and the execution.
The choice of a seven- year-old Australian boy for the voice-over gives it a feeling of the next generation having a voice and wanting that voice to be heard about global warming and the use of fossil fuels.
The animation style is simple, but gritty and complements the serious nature of the message.
No uber-glossy Hollywood animation here.
The colour throughout remains orange and red and carries the feeling of anger, even though I’m sure it represents the fires themselves.
All in all, a very hard-hitting film for me.
Like many, I have been following the reports on TV and also from a few friends travelling in Australia. I’m sure the scale of things is far more devastating when you’re there than we in the UK can comprehend.
The issues of global warming, government neglect and catastrophic effects are all covered in this film and certainly the debate over these fires will go on for some time as the rebuilding period will be long.
I haven’t visited Australia myself, but to see 100-ft flames attack home after home is horrific and I hope this film is shared as widely as possible.
It hits home about what is happening and why.
Even the most ardent global warming sceptics will find it hard to argue that these events aren’t linked to climate change.
In places the voice was a little hard to understand and I might have been tempted to try a slightly different voice, but the fact that it’s a child is excellent so I can only imagine time was the deciding factor on the recording.
Surprised there wasn’t some kind of call to action/link at the end of the film to get people to either donate to the fundraising or sign up for more info on the info, but again maybe time was a factor.
I love these types of public information pieces where the creative juices can flow and the need for commercial reality can go out of the window.
Say it how it is. Say it how you feel. The director has, and for that I applaud him.