Celebrating the value of community organisations through film
Helping community organisations bring their extraordinary work to life through visual storytelling and film-making.
To help community organisations bring their extraordinary work to life, Hammersmith United Charities has launched a project called community@hammersmith. Story-telling and film-making experts have been sharing their knowledge with local charities, giving them the skills to create a dynamic film that demonstrates their impact.
“Community organisations form the backbone of social change in Hammersmith,” said Hammersmith United Charities Chief Executive Victoria Hill. “They work in the most deprived areas, are run by local people and are particularly good at reaching people who are isolated or disadvantaged who may not be able to seek help from the state or a larger charity. But the work they do is sometimes difficult to explain, perhaps because it is complex or involves a subject matter that people find hard to talk about.
“The aim of community@hammersmith is to help some of the local charities we support to tell their story to the people that matter to them – potential beneficiaries, volunteers, funders or staff – by making a short film about their work.”
Eleven local organisations expressed their interest to be considered for this project by answering “What difference does your organisation make in the community?” with a 90-second video, showing the essential services they offer. From this pool of inspiring submissions, five were selected to join the film-making workshop: Anti-Tribalism Movement, Crosslight Advice, Hammersmith & Fulham Law Centre, Shepherd’s Bush Families Project, West London Death Café.
Artist Carolyn Defrin and Dan Massie from creative studio els.tv guided these organisations through the process of creating a professional film. They covered everything from the basics of visual storytelling to bringing storyboards to life with simple filming equipment.
“How we tell stories visually doesn’t always have to be literal,” said Carolyn Defrin. “I love close-ups and colour and alternative angles. Seeing a bird’s eye view of cakes being made or a close-up of a child’s green-painted hand – these images and perspectives invite us in emotionally, personally and memorably.”
The five groups faced this creative challenge with enthusiasm and resourcefulness, and Hammersmith United Charities is delighted to present the first short film born from this project from West London Death Café, where people gather together for cake and tea and to discuss death to help make the most of life. “Making the film during total lockdown was challenging”, said Emily Engel from West London Death Café, “but interviewing people on Zoom and hearing their various reasons for appreciating the Death Cafes was fantastic.”
“We hope that everyone in Hammersmith will enjoy these films and feel the same pride we do in the good work being done in their community,” said Victoria.
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