Documentary
Photography

#animals
#climate crisis
#landscapes
#nature
#video

November 8, 2023

Grace Ebert



Climate science has a communication problem. Abstract data, figures, and projections into the distant future can be tough to comprehend. Without effective storytelling tools to convey the severity of the crisis and what’s at stake if we don’t act, it can be difficult to motivate the broader public to advocate for change.

The team at Open Planet wants to bridge that gap. A collaboration between Studio Silverback and  Carnegie Mellon’s CREATE Lab, the new digital library contains a growing collection of climate and nature footage available for free use. Open Planet currently boasts some 4,500 clips that travel around the globe, from Bird Island off the Georgian coast to Brazil’s Jamari River to Pangti Village in western India. Documenting animals, plants, landscapes, and more, the footage is diverse in subject matter and captures visual evidence of some of the most pressing issues facing the world today. Director Colin Butfield shares:

As filmmakers, we know stories can be powerful agents of change, and with the window for action rapidly closing to address the planetary emergency, there’s never been a greater need for compelling, authentic storytelling. Open Planet will not only present the causes and impacts of climate change and nature loss but also the incredible ingenuity of those driving innovation to keep crucial sustainability targets within reach.

While some videos were created specifically for the platform, others are submitted by filmmakers, broadcasters, and production companies, and new footage is added daily. “Our immediate focus is to significantly grow the Open Planet footage library to cover a wider range of issues and regions globally so that more stories can be told to more audiences,” says Bethany Hutchings, who leads communications and content. “Crucially, our content needs to then reach changemakers around the world to deliver impact on a greater scale.”

Open Planet recently released its first collection focused on India, which has already reached more than 400 million viewers, and the full library is set to launch early next year.

 

a blue ocean expanse

a woman holds a sapling

a snowy mountain

#animals
#climate crisis
#landscapes
#nature
#video

 

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